Treating Endometriosis with Nutrition
Endometriosis is a little-known disease that many women suffer from, and a large number of them are undiagnosed. The lack of knowledge about this disease makes women who suffer from it feel misunderstood and with a significant lack of support, aside from not knowing about the possible natural treatments available.
In this article we will explain what this condition is, as well as provide nutritional guidelines for treating endometriosis, which causes symptoms including infertility and severe cramps.
What is Endometriosis?
The endometrium is the lining of the uterus that is renewed every month with menstruation. In this disease, some endometrial fragments can be found on the outer surface of nearby organs within the pelvis, such as the ovaries and bowel.
The most common symptoms of this disease are:
- Pain before or during menstruation and / or during sex
- Irregular periods
- Chronic fatigue
- Emotional problems due to the illness
The cause of this disease is unclear but could be related to an imbalance of the immune system. There may also be a genetic component.
Foods that Worsen the Illness
Many women have noticed a great improvement by eliminating some foods from their regular diet. Here are the most damaging:
- Red meat and sausages
- Hydrogenated or trans fats, which are found in margarine, baked goods, etc.
- Sugar and sugary foods
In general, we should reduce the consumption of processed foods containing artificial additives.
What About Gluten?
Some nutritionists have found that many women who suffer from endometriosis also have some degree of intolerance to foods containing gluten, and when gluten is eliminated, great improvements have been noted when following a strict and long-term diet.
Gluten is found in the seeds of the following cereals:
Therefore, we should avoid or cut down on foods such as flour, bread, pastries, pasta, couscous, fermented beverages from these cereals, battered foods, some cold cuts, cheeses and pates, some candy, etc.
We must be attentive to product labels, as some may surprise us. Whenever we can, we should try to find foods that are stamped “gluten-free” that is increasingly being put on product labels.
To better cope with this major change in our diet, we should also know the foods that we can eat that do not contain gluten, which are as follows:
- Buckwheat (actually not a wheat)
- Dried fruit (make sure that they do not have added flour)
- Milk and dairy derivatives (watch the cheeses)
On the other hand, there are foods that can be very beneficial that we should try to consume as part of our daily diet.
- Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, lettuce, chard, etc.
- Cruciferous vegetables: cabbage, broccoli, broccoli, turnip
- Ground flax seed oil or cold-pressed
- Dried fruits and seeds
- Green tea
Besides following the above nutritional advice, these supplements can be very beneficial to complementing the treatment:
- Magnesium: This mineral is highly beneficial to our health. In this previous article, we explain its importance and how to take it.
- Grape seed extract: Its high content of antioxidants is very beneficial for this disease.
- Chasteberry (vitex agnus-castus): we will take it for at least three months, as it requires long-term treatment, but the benefits are also long term.
- Dong Quai: an excellent Asian plant for all kinds of female disorders.
- Dandelion: this herb is a great cleanser of the liver and kidneys. We can take it as an infusion or as a supplement.
We recommend always consulting with a medical specialist before undergoing any treatment, because although they’re natural, supplements also have contraindications and side effects.
Women with endometriosis must follow strict medical control during pregnancy.
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading this article on treating endometriosis with nutrition.
Images courtesy of Uwe Hermann, chiot’s run and asdfawev.