If you are currently living with endometriosis, it is really important that you start putting yourself first and try some of these natural ways to help heal and relieve endometriosis symptoms.
There are some methods that have been shown to naturally improve endometriosis symptoms, and even halt the progression of the disease.
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What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a condition where the layer of tissue that normally covers the inside of the uterus grows outside of it. The tissue can form nodules or plaques which may be seen during surgery.
Endometriosis is a common inflammatory disease estimated to affect 176 million girls and women worldwide in their reproductive years. This means that roughly 1 in 10 women in the western world will have endometriosis.
Scientists are not sure what causes endo, but there is now good research to say there is a strong genetic component, and there is evidence that external factors seem to influence the genes and how bad the endometriosis is (1).
How to manage Endometriosis Naturally
While there is no cure for endometriosis, there are some things that will help manage the pain and symptoms each day.
It is interesting that many women find an improvement in their endometriosis after they have had a baby, but counter to that, endometriosis left until a women is in her 30’s can drastically reduce her fertility.
Below are my top 5 tips to get started naturally managing your endometriosis, no matter where you are in your journey.
Doctors and nutritionists have been debating for years what the best diet is for our overall health.
It’s hard to find a single theory that everyone can agree on. But one idea remains pretty consistent in every camp: inflammatory foods are not our friends, especially for women with endometriosis.
If endometriosis is an autoimmune condition, then food may well be one of the biggest keys to helping halt it in its tracks.
With endometriosis, your insides are already pretty inflamed.
Adding inflammatory foods will only add fuel to the fire.
Do your best to stick to an anti-inflammatory whole foods diet. It’s not about being perfect, it’s about figuring out which foods help or hurt your body and it might take some experimenting to get it just right.
The ketogenic diet is particularly anti-inflammatory and is showing good results with women with endometriosis.
Even if you don’t follow the ketogenic diet with your endometriosis, some good anti-inflammatory diet tips are:
- Keep to organic whole foods where you can
- Keep low carb
- Avoid gluten and dairy
- Watch out for nightshades – potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants as some people react strongly to them
- Avoid sugar
- Avoid sugar substitutes
- Eat full fat where possible – lard, tallow, butter, coconut and olive oils
- Avoid commercial oils – corn, soy, canola and other seed oils
- Drink bone broth for it’s soothing properties
- Get plenty of omega 3’s
2. Reduce Stress
Research has revealed that cortisol levels (these are the hormone levels closely tied to stress) are significantly higher in women with advanced endometriosis as compared to women without the disease.
Raised cortisol levels also cause inflammation, which will make your endometriosis worse.
They are not sure which is coming first, but either way, managing your stress levels is critical in reducing your endometriosis symptoms.
Knowing that you are more prone to stress, it’s crucial that you introduce stress management tools.
- Find an activity or hobby that relaxes you like coloring or knitting
- Daily meditation
- Taking a nice long bath or shower.
- Walking in nature
- Sitting at the beach
- Take up Tai chi or Yoga
It is important that you take time each day to schedule relaxing time for yourself.
Recently it was discovered that the only way science has found to swap your body from the high-cortisol flight or flight state to the low-cortisol rest and digest state is by extending the length of your out-breath.
So deep breathing is your friend. Every time you find yourself at a red light, try doing 10 long deep breaths and do the same before bed each night, and on waking in the morning.
3. Better Menstrual Hygiene Products
Did you know that the FDA does not require companies to disclose the ingredients in menstrual-hygiene products or diapers.
This is pretty concerning!
The mucous membranes in our body – our mouths and our vagina’s are capable of absorbing chemical even faster than our skin does!
Tampons and pads, that many women use are potentially dangerous pesticide-covered, bleached, and chemical-containing products.
Ideally you would be looking for 100% cotton, 100% organic tampons and pads.
4. Get Moving
Now, I am not talking about the days that you have to be holed up in bed with hot water bottles and pain relief, those days you are welcome to wallow and not move.
I am talking about day to day.
Exercise helps reduce stress, and gentle exercise like walking and yoga will not cause an increase in inflammation in the way that running will.
There are some yoga that is particularly good for fertility, this is the sort that increases blood flow to the pelvis and promotes healing in that area. This is worth looking in to.
Keeping your body fit and toned is just one of the ways you can help reduce your endometriosis symptoms.
Being overweight will increase your body’s level of estrogen, which is not what we are wanting when trying to control endometriosis.
Try and stay within a healthy weight, if you need to loose weight, our keto kick starter challenge would be perfect for you.
5 Avoid Excess Estrogen
Fake estrogen is everywhere. Many of the plastics and plasticizes that are used in common objects release chemicals in to our bodies that act as estrogens.
There are also phytoestrogens in food, soy is a classic example of a food that can drastically raise your estrogen levels, so much so that some use it as a natural hormone replacement therapy after menopause.
Xenestrogens are also in the sprays that are sprayed on so many of our foods, and these have been shown to disrupt our own hormones as well.
Even our very own insulin can cause a rise in estrogen.
Now don’t get me wrong, estrogen is a great hormone, it is what makes us ladies a lady. However, it must always be balanced with progesterone.
When this balance gets out of kilter, we get estrogen dominance. This can cause a host of issues, that I won’t go in to right here, but one of them is that it can make endometriosis and PCOS worse.
Here are the top 5 foods that contain estrogen for you to avoid.
5 Ways to Naturally Help Improve Endometriosis
Endometriosis can be a horrible condition to live with, but with these 5 tips, you can make life more bearable again, and take control of some of your symptoms.