Endometriosis Sufferers Are Owning Their Condition With #EndoBelly Hashtag
Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the womb begins to grow in other places such as the fallopian tubes and ovaries.
The most common symptoms include severe period pains, pain during intercourse and difficulty getting pregnant - but one symptom not many know about is the severe bloating.
Sharing snaps under the hashtag #endobelly, women with the condition are showing how bloated their bellies can get throughout the day, even to the point where they can look pregnant.
Dr Karli Goldstein, a consulting surgeon, explained to Health that while bloating during periods is common for most women, for endometriosis sufferers "[the] bloat can be more drastic and persist longer."
A stage IV endometriosis sufferer herself, Dr Karli explains: "Frequently, patients will be fine in the morning, and it will get bigger and bigger until the evening, when they can't button their pants.
"You can look six months pregnant by the end of the day."
While there's no cure for the condition yet, there are ways to relieve the painful bloating including changing your diet, drinking lots of water and doing yoga - but these aren't foolproof ways of preventing endo-belly, and every woman is different in terms of what works.
One woman with the condition, Kellie Renee, shared a side-by-side post with one photo showing her stomach during an endo-belly flare-up, and one taken after it had passed following doing some yoga.
"Yesterday morning I woke up with my normally flat belly & [sic] feeling pretty fresh," she wrote on Instagram. "After doing a load of washing my belly swelled up & I had to downward dog like a badass yogi for a good 25 minutes before I could breathe again without feeling like I had a knife in my side."
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She went on: "Sometimes it only takes one simple daily task to bring on a big uncomfortable rock hard endo belly," finishing by saying: "To a world that just tells me to follow an anti inflammatory dairy free diet, & live for yoga... I already do... & while it's healthy, it doesn't magically mean no more endo belly."
Another Instagram user, who also suffers from adenomyosis - a condition where the inner lining of the uterus breaks through the muscle wall of the uterus - shared a side-by-side, explaining: "This isn't me after eating 4 burgers and 7 milkshakes this is my endometriosis and adenomyosis getting really irritated for no reason.
"It's really hard on me mentally to look nearly full term pregnant everyday. It's so exhausting and really uncomfortable and even hard to breath when my stomach is like this and to even bend down!"
She finished: "I will never have a flat stomach because of endo and adeno and I am slowly but surely learning to accept it (sadly) but this is what endo and adeno looks like on the daily"
Endometriosis is a condition that American singer Halsey suffers with and has spoken about publicly in the past, including how she suffered a miscarriage because of it.
While discussing her endometriosis on TV show The Doctor, Halsey explained: "I was on tour, and I found out I was pregnant.
"Before I could really figure out what that meant to me and what that meant for my future... the next thing I knew I was on stage miscarrying in the middle of my concert."
Let's hope this hashtag can encourage more endo-sufferers that they are not alone.
Featured Image Credit: Instagram/fitendolife
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