11 Foods To Avoid If You Have Endometriosis

When you suffer from endometriosis, you'll try just about anything to deal with the pain. Thankfully, there are ways to help manage the condition on your own. For instance, there are many foods to avoid if you have endometriosis, because all kinds of ingredients may actually worsen your endometriosis, also known as endo.

First, a quick recap: endometriosis is a painful, chronic disorder in which endometrial tissue grows outside of your uterus, as noted by the Mayo Clinic. Although this may not sound like a big deal, it can lead to debilitating pain during your period and even infertility issues. In fact, endometriosis can lead to all kinds of struggles.

That said, there are steps you can take to manage the condition yourself, and it looks like your diet may play a serious role in your pain management. In fact, everything from red meat to caffeine may contribute to inflammation or other pain symptoms. Although you may need to give up some rather tasty treats, letting go of these foods just might make your endo more tolerable. Of course, for maximum benefits, you can work with your doctor to come up with a specialized endo-friendly diet. Hopefully, knowing which foods to avoid can help you manage your endometriosis more carefully.


Chocolate & Other Sweets

This just seems cruel. But according to Endometriosis Resolved, eating sugars may cause an inflammatory reaction in your body, thereby making the symptoms of endo worse. It might be smart to cut back on the sweets.


Red Meat

Even a steak may aggravate your condition. As noted in Healthy Women, there may be a correlation between eating red meat and experiencing pain from endometriosis. As further explained in Healthy Women, the dietary fat may have an impact on your body's prostaglandin production, which may in turn affect your ovarian functioning. Cutting back on your meat intake might help you out.


Fatty Fishes

Sure, that tuna roll is tasty. But as noted by, fatty fish is not recommended for endometriosis patients because the polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) present may impair the immune system.



According to the Physicians Committee for Responsibly Medicine, dairy may also aggravate endo, although the exact causes remain unknown. You could try to go without dairy for a few days to see whether this alleviates your condition.


Processed Foods

Even your favorite snack foods could be problematic. According to Nutritionist Resource, processed foods may contain preservatives that could exacerbate your inflammation. Fresh fruits and veggies may be a better snack choice.


Soy Products

Is tofu a bad call? Possibly. As noted on EmpowHER, the current studies are somewhat inconclusive, although a University of California study suggests an enzyme in soy may worsen endometriosis. In the meantime, soy milk fans may want to check out other plant milk varieties, such as cashew or almond.


Refined Foods

Is that baked macaroni actually harming you? According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, refined foods such as pasta or white bread may worsen your condition. Your go-to comfort food may actually be doing more harm than good.


Wheat / Gluten

It looks like wheat and/or gluten may also aggravate endometriosis. As noted in Everyday Health, there does appear to be a correlation between women who have a wheat-free diet and lessened endometriosis symptoms. You can try phasing out bread products to see whether this helps you out.



If the endo pain has you reaching for a drink, you may want to think twice before imbibing. According to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, alcohol appears to be correlated with more incidents of endometriosis. Regular rose may not be your friend.



Is nothing sacred? According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, caffeine may also worsen symptoms of endo. Decaf time, maybe?



According to Dr. Lisa Watson, eggs contain arachidonic acid, which may worsen experiences of inflammation. Skipping the side of eggs at breakfast may help manage your symptoms.