Endometriosis - How dietary changes may help
Endometriosis - could this be the cause of your painful, heavy periods or reason you are having trouble getting pregnant?
According to the NHS, endometriosis is a common condition where tissue that behaves like the lining of the womb (the endometrium) is found outside the womb. Symptoms of endometriosis can vary significantly from person to person and in some women there are no symptoms at all.
Endometriosis UK, state that in cases of moderate and severe endometriosis chances of natural conception are reduced. This is because there are more adhesions that can trap the egg and stop it from moving down the Fallopian tube. However, treatment via surgery to remove endometrial tissue (laparoscopy) can be effective in improving your chances of pregnancy.
In addition to medical intervention, nutritional support may also help, in particular, with the following two areas:
a) Supporting your immune system, as an optimal diet (and possibly supplementation) can help support reduce inflammation and the removal of endometrial tissue.
It is believed that in some women with endometriosis, their immune systems are not able to fight off endometriosis effectively and many women with endometriosis are found to have lower immunity to other conditions. However, this may be a result of the endometriosis rather than the cause of the condition
b) Supporting detoxification pathways as endometriosis is considered to be an oestrogen dominant condition, hence nutritional support can help lower oestrogen levels in your body.
Detoxification of oestrogens happens both in the liver and the gut, so optimising both areas of detoxification via diet (such as ensuring adequate protein, B vitamins, essential fats, fibre and cruciferous vegetables) may help reduce your symptoms.
Asking a trained nutritional therapist to carry out a dietary evaluation would be the first step to see if improving your diet may help. They will be able to work out from your diet history how to improve what you are eating or if you may be low in certain minerals or vitamins. There are also a number of biochemical tests that are available to assess if you have adequate essential fats from your diet (via a simple blood test) or to see if you require additional B vitamins.
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