An assortment of healthy foods in a circle

How I Got Started with The Endometriosis Diet

Five years ago, finding anything about treating endometriosis naturally through lifestyle changes or nutrition took going down an Internet rabbit hole. These days, you just have to use a couple of hashtags on Instagram and you can find lots of accounts where people are using alternative methods to help them manage endometriosis.

A rocky start

I first stumbled upon Endometriosis Resolved when I was in Cape Town, after that disappointing, yet ultimately life changing call from the hospital. In a determined attempt to get started and feel some kind of relief, any kind of relief, I used the information on Endometriosis Resolved, with other snippets of information I found online, and patched together my own version of the ‘endometriosis diet’.

To be clear, there isn’t an official endometriosis diet that’s medically approved, or a set diet that every person with endometriosis should follow. Generally, the nutritional guidance that has surfaced over the past few years and is loosely termed as the ‘endo diet’ consists largely of reducing inflammatory foods and introducing anti-inflammatory foods, and there’s also a focus on reducing toxins in your diet to help balance your hormones and support detoxification. Yet, as we’re all different, and we all have different symptoms – what may work for some might not work for others, and what may trigger endometriosis symptoms in me might not do anything to you.

What is the "endo diet?"

Sadly, there’s not a huge amount of research behind the diet, so you might not get too much information or guidance from your consultant (specialist) about this. But, if you are looking for more concrete information before you embark on changing your diet, the best book I’ve read so far, which is also written by a qualified nutritionist, is Take Control of Your Endometriosis. I didn’t get my hands on this book until I returned to the UK, but it was a completely life-changing read and one I always suggest to my endometriosis friends and clients.

To give you a brief overview, inflammatory foods and foods that are generally recommended to reduce are:

  • Refined carbohydrates, wheat, and gluten
  • Dairy
  • Sugar
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Red Meat
  • Saturated fats, oils, and fried foods, such as margarine

Other dietary tips

It’s also advised to reduce toxin intake and other chemicals or foods that might affect your hormones (more on that another time), by going organic with your fish, eggs, and white meat; avoiding processed foods which are often full of extra sugar, additives, and preservatives; avoiding soy products; and reducing your use of tinned and packaged foods where possible and within reason (I tend to either use organic tinned food if I have to or I buy food that’s in cartons, this helps reduce the chemicals used in tins and the preservatives often added).

If that already sounds overwhelming, don’t worry. When I began, the little information I found online overwhelmed me too. In my next post, I’ll help you go back to basics and get started in an easy way that suits you and your body best...

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