How to decrease symptoms of endometriosis

By Juliana Kassianos, Transformational Fertility Coach, Yoga Teacher and Founder of The School of Fertility

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WHAT IS ENDOMETRIOSIS?

A hormone-dependent chronic inflammatory disease. It affects 5-15% of women of child-bearing age, 30-50% of whom suffer from infertility. Studies have suggested a link between diet and risk of endometriosis.

FOODS THAT LOWER RISK

  • Fresh fruit and vegetables

  • Food rich in calcium and vitamin D

  • Omega-3 fatty acids

  • Fish oils

According to one study, painful symptoms of endometriosis decreased after 12 months of having a gluten free diet.

FOODS THAT INCREASE RISK

  • Trans-unsaturated fatty acids

  • Fats generally

  • Beef and other types of red meat

  • Alcohol

FOODS THAT CAN TRIGGER INFLAMMATION IN THE BODY

  • Alcohol

  • Artificial additives

  • Barbecue food

  • Caffeine

  • Dairy

  • Fried food

  • Gluten

  • Processed food

  • Red meat

  • Sugar

  • Trans fats

ANTI-INFLAMMATORY NUTRIENTS TO HAVE IN YOUR DIET

FRESH FRUIT AND VEGETABLES

Berries like blueberries, strawberries and blackberries are particularly high in antioxidants, as well as leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale and broccoli.

VITAMIN D

Studies show that vitamin D can reduce inflammation in the body. All adults, pregnant women and breastfeeding women need 10 micrograms of vitamin D daily. You can get vitamin D from being outdoors and exposing your bare skin to direct sunlight. It’s also found in a few foods like oily fish, egg yolks and some fortified foods.

OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS

Have an anti-inflammatory effect. E.g. salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, herring, flaxseeds, chia seeds and hempseed oil (330°F smoke point – low temperature cooking).

GREAN TEA

Although it does contain caffeine, it contains less than black tea and coffee. It is particularly rich in anti-inflammatory properties.

SPICES

Spices like turmeric, cinnamon and ginger help to prevent inflammation. Turmeric has also been shown to inhibit the growth of endothelial cells.

COCONUT OIL

This contains lauric acid, which converts in the body to monolaurin, which has antiviral and antibacterial properties, and so helps to strengthen the immune system.

FERMENTED FOOD

These can help to support the immune system by fortifying the gut microbiome. You need a good healthy balanced gut bacterium for processing toxins, lowering inflammation and reducing toxin exposure to a potential developing foetus. E.g. Sauerkraut (fermented cabbage), Kimchi (fermented vegetables), Kefir (fermented milk drink) and yoghurt.

TURMERIC TONIC

Turmeric powder contains curcumin, which not only has anti-inflammatory properties, but has also been shown to inhibit the growth of endometriosis endothelial cells by reducing the production of estradiol (a form of oestrogen).

  • 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk

  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder

  • Half teaspoon of ground ginger

  • 1 teaspoon of organic honey

  • Pinch of cinnamon

Gently heat the almond milk until it lightly bubbles. Stir in the turmeric, ginger and honey. Use a milk frother to get it foamy on top. Pour into a mug, sprinkle cinnamon on top and enjoy.

REFERENCES

  • Nutritional aspects related to endometriosis. Halpern G et al. Rev Assoc Med Bras (1992). 2015 Nov-Dec;61(6):519-23. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26841161

  • Influence of diet on the risk of developing endometriosis. Jurkiewicz-Przondziono J et al. Ginekol Pol. 2017;88(2):96-102. doi: 10.5603/GP.a2017.0017. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih. gov/pubmed/28326519

  • Gluten-free diet: a new strategy for management of painful endometriosis related symptoms? Marziali M et al. Minerva Chir. 2012 Dec;67(6):499-504. https://www.ncbi. nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23334113

  • Curcumin inhibits endometriosis endometrial cells by reducing estradiol production. Ying Zhang et al. Iran J Reprod Med. 2013 May; 11(5): 415–422. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ pmc/articles/PMC3941414/

  • Curcumin inhibits endometriosis endometrial cells by reducing estradiol production. Ying Zhang et al. Iran J Reprod Med. 2013 May; 11(5): 415–422

  • The Complementary and Alternative Medicine for Endometriosis: A Review of Utilization and Mechanism. Sai Kong et al. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2014; 2014: 146383


Juliana Kassianos