A chronic condition in which the tissue that normally lines the uterus starts growing outside of the uterus; endometriosis is characterised by intense pelvic pain, excruciating, heavy periods and often-debilitating digestive issues. Endometriosis affects one in ten women of reproductive age and is finally starting to gain the much-needed attention it deserves, with more and more women speaking out about their personal experiences.
Because the only known ‘cure’ for endometriosis is surgery, managing symptoms and treating them holistically is an approach that can increase overall health and wellbeing whilst keeping painful symptoms at bay. Although the following won’t fix the problem and medical attention is always recommended, here are 4 things to consider when trying to ease symptoms of endometriosis naturally:
Eating for endometriosis is totally a thing, and it’s gotta be anti-inflammatory. Dark leafy greens, vegetables as cruciferous as they come, loads of antioxidants and a largely plant-based, whole foods protocol can work wonders in improving symptoms of endometriosis.
Inevitably, at the same time as upping your veggie ratios, you’ve also gotta eliminate the unsavoury characters from your diet. Nix the sugar, alcohol, processed foods and try to cut down your caffeine intake (but beware of decaf!). The inflammation that these things cause will be worsening the pain and wreaking havoc on your gut!
Turns out, endo has all of the hallmarks of an auto-immune condition and needs to be treated as such. With the majority of your immune system residing in our intestinal tract, you need to be populating your gut with an army of happy gut flora. Fermented foods; jun tea, sauerkraut, bone broth and a good-quality probiotic are staples in any endometriosis-fighting diet.
And whatever you do, don’t skimp on the turmeric. This study claims that curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric) helps to prevent the growth of endometrial cells by reducing the production of the hormone estradiol. Because endometriosis is considered an oestrogen-dominant condition, turmeric is an essential component of an anti-endo eating regime.
Environmental toxins, particularly dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), are responsible for a host of common health problems, and are known to increase the prevalence of endometriosis and the severity of its symptoms. Removing animal products from the diet should be the first port of call for cutting down on toxins as these are the largest carriers, and buying organic produce where possible and reducing plastic usage will help lighten your load as well.
While it might not be the sole cause, stress is known to significantly exacerbate endometriosis. We know by now that stress is toxic to the body and can dramatically weaken the immune system; so it’s hardly surprising that employing stress-reduction practices should be a part of any anti-endometriosis protocol. Mindfulness, meditation, yoga and breathing exercises should be integrated throughout the day to help keep cortisol levels balanced and have you feeling like a blissed-out babe.
The significant amounts of magnesium that you absorb through epsom salts are the perfect excuse to take a helluva long soak in the tub. Magnesium is crucial for the removal of toxic substances on the body and it’s super anti-inflammatory, so it’s a bit of a no-brainer when it comes to treating endometriosis. Topically applying magnesium oil to the pelvic area can also help alleviate pain.