Endometriosis: The Pain Odyssey – DocCheck

About every ten women are affected, but German doctors are poorly informed – this is about endometriosis. Patients experience pain and inflammation extending to the lungs. But diagnosis often takes years.

With over 120,000 signatures in just 3 weeks petition The name #EndEndoSilence has attracted attention in Germany. Appeal to the Government and Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach: Get to know Endometrial Finally as a serious chronic disease. A national strategy with information campaigns and more investment in research is required.

Severe pain – often not taken seriously

It is clear why such a campaign is called: about a tenth of women have endometriosis. all over the world There are an estimated 190 million affected. Despite the widespread and growing awareness of the disease, diagnosis still takes an average of several years. Even after diagnosis, it can be difficult for patients to get the treatment they need, because many countries do not officially recognize endometriosis as a chronic condition, and therefore do not cover the cost of treatment, such as the pill.

When endometriosis grows Endometrial tissues outside the uterine cavity. Most commonly, the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and surrounding pelvic tissues are affected, but the disease is not limited to the pelvic region (we report); The intestines, lungs, and liver can also be affected by endometriotic foci. The disease can also lead to infertility. A wide range of symptoms complicates the diagnosis: DysmenorrhoeaAnd the dyspareuniaAnd the Indigestion And other symptoms of pain, general symptoms such as fatigue, constipation or nausea can also occur. Patients’ lives can be severely affected by disease, but their symptoms are often underestimated even by healthcare professionals.

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Australia: Pioneers of Down Under

So Australia was the first country in the world to have a detailed country in July 2018 Action Plan against endometriosis and has since raised $22.5 million to improve the quality of life for sufferers Submitted. The plan promises to create a “platform to advance awareness, understanding, treatment and research of endometriosis.”

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to the program

In addition to increasing spending on research, one of the main goals is to improve public understanding of the disease through targeted educational initiatives. One example is the Menstrual Pain and Endometriosis Program – PPEP Talk for short – an education program for young people funded by the government. In May 2021, Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt resigned $354 million package for the Advancement of Women’s Health, which is providing an additional $21 million to expand this program. The strategy also aims to improve the education of medical professionals by providing specialized training and teaching materials, as well as adapting university curricula.

Germany is lagging behind

Patients, doctors and researchers here in Germany can only dream of this much government support. Endometriosis is not officially recognized as a chronic disease; The research tends to be underfunded. to request In the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) only two endometriosis projects were funded between 2000 and 2017; The ministry spent a total of 406,263 euros. Even if you receive grants from the Federal Ministry of Health (BMG) to Endometriosis Association Germany Add up, that’s not much.

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comparison with diabetic Drawn to show how small this spending is – although the comparison is clearly flawed, given that more people are affected by diabetes (according to Who is the 422 million worldwide) and lack of treatment has more serious consequences. However, the difference in government funding is striking: in 2007, the BMBF provided 2.5 million euros annually to create a diabetes research network for 12 years. is expected; Since 2016, BMG has provided 3 million euros annually to projects related to diabetes to get rid of them. Something similar can be observed in the UK: Between 2003 and 2021 It funded 35 endometriosis projects, 5 of which were over £1m – compared to 1,758 for diabetes, 243 for over £1m.

France is headquartered in Australia

France, in turn, is following Australia’s lead by announcing a national campaign for endometriosis. On January 11, 2022, President Emmanuel Macron himself announced the launch of a National Strategy, which aims to improve diagnostic rates and treatment plans and put France at the forefront of endometriosis research. Although an exact timetable has not yet been announced, patient associations are already emerging pleased.

on February 14 A commission called by Health Minister Olivier Veran met for the first time to put the action plan into a concrete framework. Similar to Australia, the business plan promises more investment in research, in the amount of over €20 million. Other measures also include improving the training of medical staff and establishing a large epidemiological database. Also of interest is the planned creation of specialized centers in each region, for which about 4 million euros will be provided.

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In the meantime, the French Parliament has already achieved a small victory for patients: on January 13, 2022, endometriosis became official. Recognized as a long-term disease. In the future, all costs of treatment can be fully covered by state health insurance.

The United Kingdom and Scotland are developing strategies

Something is also happening in the UK. A successful petition was submitted on this topic brought to Parliament: In November 2021, increasing funding for endometriosis research was discussed. On February 9 there was another one Discussion about support options For patients with endometriosis in the workplace.

Scotland took control last year and launched one “Women’s Health Plan” which also focuses on advancing endometriosis research. Rightly so: it is the first commissioned by the regional government Transfer It clearly shows that patient care is currently not satisfactorily fulfilled. The lack of knowledge of general practitioners and gynecologists was also highlighted.

England also joins this year: a detailed strategy to promote women’s health developedWhich will be shown in the spring of 2022. According to the plans available so far, part of this campaign should also aim to improve endometriosis care.

In short, it can be said: Internationally, things seem to be moving forward – but there is still a lot of work ahead, especially in Germany.

image source: Johannes Plinio, Unsplash

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