3 Things to Make Living with Endometriosis Less Painful
Millions of women around the world have Endometriosis and are told there is nothing they can do to feel better. This complicated disease affects every area of a woman’s life and is tricky to treat and resolve, however there are some things that you can do with nutrition and supplementation to manage or reduce your symptoms and live a better life.
When I coach women (3) with Endometriosis, one of the first questions I ask them is “Do you know why you are sick?” This is because if a woman knows why she is sick then she feels empowered to do something about it. Most women who know they have the disease spent 15 years telling doctors about their pain and were told there was nothing they could do to help them or were given antidepressants and pain medications as the only way to cope. Some were told they needed laparoscopic surgeries every 2-3 years to keep the endometriosis from “growing back” with no relief from pain between surgeries. I know this journey well as I was diagnosed with endometriosis after 15 years of intense suffering followed by two surgeries and I still manage my condition today.
We can’t know how to treat something unless we know the root cause. With Endometriosis, the root cause is still a bit of a mystery and diagnosis is difficult as the symptoms vary so widely from woman to woman and true diagnosis requires invasive surgery. Medical research and science doesn’t yet know what causes endometriosis and so much of our current treatment is based on theories. In my experience, a large part (if not the entire root cause) of endometriosis is due to pathogens (like virus, heavy metals, bacteria) in a woman’s body that have made a home in her reproductive organs (4). Though this statement is not research-based, my clients tend to feel better when they follow anti-viral and liver cleansing protocols that boost the immune system.
Nutrition for Endometriosis
Reduce fat intake.
If you have endometriosis, I recommend a few dietary changes to cleanse your liver. In order to cleanse the liver we have to thin the blood by reducing fat in our diet. Begin to reduce your consumption of animal meat, oils, nut butters, nut milks, avocado, nuts, etc. These foods are healthy, but I find that most people are on high-fat, high-protein diets and that can be an issue for anyone with a sluggish liver, inflammation, or endometriosis. Start small at first and just reduce a little bit each day. Reducing fat in your diet can be really challenging so go slow. You may also benefit from doing a daily morning cleanse where you do not eat any fat until lunch or you can try a stricter fat-free cleanse for a week. I recommend you work with a health coach or nutritionist that specializes in these types of cleanses and knows about endometriosis if you want to go this route.
Remove foods that increase inflammation.
Most of my clients start to feel a bit better (healthier bowels, more energy, less pain) simply from removing gluten, all dairy, and eggs. This is most likely due to the fact that these foods can be connected to increased inflammation in your body. Some people will say it’s because certain foods cause inflammation in your gut, and others will say the foods feed pathogens (virus, metals, bacteria) in your body and those pathogens go on to cause damage and inflammation. Regardless, I recommend clients remove as many of what Medical Medium calls “troublemaker foods” as possible–especially gluten, all types of dairy (including eggs and butter), soda, excessive salt, pork, tuna, and corn.
Add in healing and cleansing foods
Increase your intake of healing foods like: celery juice, fruit, potatoes, vegetables, and greens. You may start to feel better just by adding in daily celery juice and more fruit.
Below is an example of an average daily diet I’d recommend for someone with Endometriosis. You can try this for a month as a sort of “cleanse” or make it your long-term way of eating if it works for you.
Example Eating Plan for Endometriosis
- Upon waking: 16 oz purified water with ½ a lemon squeezed
- 15+ min later: 16 oz celery juice on an empty stomach
- 15+ min later: 24 oz fruit + greens smoothie. Add in several fruits and banana and spinach or kale (no protein powder, nut milk, nut butter, just fruits and greens)
- Mid- morning optional additional snack: Ideally no fats before lunch to do the “morning liver cleanse”. Another fruit + Greens smoothie or several pieces of fresh fruit.
- Lunch: Focus on plant-based fats for lunch – large salad with steamed sweet potatoes, lettuce, several vegetables, avocado, (optional beans or quinoa), olive oil, lemon juice.
- Afternoon snack: Apples with dates, celery sticks with black bean hummus, or another smoothie
- Dinner: Roasted or steamed veggie bowl with avocado and optional animal protein. Note: Max 1x per day animal protein with dinner
Supplements for Endometriosis
Most clients benefit from supplementation as well to manage symptoms of endometriosis as the immune system is so taxed from fighting the disease. The below list focuses on liver cleansing, healing the central nervous system, and boosting the immune system. I recommend working with a nutritionist or health coach to get recommendations on specific brands or types of supplements as options vary.
Lemon balm tea
I also recommend working with a nutritionist, health coach, or dietician who specializes in endometriosis when making significant changes to your diet. These changes outlined above are no small task and it helps to have someone to check in with regularly and tailor things to your specific life and situation. Everyone’s body is a bit different and what you can tolerate and take on (be that food changes, supplement changes, or other treatments or medications) will be different than it is for someone else.
Remember that with most chronic health issues, there is no quick fix. It is possible that your condition has been created over many years and it may take time, and a combination of several treatments, therapies, trial and error with food and lifestyle, for you to figure out what helps you best. Personally, I have found that the above nutrition and supplement changes have made a world of difference, but I’ve needed them in tandem with surgery and other medical treatments. The above recommendations do not replace the necessity for surgery or other treatment options. Above all, if you do seek medical care, make sure you see an Endometriosis Excision Specialist that was trained by the Center for Endometriosis Care (CEC) for diagnosis and treatment.
- I am referring to women with endometriosis in this piece as the primary audience as mother’s who are suffering with this disease, however this disease affects transgender men as well and has been found in the male body.
- This statement is not approved by current research and science and comes from Anthony William, The Medical Medium. I cannot vouch for where he gets his information, all I know is that when I follow his protocols my endometriosis symptoms reduce and my overall wellness seems to improve.
Medical Medium books: Cleanse to Heal + Mysterious Illnesses
Center for Endometriosis Care (CEC) in Atlanta, GA
Interviews, stories, and guides on thetot.com contain information that is general in nature and should not replace professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have a medical condition or concern or plan on trying a new diet, supplement or workout, it’s best to first consult with your physician or a qualified health professional.