Nutritional Tips For Reducing Endometriosis Pain
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 with endometriosis, one of the first questions I ask them is “Do you know why you are sick?” If a woman knows why she is sick, she’ll be more empowered to do something about it. Many women who have the disease are told there is nothing they can do to help themselves or are given antidepressants and pain medications. Some are told they need 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 receive effective treatment for an ailment unless we understand the root cause. With endometriosis, the root cause is still a bit of a mystery and diagnosis is difficult, since symptoms vary widely and true diagnosis requires invasive surgery. 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. 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 and reduce a little bit each day. Reducing fat in your diet can be challenging, so go slow. You may also benefit from doing a daily morning cleanse where refrain from consuming fat until lunch, or can try a stricter fat-free cleanse for a week. I recommend you work with a health coach or nutritionist who 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, dairy and eggs. These foods can increase inflammation in your body. I recommend clients remove as many of what Medical Medium calls “troublemaker foods” — including gluten, dairy, eggs, soda, excessive salt, pork, tuna and corn.
Add 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 adapt it into your everyday eating habits if it works for you.
Sample meal 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 or nut butter).
- 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, like a 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 list below 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
Seeing a specialist
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. Every body is 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.
I”ve 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. Above all, if you do seek medical care, make sure you see an Endometriosis Excision Specialist who was trained by the Center for Endometriosis Care (CEC) for diagnosis and treatment.
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.