Dietetican Sara Laskowska
How can diet therapy help in the treatment of endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a disease in which the lining of the uterine cavity occurs in other organs that physiologically should not be in, for example, in the vagina, cervix, bladder, or also in the peritoneal cavity. Its etiology has not been known yet. Endometriosis usually develops secretly over many years without symptoms. However, when its symptoms appear, they are most often severe pains accompanying menstruation, as well as disorders of the menstrual cycle itself and pain that occurs during intercourse. These symptoms disrupt the daily functioning of the patient – this is when the patient consults a specialist. After diagnosis, the patient is offered surgical and pharmacological treatment methods, depending on the current condition. A very important aspect is also dietary support, which complements the entire therapeutic process. The goal of endometriosis nutritional therapy tailored to each patient is to reduce inflammation and pain.
Such a diet should therefore provide:
Antioxidant substances, such as vitamins C, E and beta-carotene. Among them, compounds such as:
- Lycopene (the best source: tomatoes), curcumin (the best sources: turmeric and corn), as well as bioflavonoids (the best sources: citrus or wild rose (fruit)) and anthocyanins (the best source: berries – including blueberries, blueberries, etc.) raspberries and strawberries).
- Amino acids Glutathione and cysteine, distinguished among them, are also characterized by antioxidant activity. Their richest sources are legume seeds, as well as white meats (including turkey and chicken) and various nuts.
- Fibre It limits the available estrogen resources by binding them. Thanks to this, they reduce the unpleasant symptoms that accompany endometriosis. In addition, it has a very positive effect on intestinal peristalsis. Its source should be whole grain cereal products, as well as fresh vegetables and fruits.
- Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids Omega-3 acids stimulate prostaglandins, which soothe the pain associated with endometriosis. Their great sources are, among others, walnuts, fatty sea fish (salmon, mackerel, herring, halibut), as well as vegetable oils (including linseed).
Omega-6 acids are also very important, as a result of which one of the types of prostaglandins is transformed. Their great source is the increasingly popular evening primrose oil.
In addition, it is worth eliminating products that are a source of gluten, which can trigger inflammation in the intestine, from the diet. This soothes unpleasant symptoms, including those related to the intestines. Therefore, it is worth including gluten-free cereal products in your diet, such as millet, buckwheat, quinoa, tapioca or corn grits.