March 14, 2023

Endometriosis Diet

What is endometriosis

Endometriosis is a painful, chronic disease in which tissue can grow outside the uterus, including on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, as well as the bladder, bowel, vagina, cervix, and the area between the vagina and rectum. It affects 1 in 10 fertile women.

Firstly, to confirm the diagnosis, a gynecologist consultation is required. During the consultation, the gynecologist performs a laparoscopy that will show the location, size, and extent of the excess tissue. If the gynecologist confirms the diagnosis of endometriosis, they may recommend laparoscopic excision surgery to remove the growths. However, it's important to note that there is no cure for endometriosis.

Symptoms of Endometriosis

You may feel the symptoms listed below as harsher during your menstrual period. Signs and symptoms of endometriosis include:

  • Pelvic pain
  • Intense pain during menstruation and intercourse
  • Intestinal cramps and discomfort while urinating
  • Heavy periods or bleeding not during your period
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Lumbar pain
  • Intense cramps

Pain associated with endometriosis appears to be a reason for the increasing number of depression cases among affected women. Additionally, if endometriosis is left untreated, it can lead to infertility. Therefore, it's highly advisable to visit a gynecologist if you have these symptoms.

There is a slightly increased risk of ovarian cancer or adenocarcinoma among people who have had endometriosis. However, the risk remains low throughout life and does not require drastic treatment. As mentioned before, there is currently no cure for this condition, but it can be managed with comprehensive care. This should include both a pain management plan and a healthy lifestyle, with attention to nutrition and exercise.

Endometriosis Diet Tips

Nutritional recommendations have a crucial role in the clinical management of endometriosis, but they are not an alternative to pharmacotherapy and/or surgical treatment. In terms of lifestyle optimization, diet is one of the components, along with physical activity, sufficient sleep, and stress management. Nutritional intervention alone, while neglecting other components, will not have optimal results.

A tailored diet is difficult to achieve in a single meeting between the doctor and the patient. To customize the diet, several elements are required, including numerous meetings, paraclinical explorations, and nutrigenetic tests. During an initial consultation, you can expect individualized optimization recommendations for your lifestyle. You will receive important tips about the principles of a healthy lifestyle, advice regarding food choices and menu composition. You should also consider incorporating physical activity and other components of a healthy lifestyle into your daily routine if you're not already doing so.

Since endometriosis deeply affects the quality of life due to pain, psychological support and pain therapy are also important. There is not much research done regarding the relationship between diet and endometriosis symptoms. However, some patients have found that certain foods tend to either trigger, worsen, or relieve their symptoms.

Foods That Can Cause Bad Reactions

Certain lifestyle choices can impact the progression of endometriosis and increase the risk of developing the disease. Although, as already mentioned, more studies are required to fully correlate certain foods or habits with the development or worsening of the disease. That being said, it is believed that the following factors can negatively influence endometriosis:

Trans fats

Research has shown higher rates of endometriosis diagnosis among women who consume more trans fat. They are predominantly found in margarine, pastries, fried, processed, and fast food.

Red meat

Eating red meat is linked to endometriosis. Some research has shown an increased risk of developing endometriosis with high consumption of red meat.


A study of 207 women with endometriosis showed a reduction in pain in 75% of participants after eliminating gluten from their diet.

White sugar

Reducing sugar, especially white, refined sugar, but also sweets and sugary drinks, preferring complex carbohydrates with a low glycemic index, depending on tolerance, is useful in endometriosis. Instead of commercial sugar products, you can eat homemade sweets such as dark chocolate bars with tahini or with natural peanut butter, products based on almond flour sweetened with apple juice or dates.

Inflammatory foods

Foods that influence hormone regulation, especially estrogen balance, can negatively impact women with endometriosis. Additionally, if following a regimen for endometriosis, foods that increase inflammation in the body and lead to even greater pain or faster progression of the disease should be avoided. These foods are alcohol, caffeine, gluten, red meat, trans fats, and saturated fats. It is recommended to limit the consumption of foods stored in plastic containers and to use glass, stainless steel, or ceramic containers.

Foods That Can Be Good for You

To reduce inflammation and pain caused by endometriosis, it is recommended to eat foods rich in nutrients. Eat a balanced diet that is mainly composed of vegetables that are rich in vitamins and minerals. The recipes of your dietary plan should include the following:

Foods rich in fiber

Fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains are all rich in fiber. A more specific list would include apples, pears, plums, beans, lentils, peas, oatmeal, nuts, citrus fruits, whole grains, chia seeds, and flax seeds.

Foods with a high iron content

Foods rich in iron include dark green leafy vegetables (such as spinach and Swiss chard), broccoli, beans, nuts, and seeds.

Foods rich in essential fatty acids

Foods that contain essential fatty acids are salmon, tuna, mackerel, walnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds, other fatty fish, pumpkin seeds, seaweed, and canola oil.

Foods rich in antioxidants

Antioxidants can be obtained from colorful fruits and vegetables such as oranges, berries, dark chocolate, spinach, and beetroot.

Foods rich in calcium and vitamin D

Dairy products are important sources of calcium and vitamin D, making them great for consumption. Goat milk products are recommended over cow milk.

Conclusion: The research conducted on the relationship between endometriosis and diet is insufficient to give a final verdict on which foods are truly helpful and which are not. Nevertheless, there is a belief that some dietary fats are associated with rising endometriosis cases.


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Meet Zoe

A passionate blogger and wellness enthusiast who's on a mission to spread positivity and inspire others to live a healthy, happy life. With a wealth of knowledge and experience in the world of health and wellness, Jane's blog is the go-to destination for anyone seeking tips, advice, and inspiration on how to achieve optimal physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
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