Is There a Diet for Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a painful condition that many women live with for years before they finally receive the right diagnosis. After days of missed work, holidays spent at home in bed and one canceled social event after another, most women are told time and time again that they are simply experiencing period pain. Only after getting a second opinion too many women find that endometriosis is the cause of their debilitating pelvic pain.
Endometriosis is a disease that occurs when endometrial cells that normally line your uterus are found in other parts of your abdomen including your fallopian tubes, ovaries, bladder and bowels. The symptoms of endometriosis include painful periods, irregular periods, painful urination, diarrhea and constipation.
There are a number of treatments for endometriosis, including excision surgery, pelvic physical therapy, medication management, acupuncture, exercise and diet therapy. While there is a diet for endometriosis, it’s important to remember that diet is not the cause of or cure for endometriosis, but some women find that they are able to find some relief by avoiding certain triggers. Inflammation in the pelvic area can cause endometriosis to flare up, so reducing your intake of inflammatory foods is a good place to start.
Endometriosis Diet to Reduce Inflammation
- Processed and refined foods
- Avoiding prepared meals like packaged snacks, microwave meals and drive-through fare will reduce your intake of unnecessary additives that can lead to inflammation.
- Stick to fresh produce and items purchased in the outer periphery of the grocery store.
- Gluten is a protein that many women with endometriosis find inflammatory. A reduction or elimination of gluten in your diet may help reduce flare ups.
- Choose gluten free foods like rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes and squash. Avoid many foods labeled “gluten free” because they are probably processed and contain preservatives.
- Soy products are usually highly processed and often come from genetically modified soy.
- Soy also contains isoflavones, a type of plant estrogen that can boost your estrogen level, which may lead to increased pain.
- If you have to get your soy fix, stick to organic tofu chunks or miso.
- Dairy products contain lactose, a protein that is difficult for the human stomach to break down. This can lead to inflammation in the bowels that irritates endometriosis.
- Dairy also frequently contains large amounts of added hormones that can aggravate endometriosis cells.
- Opt for full fat, organic dairy and use it sparingly.
- Alternatively, use unsweetened almond, coconut or rice milk.
Content Sponsored by: MIRI Women – The Minimally Invasive Reproductive Surgery Institute (MIRI) brings together highly skilled, board-certified specialists who are focused on women’s health. Our team of professionals is trained in advanced gynecology, specifically hysterectomy surgery. Philosophically, our partner physicians take a “less is more” approach to health care, by first treating patients with the most conservative therapies. MIRI focuses on physical healing, while emphasizing that a patient’s emotional well-being is just as important.