Endometriosis Diet To Relieve Pain: Foods To Eat & Avoid
- Dr. Amodita Ahuja
- 3 Min Read
“Doctor, please save me from the horror of periods, they are so painful that I can’t get up from my bed, can’t poop, my back hurts and the worst part is that all my meds have stopped working. I have been suffering from this pain since the day I got my periods but each time I fell down, felt blurry and yelled due to cramps they told me it’s normal so hush.“
This is every patient’s chronicle who suffers from endometriosis. But what is this horror and why are we so oblivious towards it?
Endometriosis is a condition in which the lining of the uterus grows outside of it, commonly on the ovaries, fallopian tubes and lining of the pelvis. In this, the aberrant endometrial tissue acts like a uterine lining which — thickens, breaks down and bleeds with each menstrual cycle. This tissue has no exit from your body and gets trapped leading to scarring and adhesions — causing pelvic tissues and organs to stick to each other.
Due to this trapping of blood, there is severe pain during periods which may start few days before their onset and may run few days into it, severe backache, pain during intercourse, while pooping and passing urine and eventually difficulty in conceiving. You feel nauseous and bloated all the time.
Although the exact cause is not known, there are a few plausible theories
- Use of plastic pads that contain a chemical called dioxin which on entering into the body causes diffuse inflammation of pelvic tissues leading to endometriosis.
- Retrograde flow of menstrual blood – instead of flowing outside the body, it enters the tubes, ovaries and pelvis.
- Excessive estrogen in the body
But if you got periods early, your weight is much less than ideal body weight, you never had babies, your mother or sister had a similar history then the chances of you having endometriosis increases much fold.
You can’t meddle with your genetics but definitely can up your fitness game by following few dietary mantras
- Decrease inflammation and prevent the rise of estrogen in the body. The liver happens to remove excess estrogen from your body. Support this function by practising intermittent fasting as a way of life.
- Include a diet rich in Vitamin B, zinc and magnesium especially B6 found in lentils, pulses, cabbages, kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts.
- Give your liver a break by reducing or avoiding alcohol and caffeine.
- Avoid red meat completely as it increases estrogen in the body.
- Eat an antioxidants rich diet which includes tomatoes, bell peppers, berries.
- Switch to a gluten, dairy, and sugar-free diet.
What can you eat for pain relief?
- Introduce healthy fats rich in omega-three fatty acids like ghee, avocados, nuts, salmon and sardines as they increase the production of prostaglandins which alleviates pain.
- Eat at least two portions of oily fish per week. If you do not eat fish, a supplement containing over 500mg of each of EPA and DHA is useful
- Vitamin E is your saviour so include sweet potato, sunflower seeds, olives and olive oil.
- Magnesium is a muscle relaxant that relieves period cramps, backache, so include spinach, okra, tamarind, potato with skin, roasted wheat germ, cooked quinoa, soaked raisins, flaxseeds, peanut butter, tofu.
- Include oats and cherries as they are rich in melatonin which helps in pain relief.
The bottom line is nothing can prevent endometriosis but following the above tips and tricks, we can delay the onset of the disease to large extent and can alleviate the associated symptoms. Go organic whether it is food or your personal hygiene products.