Endometriosis and diet

by Sunday News Online | Sunday, Mar 26, 2017 | 486 views

HELLO. Last week we spoke about myths surrounding endometriosis and I hope you learned something from it. In the past few weeks I have explained the different approaches that a woman can take to treat or alleviate endometriosis symptoms.

These include hormonal treatments, surgery and acupuncture. Today I will enlighten you on the benefits of having a good diet when you have endometriosis. Diet is a huge factor and by changing diet, we may actually reduce some symptoms.

The first question may be if diet affects endometriosis in any way? The answer is yes. Endometriosis is fed by estrogen fusion in the body. Estrogen can be in the form of your own natural estrogen made by the body, estrogen that comes from foods as phytoestrogen and from chemicals that contain an estrogen base.

The correct diet can help create equilibrium concerning your estrogen intake. It is also important to reduce chemical based products, toiletries and replace with natural alternatives. As mentioned earlier, some chemicals contain estrogen which aggravates endometriosis even further.

It is also necessary to deal with prostaglandins. They are the natural fatty acids that come from dietary sources. Menstrual cramps are actually due to prostaglandins as well as the pain caused by endometriosis. Diet can also influence the activity of these prostaglandins. There are good and prostaglandins.

In terms of food, there are a few things to avoid. The list is as follows:

Wheat — contains gluten which is bad for endometriosis

Red meats — causes inflammation and can contain growth hormones

Refined carbohydrates — flour, cakes, pasta, white bread etc

Caffeine — increases cramps and estrogen levels.

Chocolate — contains sugar which is inflammatory

Dairy produce — increases prostaglandins and causes inflammation

Eggs — only organic eggs are advisable

Fried foods — can create negative prostaglandins

Soy products — contains estrogen

Tinned foods — use sparingly

Additives and preservatives — they increase chemical load

Alcohol — uses up Vitamin B that we need for liver function. We need our liver healthy in order to eliminate excess estrogen.

These foods attribute to much of the endometriosis symptoms that we face. I am still working on changing my eating habits but I have definitely noticed that red meat causes me to have more pain or bloating. Many women with endometriosis struggle with what we call “endo belly”. This is when the womb swells and we can visibly look pregnant when we aren’t. Changing diet can help with the bloating, reduce estrogen levels, balance hormones, reduce toxins, reduce pain and even reduce weight as estrogen is stored in fat and estrogen is fed by estrogen.

There are things that we can introduce into our diets as well to help with endometriosis symptoms. We can introduce magnesium and this is beneficial because it eases cramps and maintains water levels and can help with constipation.

Zinc is also a helpful supplement as it produces cells that promote healing. Zinc also boosts immune system function and that in fact promotes healing. Iron is essential because women with endometriosis tend to have extremely heavy periods which can lead to having anaemia which is iron deficiency. Introduce iron rich foods such as liver, beetroot, spinach and green leafy vegetables. Vitamins such as A,B,C and E are also essential. Selenium when taken with vitamin E can reduce inflammation and boost the immune system. Introduce omega-3 fatty acids as they lead to good prostaglandin production. These can be found in some fish, pumpkin seeds and walnut oil.

Increasing fibre intake can also help to reduce the circulation of estrogen in the body. Eating too much fibre can also lead to constipation. Therefore the right amount of fibre intake can help with constipation caused by endometriosis. Sources of fibre include whole grains, beans, peas, brown rice, vegetables, fruits and oatmeal.

Another issue we face with endometriosis is the imbalance of hormones and there are certain foods that can help balance hormones. These include peas, red/purple berries, garlic, apples, parsley, fennel, cabbage, celery, carrots and rhubarb.

Include them in your diet or even create a juice out of them.

We are what we eat and some of the symptoms women have due to endo can be alleviated just from watching what is being put into our bodies. If you take care of someone with endometriosis or know someone who has endo let them know about the dietary changes they can make. If you are reading this and have endometriosis, it’s not too late, you can change how you eat today. You can even take note of foods that may actually exacerbate pain and then you can know the triggers. Remember, you are in control. You may have endometriosis, but it does not have you.

If you would like know more about the disease, feel free to email me on tinemataz@hotmail.com or contact me on +263778026402. Take care. Ta!

 

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