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Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Runaround

It may be a lot of effort and I know sometimes it’s hard to be bothered, but we all know a decent amount of exercise does you the world of good. Exercise, in combination with a good diet, reduces the risk of all sorts of unpleasant diseases and prolongs your life. So it comes as little surprise that some reports have said that regular exercise can reduce your risk of endometriosis by up to 40-80%. The rationale behind this theory comes from evidence showing regular exercise reduces the amount of estrogen in the body. However, as a recent study rightly points out, if a woman is experiencing the debilitating pain and fatigue associated with endometriosis prior to diagnosis she is much less likely to be inclined to pop down the gym for a training session, thereby skewing the aforementioned results.

The latest study on endometriosis and exercise comes from the Harvard Medical School in Boston, which conducted a prospective cohort study from 1989 onwards on a total of 102,197 women, of which 2703 were laparoscopically confirmed with endometriosis. The study followed the women’s amount and level of exercise over the years and also took into consideration factors such as BMI, smoking, parity (number of children), contraceptive use, menstrual history etc.

The overall results of the study found that regular exercise did not decrease the risk of endometriosis as much as previously thought. That said, regular exercise did appear to reduce the risk of endometriosis, just by a more modest factor. So in conclusion exercise is a good thing, there is no substitution for it, you can’t buy it in pill form so try and do it whenever possible. Of course I’m not talking about running marathons (although kudos to you if you can!). Even gentle exercise, done regularly, will grant you benefits, it may not reduce your risk of endometriosis by as much as 80% but as one particular faceless, all consuming ubiquitous supermarket chain says “every little helps”.

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