Chronic pelvic pain caused by endometriosis can make it difficult to get through your day. Dr. Lillian Leong is a board-certified family and integrative medicine physician and functional medicine specialist who can help. Her practice, LL Integrative Life, is easily accessible to residents in Walnut Creek, California, and its surrounding communities. Dr. Leong understands the impact that endometriosis can have on your life, and she develops customized, patient-focused therapy strategies that relieve your symptoms without painful surgery or other invasive treatments. Call today to schedule your appointment or book your visit online.
Endometriosis occurs when the same type of tissue that lines the inner walls of your uterus (endometrium) also develops outside the uterus. Endometriosis most often affects your fallopian tubes, outer uterine wall, and ovaries. It can spread to the tissue that lines your pelvic floor but typically does not grow beyond your pelvic region.
With each menstrual cycle, this displaced tissue acts as if it were actually lining your uterus. It thickens with nutrient-containing blood, breaks down, and then bleeds at the end of your cycle.
Because of its location, however, the shed blood associated with endometriosis has no way to exit your body and is trapped in your pelvic region, where it causes irritation and inflammation to the surrounding tissue and organ structures. Over time, the built-up scar tissue it leaves behind may interfere with your ability to get pregnant.
The most common symptom of endometriosis is pelvic pain that occurs during your menstrual period. This pain is typically far worse than the usual cramping and discomfort from a normal menstrual cycle, and it may worsen with age until you reach menopause.
Symptoms of endometriosis may include:
Women with endometriosis may also experience infertility, fatigue, diarrhea, constipation, and nausea. This complex constellation of symptoms sometimes leads to endometriosis being misdiagnosed as pelvic inflammatory disease, irritable bowel syndrome, or other conditions that can cause pelvic pain.
Dr. Leong is skilled in both conventional and functional medicine and uses a variety of effective approaches to relieve your symptoms. From the perspective that the body is a well-orchestrated system, Dr. Leong may evaluate other body systems that can influence your hormonal health and balance. She may recommend: