What is the Best Diet for Endometriosis?

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis

Endometriosis is a medical condition that affects many women but remains little understood. The painful symptoms of the condition are caused by the growth of endometrial tissue in abnormal places, such as the fallopian tubes and ovaries. Since it is largely considered a result of hormonal and systemic imbalance, some health experts and patients believe that dietary changes can help reduce or manage symptoms. Although a diet for endometriosis may vary from person to person, alternative therapists and patients have a wide set of guidelines that may help reduce symptom intensity and frequency.

Female reproductive system.
Female reproductive system.

A diet for endometriosis focuses on providing high amounts of certain minerals and vitamins while removing possible irritants to the system. One of the primary causes of endometriosis-related pain is believed to be the production of a fatty acid called prostoglandin. Reducing this acid is considered to be the goal of a diet for endometriosis patients.

Multivitamin supplements are often recommended for women on a diet for endometriosis.
Multivitamin supplements are often recommended for women on a diet for endometriosis.

Decreasing saturated fat intake is a major portion of a diet for endometriosis. Reducing the use of butter, lard, dairy, high-saturated fat oils, and fatty animal tissue is often considered a key to the diet. At the same time, consumption of omega-3 oils is believed to be highly beneficial, and patients are often encouraged to use olive or safflower oil and eat beans, fish, and walnuts for their high omega-3 content.

A bottle of safflower oil, which can be eaten on a diet for endometriosis.
A bottle of safflower oil, which can be eaten on a diet for endometriosis.

Gluten-free diets are also gaining considerable popularity as a remedy for endometriosis symptoms. Some studies have shown a correlation between endometriosis and gluten-sensitivity, suggesting that the intake of gluten-containing products may aggravate symptoms. Wheat and other gluten products are usually reduced or eliminated on a diet for endometriosis.

Walnuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which may help women with endometriosis.
Walnuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which may help women with endometriosis.

Alcohol and caffeine are also believed to have some contra-indicative effect on people with endometriosis. Since the condition is related to excess estrogen in the body, these substances are often reduced or eliminated in order to facilitate estrogen reduction through the liver and prevent an aggravation of estrogen production.

Oatmeal is recommended for endometriosis.
Oatmeal is recommended for endometriosis.

Vitamin supplements are often recommended on a diet for endometriosis. Since many foods are eliminated, it becomes even more important to ensure that the body is receiving an adequate amount of nutrition to keep organs and bodily systems functioning normally. Women with endometriosis are often told to take a daily multi-vitamin that contains a high amount of B vitamins.

A proper diet plan may help lessen the frequency and intensity of pain caused by endometriosis.
A proper diet plan may help lessen the frequency and intensity of pain caused by endometriosis.

Increasing fiber levels is one of the mainstays of a diet for endometriosis. Fiber is believed to aid digestion and may play some part in regulating estrogen levels. Excellent choices for increasing fiber on a diet for endometriosis include beans, leafy green vegetables, and gluten-free whole grains. Brown rice and oatmeal are considered highly beneficial grain choices.

Doctors often advise patients with endometriosis to eliminate wheat and other gluten products from their diet.
Doctors often advise patients with endometriosis to eliminate wheat and other gluten products from their diet.
Endometriosis is related to excess estrogen in the body.
Endometriosis is related to excess estrogen in the body.
Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis

With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica is passionate about drama and film. She has many other interests, and enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics in her role as a wiseGEEK writer.

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