If you have endometriosis, some things to eat and things to avoid.
Endometriosis is a long-term, noncancerous condition in which cells that look like the uterus lining called endometrial cells to grow outside the uterus. These cells are called endometrial cells. Cell walls called the endometrium are what cover the uterus.
According to the Endometriosis Foundation of the United States, in the U.S., 1 in 10 women are reported to get endometriosis during their reproductive years.
Endometriosis is a condition that can be very painful. It mainly affects the body parts that are in the pelvic area. It’s infrequent for this tissue to spread outside the fallopian tubes, ovaries, and tissues that line the pelvis area where it grows.
Endometriosis symptoms tend to get worse around monthly cycles.
- Pain in the pelvis
- During periods, pain that comes with bowel movements and urination, or bleeding between periods
- Diarrhea \bloating \constipation
- Low back pain with a lot of cramping
Without treatment, endometriosis could lead to infertility.
Having had a bout with endometriosis increases the chances of getting ovarian cancer slightly. However, The Lancet says the risk is still very low over time and needs to be treated with extreme methods.
There isn’t yet a cure for this condition, but it can be managed with a lot of care. Care should include a plan to deal with pain and a healthy lifestyle with good nutrition and exercise, so both should be part of the plan.
Foods that could make endometriosis worse.
How you live can affect how quickly endometriosis progresses and how likely you are to get it. People also have a say in how painful or well-managed the disorder is.
Even though more research needs to be done to fully link certain foods and lifestyle habits to the development or worsening of this condition, the following factors may be harmful to endometriosis.
Research has found that women who eat more trans fat are more likely to get endometriosis. Most foods that have trans fat are fried, made with preservatives, or sold at a fast-food joint. Learn why trans fats are so bad.
Red meat consumption may increase the chances of getting endometriosis.
A study of 207 women with endometriosis found that 75% of them felt less pain when they cut gluten out of their diets. There’s a lot of information here for people who want to go gluten-free.
High FODMAP Foods
FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols.
A low-FODMAP diet seems to help those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and endometriosis.
People who have endometriosis may not eat foods that can affect hormone regulation, especially estrogen balance. Another thing you should do is avoid or limit foods that may cause your body to be more irritated, which could cause more pain or make your condition worse. These foods are:
- Red meat
- Saturated fats and Trans fats
Foods that may help with endometriosis
People who have endometriosis should eat a nutritious, well-balanced diet that’s mostly made up of plants and has many vitamins and minerals to fight the inflammation and pain that comes with it. You can eat these things:
Fruits and vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and other foods with a lot of fiber are good for you.
Dark leafy greens, broccoli, beans, fortified grains, nuts, and seeds, can help you get the amount of iron your body needs.
A lot of foods high in essential fatty acids are good for you. These foods include fish (like salmon), nuts (like walnuts and flax seeds), and seeds (like chia).
You can often recognize natural antioxidant-rich food by its color—deep green, bright reds, and orange. Think vegetables, oranges, and berries.
These foods also have a lot of other good things, like spinach and beet greens.
Make sure that you pay attention to how your body reacts to certain foods when you eat them. A written record of your activities and their results helps. Think of writing as a Dear Diary of your experiences with endometriosis.
Having a meeting with a registered dietitian is an option. You and your endometriosis are different, so they can help you plan meals that work best for you.
Potentially Beneficial Nutritional Supplements
A healthy diet isn’t the only thing you can do to stay healthy. Supplements may help as well.
Vitamin E and Vitamin C
One small study looked at 59 women with endometriosis and found that they had a lot of pain. Those who took vitamin E and vitamin C got 1,200 international units (IU) of each and 1,000 IU of vitamin C. Results showed less pain in the pelvis and less inflammation. Make sure you eat these foods to get more vitamin E in your food!
Another study took zinc supplements, and vitamins A, C, and E. Women with endometriosis who took these supplements saw a decrease in their peripheral oxidative stress markers and an increase in their antioxidant markers.
Turmeric’s curcumin may help reduce inflammation and endometriosis. Curcumin is the anti-inflammatory part of turmeric, a spice that many people know and love. One study found that curcumin slowed the growth of endometrial cells by lowering the amount of estradiol they made. Turmeric and curcumin also have a lot of other health benefits.
In a large study, endometriosis was found to be less common in women who had more vitamin D and more dairy in their diets. Also, calcium and magnesium from food or supplements may be good for you.
Alternative Helpful Possibilities
Exercise may also help treat endometriosis by lowering estrogen levels and making you feel good.
Women who have endometriosis may also benefit from alternative treatments, which aren’t used as often as traditional treatments. Relaxation techniques, for example, could be good. These could be:
Everything you read here does not replace the sound medical advice of a competent health care provider.
Always go to credentialed experts when dealing with an illness such as endometriosis. Remember that each professional is an expert within her field. A doctor may not know all that a dietitian knows and vice versa.
You may need different perspectives to get the help you need.