Can Diet Help Endometriosis? It's Worth A Try

For women suffering from the paralyzing cramps and body aches that come with endometriosis, a condition that has no cure, there may be hope in your next meal. If you're not one for pharmaceutical cures or surgery, but need to manage the pain associated with endometriosis, you might be wondering, can diet help endometriosis?

And the answer is, totally. According to the Physicians Committee For Responsible Medicine, there are several diets to help manage endometriosis by decreasing inflammation, a condition that can cause symptoms associated with endometriosis to flare up. These diets have the same effects as pharmaceutical treatments like aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen or higher doses of anti-inflammatory drugs usually prescribed to treat endometriosis. According to U.S. News, the anti-inflammatory diet designed by Dr. Andrew Weil, pioneer in the field of integrative medicine, has proven results when it comes to promoting overall health by decreasing systemic inflammation.

But decreasing inflammation isn't the only way to use diet to treat pain associated with endometriosis. Dr. Ronald Burmeister, a gynecologist in Rockford, Illinois described a case where a hormone-balancing diet helped alleviate pain in a woman who'd been recommended a hysterectomy as a solution to her pain. This woman had undergone laparoscopic surgery twice, been prescribed birth control pills and progesterone derivatives, but they were expensive and had too many unpleasant side effects. For her, diet alleviated all of her pain associated with endometriosis.

Although diet is not guaranteed to end your endometriosis-related pain, it's important to note that other medical treatments, including surgery, are also not guaranteed to relieve pain associated with endometriosis, as noted by the United States Department of Health and Human Services. But if diet can promote a solution, it's worth seeking more information from your physician or holistic health care provider about the following diets to help relieve endometriosis-related pain.

Anti-Inflammatory Diet

  • Reduce use of caffeine and alcohol
  • Consume omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, eggs, and seeds
  • Replace meat protein with fish and vegetable protein sources
  • Avoid all products made with partially hydrogenated oils of any kind
  • Add fiber in whole grains

Hormone-Balancing Diet

  • Stick to low-fat, non-dairy, plant based diet. These foods are known to reduce estrogen levels in the blood
  • Reduce use of caffeine and alcohol
  • Consume 14 or more servings of green vegetables per week
  • Consume 14 or more servings of fruit per week