Why Is “Eating Healthy” Not Enough? How to Follow the Endometriosis Diet

Why Is “Eating Healthy” Not Enough? How to Follow the Endometriosis Diet

I know when I first found out I had Endometriosis, I went on a complete change with my eating. I thought that I could somehow dull the pain and heal myself through eating the right foods. I believed that it would be okay if I just ate healthy and led a less stressful life. Unfortunately, eating a healthy diet is not enough.

There is a big difference between “eating healthy” and eating for Endometriosis. When most people think of “eating healthy” they believe this is a simple, balanced diet which contains a little of everything and not too much of anything. They don’t eat much junk food, they don’t drink too much  alcohol or eat too much sugar. They eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and have milk and dairy products in moderation. It sounds healthy, doesn’t it? It sounds like a perfect remedy for anyone wanting to be more healthy. Unfortunately, we are all largely misinformed about many of the so-called “healthy foods.” They are generally not as healthy as we like to believe. We have been given a false idea of “healthy” and it is no wonder then that our symptoms and conditions don’t seem to get dramatically better.

When I first explored Endometriosis and what it really is caused by, as in, the organs that control our hormones, how they work and how it all fits together, I was baffled by it all. I decided to visit a few different practitioners to get my head around it. The traditional Chinese medicine practice is based on the belief that it all relates back to the liver, which has contracted an “imbalance” or as they refer to it, a “blockage” in the area. They say it is like your body has contracted “the cold” in the area. Not a physical flu but as though the cold weather has entered your body. I found this interesting because the symptoms of having cold feet, hating cold weather, feeling hot flushes and getting headaches all made that seem to fit. It was a strange belief and the traditional Chinese medicine is a particularly hard one to understand from a western point of view. We like to label things and understand that a particular disease is present and yes, we like to simply take a tablet or have it taken out. This is not how the Chinese think at all. They believe the disease is formed and that the same way it is formed, the same way it can be flushed out by the body. One simply has to recreate a balance within the organs involved in creating the imbalance. They also use acupuncture as they illustrate acupuncture to invigorate the meridians that flow through the area where the “blockage” exists. It is interesting because they say the “blockage” is largely caused by strong emotions held in the body.

Homeopathy relates diseases and conditions to a miasm which is linked to our genetic history. They also strongly believe in the connection of our emotions and our body. They use tinctures to aid the body in healing but also focus on emotional healing.

I also have a good friend who is a naturopath and he illustrated to me that the liver is responsible for flushing out diseases and toxins in the body and that our liver is simply underactive and is therefore not able to expel the condition from the body. I started to look into this further and discovered some very interesting correlations with the liver and Endometriosis. For instance, did you know that the liver is responsible for the hormone level in our body? Did you know that the liver also is responsible for flushing out the fat content in our body? Did you know that the higher the fat content is in our body, the more hormones we have in our body as the liver is not able to flush it out? Interesting! Wow! I thought this was brilliant and really thought I had found a real organ that I could study and relate back to Endometriosis. It made perfect sense to me!

As a new-born, I had suffered from jaundice, which affects the liver and had always had problems with my bowels, nausea (even as a young child) and with my hormones. Once I delved deeper, I also discovered the sad connection between dioxin and Endometriosis! – You have to read about this one.

Anyways, I have gone a little off track…

The point is that we are not eating just to be healthy, we are eating and healing for Endometriosis. It is quite different. Some of us think that having a little butter or having a piece of meat every now and again is okay. We think this is part of a “balanced diet.” We might have a little milk every now and again or we might even have cake every now and again. We do, however, cut out many things too and we believe it is not fair that we still have pain. We go through these waves of pain that largely depend on what we eat and the stresses in our lives.

The process involved in eating for the liver is different. It is only marginally different but it is different. We eat to heal the liver rather than just eating to lose weight or “be healthy.” Let me explain:

The liver HATES fat. The liver HATES sugar. The liver HATES toxins/antibiotics/hormones. Every food that we eat that contains these will make it work less effectively, which is going to ultimately affect our Endo. Here are some foods that you probably eat, which are considered healthy but probably contain all or at least one of these:

meat/chicken/fish

These can contain dioxin, hormones and antibiotics if you are buying your meat from the standard supermarket. If you love your meat, have it in small quantities and make sure it is organic. Processing meat is also hard work on our digestion. Meat also has a high fat content.

Dairy products

They contain milk products which are derived from cows. Milk products are also loaded with fat. It is also not natural to be consuming milk as an adult. We are encouraging growths in the wrong places that way.

Sugar

Sugar lowers our immune system and this plays havoc on the liver. One teaspoon of sugar in your diet, lowers your immune system for up to 2 hrs! A lowered immune system has been closely linked to Endometriosis. Some simple examples: marmalade, cereals, bread, jam, yogurt, chocolate, chutneys, etc. When you start reading labels, you will be amazed at what contains sugar. Sugar is like a toxin to the body! Now, these are just some basic examples but you are probably consuming at least some sugar every day. This sugar is lowering your immune system, making it harder on your body to heal. Sugar is found in so many places in our food, it is scary!

Shift your focus from just what the media tells us is healthy to foods that truly nourish the body.

To learn about and discover one way of eating that truly supports your health and your body, get my recipe book here.

 

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. Hi Melissa

    I’m about 16 years old and found out i had endo about May of last year, and that i have chronic migraines. For a while they thought i had a gluten intolerance, and i went gluten free and it made me feel 10x worse. Since iv’e had the endo im always sluggish and ive gained about 20 pounds, ive been taking a bunch of herbal supplements(along with the drugs theyve put me on) and trying to eat as healthy as possible, and i was wondering if this diet would help or not, with my overall health and energy. I was also curious on what age you reccomend a laparoscopy or if at all. Also i really wanted to say thank you for this blog, its been very helpful in so many ways, i appreciate it very much <3

    • Hi Kenzie,
      I am sorry to hear of your struggles and that you have gained so much weight with Endometriosis. I would get your Oestrogen levels checked. It sounds like you suffer from Oestrogen Dominance which could be caused by a combination of taking the hormone specific drugs and possibly some natural remedies – not sure which ones you are on. The best is to get your saliva tested for Progesterone levels and then assess whether you are Oestrogen Dominant. Migraines and weight gain are both symptoms of this. Diet will help but it won’t solve the problem if you are taking hormone drugs or the wrong natural supplements.
      Diet will help flush any excess but it is likely that your liver is severely blocked up and will probably need something more than just a good diet. I would possibly look at a good liver supplement and cutting out all fats in your diet – meat, dairy. Also, you might have a fungal type issue. Check out my latest blog which describes this situation really well: http://www.endoempowered.com/dizzy-easily-suffer-sinus-water-retention-endometriosis/
      There are so many areas to look at ….keep reading my blog and you will find heaps more info 🙂 Thanks for reading and hugs to you Kenzie 🙂

  2. Hi Melissa I will definitely try all of that! I try to drink tons of water but unfortunately it doesn’t always happen, I will definitely try the parsley and Dandelion tea too. I actually have an acupuncture place with a student clinic that I go to around here and its only $20 per session! I love acupuncture, I just wish I could maintain a weekly appointment. Do you use any Chinese herbs? They usually prescribe me something every time I go in. Thanks again!

  3. Hey Melissa,

    I am really interested in trying this diet but I’m just not sure if it will work for me. I am already completely gluten free (I have Celiac disease) and mostly dairy free (I eat cheese occasionally but that’s it!) I also mainly eat white meat and fish, I limit my soy, I start my day with a fresh smoothie with flax, and I eat my vegetables. Since I have Celiac my selection of processed foods is pretty limited so I don’t eat them often, I make EVERYTHING from scratch. Last summer, I went on a diet that was to help my digestion and I was gluten/grain/dairy/soy/legume/starch/sugar free and it still didn’t help me. I gradually added foods to my diet and the only time I was feeling good was when I was eating nothing but chicken soup with only broth, chicken, and carrots. Luckily with the help of a naturopath I have finally solved about 90% of my digestive issues but I can’t get rid of this bloating and pain from the endo! The bloating varies but I can gain up to five pounds in a day from it and my stomach just gets so huge, hard, and swollen. I am 20 and weigh about 120 pounds so I am a pretty skinny girl with a huge belly and I hate it! Do you have any advice?

    Thanks!
    Amber

    • Hi Amber,
      Well done on achieving all the changes with your diet and sticking with it. I found that cutting out gluten was a massive change in my bloating but I also include heaps of natural diuretics and avoid any stimulants. That means no coffee or black tea or sugars. I am sure you are doing this anyways but maybe include some natural diuretics to flush out the excess bloating. The bloating is partly due to digestion and partly due to water retention. – obviously also the endo 🙂 I found drinking heaps of water and herbal teas helps with this dramatically. I always get swollen when I travel as I don’t drink nearly as much water. Increase things like Dandelion Tea, Dill Seeds and eat parsley as much as you can – I am for 1 bunch a day. You can just chuck it in a smoothy or something 🙂 Also, I eat a cucumber when I get bloated and that has heaps of water in it. Check out this article I did on bloating: http://www.endoempowered.com/how-to-reduce-bloating-with-endometriosis-with-these-7-simple-techniques/
      As a seperate idea, it might be worth looking into acupuncture or something along those lines. What you have is a “blockage” in the abdominal area and you need to shift that out. Acupuncture works on releasing those blockages. You can buy your own forms of acupuncture, if it is a costly exercise for you. I shall research some options shortly. Hope that helps in the meantime 🙂

  4. I would love to try this too. Problem is I went on a strict diet before and I definitely felt better but couldn’t stick to it! Alot of the pain is coming back now so I’m planning on attempting to eliminate all the destructive foods. I guess I’m anxious that I’ll get sick of the diet again and give up!!

    Do you know anyone with endo who has done this liver cleanse and felt better?

    • Hi Sarah,
      I think one has to understand what the bad foods do to us to get the real motivation. I know for me, I also struggled to stick to things until I understood how much my foods affected my pain and my health. It is just not even a consideration anymore to stray too far. I know now exactly what the consequences are…. I plan on doing the full liver cleanse after the festive season (too many family commitments over Christmas! :)) We could do it all together and I can share what I eat with you, if you like…. James (my partner) is a fabulous chef which makes it much easier to still eat really yummy food. I might do a sign up for that one and then we can all get recipe’s sent to us. I will let you know when.

  5. I am interested in trying this too!
    I am also interested in what other diet changes women have made that has relieved them of the endo pain.

  6. After the Holidays is probably a good idea! But in the mean time I'm going to really try to stick to it and still try to do better. I really want to feel better!! So between what you suggest which helps me and my homeopath wich helps me too, I really feel it's going to happen! I just need to be patient and not get frustrated if possible!! Got something new to try from my homeopath and it made such a difference in the better for one of my symptoms, I can't believe it! I feel like I'm getting closer to my old self, the pain free self!! I hope it stays that way!

    • Awesome thanks Annabelle! We shall see who else wants to take part and set a date! Maybe after December holidays might be safer! I can also get James (my partner and chef) to get some fab recipe ideas together by then!

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