What a Flare-Up Attack Feels Like

What a Flare-Up Attack Feels Like
Kimberli during an endometriosis flare-up.
Kimberli during an endometriosis flare-up.

When an endometriosis flare-up attacks, it becomes this battlefield inside of me and turns into this horrendous war with all of my organs. My own body holds me hostage. It is almost as if I’ve become frozen. I crouch over, holding my stomach, waiting, hoping, wishing the pain would stop. I become dizzy, see stars, and have thoughts that my life is about to end race through my mind. I need to use the bathroom, and as I try, I sit there in tears because of the pain. At this point, I just want my life to end. I try to remember what it was I ate or did that day that could have caused the beast to awaken inside of me.

This is just a norm for me

This beast has become a norm in my everyday life. From the moment I wake up to the minute I go to bed, she is in my body waiting to stir up some sort of evil plan. It puts a hold on many everyday activities for me. But not every day is a battlefield inside of my body. Some days, the beast allows me to have limited pain, but one wrong move, and it is war.

Flare-ups can be exhausting; they suck the life right out of me. I find that whenever I have a day in which I am more active or eating non-endo-friendly foods, I pay for it later that evening and even for a few days after. My hips and pelvis become sore, my period will randomly show up, and my entire body feel like it inflated like a balloon.

When a flare-up is coming

Most of the time, I can tell when a flare-up is due. I become hot, clammy, and nauseated and always get a low-grade fever. Sometimes, the pain is so bad that lying down does not even help. The level of discomfort with a flare-up is real. It is usually not something I can shake off, like hitting my funny bone. It is there, and it will linger until it is ready to be finished.

Some days, I feel like I would rather get run over by a bus then wait out a flare-up. The pain can become so excruciating that my entire body aches, from the top of my head all the way down to the tips of my toes. Pain shoots out of every direction it can. It almost feels as though my insides are tangled, wrapped around each other and squeezing so tight. You know that tight feeling you experience when you are getting your blood pressure done? Multiply that feeling by 100 and imagine it happening inside your body.

Sometimes you must wait out the pain

The sad thing is that there are not many things I can do when my body is in this state of attack. For now, endometriosis has no cure. Doctors throw all sorts of ideas out there that we can try, but they do not necessarily cure the beast. Some women can find relief, while others wage a constant battle. When my body is under attack, I find yoga, drinking lots of water, light walking, and spreading out on the floor seem to help. Sometimes, you just need to wait out the pain, no matter how excruciating it may be. Sometimes, what you really need to do is just cry. Let it out. Never be embarrassed or ashamed.

Every day is a constant battle with the type of flare-up I have. But every day I also become stronger. This illness will not define me and I will not let it decide what type of life I am going to live. Flare-ups and all, I am here, boxing gloves on, ready to fight. Always remember you are stronger than you may feel.


Note: Endometriosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Endometriosis News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to endometriosis.

Hi, my name is Kimberli. I am 29 years old and was diagnosed with endometriosis in March 2017. I am a yoga lover, blogger, and writer. My passion is to raise awareness for other women suffering out there with endometriosis.
Hi, my name is Kimberli. I am 29 years old and was diagnosed with endometriosis in March 2017. I am a yoga lover, blogger, and writer. My passion is to raise awareness for other women suffering out there with endometriosis.

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  1. Rosheen McIntosh says:

    I am so with you..this article describes my life completely but I find it so hard to fight it and the pain drags me down but it’s ressuring to here other’s are in the same boat and I’m not on my own. xx

  2. Maria says:

    What foods trigger flare ups? I’m having a hard time finding information on that and have been really struggling with the pain.

    • Hi Maria!
      Here are some endo no no’s that I have been working on staying away from!
      -Red meat
      – Processed foods
      -Fried Foods
      -Refined sugars
      It is really trial and error though, to see exactly which ones bother you most. Like dairy, I cannot have any dairy except mozzarella. For some reason it does not bother me! But that list is the major list of foods that causes inflammation and are said to stay away from. I have found many alternatives to foods I used to eat/love and have gotten creative with different recipes! 🙂 Let me know if I can help you out in any other way! XO
      I hope this begins to help you with your pain!

  3. Quynn says:

    Wow. No one has ever described my pain as well as you have. I always tell people it feels like I’m going to die but I know I’m not. Sounds dramatic but when I use to get my flare ups prior to my surgery I felt as though I was on the edge of my life.

  4. Just me says:

    How is it actually diagnosed? My Dr seems baffled by my episodes, suggesting hormone therapy. (Which doesn’t agree with me). Is the surgery an exploratory diagnosis?

    • Laparoscopy surgery is one of the only ways to diagnosis endometriosis. I would try to find an endometriosis specialist to perform surgery on you. What they do is go in, and explore with a small little tool. Right then and there they should be able to see any adhesions/growth. And they usually remove it. Of course, just because they remove it, does not mean it will not grow back.
      I found a gynecologist willing to perform the surgery on me. He was not an endo specialist, but was qualified enough to at least explore, give me a diagnosis and remove what he could.

  5. Alex Petit says:

    Hello there.
    What a great description of what we go through and the pain. This is my first flare up in years. I have had surgery 5 years ago with an endo specialist- she found some plaques and removed them. I can feel it has been growing back especially in the last couple of years and the monthly pain is back on and off and now re-exploring potential surgery. Being strict with my diet and exercise is definitely helping: no excess from a food perspective- balanced, clean eating and little and daily exercise seem to be key

  6. April says:

    It is the worst. I was diagnosed with endo over 11 years ago and at that time I had a partial hysterectomy. Per the surgeon I shouldn’t have anymore pain. What a joke. I still am living with endo and have been to multiple specialist etc. The answer they seem to give is birth control?! Ummm, not practical for me as many of them make me sick and cause other issues. I’ve come to the realization that I will end up living with this for the rest of my life unless I can find a doc that is willing to remove all of my plumbing.

    • Christine Nikles says:

      I found that I watch what I eat and drink helps with the pain. I remember I drank wine 3 nights in a row and the knife stabbing feeling cane back. So I stopped drinking red wine and eating lots of veggies, salads and lean protein foods. Lactose free creamer in my coffee in the morning and only 1 cup. I do not drink soda either. So basically eat and drink helps the pain. I use coconut oil also when I’m the bedroom with my husband. Sex use to be painful but not any more. Hope this helps!

  7. Linda Kearney says:

    Hi you have just decribed me down to a te I was diagnosed 21 years had the OP 4 years ago so bad now only way for me is a full hysterectomy as endometriosis is all over my organs

  8. Bianca Beeeeee says:


    My name is Bianca

    I’m currently so so sick and I don’t know why, I have endo, but this is something that has never happened before, I have had a low grade temp for around 3 days, the pain is getting is almost like flu like, except I don’t have not a runny nose, not a cough, nothing. I have EXTREME EXTREME period like stabbing pain, my legs are so so sore (very common when I have my period so I think it’s related) a terrible terrible headache, and nausea.

    I feel like I’m in full blown labour! It’s a joke! This has never happened to me and I’m scared 🙁

  9. Alayna says:

    This is exactly how I am feeling right now, it has been going on for maybe a week off an on. I’m just not sure what brought on this flare up. Stress with everything going on in the world or my dr recently switching my birth control. Has anyone has issues with either?

  10. Leah says:

    Thank you for this. I have never been able to find someone who can explain the pain I have endured as long as I can remember. I have not been diagnosed, but now I know I am not alone and just reached out to my gynecologist.

  11. joanne groves says:

    Hi just found this post…after years of unexplained symptoms I have just been diagnosed with endo, fibroids, cysts and adenomyosis…pretty much every thing u can get….ur post is the only one that actually describes how I feel so thank u

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