Managing endometriosis can feel incredibly complex at times, though the approach to healing doesn’t have to be. This week I wanted to give you a breakdown of some of the key pillars of healing I use with my clients.
Nutrition is important for so many reasons, but the main aspects we’re addressing for endo are lowering inflammation, balancing blood sugar, and feeding healthy hormones.
Endometriosis is an inflammatory disease. It causes inflammatory chemicals to be released and triggers an inflammatory response from our immune system. The result is a cycle of inflammation that eventually leads to a chronic inflammatory state in our body, causing fatigue, full body pain, worsening symptoms, brain fog, depression, etc. By adopting an anti-inflammatory diet rich in foods such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, and healthy fats, we can begin lowering those levels.
Next up is blood sugar. Having elevated or unstable blood sugar levels can further trigger the inflammatory response, stress the body, and have a negative knock-on effect on our hormones, often leading to estrogen dominance, which can create heavy and painful periods.
Finally, there’s the impact of food on our hormones. Our body requires a wide range of nutrients to make healthy hormones, including fats, vitamins, and minerals, such as zinc, selenium, and vitamin B. If we’re not eating an array of nutrient-rich foods, and are instead opting for processed meals or even a super low-fat diet, we’re missing out on some of the key components of hormone-friendly nutrition.
Heal the gut
The majority of your immune system resides in and around your gut, so the state of your gut health can truly affect the state of your overall health. If your gut health is compromised because of leaky gut, infections, or unaddressed intolerances and sensitivities, you will unknowingly trigger an inflammatory immune response in the body. Over time, this will become systemic, affecting even the pelvic area.
Healing your gut is one of the most important strategies for better managing endometriosis. Not only will it reduce inflammation levels in your body (thus lowering pain), but it’ll enable you to better absorb nutrients (alleviating brain fog and fatigue and really feeding those hormones), reduce full body symptoms like achy joints and headaches, and support the detoxification of old and excess hormones — to name just a few of the benefits.
We’re so used to hearing about stress that we’ve become desensitized to it and don’t truly believe it can have an effect. But it’s one of the most powerful factors in whether my clients have a good period.
Stress isn’t just what’s going on in your life. It’s what’s going on in your body, too. Inflammation is a stressor, imbalanced blood sugar is a stressor, a long-term infection or condition such as SIBO is a stressor. These can all send the body into survival mode, which has a very real impact on our sex hormones and can cause huge disruption to our cycles.
Support the detoxification pathways
Have you ever noticed your period feels worse after a month of downing caffeine or drinking a bit more wine than usual? Or perhaps you’ve experienced constipation and then have bad PMS for two weeks?
Your detoxification pathways, including the liver and gut, are essential for moving out used up hormones. When they’re not filtered out properly, they can be reactivated and reabsorbed into the bloodstream, building up in our system and creating hormonal disruption such as estrogen excess.
The toxins and chemicals that can put a strain on these systems include caffeine, sugar, and alcohol, as well as environmental chemicals. But again, a compromised gut also plays a role, as would other issues, such as a poorly functioning liver or kidneys. Thankfully, optimizing your nutrition and healing your gut can play a huge role in supporting these pathways, but there are also specific changes that I work on with my clients to further support these essential organs.
These are my primary pillars of healing, which can be supported with physiotherapy, supplements, and cycle-syncing. Collectively, these can all play an incredible role in helping you to live well with endometriosis.
Note: Endometriosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Endometriosis News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to endometriosis.
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