Endo-Friendly Gifts For Your Partner This Holiday
This holiday season, support your loved one with endometriosis with gifts to nourish and comfort them throughout anything an endo flare-up might throw at them. Here are some suggestions for things my partner finds helpful in managing her endometriosis symptoms, that can be great gifts too.
Bath salts are a great way to add a little pampering to a bath, while giving the user some evidence-based benefits to help combat some endometriosis symptoms. Bath salts usually contain ‘Epsom salt’, or magnesium sulphate - the magic component here being there magnesium. Magnesium is a powerful mineral of which we often lack in adequate quantities. Magnesium has been shown to relax muscles which means it can help with period cramps, and it can also ease constipation, which many people with endo suffer from. It has also been found to support estrogen detoxification - important as estrogen may be a driving factor behind the growth of endometriosis lesions.
The gift of pain relief is what so many of us partners of endo patient wish we could give all year round. A cuddly hot water bottle, or microwavable heat pad is a great way to start reducing pain and make an endo flare-up more manageable, but for slightly more high tech pain management you could try a TENS unit.1 TENS units/machines work by delivering small electrical pulses via adhesive electrode pads attached directly to the users skin. The pulses then flood the nervous system and reduce its ability to transmit pain signals to the spinal cord and brain, thus dulling the pain experienced by the user. TENS units also stimulate the body to produce endorphins which in themselves act as natural pain relievers on the body. TENS units are great because they are discrete and super portable, plus the offer a pain relief option with little to no side effects or harm to the body, unlike pain medications.
Endo-friendly sweet treats
Chocolates, candies, sweets, cookies, cakes… These are common gifts and safe options for most people. However, when buying for your partner with endometriosis be careful of the amount of sugar you are gifting them. Endometriosis is an inflammatory condition, and the amount of inflammation if often linked directly to the seriousness of the sufferer symptoms. Sugar has been shown to have a big impact on increasing inflammatory markers2 in the body, and therefore may contribute to higher levels of pain and other symptoms. On top of that, sugary foods like sweets and chocolate affect blood sugar levels, and unstable blood sugar can have adverse effects on hormones and cause mood swings and even worsen existing inflammation.3 Go for sugar-free or low sugar options where available. This is easier than it sounds. For example, dark chocolate has lower sugar content than milk or white. Some very dark chocolate doesn’t even contain any sugar! Most importantly, get to know what your partner likes and how they respond to sugar and other triggers. They may be able to tolerate sugar well and if so, don’t buy them 100% dark, super bitter chocolate that they will hate. If they don’t tolerate sugar well, reducing intake is a great way to start managing symptoms.
Do you know what your endometriosis phenotype is?