Endometriosis is a disease marked by tissue that should only lines the uterus growing elsewhere in the pelvic cavity, usually around the reproductive organs, and the bowels and bladder. These growths are referred to as lesions or implants.
The uterine tissue reacts to the hormonal changes that occur during the menstrual cycle, and thickens in preparation for pregnancy. If no pregnancy occurs, the tissue breaks down naturally and is expelled as part of the menstrual cycle.
Endometrial lesions undergo the same monthly cycles in response to hormones such as estrogen, but once broken down cannot leave the body. This can lead to pain and inflammation, and can result in organs becoming stuck together.
Endometriosis currently has no cure, although several treatments can help to manage the condition. Lifestyle changes, like adjustments to diet, may also ease pain and improve overall health.
A healthy diet
A healthy diet for endometriosis may consist of foods that are anti-inflammatory and do not alter a person’s hormone levels, such as organic foods.
A diet high in fruit and vegetables accompanied by lean meat, poultry, eggs, or seafood may help reduce the symptoms of endometriosis. Low-dairy or dairy-free alternatives can provide vitamin D, and work to reduce inflammation without causing digestive problems.
Choosing organic foods can also help to manage endometriosis, as these tend to be lower in certain chemicals that can increase estrogen levels in the body. Keepng estrogen levels low helps to reduce the likelihood of a symptoms flare.
Foods to avoid
Eliminating or reducing the intake of some foods may reduce the symptoms of pain, nausea, and cramping women with endometriosis experience. These symptoms can be exacerbated by foods that can stimulate inflammation. Examples include dairy, gluten, high-fat foods, caffeine, and processed foods with added sugar.
Soy products can increase estrogen levels, which may worsen the symptoms of endometriosis as well as triggering the growth of new lesions if consumed in large quantities. Red meat, such as beef, is also associated with increased estrogen levels and the worsening of endometriosis symptoms. It should be consumed sparingly.
As every patient is different, it is possible that some foods may trigger a worsening of symptoms in some people while having no effects in others. Recognizing which foods may aggravate disease symptoms and eliminating them from your diet can help to improve quality of life.
Food as a cause of endometriosis
While the exact cause of endometriosis is not well understood, it is possible that an unhealthy diet can increase the risk of developing it. Studies examining certain dietary factors and endometriosis risk have been mixed in their results. For example, while not proven, the chemical polychlorinated biphenyl is thought to be associated with an increased risk of endometriosis, as it may alter the immune response and mimic the action of estrogen. This chemical can be found in some fatty foods, and in caffeinated drinks such as cola.
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.