Photo Credit: Courtesy Tia Mowry
In her exclusive blog for the iVillage series CelebVillage, actress Tia Mowry -- who stars on the Style Network reality show Tia & Tamera -- writes about the relief she felt having her 17-month-old son Cree (with actor husband Cory Hardrict) after years of struggling with the gynecological medical condition endometriosis.
What is endometriosis?
It all started around when I was about 21 years old. I would have menstrual cramps that would send me to my knees and to the bathroom. Literally! I was studying at Pepperdine University and my cramps were so bad I would have to excuse myself and head to the ladies' room. There, sitting on the toilet would give me a little relief. Yes, sitting on the toilet. Go figure. An hour had gone by and I didn't even know it. Class was over and the next thing I know I'm in the back of my car, crunched over in pain, while my sister Tamera is driving. This was not fun! I went to the doctor and she ran all kinds of tests, found nothing, and said to take a nice warm bath and I should be fine.
This was my life for the next few years. However, one night I was over it. I was having cramps so bad I desperately wanted to call an ambulance. My husband and I had a neighbor over and she mentioned to me she had an amazing gynecologist -- the one who delivered Will and Jada Pinkett Smith's kids -- and that I should see her.
I was 27 years old when I was diagnosed with endometriosis. I was like, "Wait, what"? I knew nothing about it. Why hadn't I? The simple explanation of this: endometriosis is an abnormal growth of cells from the lining of your uterus that appear outside of the uterine cavity. The uterine cavity is lined with endometrial cells, which are under the influence of female hormones. So, the growth of these cells outside of where they are supposed to be was causing the pain -- and it was a condition that could potentially prevent me from having children. I was devastated.
You see, now married, having kids was on my radar and I was informed that surgery could help! So, surgery seemed to be my only option.
The operation was successful, however, two years later the pain returned. Devastated, the doctor suggested another procedure along with seeing a dietitian. After the second surgery and determined to not have a third, my friend and costar Brittany Daniel from The Game told me about a diet called The Body Ecology Diet. This was a diet that helped reduce inflammation in the body, which is one of the major symptoms of endometriosis, by limiting sugars and carbs.
Focused and determined, I stayed on this diet for one year and guess what, I got pregnant!
I called my OB/GYN and the first thing she said was, "It was your diet!" So, staying away from cookies and pasta was well worth it! My little boy Cree Taylor Hardrict is here -- the love of my life and my little miracle.
You may ask why am I blogging about this? First and foremost, I wanted to educate woman out there about what endometriosis is. I was suffering with it for years and I don't want anyone to have to go through what I went through without getting help. And secondly, I wanted to share how I overcame endometriosis with the help of surgery and my diet! It is my belief that if I can do it, you can too!
Have any of you ever heard about endometriosis or know of anyone who may have this condition? Is this your first time ever hearing about it? Would love to hear your thoughts!
Actress Tia Mowry stars on the reality show Tia & Tamera, airing Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on Style. Follow her on Twitter at @TiaMowry. And click here to read more exclusive posts in the CelebVillage series!