How Changing your Diet can help:
Changing your diet to deal with Endometriosis is the basic foundation to symptom reduction and systemic repair. This is a vital tool that is within your control and ability to manage. Adjusting what you eat can bring about many positive physical and hormonal changes, as well as improving health. Many of you may be aware that various illnesses and diseases have responded very positively to changes in diet, and Endometriosis is no exception.
Some of the positive physical changes that take place when we change our diet, will at first not seem reliant on our food intake but they are.
Eating the right kind of foods can:
- balance blood sugar levels
- help reduce sluggish feeling
- sharpen our mental clarity
- give us more energy
- regulate sleep patterns
- regulate bowel movements
- regulate metabolism
- regulate body weight / assist with maintaining a healthy weight
- control hyperactivity – especially in children
Endometriosis is an oestrogen-sensitive condition, but the painful menstrual cramping that occurs is predominantly due to prostaglandin synthesis in the body. Prostaglandins are naturally occurring fatty acids, which are derived from dietary sources. The body can produce different types of prostaglandins through a complex series of pathways. There are the ‘good prostaglandins’ and the ‘bad prostaglandins’ of the prostaglandin group. The goal of a controlled diet is to block the ‘bad’ for their negative actions on the body, and increase the ‘good’ for their opposite and beneficial actions. The action of the ‘bad prostaglandins’ is to increase uterine contractions, the ‘good prostaglandins’ have a soothing effect.
By changing the diet and the types of oils that are taken into the diet, the production of the ‘good prostaglandis’ can be stimulated, which helps with uterine relaxation. These oils are composed of omega-3 fatty acids, which lead to positive prostaglandin production.
Excellent sources of the omega-3 fatty acid producing oils are:
- Flax seeds/oil
- Evening primrose
- Safflower oil
- Walnut oil
- Oily fish
Omega 3 suppliments may be used in addition to changing the fundamental diet. It is also important to decrease intake of those fatty acids that will stimulate the negative action of the ‘bad prostaglandins’ which are found in saturated fats, butter, farmed animal/organ meat and lard.
As with all dietary change, an emphasis must also be placed on increasing healthy green vegetables, fruit and whole grains. Just adding ‘good oils’ will often have no effect, as the body may need a diet with a totally differant emphasis whilst it goes about the complicated process of self repair. A vegan diet may be helpful in extreme cases, but it should be well formed as it is important to maintain adequate protein levels. A mistake often made by vegatarians and vegans is to become a ‘starcharian,’ that is, to swap protein for starch. This can upset blood sugar regulation and cause fatigue as a result. It can also cause depression in some cases.
Click on the link below to read Elizabeth’s story about how naturopathic treatment changed her life and enabled her to have children.