Affecting nearly two million women in the UK, endometriosis is a medical condition where body tissue in the pelvic area behaves similar to the womb lining.
Women can experience pain and discomfort when these tissues thicken, become inflamed and break down.
While endometriosis has no cure, symptoms can be managed through diet and lifestyle changes, as well as medical treatment, including:
- Eating a balanced diet.
- Drinking plenty of water.
- Quitting smoking.
- Regular physical activity.
- Avoiding alcohol or caffeine.
When suffering from endometriosis, it is important to consider your diet and lifestyle habits. As well as easing symptoms, following a balanced diet can boost your immune system and improve your body’s ability to recover from illness. Working with a qualified nutrition professional can help you make the necessary changes. They will support and guide you through the changes you need to make, as well as working with you to create a personalised diet plan.
The main triggers of inflammation in terms of diet are gluten products, dairy products, sugar and sometimes coffee. The best way to manage inflammation and learn if any of these foods trigger your symptoms is to remove them from your diet for eight to 12 weeks, while completing a food diary. Observe any improvements or changes in your symptoms when removing certain triggers.
Eating a low-inflammatory diet can be effective in managing symptoms of endometriosis. A plant-based diet, rich in dark leafy greens and antioxidant-rich fruits can help to reduce inflammation. In terms of protein, choose lean, organic meats and small amounts of fish and poultry.
Try to eat a mixture of fresh vegetables and fruits each day. These may include kale, broccoli, Brussel’s sprouts, blueberries and cherries.
When estrogen levels are high, the size and number of endometrial tissue can increase, contributing to inflammation. It is important for women with endometriosis to be getting 24g fibre daily.
If you suffer with endometriosis and struggle to get your recommended daily intake of fibre, try to add one or two tablespoons of flax seed to your smoothie.