Endometriosis is a condition that affects 1 in 10 women during their reproductive years, most of the time it goes undiagnosed for many years and it just shows up when you have issues in conceiving.
What is it?
It is a chronic, noncancerous condition where cells that resemble the uterus lining, called endometrial cells, grow outside the uterus. The tissue that lines the uterus is called the endometrium. This is where the condition’s name comes from.
What are the symptoms?
Endometriosis is often a painful disorder that takes place primarily in the pelvic area. It’s rare for this tissue to spread further than the fallopian tubes, ovaries, and tissues lining the area of the pelvis.
The symptoms of this condition tend to be worse around menstruation periods. Signs and symptoms include:
increased pain during periods and intercourse
pain with bowel movements and urination
heavy periods, or bleeding between periods
low back pain
If endometriosis is left untreated, it may lead to infertility.
Which are the causes?
· Inflammation – endometriosis is essentially an inflammatory condition. Inflammation usually starts in the gut (through food sensitivities or underlying infections).
· Liver health – alcohol, medications, too many toxins, just poor clearance can affect estrogen levels and toxins in the body, contributing to more inflammation.
· Autoimmune – endometriosis can be considered as an autoimmune disease more than a hormonal condition as it is believed that involves an overactive immune response.
· Hormone imbalance - excess estrogen causes cell proliferation with the consequence to get the condition worse
· A diet rich in sugar, refined carbs, processed foods, trans fat can promote inflammation.
How do you treat it?
Conventional treatments: include surgical procedures to remove the lesions and or use of medications to suppress hormones activity and ovulation, but not without side effects.
The natural approach: as Endometriosis is an inflammatory condition that gets worse by excess estrogen level, an anti-inflammatory and balancing- hormones diet together with lifestyle adjustments, supplements, supporting the liver can help manage the symptoms.
Dietary advice: Some foods can influence hormone regulation, particularly estrogen balance and can negatively affect those with endometriosis. In addition, avoid or limit foods that may promote inflammation in the body and lead to further pain or progression of the disorder. These foods include:
· red meat
· saturated and trans fat
To fight inflammation and pain caused by endometriosis, it’s best to consume a nutrient-dense, well-balanced diet that’s primarily plant-based and full of vitamins and minerals. See more in details:
· Having Fiber-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains and probiotics food to support gut health
· Excluding gluten and dairy, which can help to reduce inflammation
· Balancing blood sugar levels to reduce excess insulin (and therefore reducing estrogen and inflammation). Avoid sugar and refined carbs, eat plenty of protein and healthy fats at each meal, and reduce snacking between meals.
· Consuming regularly Iron-rich foods, such as dark leafy greens, broccoli, beans, fortified grains, nuts, and seeds
· Choosing Food rich in essential fatty acids, such as salmon, sardines, herring, trout, walnuts, chia seeds, and flax seeds
· Having Antioxidant-rich foods found in colorful fruits and vegetables, such as oranges, berries, dark chocolate, spinach, and beets
A nutritionist can help you plan meals that work best with you and endometriosis, as there’s no one-size-fits-all approach.
In addition to eating a healthy diet, Supplements may be beneficial as well.
· Vit E, C, A, Zinc, women with endometriosis who took these supplements decreased peripheral oxidative stress markers and enhanced antioxidant markers according to some research.
· Turmeric, Curcumin may also help with endometriosis management. This is the anti-inflammatory part of the well-known spice turmeric.
· For Vitamins, women with a higher vitamin D level and those who had a higher intake of dairy in their diet had a decreased rate of endometriosis. In addition to vitamin D, calcium and magnesium from food or supplements may be beneficial as well.
· Fish oils containing good levels of EPA/DHA – to reduce inflammation
· Agnus Castus Vitex – can be helpful to support progesterone levels
· Exercise may help with the management of endometriosis, too. This is because exercise can reduce estrogen levels and release “feel-good” hormones.
· Manage stress, as too much cortisol (the stress hormone), can have an impact on hormones and the gut, relaxation techniques may be beneficial. These can include: meditation, yoga, acupuncture, massage
In conclusion, there are many ways aside from conventional treatments to fight Endometriosis and improve the quality of life, some of them are list above, but there are many others.
That’s all for now.
PS. Book your free consultation on chiaranutrition.co.uk or be in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org to find the best plan of action to manage your condition. Everyone’s body is different. A specific and tailored plan based on your individual needs will be best.