What Is the Endometriosis Diet and Is It Really Going to Help You Feel Better with Endometriosis?

What Is the Endometriosis Diet and Is It Really Going to Help You Feel Better with Endometriosis?

When I first read the restrictions of the Endometriosis Diet, I really didn’t think I could possibly stick to it. It seemed impossible and even unrealistic at the time. Thing is, my Endometriosis pain was not getting any better with my current diet and to be honest, I needed something to change.

I had another look at the diet and broke down the basics of what it should include and exclude.

So, the inclusions should be:

  • Heaps of good fats like omega 3
  • Heaps of berries, fruits and vegetables (especially greens)
  • Use Extra Virgin olive oil and coconut oil

Here’s the tricky part… I excluded a whole bunch too!

Here are the exclusions:

  • Dairy (goat- and sheep products are okay)
  • Meat
  • Sugar
  • Gluten
  • Preservatives, pesticides and fungicides
  • No processed oils

So, to me this looked like there was not much left that I could actually eat! No cereal for breakfast! No toast for lunch! What do I put in my tea?

As I explored it all a little further, I discovered the reason WHY I needed to cut them out.  To me, I struggled to do anything unless someone gave me a real reason to do it. It was no good saying: cut this out and don’t eat this because it is bad for your Endometriosis. This was just not enough motivation for me to cut all of these delicious things out of my life!

So, here is what I discovered:

 

1. Inflammation

Endometriosis is essentially an inflammatory condition. Our bodies are prone to inflammation. We are likely to have a swollen abdomen, bloating and suffer from other inflammatory conditions like bowel problems and interstitial cystitis. Dairy, meat and gluten are inflammatory in their nature. They encourage the hormone-like substances called prostaglandins II’s, which stimulate inflammation, clotting and pain. (Don’t worry, there are two other prostaglandins which do the opposite!)

This is also the reason we want to include heaps of omega 3 into our diet. Omega 3 encourages the prostaglandin 1 & 3, which reduce inflammation and pain. We definitely want to encourage those ones!

 

2. Immune system

Our immune system is weak. This is a well known fact about Endometriosis. We want to build the immune system with good foods, highly nutritious foods and as much raw food as we can, to get live enzymes into the body! Sugar reduces our immune system within minutes and one teaspoon of it will reduce it for hours! So, using a better alternative to sugar like Stevia is much better for us.

Our immune system is also supported by a good digestive system and a good diet with heaps of fruits and veggies.

 

3. Gluten intolerance and Endometriosis

Gluten intolerance is directly linked to much of the pain we have with Endometriosis. Gluten intolerance causes all sorts of problems. It can be the reason you suffer from low iron levels (makes you more tired!) and various other mineral deficiencies. Gluten will also cause headaches, bloating and poor digestion.

 

4. Endometriosis and dioxin

Endometriosis is directly linked to dioxin, which is a toxin found in our environment. It may even be within some of our foods. Toxins of any description are bad for Endometriosis— and that includes hair dyes and soaps! They play havoc with our endocrine system. The hormone stuff. So, if you have endo, chances are you also have estrogen dominance. All these substances in our environment and in processed foods contain them. Research some of the ingredients you eat each day and you will be amazed!

 

5. Processed oils

Basically, the process of extracting many of the oils we eat is through heat. This process changes the molecular structure of the oil. This new shape doesn’t fit into our cells. They land up affecting our cell structure and giving our liver more toxins to process.

Use only Extra Virgin olive oil and coconut oil for cooking.

 

 

 

So, the Endometriosis Diet has its merits and there is now enough reason to stick to it. For me, it has been over a year of sticking to it! I have had the odd bit of meat here and there but no dairy, sugar or gluten. The results have been amazing. I felt the change within a few months! I no longer have pain in my abdomen on a permanent basis!

Don’t believe for a minute that what you eat doesn’t make a difference… because it does!

Big hugs,

PS: If you want to figure out how to manage endometriosis naturally, sign up to my free REACH Kickstarter program. Simply click here to sign up. 

Share your thoughts...

  1. I have been on this diet for 4 months now and I have not seen much improvement. I already had preexisting food allergies prior to my Endo diagnosis which forced me to limit the list of “Endo approved” foods. I am in a perpetual state of “hangry” and the only thing this has done is cause me to lose weight (22 pounds) which I cannot afford to do. I don’t think this restrictive diet works for everyone.

  2. Im in need of a very detailed yes foods…like is chicken amd turkey ok? If I eat salad what can be used for dressing? Are organic eggs ok? Nuts? Then what is ok to drink I know water but wat ki d of teas? Home made salsa and gac with corn tortilla chips? … I want to do this the right way , no more pain meds, I have a daughter now my miracle and I want to be at my very best for her evry day all day please any and all helpon this would be great.
    Also how is it possible to afford sone of these things, ? I tried 3years ago maybe i didn’t u derstand but I couldn’t afford it, that’s why I need to fully u derstand this .yes I have the diet book amazing and helpful but a lot of those recipes call for a lot of pricey things…….awwww..yes overwhelmed

    • There are plenty of foods you can make and source for free or really cheaply. The key thing is to avoid anything that has been processed. The new program, Endo Wellness Retreat goes into the specifics of this but it is more about where a food comes from and how it is perpared than what it is, in most cases.

  3. hello Melissa!
    I am really not sure that not eating meat is good for everyone! I was a vegetarian for years and i was eating only whole foods etc.. i ended up not feeling good at all! My hormonal problems got worse and i had constant thrush etc. My friend became a vegetarian last year and she put on 10kg was really anemic and felt rubbish! I personally feel way better now avoiding grains instead of meat. Since i did this my period became less and less painful every month and the last one was completely painless! I think grains and processed oils are much more inflammatory than meat. You just have to choose good quality organic meats. (of course industrial meat is bad for you but any industrial food is bad for you! And Its not because water is polluted that water is bad for you! ) I really think that everyone is different and some people (many?) do very poorly on vegetarian diets, specially long term (more than 1 or 2 years). Humans everywhere on the planet have been eating meat and they did not suffer any autoimmune or degenerative disease…
    Sorry Mel i really don’t mean to be annoying here! Your blog is great and you give a lot of great advice but i think becoming a vegetarian is the best advice for everybody. For many reasons that i have no time to state here.
    Maybe i will start a debate, but i would be very interested in your opinions if they are based intelligent thinking and not just emotional reactions or prejudice about meat.

    • Hi Aurelie,
      I have had the debate about meat many times too 🙂
      It is a hard one. I have generally found that for most women who first get Endometriosis it is easier to avoid meat. Mainly because it is hard to digest. We are all on a healing journey though and perhaps it takes a few years of trying to go without meat before we naturally come back to it. There is heaps of information that supports both trails of thought.
      I did write an article which could explain why some women feel better without meat: http://www.endoempowered.com/stomach-acid/
      If we consider how weak our digestive system is after taking years of pain-killers and hormonal drugs, I can see why avoiding meat, initially would provide relief. It certainly has helped more women to avoid meat than to have it. It might be different on a more permanent basis.
      I personally avoid meat but still have fish and sometimes chicken but in much smaller proportions. I have also recently read an interesting book, called The China Study which might also shed a different perspective on meat.
      Every person should trust in their own instincts but for newbies I find it is better to avoid it, at least until the digestive system recovers a little.
      Hugs sweets

  4. just wna ask melissa f,after surgery how many months did you go back to exercise?and have your regular activity….some foods or herbs mention to include in our diet is not available in my country,i havn’t see them… can i have green tea?i used to drink coffee before ….but now i stop…thank you so much

  5. Hi Melissa,
    As you suggested, I have eliminated gluten from my diet and I am eating more vegetables and fruits now. Last week I also started to take Spirulina tablets and I plan to slowly increase it’s intake. I completely stopped drinking coffee (I used to have about 3 cups per day) and I feel fine 🙂 The only thing I miss are the sweets – I was addicted to cookies… but I am trying to survive without them.
    I have a quick question. In one article I have read about endometriosis and diet they suggested that fruits such as apples and bananas have too much sugar and should not be eaten too often. What do you think about it? I know that you like berries but what about other fruits? Any recommendations?

  6. Is chcken also included in the exclusiions? I eat fish, chcken, green leafy vegetables, fruits but not red meat of pork and beef.

  7. Hi Melissa, I am wondering about meats. I was a vegetarian for a very long time, but in the past few years started eating meats again. Right now the only meat I eat is hormone-free and I try to stay away from red meat, through sometimes I will have lamb and game meat. It is in very small doses, and I have found cuting back on it has significantly helped my digestion. I am just wondering though… I did some research on estrogens in food and found out that many beans can high in phytoestrogen. I am trying to I guess stick to the diet, but at the same time, make my own slight changes too it. I try to eat estrogen-free free frange meat at least twice a week. Also, I have given up caffine but still allow myself yerba mateand a cup of coffee here and there, as well, I gave up dairy long ago, so I still treat myself to fair trade organic dark chcolate once in a while or make my own chocolate with honey. I just have been seeing an acupunturist and she is amazing. She always tells me… there are things we do for our health that NEED to be strict (ie. celiac and gluten), however, there gets to a point where we end up becoming more stressed about what we ate or what we didn’t eat. Avoid saying “I should” or “I shouldn’t” all the time!! Treat yourself once in a while. If you want chocolate, bake yourself a gluten free cake sweetened with honey! So this is my message to all of you, read what Melissa writes, she is brillant, but figure out what is best for you. If you are going to stop yourself from going out to dinner, or stop yourself from going to a party because of your lifestyle changes you are only hurting yourself in the end. DON’T let this disease control you. Find ways to make due. Call the restaurant before hand and inform them of your issues and what you can’t eat, bring some organic/local wine to a party and have a few glasses. For example, this weekend I stayed at a resort and brought my own eggs, called ahead and the restaurant cooked me an veggie omelete with my hormone free eggs 🙂
    Don’t stress yourselves out by the things that are in the end, suppose to be helping you deal with the stress. These changes can be big for some women, take it slow, research new recipes, figure out what helps you and hurts you, and above all, kick back and relax!

    • Hi Julienne,
      I can totally agree with you on this one! I find that I do allow myself little things and wouldn’t say I am “strict” with the endo diet – apart from gluten – mainly because I feel that instantly 🙂 The thing is, that if we say we are “allowed” certain things it creates a psychy around “can I or can’t I”. I prefer to just focus on what I enjoy, within the frame of the endo diet – for instance I totally love dates at the moment. I don’t worry too much about oestrogenic foods as I think, if we eat them in moderation it is okay. For me, it has become more about how I feel from food, rather than just eating well for endo. I actually feel crap – as in my mood,my energy etc, when I eat foods that are high in fat or sugar. I just don’t like their effects on me. It all comes down to that for me now. I have found heaps of herbs and superfoods that make me feel truly AMAZING and when I compare that to chocolate or my other “usual” cravings, they simply don’t compare. To me, it is simply about replacing…but replacing for the better 🙂
      I do agree with you though, that some of us can get worked up about food and “stress” about what to eat. Life is about fun and you can have fun, even with the endo diet. Never think about what you don’t have or can’t do in life, work with what you can and enjoy what you have 🙂

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