I am back talking about Endometriosis, yes with a capital letter as this is not just any illness. Those of you that have endometriosis, or know someone that has endometriosis know this well, that this illness is defined and treated differently depending on the doctor that sees you. As nobody knows why this illness appears, why some women have worst symptoms, and it has not been determined scientifically why some women develop it and why some others don’t , many doctors decide to simply ignore it as a contestant for what it may be happening to you.
As I mentioned in my previous post about Endo, I was treated by a fantastic doctor in Spain, named Dr. Juan Andres Sacristan. I found him online and he and his team are specialists in Endometriosis. So from the first moment, nobody was downplaying my symptoms or making me feel as if this was imaginary. Before this one, another Spanish doctor found my illness in a routinary check-up. We have one check-up once a year in Spain and they are usually thorough, so if you have something, they usually find out.
At the beginning, I didn’t have symptoms but a few months later, everything was different and it affected my daily life. In my case it affected my legs, as they hurt too much, I would not have any strength in them, but asking doctors in general, they just looked at me funny. When I told Dr. Sacristan he answered that it would not be uncommon as I had big endometriomas in both ovaries to feel leg pain.
So I did learn many things about this and read SO MANY books. I drastically changed my diet since there were many cases of women who experience a relief in the symptoms with a change in diet. I also went to see a psychologist, CBT and as I mentioned in my other post, I don’t think I ever needed to see someone that much. It helps you to cope, to be stronger and to believe that you will get better. There is something about a stranger saying that to you, that helps.
A month ago I found this fantastic Infographic from Kaye, a Graphic Designer in the UK that also has endometriosis.Check her website because she also has a FREE EBOOK designed by her about endometriosis and how to cope with it. A must!
These are the things that are advised to eat more or reduce in your diet that will help when having endometriosis:
And these are some facts everybody should know about this illness. I find it very odd that for many women it takes so long to be diagnosed. One problem I see in Ireland is the lack of gynecologist or that the health system does not put place the importance these professionals have for the health of women. GP, cannot have all the answers. GPs should not deal with these things as it is a bit too specific for them, and there should be a yearly routinary check-up done by a gynecologist with proper materials. Let me explain the materials part:
–A gyne chair : when I went to take a smear test here in Dublin, I was appalled. What are they going to find, making us go into those awkward positions on a stretcher?. The nurse (yeah, a nurse does this many times) could not see anything, but she decided I was ok. Clearly a month later I took a REAL smear test (they check your breasts too just in case) in Spain.
–Ultrasound machine: Yes, they usually have this, and the same day you have your consultation they can use it to see if everything is ok in your body. Very handy. Why don’t people see the usefulness of this here in Ireland?
–Information about ANYTHING related to your sexual life from an expert.
Women are advised to go once a year since their first period. And when you go, you do ask questions, you become more aware of how things are and we need these check-ups to prevent worse situations.
To sum up, in an endometriosis diet you have to reduce any food that will cause inflammation to your body or that will increase your estrogen levels. Why does everybody mention organic food? Simply put, because the chemicals and pesticides in fruits and vegetables and the hormones found in red meat and their derivates messes with our hormones and our estrogen levels, in a bad way.
So take a look at the 12 things that you can do that will improve your life quality:
SAY BYE TO DAIRY:
No cheese, no yogurt, no milk. You can have almond milk (great anti-inflammatory) and you could have a bit of them but reduce this to a super minimum. This is our kryptonite! My diet, pre-endo was 80% dairy. I love cheese and yogurt and milk. Imagine.
NO SUGAR PLEASE!
This one is an easy one. All diets advice that!You could change to Stevia or Maple Syrop.
KISS GLUTEN GOODBYE
Yeah, change to gluten-free. The brand Kelkin actually makes a decent one that tasted a bit normal. The rest of the gluten free bread taste really bad in my opinion.
Same goes for pasta.
NO MORE ALCOHOL (or reduce a lot)
A difficult one, I know. But it is like anything, it is really bad as it messes with our estrogen levels a lot.
CAFFEINE (HELLO DECAF!)
The same goes for caffeine.Try to change to decaf or to reduce the intake as much as you can.
NO RED MEAT
As I mention before, red meat sometimes comes with too many hormones and that messes with our hormone levels which is what we try to avoid.
NETTLE TEA & PEPPERMINT TEA
I discover this while I was in my worst months. I was having ibuprofen like there was no tomorrow and decided to look for something a bit more natural. NETTLE TEA is FANTASTIC for MIGRAINES related to our period. Try it as it costs very cheap and it works wonders.
- NETTLE TEA is FANTASTIC for MIGRAINES related to our period. Try it as it costs very cheap and it works wonders.
- PEPPERMINT TEA helped when I had the worst cramps of my life along with an anti-inflammatory of course. It helps with nausea caused by the pill if you are one of the unlucky ones like me that had nausea for like two months.
GREAT ANTI INFLAMATORY FRUITS
HELLO TO GREENS
There are some vegetables that you should have more often in your diet because they reduce inflammation considerably.
Some of these are:
- Leafy greens: Spinach, Kale…
- Bok Choy
SALMON AND OMEGA OILS
There are studies where they are testing the influence of omega oils in improving the conditions for endometriosis. It has helped some people and I took some supplements for a bit. But I love salmon so I decided to just include salmon in my diet weekly.
WALNUTS & ALMONDS
They are antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. And walnuts even have omega-3 oils. So say hello to your new snack!
FLAXSEEDS , TURMERIC & GINGER
- Flaxseeds balance the hormones and are antioxidant. You can buy the package where they come milled and just add it to your meals. You won’t even notice it but your body will.
- Turmeric seems to be the king of anti-inflammatory being more potent than an aspirin. Again the trick is just to add it to food while you cook.
- Ginger is an immune modulator that helps to reduce inflammation caused by overactive immune responses. It is good for cleansing the toxins in our organs.
GET ORGANIC AS MUCH AS YOU CAN
Our fruits and vegetables are not cheap here in Ireland, and organic is even more expensive. But by avoiding the pesticides and the chemicals you are helping your body to recover. My personal choice was just to eat a bit less, but to try to get it organic. I know it is not always possible but try as much as you can.
I hope that you liked this post and do let me know if you know of anything else that may help when dealing with endometriosis.