Naturopath Kate Powe joins me during Endometriosis Awareness Month to talk about endometriosis, a silent epidemic, a condition that is affecting over 600,000 Australian women and more than 176 million women globally. We chat about the symptoms, treatment and impact of suffering from endometriosis. This is an episode for both men and women to help spread understanding and awareness but also a message of female empowerment.
Download the PDF transcription
Dr. Ron Ehrlich: Hello, and welcome to Unstress. I'm Doctor Ron Ehrlich.
Today's story is something which is of interest to us all. Now, if you're a woman of premenopausal age, or if you're a man or a woman and you have a sister, a daughter, girlfriends, or if you are fortunate enough to have a special girlfriend, partner, or wife, particularly if they are premenopausal, then what we are talking about today is something you should be aware of, alert to, and understanding of.
It's a subject that affects 176 million women worldwide. Just putting that into perspective, there are 370 million people affected with diabetes, and that's described as an epidemic. It's a subject that affects roughly 600,000 young women in Australia. That is one in 10 women. Incidentally, I consider anyone under 50 a young woman. Even more alarming is that there is usually an average of, get this, 7-10 year delay in diagnosis, so there are certainly many women who may be suffering, but have never fully understood what's going on.
For guys listening, listen carefully, and be supportive. The subject is endometriosis. Now, if you haven't heard of it or don't know much about it, aren't you lucky, because that's what we're talking about today.
Just to give you an idea of how big this problem is, the average yearly cost of endometriosis on Australian society as a whole is $7.7 billion in lost productivity [and healthcare costs], because it's an extremely debilitating condition, and of that $7.7 billion, $2.5 billion relate directly to health costs. Again, putting this into perspective, diabetes, considering one of the most targeted chronic conditions in Australia, costs just $1 billion annually in direct cost. Compare that to endometriosis's $2.5 billion. So, it's a huge problem.
My guest today is naturopath Kate Powe, a Sydney-based online naturopath with a passion for helping women across the globe restore their hormonal balance and achieve whole-body health. Now, Kate has her own story to tell about her own experience with this condition, quite apart from outlining the extent and the effect of this problem. We said there is an average of 7-10 year in diagnosis. Well, Kate's was longer than that. She has some great tips from her own personal and professional experience.
I hope you enjoy this conversation I had with Kate Powe.
Welcome to the show, Kate.
Kate Powe: Thank you for having me, Ron. It's great to be here.
Dr. Ron Ehrlich: Kate, endometriosis, it's a word that some people may be familiar with, but it's a word that we probably should understand a hell of a lot more because it's a problem. Can you give us a bit of a background? What is endometriosis?
Kate Powe: Yeah, and it is endometriosis awareness month [Endo March] this month, so it's a great topic to be talking about, as well. Look, you're right, there's a lot of misinformation because endometriosis is really a condition of, I guess, pain and infertility. They're the two main key things that come out from endo, and it's so misdiagnosed. There's often a delay of around eight years before diagnosis is made, because, I guess it comes back to women's health in general.
It's so acceptable by the community that women have period pain, and so, so often, girls wil