so with me having Endometriosis I’ve been looking into a lot of things mostly how to get better or at least rid of Endo in a non surgical way…
with all the searching and researching i’ve done over the past few days i’ve found this interesting site – dedicated to all of us ENDO Sufferers – http://www.endo-resolved.com/
they have everything on there, from a diet that will reduce your symptoms to support groups and most of all (i think) its creator is someone who has dealt with this for quite some time herself… its not just some laadeeda i-think-i-know-what-i-am-talking-about person….
Here’s some helpful info regarding the Diet:
Changing your diet to deal with Endometriosis is an excellent foundation to assist you in reducing your symptoms, and will help regenerate your health.
Adjusting what you eat can bring about many positive physical and metabolic changes. Many of you may be aware that various illnesses and diseases have responded very positively to changes in diet, and Endometriosis is no exception.
Changing your diet for endometriosis can help with the following:
- Reduce symptoms of pain
- Relieve cramps
- Reduce inflammation
- Reduce bloating
- Reduce estrogen levels
- Balance hormones
- Reduce weight – estrogen is stored in fat and endometriosis is fed by estrogen
- Reduce toxins – found in e-numbers, additives, preservatives, pesticides, chemicals, anti-biotics used in animal husbandry,
AND an improved diet will also :
- Increase energy levels
- Boost immune system
- Improve overall health
Did you know that 80% of our immunity occurs in the intestinal tract?
To have a properly functioning immune system, you need to have a healthy digestive system. Because a large proportion of your body’s immune system stems from the digestive tract. A healthy gut and a healthy digestive system will aid in the production of certain good bacteria, enzymes and vitamins that help us to fight disease.
Having a strong and vibrant immune system will help you to fight the underlying causes of endometriosis.
Controlled Diet for Endometriosis
Controlling your diet to help you deal with Endometriosis is an excellent starting point. We really are a reflection of what we eat, and the body responds very quickly to what is put inside it.
The body is very sensitive to what is put in it, and sometimes that sensitivity is quick to show up. Unfortunately other sensitivities are not noticed and will creep up on us, which is when we suffer from dietary deficiencies and a lack of trace elements. There are times when our body gives us clues that we have a deficiency and we start to have cravings for certain types of foods.
The role of a controlled diet in Endometriosis management has proved exceedingly beneficial for many women. Some women have even been able to be virtually symptom free with changes in diet. The plan of the endo diet is to relieve or prevent some of the disabling symptoms that occur with menstruation, as well as the general pain of endo. Another goal is to decrease estrogen levels, stabilize hormones, increase energy, alleviate painful cramps and stabilize emotions.
Let’s start with pain and hormones in relation to diet …………
Endometriosis is an estrogen-sensitive condition, but the painful menstrual cramping that occurs is predominantly due to prostaglandin synthesis in the body. Prostaglandins are naturally occurring fatty acids, which are derived from dietary sources. The body can produce different types of prostaglandins through a complex series of pathways.
There are the ‘good guys’ and the ‘bad guys’ of the prostaglandin group. The goal of a controlled diet is to block the ‘bad guys’ for their negative actions on the body, and increase the ‘good guys’ for their opposite and beneficial actions. The action of the bad guys is to increase uterine contractions, and the good guys have a soothing effect. By changing the types of oils that are taken into the diet, the production of the good guys can be stimulated, which helps with uterine relaxation. These oils are composed of omega-3 fatty acids, which lead to positive prostaglandin production. Excellent sources of the omega-3 fatty acid producing oils are:
- fish oils
- Walnut oil
- flax seeds/oil
- olive oil
It is also important to decrease intake of those fatty acids that will stimulate the bad guys which are found in saturated fats, butter, animal and organ meat, lard.
In addition to decreasing bad fat intake, the diet should also consist of high fiber. Not only does this help with good digestion, but it is also thought that a diet high in fiber can decrease total circulating estrogens. It is recommended to incorporate 25 grams per day of fibre. Good sources are:
- whole grains (excluding wheat and rye – see link below)
- beans, peas and pulses
- brown rice
- vegetables and fruits
The following foods are recommended to modulate estrogen levels by incorporating one or two servings a day:
- mustard greens
FOODS TO AVOID
- wheat – this includes breads, cakes and pasta products, all based on wheat – contains phytic acid which can aggravate symptoms of endometriosis. Also contains gluten which women with endometriosis seem to be sensitive to.
- red meats – promotes negative prostaglandins which cause inflammation and can also contain growth hormones
- refined and concentrated carbohydrates – white bread, flour, cakes, pasta etc. made from refined flours. Most of the nutritional value has been removed
- refined sugars and honey – causes inflammatory reaction
- caffeine – found in tea, coffee, soft drinks -increases abdominal cramps and caffeine increases estrogen levels
- chocolate – as it contains sugar which is inflammatory
- dairy produce – including milk, cheese, butter, cream – causes inflammatory reaction as they increase the inflammatory prostaglandins
- eggs – advised to leave out eggs unless you get organic as they can contain the chemical residue of dioxin. Can also cause digestive problems for some like IBS, and may increase constipation problems (they are used as a binder in cooking!)
- fried foods – can stimulate negative prostaglandins
- saturated fats and oils – Foods that are high in fatty acids stimulate the negative inflammatory prostaglandins. Fatty acids are found in saturated fats, butter, margarine, lard.
- soy products and soy protein products – (check link below to read an in-depth explanation why soy should be left out of your diet)- tamari can be used in small amounts
- convenience foods – they contain a host of additives, cheap ingredients and have very little nutritional value
- tinned foods – use sparingly. Certain exceptions are fine like tinned tomatoes, coconut milk and those foods that are part of ingredients when cooking a nutritious meal
- additives and preservatives – increase chemical load on the system
- alcohol – consumes vitamin B which is stored in the liver. Good liver function is vital as the liver will help to eliminate excess estrogen from the body.
FOODS BENEFICIAL FOR THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
- beans, peas, lentils
- garlic (raw or lightly cooked)
- carrots (contain beta-carotene)
- live yogurt (good for healthy intestinal flora)
- seeds and sprouted seeds
- green tea
Foods containing natural plant sterols (phytoestrogens) can be helpful. They are thought to block the estrogen receptors, so in turn excess estrogen in the body cannot ‘lock-in’ to these receptors. These include:
- peas, beans and pulses
- red and purple berries
- brassicas: cabbage, cauliflower etc
- nuts and seeds
- celery, carrots
VITAMIN AND MINERAL SUPPLEMENTS
Although the best source of vitamins and minerals is through a well balanced diet, many foods today are depleted in these vital trace elements. Today, most of us need to supplement our diet with some of the vitamins and minerals that our bodies need to function optimally.
The following is a list of supplements that will help women with Endometriosis:
Magnesium – is a mineral and is believed to ease cramping with menstruation
- Zinc – is essential for enzyme activity, helping cells to reproduce which will help with healing. Zinc is also reported to boost the immune system and helping to create an emotional sense of well-being
- Calcium – levels of calcium in menstruating women decrease 10 to 14 days before the onset of menstruation. Deficiency may lead to muscle cramps, headache or pelvic pain.
- Iron – women with Endometriosis tend to have very heavy periods which can lead to an iron deficiency. This can lead to anemia which is characterized by extreme fatigue and weakness.
- B vitamins – these are important for the breakdown of proteins, carbohydrates and fats in the body. B vitamins are reported to improve the emotional symptoms of Endometriosis, and have proved helpful in dealing with PMT
- Vitamin C – is well known for helping to boost the immune system and help provide resistance to disease. It is also used in the body to build and maintain collagen within the body.
- Vitamin A – is another immune system booster
- Vitamin E – plays an important role by increasing oxygen carrying capacities and also strengthens the immune system
- Selenium – when taken together with vitamin E has been reported to decrease inflammation associated with Endometriosis, as well as immune system booster.
OTHER USEFUL SNIPPETS:
- Certain vegetables have substances that activate liver enzymes and help the liver to detoxify chemicals. This allows the liver to eliminate excess estrogen from the body more effectively. These vegetables include: broccoli, cauliflower and brussel sprouts.
- Auto immune diseases are thought to be triggered by free-radicals in the body, which could be an added factor in Endometriosis. Free radicals are destructive molecules and are found naturally in the body but can be made worse by pollution, stress, illness and smoking. There are minerals and vitamins that will help to fight off these free-radicals because of their antioxidant properties, including: vitamins A,C,E, CoQ10, selenium, vitamin B complex, as well as specific supplements being sold specifically as Antioxidants.
TO SUM UP
- increase omega-3 fatty acids
- avoid meat, dairy products, wheat and sugar
- increase fiber
- modulate estrogen
- avoid caffeine and alcohol
- avoid refined foods, e-numbers, additives
- minimize or avoid soy products as they contain high levels of phytoestrogens, and soy contains a particular toxin which seems to be particularly detrimental for women with Endometriosis
- peel fruit and vegetables to remove toxic chemicals
- eat organic produce wherever possible
- drink lots of filtered or mineral water
Starting tomorrow i’m gonna give this a try… how about you??