Is there an endometriosis Diet?

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on email
Email

There is no one specific diet for endometriosis. No food, diet, or supplement will “cure” endometriosis, but it can help manage symptoms and is great for overall health and well-being. Your diet needs to be individualized to your specific needs, and it can take quite a bit of experimentation to find what works for you.

Some studies have found that a few things seem to help manage symptoms of endometriosis. Most of the strategies help to eliminate any food intolerances and influence inflammation and estrogen (Thomas & Natarajan, 2013). Some of the dietary strategies might include:

  • Gluten free diet (Marziali et al., 2012)
  • Low FODMAP diet (Moore et al., 2017)
  • Anti-inflammatory diet (Leonardi et al., 2020)
  • Fruits, vegetables (“preferably organic”), and whole grains (Ghonemy & El Sharkawy, 2017; Harris et al., 2018)
  • Antioxidants, such as vitamins A, C, D, and E as well as B vitamins (Darling et al., 2013; Ghonemy & El Sharkawy, 2017; Huijs & Nap, 2020; Thomas & Natarajan, 2013) [Caveat- one study stated that vitamins from vitamin rich food and not supplements were noted with the difference (Darling et al., 2013)]
  • Anti-inflammatories such as green tea, resveratrol, fish oil, healthy fatty acids (omega-3), N-acetylcysteine, quercitin, curcumin, parthenium, nicotinamide, 5‐methyltetrahydrofolate (Ghonemy & El Sharkawy, 2017; Huijs & Nap, 2020; Leonardi et al., 2020; Signorile, Viceconte, & Baldi, 2018)
  • High fiber diet (Thomas & Natarajan, 2013)
  • Rule out food intolerances and individualize your diet (Karlsson, Patel, & Premberg, 2020; Kronemyer, 2019; Leonardi et al., 2020)
  • “Balanced diet with adequate vitamins and minerals, reduction of alcohol, sugar, and caffeine intake, exclusion of fructose or lactose intolerance” (Halis, Mechsner, & Ebert, 2010)
  • The consumption of soy is controversial in endometriosis; however, Huijs & Nap (2020) note that “the amount of phytoestrogens present in soy is relatively low, making the effect of avoiding soy on suppressing endometriosis-related symptoms questionable”. They conclude that “there is insufficient evidence to advise women with endometriosis to avoid soy” (Huijs & Nap, 2020).

Karlsson, Patel, and Premberg (2020) summed it up best by stating that “participants experienced decreased symptoms and increased well-being after adopting an individually-adapted diet”; therefore, it may take some experimenting to find what works best for you as an individual.

*Interstitial cystitis is often called the “evil twin” of endometriosis and its symptoms can be greatly influenced by diet (see Interstitial Cystitis).

more topics:

Curcumin’s effect on endometriosis

Endometriosis Diet and Nutrition

Social gatherings and food choices

Links:

References

Darling, A. M., Chavarro, J. E., Malspeis, S., Harris, H. R., & Missmer, S. A. (2013). A prospective cohort study of Vitamins B, C, E, and multivitamin intake and endometriosis. Journal of Endometriosis and Pelvic Pain Disorders5(1), 17-26. Retrieved from https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.5301/je.5000151

Ghonemy, G. E., & El Sharkawy, N. B. (2017). Impact of changing lifestyle on endometriosis related pain. IOSR Journal of Nursing and Health Science6(2), 120-129. DOI: 10.9790/1959-060205120129

Halis, G., Mechsner, S., & Ebert, A. D. (2010). The diagnosis and treatment of deep infiltrating endometriosis. Deutsches Ärzteblatt International107(25), 446. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2905889/

Harris, H. R., Eke, A. C., Chavarro, J. E., & Missmer, S. A. (2018). Fruit and vegetable consumption and risk of endometriosis. Human Reproduction33(4), 715-727.  Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1093/humrep/dey014

Huijs, E., & Nap, A. W. (2020). The effects of nutrients on symptoms in women with endometriosis: a systematic review. Reproductive BioMedicine Online. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S147264832030225X

Leonardi, M., Horne, A. W., Vincent, K., Sinclair, J., Sherman, K. A., Ciccia, D., … & Armour, M. (2020). Self-management strategies to consider to combat endometriosis symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic. Human Reproduction Open2020(2), hoaa028. Retrieved from https://academic.oup.com/hropen/article/2020/2/hoaa028/5849477?login=true

Karlsson, J. V., Patel, H., & Premberg, A. (2020). Experiences of health after dietary changes in endometriosis: a qualitative interview study. BMJ open, 10(2), e032321. https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/10/2/e032321.abstract

Kronemyer, B. (2019). Nutrient intake and gastrointestinal comorbidities with endometriosis. Contemporary OB/GYN, 64(10), 26-26. Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/openview/1b532d099eb09103200be8ee1bae4f3c/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=48920

Marziali, M., Venza, M., Lazzaro, S., Lazzaro, A., Micossi, C., & Stolfi, V. M. (2012). Gluten-free diet: a new strategy for management of painful endometriosis related symptoms?. Minerva chirurgica, 67(6), 499-504. Retrieved from https://europepmc.org/article/med/23334113

Moore, J. S., Gibson, P. R., Perry, R. E., & Burgell, R. E. (2017). Endometriosis in patients with irritable bowel syndrome: specific symptomatic and demographic profile, and response to the low FODMAP diet. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 57(2), 201-205. Retrieved from https://obgyn.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/ajo.12594 

Signorile, P. G., Viceconte, R., & Baldi, A. (2018). Novel dietary supplement association reduces symptoms in endometriosis patients. Journal of cellular physiology233(8), 5920-5925. Retrieved from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/jcp.26401

Thomas, D. S., & Natarajan, J. R. (2013). Diet–A New Approach To Treating Endometriosis–What Is The Evidence?. IOSR Journal of Nursing and Health Science1(5), 4-11. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/282006175_Diet-A_new_approach_to_treating_endometriosis-_What_is_the_evidence