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Gluten and Endometriosis… Could There Be a Link?

There is a strong link between the symptoms of gluten intolerance and Endometriosis.

Did you know gluten is in more than just bread? It can be found in beer, soy sauce and sweets.

In this video I look at the possible link between the two and at some of the closely related symptoms.

Here is a list of the specific symptoms:

  • Tired, exhausted, lethargic
  • Uncomfortable tummy
  • Bloated and gas troubles
  • Gastric reflux and heartburn
  • Diarhoea and constipation
  • Unhappy with your weight
  • Eating problems
  • Lack of energy
  • Weakness
  • Runny nose or sinus problems
  • Chronic iron deficiency
  • Osteoporosis, bone or joint pains
  • Dermatitis, eczema or bad skin
  • Infertility
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Feeling depressed or moody
  • Find it hard to think clearly
  • Poor sleep
  • Hyperactivity or feeling cranky
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

No, you don’t need to have all of them to potentially be gluten intolerant. Even if you just answered yes to 3 of them, this could be an indicator… unfortunately they are so similar to what we experience with Endo, it is hard to tell the difference.

So, perhaps it is worth getting a blood test? Here is a list of the tests you should ask for from your doctor:

  • IgG-Gliadin
  • IgA-Gliadin
  • tTG Antibody
  • Total IgA immunoglobulin levels
  • Ferritin (checks for iron stores)
  • CRP (checks for inflammation in the bowels)

Your doctor shall interpret these for you. The likelihood is that most of the tests will come up high if you are intolerant to gluten. Your iron levels will be low.

Worth considering?

What are your thoughts? Do you already eat gluten-free? What is your experience with gluten and Endometriosis? Feel there is a connection? Did it perhaps come first and Endo followed? Does it simply aggravate the Endometriosis?

Would love to hear your thoughts!

Hugs, Melissa x
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This Post Has 56 Comments

  1. Cheryl

    I came across this article after eating bagels the last few weeks when I knew better not to. I found out in my 20’s (now in my 40’s) from my own process of elimination that that gluten doesn’t agree ( but I do sneak a little in now and then) with me causing many symptoms I don’t think im celiac but I am for sure gluten intolerant.
    What I didn’t know then, was that I had endometriosis. I had been to my doc any times complaining about pain and excessive bleeding since the age of 12, endometriosis was never mentioned. In my 20’s I started to experience pain! Pain that hurt when I walked or sat and went potty. Then I realized a light bulb moment , when I consume gluten, these symptoms get worse, really worse, deblilatingly worse. So I went 100% gluten free for months. My pain drastically reduced to the point of not needing to take anything for the pain. Huge difference! I couldn’t believe it.
    So sometimes I endulge in bakery items to make sure and remind myself. I tend to question myself even when I know for sure. This last time I ate a bagel a day for 3 days. After being gluten free for months. 2 days before my period I almost passed out, had a severe headache with nausea and vomiting. Then my period started, as my period was ending, the pain started..OMFG! I have been layed up and utterly useless for 4 days, I had to cancel my jobs. Thankfully, my clients know about my endometriosis and do understand.
    I am a sucker for anything gluten, my boyfriend says “ you’re going to pay for it” I usually say “ it’s worth it this one time”. But never , never again.
    So to clarify, gluten DOES aggravate endometriosis. At least for me it does.
    I figured this out over 20 years ago.

  2. Melissa

    That is fantastic Calidwen 🙂

  3. Celidwen

    I have been struggling with endo, adenomyosis and massive weight gain (despite not overeating) for years. I also had GERD, IBD, and unexplained nausea/vomiting. I then started doing Weight Watchers Flex and combining it with the 16:8 diet. Even though before I couldn’t lose weight even on 800 cals a day, suddenly the weight just fell off me. All my endo/adeno symptoms disappeared, and so did my stomach and bowel issues. It was only three weeks in when I realised I had (inadvertently) been eating gluten free. I had not intended this, it was just a consequence of my new eating plan. My health is so vastly improved and so is my energy, so now I intend to stick with this forever. It definitely seems to work!

  4. linda

    I have got gluten free with limiting my breads and bagels. I have tried to limit the sugary things with gluten. I tried it for about a month and the pain during my monthly cycle decree. I found a website called fedandfullfilled.com by Joanna Smith with some recipe of gluten free.
    Thanks for your help,

  5. Nadine

    I was diagnosed with Celiac in October of 2014 after months of digestive issues from one extreme to the other,and feeling so sluggish. I had then read a small study linking both Endometriosis and Celiac disease together. I have eaten a strict gluten free diet since then and really hoped that it will help to ease my endo symptoms, but they’ve only gotten worse 🙁
    I do feel more energized and I don’t have as many digestive issues though.

  6. Quinn

    I really can relate to you but don’t give up. I lost 65 lbs in a year trying to alter my eating habits. I was actually happier “plump”. I am 5’11 so 220 didn’t look horrible as I am more curvy than round. Anyways, now everyone thinks I am anorexic or dying. But I just stopped eating processed foods (even Chick-fil-A). I cut out anything that said high fructose corn syrup. Most of my food selections are organic. NON GMO. I will say my pain has improved a little, though not eliminated completely. I have relapses which I know in no way helps the war I’m fighting. Stick to it. If you are anything like me, you may need to consider more ways to change your diet. It is a TASK, I know but keep fighting! I read somewhere about the importance of liver health. I’m going to try the MACA and removing sugar from my diet -my favorite :(. I can’t give up no matter how bad I want to. WE CAN DO IT!

  7. Quinn

    I suffered with endo from age 11. Sadly I was not diagnosed with endo until age 16. Years and years of ultrasounds and xrays with no answers. They told me I would more than likely be sterile. Imagine hearing that when you are only 16. I married at age 22 and six months later I was pregnant. I had started taking BC pills three months before I married and had just visited my GYN two days prior to the revelation of my pregnancy. I had three great years of NO PAIN. But BOY has it come back with a vengenance. Last year I finally decided to have my lap done. Previous doctors said because I was so young they didn’t want to perform the surgery only to decide to put me on BC. Surgery confirmed endo and now hear I am trying to find ways to cope better with the pain and other symptoms. I notice a significant difference going gluten free but it is SO HARD. I have a nut allergy and trying to go ORGANIC and GF with a nut allergy is exhausting. I decided to be more proactive and find every forum and website out here to help. I am going to really try harder. But somedays when I still am in pain despite my best efforts, I do feel like just popping my painkillers and enjoying the food I loved for so long. I will continue to work at my lifestyle change.

  8. Emme

    Please give up all soy products. I’ve had 2 endo surgeries and until I gave up soy because of the abundance of estrogen, nothing worked. A soy-free and mostly gluten free diet work best to keep the endo in check.

  9. Beata

    hi Katarzyna you should try gluten free diets it works for me and also try natural progesterone it helps a lot ! which city are you from ?
    also try fish oil and resveratrol and magnesium and silymarin to help the liver get rid of bad estrogen

  10. Melissa

    That is a wonderful story and so glad you found the natural way of healing your body 🙂 I am glad my blog has helped. So much more to come!

  11. Melissa

    Hi Freya,
    Well done for achieving the break from Gluten 🙂 That is fabulous 🙂 Just stick with it and you will find just gets easier over time. The first few weeks are the hardest. You will find your hair growth returns. Load up on good quality nutritious foods – super foods are fabulous!

  12. Melissa

    Thanks Katarzyna 🙂
    Gluten was massive in my healing journey and cutting it out made so many of my personal symptoms go away. I hope you have the same positive effects 🙂 hugs to you!

  13. Melissa

    Hi Emma,
    Please don’t give up sweets. The alternatives are not any better for you 🙂
    It sounds to me like you have focused heavily on cutting foods out, rather than just adding stuff in. You might still be holding toxins in your body too. You could explore detoxing methods like a Liver Flush or Bowel Cleanses. You could also add heaps of good nutrition into your diet. Add in juicing, super foods and really provide heaps of nutrition for the body. Just because we eat a Vegan diet, doesn’t mean we are getting all the nutrients our bodies need.
    Elimination is not the only element of a diet 🙂

  14. Emma

    Hi, Melissa, i’m beginning to believe there is NO actual CURE for endo. I suffer since I got my period but got only diagnosed two years ago. Before that the doctors have told me I had PCOs or fibroids or whatever. My mother had severe endo too which was undiagnosed for life until she got breast cancer.
    I have no hopes anymore, I think i’ve done all i could diet, TCM, yoga, naturopathy.
    My doc say I should do surgery and then stop my period for six months then birth control. I’ve always been against surgery but the pain is so unbearable i just feel like i’m dying every month for a few days.
    I’m a vegan and an athlete and very slim.I never drink or whatever. I read about the endo diet and excluded all grains about 3 months ago but the pain is the same or even worse. I have lost a lot of pounds which I cannot take back and in my case this is no pleasant thing as i’m underweight and have to struggle with people thinking i’ anorexic or a junkie.
    For me nothing had helped not even cutting out gluten. I hope it works for others.

  15. Katarzyna

    I just lost uterus and right ovary due to advanced endometriosis. Besides that in the past I had a lot of problems with my joints, for a while I was diagnosed with lupus, had thyroid infection with goiters (hormone level was ok), I have to wear hearing aids because my hearing nerves are damaged and there is not much explanation why. For quite few years I was struggling with depression, GERD and that list could go on and on… My doctor thinks that there is a connection between Gluten and all autoimmune deceases, including endo. He suggested gluten free diet and I really want to try it. Right now I have no idea where to start but I will keep reading 🙂 Thank you for wonderful and very informative blog. I will tell my doctor about you! Best greetings and may God keep you in His loving care Melissa!

  16. freya

    Hi all, I am three days into being gluten free and it’s tough, (have been wheat free for a few months) I am craving bread like crazy and almost straight away came out with a bad dose of thrush, but I am going to stick to it. I had a lap and endo removed 4 months ago, since then I have made major changes in my diet although I have always been vegetarian I was eating way too much bread. Still had alot of pain mid month the last two months so this month I took the leap to go gluten free. I also have alopecia maybe linked to the endo and got injections in my scalp to start the hair growing, it is suddenly really growing since changing my diet, I am so happy about that. I am hoping the craving goes away with the thrush soon, I dream of bread and jam, but my gluten free pancakes fill the gap when it is really bad! I had blood tests done for food intolerances and they found I am gluten intolerant but at about a 2 out of 4, 4 being the highest intolerance, I have a 4 for eggs, kiwi fruit, pineapple and bananas, all my favorite foods! It has been hard cutting it all out.

  17. Bridget

    In the past I have had surgeries, hormone treatments, and fertility treatments. As a result of all that…I have been able to have three beautiful children. After my 3rd child though, I realized I didn’t want to do hormone treatments and surgeries forever in order to feel good. I have been on the “Endo” diet since Aug of 2010. I had 14 of the symptoms you mentioned up above. The change in my diet has made all of the difference and I feel that I am living a completely different life now…feeling happy and healthy. I still have a few issues…but in comparison to what I used to be…I feel fantastic. Thanks so much for your blog. It has been extremely helpful to me especially since I found doctors to be not so helpful or knowledgeable on the topic. Thanks so much! Keep up the good work 🙂 .

  18. Melissa

    Thanks Sonrie and welcome 🙂 I shall pick it up from the library and have a read.

  19. sonrie

    Hi, I just found your blog. I have stage IV endo-have a whole history of treatment!

    I recently read ‘Wheat Belly’ by William Davis. While he doesn’t mention endo/gluten connection, there is a gluten connection with many other health symptoms. I wholeheartedly recommend it!

  20. Melissa

    Thanks Hilary for the great link. I had no ideas of the differences and it is good to make the connection. I will research it all a little further 🙂

  21. OhSnapCrackleAndPop

    I was recently told that I have endometriosis and the doctor I went to suggested that I go on a gluten free diet because she said that gluten could be feeding the disease itself.

    I was watching this video on youtube that talks about Gluten intolerance and how it can contribute to many diseases and so I figured I’d post the link to share the information 🙂


  22. Melissa

    Brilliant to have the same conclusion! Love it! Oh well, my journey took 15years to realise that all the hormone stuff did nothing. At least we learnt the lessons eventually 🙂

  23. kara

    I went gf after surgery and meds. I now rarely have symptoms. Blood test have a high false negative rate according to the docs ive talked to. All this mess taught me is that everything in our bodies are connected. Yes I had endow and joint pain and gas etc. But we were trying to treat these all seperately when in fact it was just gluten intolerance. Now I wish I had never had the lap surgery and instead continued experimenting with diet and herbs.

  24. Melissa

    That is a fantastic story and so happy you shared it in the comments of my blog!
    It is great when we finally find something that works for us!

  25. Michelle

    I accidentally discovered (while on a diet) that going gluten free made my endometriosis symptoms dissapear. After 2 surgeries and hormone treatments for 9 years following years of excrutiating pain, this has been life changing. I have gone off of 5 different medications for various problems since making this life change. I was so happy to come across this site and find that people are starting to hear this…especially since the doctors, at least many of the ones in the U.S. do nothing but give you one prescription after another. I decided to take things into my own hands. It was the best decisions I ever made. I’m 41 and feel that I finally have my life back. I’ve also found a doctor who is open to discussing natural treatments…I think this is very important. It’s hard to eat this way at first, but when you start to feel good after years of feeling bad, it becomes very simple and easy.

  26. Jill

    @Anna: I’m finding it easier the second time around too. I just find I have to be super organized about it, otherwise I crave bread when I get hungry. It is my understanding that even a little amount of gluten can affect you, so if you are trying to take it out you should just buy the gluten-free oats to be sure. They shouldn’t be too difficult to find at a health food store, or in the health section of the big grocery stores. They’re just a bit more expensive… small price to pay for health!

  27. Anna Livia Plurabelle

    Thank you Melissa! I will try out gluten-free living for a time (with oats for now – they’re my favourite breakfast) and see what happens – if there’s no change I will cut out oats too. Maybe the connection of gluten and endometriosis (or other diseases) is foremost that the gluten-grains are more related to wheat – at least spelt or especially khorasan wheat are closely related.

    I had a try last year and it was super hard (yes, I missed my Rye bread :-)), however now it seems kind of easier. Some changes need the right timing. 😉

    @Jill: Thanks, I never paid much attention to those cross contaminations. Do you think they can make a difference for endometriosis? 😮 Oh no…

  28. Jill

    Hi Anna, You can buy GF oats if you want. The problem with oats is that they are often “processed” in the same plant as wheat and there is cross contamination. GF oats are “processed” in a plant where there is no wheat.

  29. Melissa

    It is funny because many girls get the official gluten tolerance test and it comes back negative. They still feel better with not eating it though, so they stick with it. It is up to you – of course 🙂 I would do a personal test. Do no gluten for 2 weeks and then eat heaps of it at the end of it and see how you feel. That is the best way to really assess it. Oats is kina borderline 🙂 I am keen to give them another try though as they are super good for us. Maybe leave them out for the 2 weeks and do the test and then see how you go.
    Interesting that German sites are different – maybe those German’s would miss their Rye bread 🙂 Don’t worry my parents are german so I can say that! It all comes down to YOU and how you feel 🙂

  30. Anna Livia Plurabelle

    A read a lot about nutrition generally and especially for endometriosis (of course) and acne (which I have too). Interestingly there are a lot of similar things recommended for these conditions, like staying away from dairy, increasing omega3-intake and going gluten-free. However the warning concerning Gluten seems to be A LOT bigger on English sites/in English books than on German sites/in German books, where they say only people with celiac disease have to stay away from Gluten.

    I have some of the symptoms you listed and therefore had a blood test (for Antibodies) with negative results – it seems I don’t have Gluten intolerance.

    Would you still recommend going gluten-free? And should I stay away from all Gluten or would oat be allowed in my case (as it’s a different form of Gluten)?

  31. Jill

    Hi Peta, I hope that the GF diet helps you completely, but if you find that you are better, but not “perfect”, try a nightshade-free diet as well (google nightshade foods). It’ll be difficult, but may help you feel so much better (and help you conceive). It worked for us!

  32. Melissa

    Wow! That is amazing information and I had no idea that the Gluten could attack the liver! Great motivation for us all to stay off Gluten!

  33. AjKwong

    Thank you for your post. I was diagnosed with PCOS and stage 3 endometriosis 3 years ago. I had a 3 hour surgery to remove all the endo. My doctor had told me at the post op that there are only 3 surgeons in the U.S. that could have successfully performed my surgery. That is pretty scary coming from one of the top endometriosis specialists. After the surgery I had scheduled blood tests to monitor hormones and liver function since my endo had spread to my liver. At first the results weren’t good so we started cutting out gluten first. After a month of gluten free eating… I felt better, no more anxiety after meals, more energy and my blood tests finally came back great and the best results were that I was no longer insulin resistant, cholesterol was at a normal range and liver functions were normal and not stressed. I later on talked to someone that told me that some people have atypical celiac disease where instead of damage to the intestinal tract the gluten attacks the liver. Either way I have enough proof to stay on a gluten free diet for life. Thanks again for making the connection between gluten intolerance and endometriosis.

  34. Diane

    I have read through you comments and wanted to share my history. I am 57 years old and have suffered with stomach problems all my life! My poor parents didn’t know what to say or do as I was always going to the doctor which they couldn’t afford. I suffered through migraines, painful monthly cycles and at one time was even diagnoised with a large colon. At 16 the pain was almost unbearable and just before my 18th birthday I was diagnosied with endometriosis. Went into surgery on my 18th birthday to discovered that the endometriosis was scattered all around my uterus. They wanted to do a hysterectomy which I refused! They cut some nerves and I was able to survive the pain. I was told I would probably never have children but after an adoption went on to have two beautiful boys! At 45 I was diagnoised with gluten intolerance and have lived with that since. Not so bad when you get use to it and they now have many more items available! Is there a connection between endometriosis and gluten intolerance? Well I would have to say yes, but I am not a doctor. I do believe they need to do research to determine this to avoid all of you young ladies having to go through what I did! There is hope as babies can come and I wanted to let you know that my heart goes out to all of you! I was an exception at the time as they didn’t diagnosis endometriosis on someone so young at that time. I hope this helps. Forgive any of my mispellings as I am also dyslexic and they don’t have spell check.

  35. Melissa

    Hi Susan. It is up to you. The tests will perhaps prove something on paper but I think you kinda already know that gluten is not good for you. I reckon most of us know what is wrong prior to even getting an official doctors note. If you need the piece of paper, then yes insist on it! If you are okay to just trust in yourself and what your body is telling you, then stick with it for your own sake 🙂 Certainly, doesn’t sound like you had a fun night! Hope it gets better for you. Hugs Melissa

  36. Susan

    I am so glad I found this video & info! I was told I likely have Endo, haven’t had the lap yet…. I have almost all the symptoms listed here, was told by the doctor I may be gluten intolerant so I had the Sprue test, came back negative however my blood counts (white & red) slightly off, like my body is fighting something and the test showed I was anemic. My doc told me to take daily iron supplement and sent me on my way saying I am not gluten intolerant, my question is, should I insist on the other tests you mention here? I lay here now, in pain, unable to sleep, belly severely swollen, bloated, gassy with belly pain 🙁

  37. Rachel

    I was diagnosed with endometriosis about 6 years ago. Had the surgery to confirm it because of infertility. Just recently I was diagnosed gluten intolerant after a blood test. I’d been having headaches and diarrhea and bloating for years. I’ve only been eating gluten free for a couple of months, but I’m already seeing an improvement with the endo. Chocolate cysts seem to be much calmer than before. I think it’s a pretty amazing link.

  38. Melissa

    Hi Shelley,
    Glad to hear you went Gluten free and that it helped you so much. The blood test needs to be done when you have been eating gluten – not when you have stopped. The test only shows up the “reaction” to gluten. I hope they told you this and that you did the blood test after eating gluten for a few days. 🙂
    If you did do this and you still didn’t show a sensitivity to gluten, it doesn’t really matter – does it? It might be wheat or some other ingredients in flour that affect you. Point is, you know it works, so stick with it 🙂

  39. Shelley

    Hi Melissa, I was diagnosed with Endo back in 2008. Concieved my 2yr old son through IVF. Very excited it worked the first try! However, several months after he was born my Endo became agressively worse. Most of 2010 I struggled to walk and go to work. I wore heating pads around my abdomen all day under my clothes at work. It was terrible.

    As a result, I had Lap surgery in January 2011, which was not sucessful. The Endo was so bad I had to be referred to a cancer surgeon who performed a partial hysterectomy. He concluded that the Endo had attached itself to all of my main organs. My bladder, colon and uterus were also bound together. He removed as much as he could. but many of the legions still remain and cause occassional pain. I’ve read several articles that going Gluten free could relieve some of the Endo pain. It’s true! I have followed a Gluten free diet for 2 months now and I’m almost pain-free. It’s great!

    My question to you is…I recently had blood work done to see if I am in fact Gluten sensitive. The blood work came back normal and negative. However, the gluten free diet has helped tremendously. How is this possible? I was expecting it to comfirm that I was in deed sensictive to Gluten. Is this possible?

  40. Melissa

    Thanks for sharing your story Jill and great to hear you could find it out for yourself! It is cool when we can find it out for ourselves 🙂

  41. Jill

    After 3 mos of chronic pelvic pain my OBGYN suggested lap surgery to diagnose and treat endometriosis. He didn’t find any,, in fact no cysts or anything on my ovaries, “Everything Looked perfect!” I had constant pain but it was much worse during periods and ovulation. I ended up in urgent care 2 times and was living on vicodin. He decided I had a “hormonal imblanace” and wanted me to go on birthcontrol pills. I don;t like this idea as I have already been on them for 18 years so I decided to cut out all sugar and bread form my diet to clear the toxins and see what happens.
    . Within a week the pain was gone! 3 weeks into this pain free time I had ice cream and pizza one night and the pain came back in the middle of the night. Now i already know my limitations with lactose, and the expected gas , but this was just the exact pelvic/ abdominal pain of the past. Two days later the pain was gone. SO I did a test and had several slices of bread and of course the pain came back for a day and a half.. I realize now that my no sugar and no bread way of eating had been without gluten too. I was and am only eating fruits, vegetables, nuts, chicken and pork ,( I make my own salad dressings from olive oil, vinagre and juice), rice, potatoes, corn, teas, juice and water.
    My brother has a problem with gluten so I think I will get tested now to make sure, but to think I went through that surgery and have an $800 bill all for nothing!

  42. Gluten Ffree Alternative

    WoW, whod have thought it would be this easy to live the Gluten Free Alternative lifestyle. I must thank you all for such a help. I have spent many years wrestling with such a debilitating afliction now I’m free thank you again….

  43. Melissa

    I know I struggle with this one too sometimes! It does get easier and eventually people understand why 🙂

  44. Cara

    I tried cutting wheat I think, the first time and didn’t notice a real difference in my pain levels so I didn’t think on it further. I didn’t want it to be true then. Later I tried cutting gluten which is much more difficult, as it is in everything, and I still haven’t been tested for intolerance, but my pain levels are much better. I started getting gastrointestinal symptoms during pregnancy and I think the pregnancy made the gluten intolerance worse. I started getting joint pain, extreme fatigue and loose BMS that never went away after the pregnancy ended. Pretty much everything is healed up now after about 1 (or is it 2 now?) off gluten. I am still perplexed by BMS, but I believe my sometimes cheating with eating eggs is causing it, or perhaps yet another allergy to millet or even corn. next month I’m going to try to convince my doc for a round of food allergy tests if possible. when people want to go out to eat now, or if they offer me food, I just tell them I am allergic to everything and that gets me out of it, but I still hate the fact that I have to segregate myself from everyone. food is such a social thing, and there’s just nothing I can eat if I didn’t cook it myself.

  45. Melissa

    Hi Kami. I too struggled with the debate about whether to cut out gluten. I think I instinctively knew this could be the cause but like you, I didn’t want to have to cut out so many yummy things 🙂 I did a test for two weeks and didn’t eat any gluten. When I then finally did eat it, I got instant bloating, felt tired and lethargic and got an instant headache! I really didn’t expect such an instant sign but from then on, it is no longer a debate – I am totally gluten intollerant.
    Sugar was one of the first ones I cut out. I found this one harder – I loved my chocolate. Try one at a time cos otherwise you might find it all too hard. Ideally we want to aim for a gluten free, dairy free, sugar free and meat free diet but it has seriously taken me 8months to get to this and the initial stages were definitely one at a time 🙂

  46. kami sanders

    When I read down that list I realize I have pretty much experienced ALL the symptoms over the years I have struggled with Endo. Here is the thing… When I eat more raw soups, fresh fruits and veggies, avoid dairy and only eat whole grains, I eliminate a lot of these bad symptoms…yet still experience bad periods. I am at a crossroads recently thinking I need to go hard core with eliminating sugar (I still enjoy chocolate for instance). Do you think its WAY too hard to do a gluten and sugar fast at the same time? I mean, maybe I should make sure I can stay strong with no sugar and then start to eliminate gluten from my diet. But the more I think about it the more my eyes are opened that I am definitely struggling with an intolerance. I have no problem staying away from yeast, baking powder, etc. But I really have enjoyed making my whole wheat flat breads (Chapatis…I live in India), and also my barley veg soups. YIKES! I only discovered there even WAS barley in my city last week! It sounds painful to eliminate it. Sugar – well I have restricted myself from it many times over the years of my journey. There are so many other things that are natural and lovely! Like dates and blended fruit pates… But gluten. Wow. Its been about one year now that the decision has been in the back of my mind. I don’t know if I have yet the strength to do it. But I’m going to start keeping a “body journal” and keep the info before my eyes. Thanks so much for your video Melissa and also for your personal testimony with a gluten free diet.

  47. Riss Leung

    I am glad you wrote this post as I strongly believe there is a connection between endo and gluten. On the advice of my naturopath I went on a wheat free/dairy free diet in December last year. For ease of working out what I could eat and what I couldn’t eat I adopted a gluten free lifestyle. All I can say is that I feel amazing! I too actually have a flat stomach for the first time in my life! I lost 8kgs and just feel light and not weighed down or bloated as I used to.
    I recently watched a youtube clip on one woman’s infertility being addressed with a gluten free diet. I think it is well worth a look and just wish more research would be done on the links between endo, infertility and gluten. Here’s the youtube clip: http://www.youtube.com/user/AliVGF#p/a/u/0/SCbpCb24low
    Keep up the great work Melissa!

  48. Melissa

    Hey Cara. I have been gluten free for about 4months now and it is definitely something I would never consider going back on again. My naturopath also suggested it was bad for me. I had the same symptoms as you did. It also relates to the Pancreas – maybe look into that one a little too 🙂 The weight loss and flat stomach are the best part of going gluten free!

  49. Cara

    Anyone ever tried French Maritime Pine Bark? I had a great improvement while taking that herbal supplement. I was going to include the link to the actual research but can’t find it now. They did a small study that showed a fairly significant reduction in symptoms. I know it helped me.
    I just started going Gluten free as well. If I used to be intolerant, it was mild, then I got pregnant and started having lots of weird symptoms like gas, loose stools etc. they never went away. My periods came back and so did the endo. but then I came across a list of symptoms for GI and revisited the fact I might have it. I’ve already dropped like 4 pounds in water weight and my endo. symptoms are going away again, only time and blood tests will tell for sure…

  50. Melissa

    I know it is scary when we make connections to things! It is like those a ha moments!
    Stick with it and give it at least 6months and you should see huge improvements! Also, try some Aloe Vera for the RA it helps heaps – article coming up shortly! 🙂

  51. peta

    I was diagnosed with Endo 3 years ago and had lap surgery. Since then we have been trying to conceive for the last 2 years naturally as well as trying IVF. After 4 unsuccessful attempts with IVF and one miscarriage I am losing hope.
    I also suffer with Rheumatoid Arthritis and have been doing some research on alternative remedies.
    After some research into RA I have been trying a gluten free diet for about 2 weeks now and have found that it has relieved some of my swelling and joint pain with RA.
    I am glad to have come across your site. The info that you have posted list quite a few of the symptoms that would indicate I have an intolerance to gluten.
    It is interesting to read that a gluten intolerance could be the reason for both the Endo (and infertility) and RA.
    I will definitely be sticking to the GF diet. Hopefully this will not only continue to relieve my RA, but my also help with the infertility as well.

  52. Melissa

    Hi Julie, I am glad you found my site too 🙂 It is interesting to hear how many symptoms came from Gluten. It is amazing and seldom can one things cause so many consequences!
    I wouldn’t believe that you can’t conceive. Anything is possible and having a child is definitely possible. You have two ovaries anyways! Try going to a Traditional Chinese Doctor or Homeopath and get a different opinion. There is a whole world out there of options. Never just take one as the one to believe in 🙂

  53. Julie

    Hi Melissa-

    I am really glad I found your site. I am 30 y.o., married, and trying to get pregnant. My Dr just found a cyst on my right ovary that she believes to be an endometrioma. Going back for more tests in 3 months and have been feeling devastated at the thought of not being able to conceive.

    I also am gluten free. I went GF last May, and have noticed significant benefits since then. I no longer get migraines, no longer have excessive amounts of gas and bloating, am less constipated and have finally been able to absorb iron for the first time since I started menstrating. I also find my moods to be much more stable. GF can be tricky, but it can also be fun and exciting to try new things and find new restaurants.

    After reading some of your site, I am going to do my best to eliminate even more from my diet and add in some of your suggestions.

    Thanks again,


  54. Melissa

    Hi Crystal and thank you so much for sharing your story. Unfortunately, Endometriosis is just one of those almost impossible ones to find without the dreaded operation! I also had several ultra sounds and they couldn’t find anything. When they went it, it was stage 4. Thing is, you don’t need to worry. There is a way forward and you can heal. – no matter what the cause is! Well done on cutting out so many foods already! Increase your fruit and veg even more and you will notice a fantastic improvement. Also try some Maca Root – I love this one! 🙂
    You can have children and don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise! Enjoy trying in the meantime! – Maca will help with that one too 🙂

  55. Crystal

    This article is interesting. I have gluten intolerance and probable endometriosis (my first laparoscopy will be March 21st to confirm and treat). I was tested back in November for gluten sensitivity with an IgG food allergy test and it indicated that I was sensitive to gluten. I have been gluten free since December. I had this test because I had been diagnosed with IBS so we were trying to find the cause. When I first was told I had IBS last year, I went to the gynecologist to see if I had female related problems (endometriosis). They pretty much dismissed it and told me I was fine in that department. I also worked with a holistic gastroenterologist that rebuilt my digestive tract using probiotics, L-Glutamine, Colostrum, and Fish Oil. It was when my tummy started feeling better that I noticed I had pain in my pelvic area. It isn’t every day, but every couple of days I get pain. The pain can range from mild/slightly bothersome to sharp/worrisome pain. I am really scared as I am only 22 years old and I want to have children soon (I am married so I am in a position where I could make it happen). I hope my laparoscopy goes well and they can give me a clean slate. I am making an effort to slowly alter my diet (I have been completely off gluten for awhile, I don’t drink cows milk or eat ice cream, and I am working on the sugar-I’ve cut back and added more fruits and veggies to my diet). I wonder if all this time it wasn’t IBS, but endometriosis. My ultrasounds and pelvic exams have all been “normal” so my doctor’s never thought it was that until now.

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I'm Melissa

Sick of dealing with endometriosis and ready to move forward?

I empower women to stop feeling like a victim to their endometriosis and find empowering ways to reduce pain & symptoms. 



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