Recipe for Success: Padma Lakshmi
The Top Chef host dishes on food, fame, and her struggles with endometriosis -- plus she shares two delectable recipes.
Padma's Struggle With Endometriosis continued...
"I was balled up in bed with a heating pad, taking Vicodin to get through
the worst." She concealed her pain, embarrassed that people would think she was
"I thought I was hypersensitive and just being a wimp," she says. Her mother
had suffered the same way. "I thought this was my lot in life."
In 2006, she had to leave a photo shoot doubled over in pain. Her internist
sent her to Tamer Seckin, MD, a laparoscopic surgeon in New York City
specializing in endometriosis.
Lakshmi was suffering from a severe case of the condition, which affects
more than 5.5 million women in the United States. It occurs when the
endometrium, the tissue of the inner lining of the uterus, grows in places
outside of the uterus -- most often on other pelvic structures, including the
ovaries and fallopian tubes, or behind the uterus. Researchers don't yet know
what causes this condition, but one theory is that endometriosis is linked to
menstruation backflow. Other possible theories include the involvement of
inherited genes, the immune system, the lymphatic or vascular system, and
chemicals in the body that somehow trigger the condition.
"These tiny pieces of endometrium attach and develop their own blood supply
and respond to the hormonal environment there," says Pamela Stratton, MD, chief
of the Gynecology Consult Service at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National
Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Bethesda, Md.
Symptoms of endometriosis vary widely, but include: extremely painful
menstrual cramps, pain during or after sex, ongoing pelvic and lower back pain,
heavy periods, spotting and bleeding between periods, painful bowel movements,
or painful urination during menstrual periods.
Endometriosis is one of the top three causes of female infertility; about
30% to 40% of women who have the condition become infertile. That's one reason
early diagnosis and treatment are key.
That treatment can include medication, hormone therapy, and surgery.
Treatment for infertility usually involves assisted reproductive treatments.
Getting to an Endometriosis Diagnosis
Lakshmi was relieved to finally have her endometriosis diagnosed, but
stunned that it had taken so many years to figure out what was wrong, says