March is celebrated as Endometriosis Awareness Month. Endometriosis is a painful medical condition in which the tissue inside your uterus (endometrium) begins to grow outside your uterus. It usually involves your fallopian tubes, ovaries and pelvic wall. Some of the symptoms of this condition include excruciating pain during intercourse, painful periods, heavy bleeding and infertility. Many women suffer silently with painful symptoms, but certain foods and some dietary changes can help reduce the symptoms of endometriosis. In this paragraph, Dt. Rupashree Jaiswal, Consultant Dietitian / Nutritionist, Motherhood Hospital, Mechanic Nagar, Indore Shares eight dietary tips that endometriosis patients should take to manage the symptoms of the condition.
8 tips for proper eating to manage the symptoms of endometriosis
Since endometriosis causes irritation and inflammation in the body, a person is advised to avoid inflammatory foods. Here are tips on what to eat with endometriosis.
Green vegetables and whole fruits
Vegetables and whole fruits are excellent sources of fiber. They help reduce the levels of estrogen that are needed to manage the symptoms of endometriosis. Eating green vegetables like spinach, kale and Swiss chard helps the body cope with the constant breakdown of estrogen. Fruits are rich in vitamins, minerals and nutrients that provide energy to the body. These are full of antioxidants that are known to reduce chronic pelvic pain in women with endometriosis. In addition, the fruits do not contain excess sugar which often causes inflammation in the body.
Also read: Can endometriosis be treated? These are treatment options for endometriosis
Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are especially good for those who work with endometriosis because it helps their body fight pain and inflammation. It is also scientifically proven that omega-3s have the potential to reduce the risk of endometriosis. People who eat omega-3 rich salmon are less likely to get the disease than their peers. Mackerel, sardines, anchovies or oysters are also rich in fatty acids. If you don’t like fish, sesame seeds, chia seeds and walnuts can be used as alternatives. Fish oil supplements are also a good option because it leads to endometrial glue reduction.
FODMAP elimination diet
FODMAP refers to fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols, which are essentially carbohydrates that are difficult to absorb. By following the FODMAP elimination diet, a person reduces their potentially irritating food intake and allows the gastrointestinal system to heal. These foods include daily meals, gluten, processed foods and foods such as added sugars. It is advisable to consult a physician to help plan the FODMAP diet elimination program. You can also keep a log of all the symptoms you may encounter and identify potentially problematic foods.
Also read: What is the connection between endometriosis and infertility?
Avoid caffeine and alcohol
It has been observed that women with endometriosis consume more alcohol than women without conditions. Similarly, caffeine intake is associated with an increased risk of endometriosis. Both alcohol and caffeine are known to increase estrogen levels. Although there is no link between alcohol and caffeine intake and endometriosis, doctors advise women with the disease to limit their alcohol and caffeine intake.
Avoid processed foods
Processed food refers to any food that has been modified or processed during preparation, including freezing and canning. These foods contain high levels of unhealthy fats and sugars and low levels of fiber and nutrients that promote inflammation. Reducing your processed food intake will also help you deal with the symptoms of endometriosis.
Reduce omega-6 intake
Corn, cottonseed and peanut oil contain omega-6s, which increase pain, uterine cramping and inflammation. Eating less chips, cakes, fried foods, etc. will reduce the pain associated with endometriosis.
Endometriosis causes a lot of discomfort and pain. There are treatments available for pain and infertility due to endometriosis, but self-care and dietary changes can also go a long way. Women will be able to get relief by making certain changes in their diet. No specific diet works for everyone, so one must try to find the right diet for oneself.
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