Supplements for Endometriosis: Part 1
Last updated: June 2020
There are a lot of supplements that can help with endometriosis. In this post, I’m sharing 3 supplements that have evidence supporting their use for endometriosis and that I have seen work well with my patients.
Supplements for endometriosis usually offer:
- Antioxidant support
- Immune support
- Digestive support
- Promote sleep
And these supplements / nutrients are no exception.
Melatonin helps with sleep, but it can also help with endometriosis. It reduces inflammation, is an antioxidant, and offers pain relief.
Research has demonstrated that taking 10mg can not only improve sleep, but can also lower pain, reduce lesion growth, and seems to also have estrogen-blocking effects.1-3
10mg could be too much if you haven't taken melatonin previously; It's always best to seek advice from your health professional who can give you tailored advice.
Melatonin is produced naturally within the body from the amino acid tryptophan, so it’s important to eat adequate levels of protein. It's also important to eat a healthy and varied diet.
Melatonin is also found in a range of wholefoods such as vegetables, fruits and wholegrains. Tart cherries are a very good source of melatonin so try this hot cherry chocolate recipe.
I often prescribe magnesium to my endometriosis patients because is wonderful for pain and can help reduce cramping, but its' benefits don't stop there:
There is also a link between low magnesium status and anxiety. Magnesium has been shown to reduce the stress response by supporting the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis (HPAA) and through doing this it also supports hormones.4 Magnesium may also increase GABA, a chemical in the body which has a soothing and calming effect.
Magnesium can also help with energy levels and is often depleted due to inflammation and stress. It is anti-inflammatory and lowers oxidative stress, which is often seen in women with endometriosis.
So if you're dealing with pain, low mood or anxiety, migraine, bloating or abdominal discomfort, breast tenderness or fluid retention, you may consider trying magnesium.5
The good news is magnesium is found in many foods especially nuts and seeds, legumes, avocado, whole grains (such as oats, buckwheat and quinoa), cacao, some types of fatty fish (such as salmon and mackerel), and green leafy vegetables. Epsom salt baths are another great way of absorbing magnesium.
Zinc is another important mineral for endometriosis because it's linked to inflammation and the immune system. Zinc also offers antioxidant benefits and is supportive of tissue repair. Zinc might also be implicated in endometriosis development; Research has shown that women with endometriosis often have lower levels of the mineral.6
Zinc is an essential mineral that can be found mostly in animal based foods such as meat, seafood, poultry, and dairy foods. Some vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds provide small amounts of zinc.
Seek advice if you have other health issues, are taking medications, are pregnant, and discuss with your surgeon if you have a planned surgery. Ideally it's best to acquire nutrients from food, but if you want to try taking supplements and you’re unsure about what nutrients are appropriate, talk to your health practitioner.
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