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Bloating with Endo is gone!

It is that time of the month for me at the moment. It used to be a time when I would prepare myself with water bottles, painkillers and get my “super-size clothes” out. You know the ones I mean—they are the slightly larger pair of pants or skirts which allow us to move and not feel the pain that we know will come on the days of our period. Certainly nothing tight and fitted and more than likely they are black!

Well, for the past 3 months I have not needed these bigger clothes so much because I am no longer getting the bloating. Though the pain is still there on day one and sometimes day two, the bloating and swollen abdomen thing is simply not there anymore. It is amazing! My abdomen is flat and looks totally normal. This was never the case! I used to swell up like a balloon and have heaps of pressure down there. I felt pregnant and incredibly fat and bloated. Now I have soreness but not that bloating or swollen feeling.

It got me thinking why this could be. I would have to say it relates back to gluten. I cut out gluten completely about 5 months ago and the transformation has been amazing.

Here are some of the symptoms I am no longer experiencing:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Digestive issues
  • Lethargy after meals
  • Mushy brain syndrome—what I call it—forgetfulness or inability to think straight.
The bloating one was always a big one. I felt like a balloon that just needed to be popped!
So, for those of you, who are new to the whole thing of cutting out gluten or you want to get into cutting it out… here are my tips on how to do it:
1. Replace what you currently eat with the opposite, not the same
When we cut out foods from our diet, we feel a sense of loss or that we are missing out on something. The key is not to try and replace what you are losing with an often inferior replacement immediately. I noticed this with bread. Bread with gluten in it will always taste better. It is just inevitable! The reason it tastes better is simply because the gluten allows it to be “light and fluffy”. Most of the gluten free bread is just not as good. Maybe you have better selections in your country but here the choices are limited and unfortunately just not close to the real thing.
The problem is, if you go straight from real bread to gluten free bread, it will taste nasty and you will just feel like “this is way too hard!” The trick I found is to not even try and replace or try and use a “gluten free” variety of any of the foods. Replace your bread with a better meal choice altogether—have a salad instead or a soup or something which doesn’t need any bread in it whatsoever. That way, you won’t even miss it… or compare it to the real thing!
Pasta was a big one for me too. I just don’t eat it now because the gluten free stuff is just not as good. I would rather eat rice or roasted vegetables.
2. Planning is important
Unfortunately, gluten is just everywhere. If you are going out and about and don’t think ahead on what you are going to eat for lunch/dinner beforehand, you will inevitably grab the sandwich, muffin or other wheat-filled meal. Sushi is my favorite when I am out and about but often I just pack some apples, carrots and some rice crackers and that usually ties me over until I can get home.
3. Get creative and really think about what you eat and when
It is easy to eat gluten. It is easy to grab toast for breakfast or have cereal. It is easy to have a bowl of pasta for lunch and it is easy to sneak a biscuit for morning tea. Thing is, not only do these contain gluten but they often don’t actually help your healing. Cereal and bread and most foods that contain gluten are nutrient-poor. When we have to get creative with our foods, we actually think about what we eat more and make better choices. Ideally we should be eating fruits and vegetables from the minute we wake until midday. This is the time when the body detoxifies. Fruit salad actually takes almost as long as waiting for the toaster to pop. It is a little bit more effort but it will give your healing a total boost! Replace with fruits and vegetables and you will feel a massive difference!
4. Keep track of what you are experiencing
It is important to keep a “body diary”. Make a note of everything you experience. Write down the day you had a headache, felt nauseous, felt “mushy in the brain” and how you felt. This will be your motivator to look back on in the future, so make it as accurate as you can.
5. Set a goal
I initially didn’t really think gluten could be doing that much to my body. After all, I didn’t feel terrible when I ate it. I said I would only do 2 months on it and see how I went. Set your own goal. Make it a month or more and see how you feel. Naturally, you have to go completely gluten free to prove or disprove this.
For me, after doing 4 months on it, it is not even a debate on whether to stick with it or not. I feel dramatically better and wouldn’t even consider going back to eating gluten. I have so many symptoms that I can now just cross off the list! Gluten has been directly linked to infertility and the links with Endometriosis are astounding! Watch a video I did a while ago on this one here.
Hugs, Melissa x
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This Post Has 16 Comments

  1. Stephanie

    Is it safe to drink whey protein isolate if we have endo?

  2. Melissa

    Hi Keri. I know breakfast is so hard!!!
    Here is what I have: Fruit salad with a protein smoothy. I usually have a banana, coconut milk,, maca root powder, honey and whey protein smoothy. This fills me up pretty well and I feel really good when I have this. Try and avoid combining protein with carbohydrates. So no cheese with bread, egg with bread etc. Even if you use gluten free bread.
    Another alternative is Quinoa. You can boil this up and sprinkle it with any flavour varieties you like. Banana and honey or berries and cocoa nibs or apple and cinnamon. You don’t need milk then 🙂 Also, you can make an omelette with mushrooms and spinach – no bread required 🙂
    Hope that helps. I will create a recipe course soon for everyone to enjoy 🙂

  3. Keri

    I am so ready to get rid of this endo. I have started changing my diet already to include more fruits and vegetables. I am trying to reduce on the amount of gluten and dairy products i use but i am finding it a bit hard. I need some recipe tips on foods i can have for breakfast. I am so used to having bread and eggs, bread and some other foods (sausages, cheese etc) or cereal. I usually use muesli cereal.

    Melissa what would you recommend as new breakfast foods??

  4. cara

    Hi Lark Hi Melissa,

    With my experience so far, 5 months pain free from an Endo diet, soy is one of the many things I avoid completely. Endo diet is sort of like turning your body in to an ibuprofen. check out this link: http://www.endo-resolved.com/soy.html
    That and look out for malt, it’s in more things than you think avoid that too. Hope that helps a bit.
    Take Care, Cara

  5. Melissa

    Thanks for sharing 🙂 Might have to come to America to try that one 🙂

  6. Hillary

    Thanks for your blog. I am a long time suifferer, with 6 surgeries under my belt. Thanks so much for creating this blog.

    As for not liking gluten free pastas: try Brown Rice pasta by Tinkyada, Pasta Joy. It actually is smooth and just like regular pasta. It is delicious, not mushy or gritty. My husband askes for it instead of regular pasta! They even have lasagne noodles.

    Keep up the good work!

  7. Melissa

    Hi Cara! That is fantastic news and great information and motivation for girls out there to realise the importance of our diet. It seems so logical and yet somehow we still want to believe that drugs can heal us better than simply supplying our body with nutrients and things that it needs 🙂
    So happy to hear you are mostly pain free and looking forward to having a child!

  8. cara

    HI Melissa, Hi Everyone,

    I have been on a pretty similar diet now for Endo for almost five months. The benefits to this type of diet are amazing. I had surgery, was on pain meds, I was put into temporary menopause with rotten side effects. On this diet I have lost 30lbs. A side effect I wasn’t looking for. All I wanted was the pain to go away. I didn’t want to be writhing in pain ever month, barely being able to stand up right and at times it hurt to even breath. Now that is gone. I may get period cramps but that is nothing compared to the Endo pain. I’ll take a little period cramping any day. Now I have included a work out with my new diet and I love it. There is no more worry about planning to do something with the dread the pain might come. One of the other things my doctor said was you only have 2 options left. Get pregnant or have a hysterectomy. I thought that can’t be my only choices. I also know people who have done this and the pain comes right back. Because of this diet, not only do I get to keep my parts but I could have a child too and not worry the pain will come back after the baby is born. This is the one of the best life changing decisions I ever made. I hope someone new tries this diet. For me I couldn’t take the pain any longer and decided to take my health and diet to a new level. I can’t wait to call my doctor 🙂

  9. Melissa

    Glad you found me! I know it is frustrating and even more important that we spread the word 🙂
    Love the recipe suggestions! Never thought to add egg with Quinoa! Great way to still get that sunday egg thing going!

  10. denise

    I’ve recently discovered your site and I’m so grateful for your informative posts. (I find it really frustrating that doctors don’t offer these more homeopathic, natural alternatives to hysterectomy. Two doctors have recommended hysterectomy to me but never have we discussed yoga, diet, meditation. Hysterectomy might be my option, but I want to try all other viable lifestyle changes, first.)

    I am cutting out gluten, literally starting today. Thought I’d share one of my new favorite breakfasts: quinoa. I make it ahead (and I mix the white with the black to give it more texture and color). Then I either add one of two combos:
    1. Fruit: raspberries, raisins, ground flax seed, almonds, fresh nutmeg. Eat it cold or warm.
    2. Savory: scrambled eggs, avacado, cilantro, cheddar cheese, pepper, dash of salt.

  11. Danielle

    I have been doing the gluten free diet for about 4 months now and it does make a BIG difference in my endo symptoms. A few weeks ago, I went off the diet and WOW it made me realize how much this diet helps. Quinoa is a really good gluten free food and there is pasta made with quinoa that is really good.

  12. Melissa

    Yeah I believe Soy Sauce does contain gluten. Tanaki or something similar sounding doesn’t. I tend to just have the ginger and sabi sauce 🙂

  13. Sameera

    Thank you Melissa for this article! Also, the new look of the newsletter is way too cool!

  14. Lark

    I think some soy sauces have gluten in them, I’m not sure if you eat soy sauce with your sushi.

    I think some special types don’t have gluten. I’m still investigating too, I love sushi!

  15. Melissa

    Hey Kate! What sort of things have you made? Be keen to share 🙂 I made some muffins with gluten free flour and they were a little dry but still quite yum.
    I know I have lost sooo much and it is fabulous! I can now fit into a size 10, which was like seriously 5years ago 🙂
    Nice to have a fellow Kiwi on the site!

  16. Kate

    Hi there- I am one month in to cutting out gluten and I can also say, I am feeling SO much better. I have slipped up a few times and boy did I notice the difference, feeling lethargic and just really yucky on those days. It’s not an easy thing to do so I don’t beat myself up over the wee slip-ups- baby steps!
    For the first time in years, when I get on the scales, the numbers are going down- slowly, but still, what a wonderful side-effect. Losing a few lb’s itself will no doubt help in al areas of my health.

    I’m in NZ too and I know what you mean about the lack of good GF products particularly in my small town so I’ve popped along to the bulk store and stocked up on rice flour etc and am having a great time trying all sorts of new things.

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I'm Melissa

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