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Diet Changes to Make Today If You Have Endometriosis

Diet Changes to Make Today If You Have Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a surprisingly common problem for millions of American women. This is a condition in which tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside of the uterus, such as on the ovaries or fallopian tubes.

And, this misplaced tissue can grow and change during hormonal fluctuations, such as during menstrual cycles. However, it has nowhere to shed out, which can cause a host of symptoms, such as chronic pelvic pain and abdominal bloating.

While there’s currently no cure for endometriosis, there are treatments that can help, such as making diet changes. At his practice in Newburgh, Indiana, which serves the Evansville area, Paul W. Morrison, M.D., tailors every endometriosis treatment plan to each patient’s unique needs, combining medical therapies with lifestyle changes to help women manage their symptoms effectively.

In this post, Dr. Morrison explains some diet-related steps you can take to help reduce endometriosis symptoms.

Keep a food diary

Keeping a food diary can help you spot patterns and links between what you eat and the severity of your symptoms. This simple step can help you identify your food “triggers” so you can take steps to avoid them.

Focus on fiber

Your body eliminates extra estrogen through stool. Without regular bowel movements, that excess estrogen hangs around longer, potentially increasing your endometriosis symptoms. Research shows that increasing fiber intake can help reduce circulating estrogen along with the painful symptoms it can cause.

Good sources of dietary fiber include:

Try to increase your fiber intake slowly, because this can help reduce the chances for bloating, gas, and belly pain.

Choose anti-inflammatory foods

Because endometriosis involves inflammation, it makes sense that adding anti-inflammatory foods could help reduce symptoms. There are a number of options that can help your body battle inflammation, such as the following:

Colorful fresh fruits and vegetables are also excellent choices for an anti-inflammatory diet.

Watch your dairy intake

Many dairy products contain hormones and saturated fats that can make endometriosis symptoms worse. But, a recent study found that milk consumption is also associated with a lower risk for endometriosis. (Interestingly, the same study found that butter might make endometriosis symptoms worse.) Bottom line: Watch how your body responds to dairy intake. If your symptoms get worse, consider switching to plant-based milks and cheeses.

Limit (or avoid) alcohol and caffeine

Alcohol and caffeine can both make endometriosis symptoms worse. Limit alcohol consumption to a couple drinks per week, and stick to one or two cups of coffee per day. Again, paying attention to how your body responds can help you decide if you need to further limit consumption.

Skip processed foods

Processed foods and prepackaged foods often contain ingredients — such as saturated fats and added sugars — that can stoke inflammation. At the same time, these foods are usually low in important nutrients that can help reduce symptoms. So, try to remove these foods from your diet, along with fast foods and other “junk” foods.

Drink plenty of water

Your body needs plenty of fluid to function normally. Water helps flush toxins from your bloodstream and can help keep inflammation in check, too. Carry a water bottle with you to stay hydrated throughout the day, and add in some lemon or cucumber slices for extra flavor and nutrition.

Opt for these mineral-rich foods

Magnesium and zinc both play roles in hormone regulation and menstrual function. Making sure you get enough of these important minerals may help relieve painful endometriosis symptoms. You can find magnesium in:

Zinc is found in poultry, shellfish, and red meat. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, ask Dr. Morrison if zinc supplements are a good choice.

Help for your endometriosis symptoms

Endometriosis can affect different women in different ways. In addition to dietary changes, Dr. Morrison can help you find other ways to manage your symptoms and improve your overall quality of life. To learn more, call 812-490-5200 or book an appointment online with the practice of Paul W. Morrison, M.D., today.

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