Did you know that a significant amount of endometriosis pain is driven by inflammation? And this inflammation is typically at its worst in the week you have your period. If you have endo, you won’t be surprised by this at all, right?
What do I mean by inflammation?
Inflammation is the body’s attempt at protecting itself by removing something it perceives to be harmful and allowing healing to begin. It is part of the body’s immune response and is initially beneficial when it happens over a short period of time.
However, long-term (chronic) inflammation can be detrimental to the body. Chronic inflammation can occur from an autoimmune response, where the body’s immune system mistakes healthy tissue for something harmful and attacks it.
For women with endometriosis, food and supplements can be a very powerful way to reduce inflammation, which can then lead to a reduction in pain levels too.
This isn’t a quick fix, mind, but can work really well in the long term.
Research shows that turmeric can be an especially powerful way of reducing endometrial pain and inflammation through its very powerful compound, curcumin. Magnesium, fish oils and castor oil packs can help too.
Okay, I hear what you’re saying – I need help now!
In times when endometriosis pain is at its worst, painkillers can be extremely helpful, especially in instances of severe pain. It’s worth bearing in mind that research shows that long term use of painkillers can have negative effects on liver function and on the lining of the stomach.
With my clients with endometriosis, we take a long and short term approach, looking at diet and supplements to reduce inflammation and pain in the long term, as well as practical ways to reduce pain in the short term.
What can I eat to help reduce endometriosis inflammation and pain?
Diet can make a huge difference in managing the inflammation that happens with endometriosis. I always recommend adding in foods that can help you reduce inflammation over the long term.
I’ve already talked about turmeric and its wondrous compound, curcumin.
Eating lots of green leafy and cruciferous vegetables is helpful too, as these foods help your body remove the excess estrogen that is a hallmark of endometriosis.
They also help you empty your bowels regularly, which is an important way for your body to remove excess hormones. If you’re constipated (i.e not emptying your bowels at the very minimum, once a day), there is an increased risk of the excess estrogen being recycled back into the body, which for endometriosis sufferers, can exacerbate your symptoms and increase inflammation and pain. Having a healthy bowel movement in the morning, before breakfast, is a great way to support your body and reduce endometriosis and other symptoms of excess estrogen, including PMS, period pain and mood swings.
The research also shows that a higher intake of fruit, especially citrus fruit, can reduce the risk of endometriosis further developing.
If you have endometriosis, have you used food as a way of managing your symptoms?
Do you want help improving endometriosis pain? My short e-book, ‘Six Ways To Fix Your Period Pain‘ will give you practical tips to change your period for the better.