The Two Common Conditions That May Have a Link to Endometriosis

All of us live without chronic pain caused by endometriosis we cannot imagine what a life of constant discomfort is like. Because of this pain, depression can seem like an inevitable consequence.

A new research led by geneticists from the Queensland University of Technology in Australia has discovered a number of risk factors that increase the chances of developing endometriosis and depression, as well as a variety of gastrointestinal conditions, says 'Science Alert'

While it does not rule out an environmental influence, the discovery makes clear that the gut health, endometriosis, and chronic mood disorders often coincide thanks to genes common to all three.

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Endometriosis is the presence of endometrial tissue, the thick layers of cells that line the uterus, where it does not have to grow. Same as him endometrium, this fabric also looks affected by cyclical fluctuations in hormones, leading to internal bleeding, scar tissue, and inflammation. In its most aggressive form, pushes deep into the surrounding organs and tissuessuch as the bladder, colon, and ligaments that hold muscles in place around those organs.

While endometriosis is thought to affect roughly one in ten women, numbering around 200 million worldwide, the consequences of this stubborn lining range from being completely asymptomatic to living with chronic and debilitating pelvic pain.

Most commonly, the condition makes itself known through a litany of symptoms and conditions, including excessive bleeding, pain during intercourse and during menstruation, nausea, and indigestion.

Photo: iStock

On top of all that, it is not unusual for people diagnosed with endometriosis they also experience episodes of anxiety and depression. Research backs this up, finding that they are the most common disorders associated with endometriosis.

It is not a great leap to assume that this relationship is causal. Studies in mice also imply endometriosis pain could directly affect the brain, promoting awareness of pain and mood disorders.

What's more, thave higher levels of pelvic pain it makes depression even more likely, which makes it seem like pain is causing the depression and not endometriosis itself.

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Without necessarily contradicting the role of pain in affecting our mood, Researchers are becoming increasingly aware of the great complexity of depression, discovering that it is more than just a psychological state, but a complete physiological system affected by a rich variety of genes.

Other studies have also strongly hinted at a genetic basis for endometriosis. To see if any of the genes involved are also could predispose people to depression, the researchers used data from a genome-wide association study (GWAS) conducted by the International Endogene Consortium.

Sample of more than 208,000 people

The sample of more than 208,000 people included around 17,000 cases of endometriosis, with just under 192,000 serving as controls, all from a variety of countries around the world.

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This was compared to a similar GWAS database used previously to find genes. related to depression, with a couple of alternative databases used to see if their findings could be replicated.

After conducting an assessment of overlapping mutations common to both, the researchers identified 20 independent locations in the genome that could be considered significant for both conditions, eight of which are completely new.

22 genes

Total, 22 genes were involved, many of them with functions in the pathways that govern adhesion between cells, the signaling that regulates cell movement and proliferation, and gastric health.

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In fact, further investigation discovered additional causal links between endometriosis and depression and at least one abnormal intestinal condition, such as peptic ulcers or gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Know that links can be genetic is one thing. Tracing the complicated mess of pathways from genes to health and vice versa is another story.

Still we are far from finding a cure And even finding the right treatments is an ongoing challenge. Given that we've known about the condition for nearly a century, it's surprising that endometriosis is still so often overlooked.

Learn more about underlying genetics and how they might develop into other health conditions is more than valuable.