How Supporting My Partner With Endometriosis Benefits My Own Health Too
I have written much on how to support your partner with their endometriosis, mostly from the perspective of how offering this support will benefit their health and make their life easier. However, I have also mentioned regularly, often as a side note, that there is no harm in adopting your partners lifestyle changes as your own, not only to make their adoption of these changes easier, but to benefit your own health. That is what I will be looking at in this article - how my own health and lifestyle has improved by participating in the changes my partner has made to deal with her endometriosis.
Changing our diet
One of the first and most effective changes my partner made to manage her endometriosis was changing her diet. She began following what is loosely called "the endometriosis diet", a diet intended to reduce inflammation (and therefore pain) by reducing the amount of inflammatory foods you eat and eating more anti-inflammatory foods. In practice, this means eating less sugar, dairy, red meat, caffeine, alcohol, and more vegetables, pulses, whole grains, omega-3 fatty acids, etc. This is a very simple explanation, and is by no means exhaustive so please research the endometriosis diet if you are interested to find out more.
It hardly needs explanation as to how this benefitted my own health, but I can confirm that I am fitter and healthier than I have been in years. My energy levels remain much more stable during the day and my cognitive function feels much sharper. These dietary recommendations are things we hear from medical professionals all the time to help with everything from diabetes and obesity to arthritis and fatigue, but being a moderately healthy individual I haven’t made these changes to my diet because I haven’t seen the urgency. Supporting my partner and adopting her diet has enabled me to benefit my own health and potentially avoid health complications later in life.
Along with the dietary changes, my partner also takes certain supplements to help with endometriosis symptoms like brain fog and chronic fatigue. Among these supplements are Lion’s Mane and Cordyceps. Both of these are powdered extracts from mushrooms of the same name. Lion’s Mane is a mushroom found across the northern hemisphere, and is noted for improving cognitive function and stimulating the growth of brain cells. Cordyceps is another mushroom that is found all over the world. It is best known for increasing the amount of oxygen carried in the blood stream and therefore delivered to the brain. It promotes energy and is used by athletes for this purpose. I have starting taking both of these extracts in my breakfast routine, and have seen a marked difference in my mental performance and energy levels throughout the day. More research is needed to confirm the benefits of Lion’s Mane on humans, but I can vouch that for me, it works wonders.
Following a bedtime routine
Another important aspect of my partner controlling her endometriosis is having a regular bed routine. The fatigue that comes with having endometriosis is severe with her and one of the biggest factors affecting her day to day life. Having a regular bed routine significantly helps her wake up in the morning and stay energized throughout the day. As we live together, I now sleep with this regularity as well and have seen the benefits in my own life. Gone are the days of snoozing my alarm seven times and waking up a bleary eyed mess - I actually feel pretty good when I wake up and for the first time in my life... might actually be a morning person.
Exercise is beneficial for endometriosis sufferers as it reduces stress, improves sleep and energy levels, and can possibly reduce pain. Before my partner started exercising for her endometriosis, I did none. I thought because I was slim, I didn’t need to exercise. Once again, following my partners example, I now exercise regularly and have seen an improvement in my sleep and cardio ability, as well as probably a healthier heart and healthier future.
The benefits of a truly healthy lifestyle
With the absence of a chronic condition or notable ailment of my own, I thought that meant I was ‘healthy’. I was of an average weight and didn’t have to visit the doctor so I was obviously fine. Only after adopting these lifestyle changes of my partner, have I realized that I was operating far below my optimum. By making these healthy lifestyle changes myself, I have not only helped my partner stick to them and make them habitual, something that is key to seeing the benefits for her endometriosis, but I have also improved my own health and potentially avoided health complications in the future. I encourage you to take on your partner's endometriosis challenges as your own - you will not only benefit them, but yourself and those who rely on you sticking around.
Have you altered your diet to try and reduce your endometriosis symptoms? If so, did it help?