Ladies, I hear you loud and clear: Endometriosis is a serious condition that is causing you pain, confusion, and frustration. Last week, you shared some of your stories with me via Facebook. You recounted how painful Endometriosis cramping can be and how you have period symptoms even when you’re not getting your period. You said you’ve spent months and years trying to get control over this painful and confusing condition, some of you with laparoscopies and multiple surgeries, with no solution to be found. Some of you struggle with fertility issues. Many of you are diagnosed in your 20’s and 30’s. To make things worse, many of you report doctors who second-guessed your symptoms and said they were “all in your head.”
Thank you for your honesty and courage in sharing these stories with me. Endometriosis is a serious condition affecting 6-10% percent of women from their teenage years through adulthood. For these thousands of women, not fully understanding what is going on in their bodies and not knowing how to help themselves feel better can make them feel lost and frustrated. The time has come for women with this condition to feel empowered, hopeful, and begin their path to healing.
In honor of Endometriosis Awareness Month, we’ve outlined for you the basics of endometriosis and essentials for healing.
FLO Recommendations for Managing Endometriosis Symptoms and Healing
Endometriosis occurs when the cells from the lining of the uterus, called endometrial cells, migrate to elsewhere in the body. The endometrial cells that line the uterus respond to the rise and fall of female hormones; the shift in hormones that occurs around your period is one of the reasons why endometriosis symptoms can be especially painful at your time of the month.
Endometriosis has also been found to be caused by an autoimmune reaction in the body, meaning that antibodies are formed to fight against the body’s own tissue. As Dr. Christiane Northrup describes in her book Women’s Bodies Women’s Wisdom, these antibodies can interfere with regular menstruation and fertility, and on the deeper level can be associated with some aspect of the woman rejecting her female body. (This might sound a little out there, but we’ll get into the details in a moment.)
Here’s the good news: you can regulate the fluctuating hormones in your body and heal your symptoms through diet and lifestyle shifts. We’re here to tell you how.
Estrogen and Prostaglandins
The key to controlling Endometriosis through diet lies in the role of estrogen and prostaglandins in the body. Prostaglandins are naturally occurring fatty acids, derived from what we put into our bodies thru diet. The body can produce a variety of prostaglandins—good ones and bad ones. The goal of a good diet, of course, is the increase the good prostaglandins to offset the effects of the bad prostaglandins! For example, certain prostaglandins in the body increase uterine contractions. With the right dietary choices, we can increase the good prostaglandins to soothe and calm the body and reduce those contractions. (Some especially negative prostaglandins are found in saturated fats, butter, and red meat—avoid these as much as possible.)
Goals for Managing Symptoms & Healing thru Diet
With Endometriosis, the goal of eating well is to boost the immune system, balance hormones and prostaglandin levels and cut down on estrogen in the body. One key to reducing estrogen is to boost liver function so it can break down and eliminate estrogen.
Overall, you want to cut down on your consumption of bad fat and boost those foods that help to cut down on the estrogen circulating in your system and encourage good prostaglandins.
Immune System Boosters
Balancing Hormones: Reducing Estrogen thru Fiber
Not only does a diet high in fiber aid digestion, but it is thought that fiber can decrease circulating estrogens in the body. A high fiber diet means getting 25 grams of fiber every day. Good sources of fiber include:
- beans, peas and legumes
- brown rice
- fruits and vegetables, especially dark leafy greens like kale
- whole grains *not wheat & rye
Balancing Hormones: Supporting Your Liver
As mentioned above, a healthy liver is key in eliminating excess estrogen and other hormones or toxins that could be interrupting your hormonal balance. Part of our 5-step protocol involves a more detailed Spring Cleanse to detoxify your liver. Here are some key foods to get started with:
- Lemon & Lime
- Dandelion & mustard greens
Avoid these Harmful Foods
As with any good diet, it’s as much about what you take out of your body as what you put in. Cut Out or Drastically Reduce:
- Alcohol: consumes Vitamin B and compromises liver function
- Caffeine: increases abdominal cramps and estrogen levels
- Refined Carbs, including bread, flour, and anything made from refined flour
- Dairy: causes inflammation
- Fried Foods and Fats: promotes negative prostaglandins
- Red Meat: promotes negative prostaglandins
- Sugar and Honey: causes inflammation
- Wheat, including breads, pasta, and cake
Also avoid additives and preservatives, which increase the chemical load on the system.
Good Protein Picks:
- Chicken/Turkey (a small amount)
As with any condition, diet is only one part of a larger picture. As women, we can be prone to certain symptoms because of the energetic or emotional patterns happening in our lives. What we’ve noticed as a pattern with women with endometriosis is that there’s an imbalance with mothering. When a woman’s womb, the place of nourishing and mothering, is literally growing in other places outside of her uterus, it can indicate that she is not mothering herself where she most needs it and perhaps putting her mothering energy too much in the direction of career or outside matters.
If you resonate with any of this, try doing the following:
- In a quiet place with no interruptions, connect to your body by closing your eyes and taking a few deep breaths with your hand on your belly.
- Take out a notebook and begin free-writing on the questions:
- What messages from my body/uterus do I need to hear right now?
- What kind of mothering am I in need of?
- Discuss your feelings and thoughts with a trusted friend or health coach.
Keep in mind that the emotional and energetic connections will continue to be revealed as you put more attention and openness on them. Getting support and having a sounding board for working through all of this is so essential to the healing process.
We recognize that endometriosis is a complicated issue and not always easy to address. You might have even heard much of what we’ve outlined before. If you sense you need more support in implementing the correct changes to your diet and lifestyle, or if you aren’t sure about what kind of support you might be needing, talk to us.
We have a team of health coaches ready to provide personalized, effective guidance, as well as a step-by-step program, the WomanCode System, which is transforming thousands of women’s lives daily. It would be our pleasure to serve you 🙂