She was 14 and her quality of life was non-existent. She could no longer go to school because of the painful periods (also known as dysmenorrhea) & irregular periods, chronic fatigue and being in and out of hospital all the time. She finally had a laparoscopy and was diagnosed with endometriosis.
Endometriosis can play havoc with your quality of life. In this condition, the tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside the uterus. Yet the ebb and flow of estrogen throughout the month works on this external endometrial tissue just as it does on the uterine lining, inciting growth when estrogen levels are high. This can cause severe pain, unusual bleeding and damage to other organs, including the bowel and bladder, and even lead to infertility. The pain can be so bad, in fact, that some women spend a day or more a month in bed.
Endometriosis is an estrogen-sensitive condition, studies find a link between high-fat diets and levels of circulating estrogen; the more fat in your diet, the more estrogen your body produces. This also occurs if you’re overweight, and you’re more likely to be overweight if you follow a diet high in red meat and low in fruits and vegetables.
But the painful menstrual cramping that occurs is predominantly due to prostaglandin synthesis in the body.
Other studies reveal, prostaglandins are naturally occurring fatty acids, which are derived from dietary sources. One theory is that dietary fat influences your body’s production of prostaglandins i.e. there are the ‘good PG’ and the ‘bad PG’ of the prostaglandin group. The action of the bad guys is to increase uterine contractions and the good guys have a soothing effect. It’s also thought that high levels of prostaglandins could lead to higher production of estrogen, which could influence the growth of endometrial tissue & affect ovarian functioning.
With Endometriosis, the goal of eating well is to boost the immune system, Balance hormones, and prostaglandin levels and cut down on estrogen in the body. Overall, you want to cut down on your consumption of bad fat and boost those foods that help to cut down on the estrogen circulating in your system and encourage good prostaglandins. One key to reducing estrogen is to boost liver function so it can break down and eliminate estrogen.
Food to Avoid & Why?
When attempting to relieve endometriosis symptoms naturally, begin by eliminating foods that lead to inflammation. These includes:
– Red meat
– Wheat / refined flour
– Processed foods
– Refined sugars, caffeine, and carbohydrates
– Alcohol, soy, and other high-estrogen foods should also be eliminated from your diet because of their estrogenic effects
Food to Include & Why?
It’s a good idea to crowd in these super beneficial anti-inflammatory foods:
– Green leafy vegetables
– Bone broth
– Coconut oil
– Chia seeds
– Bok Chow
Magnesium-rich foods also help soothe the uterus and reduce pain. These include pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, black beans, avocado, almonds, bananas, and spinach.
Iron-rich foods are important as well because they replenish the loss of iron in the body, which is a result of excess bleeding. Some foods containing iron include liver, spinach, egg yolk, prunes.
In addition, you can reduce inflammation, relieve joint and muscle pain, and regulate hormone production with omega-3 foods. Add flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, salmon, trout, tuna, sardines, anchovies and mackerel to your diet.
If you are suffering from constipation as an endometriosis symptom, eat high-fiber foods like quinoa, vegetables, brown rice, berries, coconut, figs, peas, okra, Brussel sprouts, turnips.
If you eat an anti-inflammatory diet and consume beneficial supplements, you can curb endometriosis, is the case with most conditions. In addition, homeopathy can do wonder, and by combining these, you can help avoid unnecessary and dangerous surgery.
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While there is no cure, if you follow these steps, you can manage, treat and even prevent endometriosis symptoms from becoming a major hindrance on your life.
– Written by Dr. Chaitali, Associate Doctor to Dr. Rajesh Shah, Life Force homeopathy team.