Can Parasites Cause Endometriosis?
Even though parasitic diseases can mimic some of the symptoms of endometriosis, there is no direct link between parasites and endometriosis.
“Suggesting that endometriosis is caused by parasites is another way of demeaning women,” Dr. Seckin says. “Parasites may cause some symptoms but not painful periods”.
Parasites and endometriosis: overlapping symptoms
Symptoms of endometriosis may overlap with those of other diseases of the abdomen or gastrointestinal tract. However, this does not mean that parasites cause endometriosis.
For instance, peritoneal enterobiasis, caused by the human pinworm Enterobius vermicularis may present symptoms some of which may be similar to those of endometriosis.
Schistosomiasis is another parasitic infection caused by Schistosoma parasites penetrating the body. The symptoms of schistosomiasis can also mimic some endometriosis symptoms, such as chronic pelvic pain.
The gut microbiota and endometriosis
Gut microbiota or the bacteria living in our guts are essential for effective digestion. Women with endometriosis may have lower gut microbiome diversity compared to other women but there is no direct connection between gut microbiota and the development of endometriosis.
“Everyone keeps talking about the gut microbiota,” Dr. Seckin says, “but not everything can be explained with gut microbiota”.
Need for proper diagnosis to confirm endometriosis
It is not uncommon to find healthcare providers misdiagnosing endometriosis as other diseases. This is due to a lack of proper understanding of endometriosis.
If your symptoms overlap with the onset of menstruation, they may be due to endometriosis. The only definitive way of reaching a diagnosis of endometriosis is laparoscopic deep excision surgery and then a histologic analysis of the lesions.
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