QU: Endometriosis is making my life miserable. Can diet relieve this painful condition?
Endometriosis can cause abdominal pain, inflammation and sometimes infertility. Its cause is unknown but the disorder is dependent on the female sex hormone oestrogen and how well it is excreted out of the body. Conventional medicine can suppress but not cure the condition with drugs and surgery.
Lifestyle changes, such as eating a diet low in oestrogen have been shown to help. Before this can be effective it’s paramount that the gut and liver are working well. Without adequate nourishment body cells struggle to heal.
Eating nutrient dense, good quality, organic and non-genetically modified foods will support absorption of vitamins and minerals, and liver detox, promoting excretion of oestrogen. Fruits and vegetables that support the liver include broccoli, cauliflower, onions, beetroot, lemons and garlic.
Get fibre in your diet from vegetables, fruits, and lentils. Fibre helps to reduce oestrogen levels, acting like a sponge to absorb and carry oestrogen out of the body. Reduce consumption of animal products such as dairy and meat, to lower oestrogen.
Limit gluten containing foods, such as wheat, rye, couscous and barley, as gluten can disrupt hormones and cause inflammation. Opt for whole foods, such as nuts, seeds, lentils, quinoa, millet, rice, amaranth and buckwheat.
Shila Mistry is a Nutritional Therapist and Graduate of CNM (College of Naturopathic Medicine). CNM offers training in a range of natural health therapies, visit www.naturopathy-uk.com
You can also read more about natural ways to help with endometriosis in the Sensory Solutions column in Issue 58 (Winter 2018) of JUNO: