A former X Factor contestant from East Lancashire has opened up about her struggles with endometriosis, a condition where tissue starts to grow outside the uterus.
Accrington-born Diana Vickers says holistic healing - an alternative medicine that focuses on the person as a whole instead of treating a specific health condition - has helped her cope with the symptoms of the condition which included “horrendous” pain, bloating and irregular periods.
The former Westholme School pupil, who appeared on The X Factor in 2008, shared her story to her Instagram followers and encouraged them to “keep pushing their doctor” if they feel something isn’t right with their bodies.
30-year-old Diana said her symptoms began at the end of 2021 and start of 2022.
She said: “I was in horrendous pain and discomfort and nobody knew what was wrong.
“For months I was suffering and I even came on here [to talk about it] and the impact it was having on my mental health too.
“Based on my symptoms doctors think it might be endometriosis although it is still unclear as being officially diagnosed with endometriosis entails an operation; women can be on the waiting list for this for years.”
Diana said she “wasn’t offered much help” from medical professionals so sought the help of a friend, Antonia Harman, who offered holistic healing therapy to reduce her bloating and leg pain.
Diana said: “I was at my wits end and in so much pain so I wanted to do everything I could to relieve my symptoms as I wasn’t being offered much help.
“As well as going to see some great doctors I also sought holistic healing therapy from my friend who helped to relieve my pain.
“I still have irregular periods and I [know] that my pain may come back – the therapy is just something I tried that gave me some relief from the awful pain I was in.
“Holistic therapy isn’t a route for everyone and I’m not 100 per cent sure what was/is going on with my body. I just needed to try anything.”
Diana thinks more research needs to be done into women’s reproductive health.
She said: “From the feedback I have from friends online I am not alone in this and it seems common thought that not enough research is being put into women’s gynecological health.
“I think it’s important to always keep pushing your doctor.”
According to the NHS, endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the womb starts to grow in other places, such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes.
Endometriosis can affect women of any age.
pain in your lower tummy or back (pelvic pain) – usually worse during your period
period pain that stops you doing your normal activities
pain during or after sex
pain when peeing or pooing during your period
feeling sick, constipation, diarrhoea, or blood in your pee during your period
difficulty getting pregnant
You may also have heavy periods. You might use lots of pads or tampons, or you may bleed through your clothes.
For some women, endometriosis can have a big impact on their life and may sometimes lead to feelings of depression.