While there are various medical treatments for endometriosis available, as well as surgical ones, many women have found that changing their diet can help to effectively manage their symptoms. In some cases, dietary changes may be enough to help you live your life symptom free.
Why Change your Diet?
Making changes to your diet when you have endometriosis is not just about easing the signs of endometriosis. Following a healthier diet and eliminating those foods that aggravate your symptoms will not only help to reduce your estrogen levels, but it will also contribute to normalizing your hormone levels and it can even stabilize your emotions.
Similar to the candida diet, which helps people dealing with recurrent vaginal thrush infections, an endometriosis diet aims to eliminate those foods that encourage your symptoms while increasing those foods that lower your prostaglandins.
Prostaglandins, which are stimulated by estrogen, are the hormones responsible for those painful cramps you feel during menstruation as well as possibly menorrhagia, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea that you may also experience.
Prostaglandins actually break down into three different forms: prostaglandin E1 (PGE1); prostaglandin E2 (PGE2); and prostaglandin F2a (PGF2a). While PGE1 can help alleviate endometriosis symptoms, PGE2 contributes to menorrhagia and PGF2a to vomiting, nausea and diarrhoea.
Together, PGE2 and PGF2a produce the immense period pain women with endometriosis must deal with. However, by changing your diet, it is possible to block PGE2 and PGF2a while encouraging the production of PGE1 to help your symptoms.
We all know that diets high in fibre are helpful to digestion and keeping the bowels working. However, fibre may also reduce the levels of estrogen circulating in your system.
Some good sources of fibre include:
- Whole grains
- Fruits and vegetables
- Brown Rice
There are many benefits to consuming omega-3 fatty acids. In addition to helping your over physical and mental health, though, omega-3s have also been found to promote the production of PGE1. Some good sources of omega-3s include:
- Flaxseeds and oil
- Pumpkin seeds
- Oily fish (i.e. salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel)
- Sunflower oil
- Evening primrose oil
- Fortified foods