March is Endometriosis Awareness Month. During this month we will be adding new content on the disorder to our website weekly. We will be talking about infertility treatment for endo, food and lifestyle, and pain managment. If you would like info on any other aspect of endo let us know in the comments section below. Endo can be tough and we want to help - The AFA Staff
More than five million women in America have been diagnosed with endometriosis, a leading cause of infertility.
Endometriosis occurs when the endometrial tissue that lines the inside of the uterus finds its way outside and into other organs of the body, such as the abdomen and fallopian tubes. When this happens, the misplaced tissue develops into lesions which respond to the woman's menstrual cycle. Each month, the tissue builds up and then sheds. Inside the uterus this natural shedding becomes part of the menstrual flow. But outside of the uterus the tissue has nowhere to go and backs up, causing internal bleeding, inflammation, adhesions, pain, and eventually for many, infertility.
There are a number of medical research studies that indicate no curative effect for endometriosis through diet, although in at least one study conducted in Italy, fish oil was shown to alleviate symptoms and in another study conducted in Mexico, a diet high in antioxidants was found to be helpful.
Nutritionists, however, are convinced that diet can play a pivotal role in controlling endometriosis and the often debilitating symptoms that accompany it.
Nutritional expert Karen Spencer-Dees, Ph.D. states that "Nutrition is the science of food. Being educated on proper diet and modifying your eating habits can make all the difference between successfully having a family, or not. Sometimes, even the simplest of changes yield the biggest results." She should know. Dr. Spencer-Dees is herself a longtime sufferer of endometriosis who through dietary changes, including food combining, dramatically improved her symptoms as well as her overall health.
For those with endometriosis, there are not only specific foods that you should eat, but also specific foods that you should avoid. Detrimental foods include those that increase prostaglandins E2 (GE2) and prostalandin F2a (PGF2a). These two types of prostaglandins stimulate estrogen, which is the main hormone found to increase the symptoms of endometriosis in those who suffer from it.
Simply put, the Endometriosis Bad Foods List is as follows:
- Red Meat
- Saturated Fat and all transfats
- Refined Carbohydrates
- Additives and Preservatives
What's left? The Endometriosis Good Foods List includes (but is not limited to):
- Vegetables, especially cruciferous vegetables
- Whole Grain Foods
- Amaranth and other whole seeds
- Beans such as Navy Beans, which are high in choline or choline supplements
- Chicken in moderation
- Fish Oil
- Unsaturated fats high in Omegas 3 and 6
Also key when you have endometriosis is doing lots of exercise, and drinking 6-8 glasses of fresh water daily.
So does this food list leave you at a loss as to what to nibble on when the munchies hit? Straight from the kitchen of Dr. Karen Spencer-Dees, try this truly delicious Zucchini Dip. Healthy does not have to mean boring!
1 1/2 cup shredded zucchini
2 tbsp. parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup plain yogurt
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. crushed basil
Shred 1 1/2 cups of the zucchini. Place in strainer and discard all moisture. Combine remaining ingredients and add zucchini. Cover and chill overnight. Serve with raw veggies, and enjoy!