Endometriosis controlled by diet?

I'm looking for any advice, hints and tips about a diet I could follow to help control the pain with endometriosis. I have heard from friends that they've come off pain killers and manage it by diet alone.

Anything to absolutely avoid? any help would be greatly appreciated....I've totally had enough of pain now and need to make drastic changes!

Thank you x

16 Replies

  • I am no expert but I have heard of:

    - reducing read meat (I only eat app 1 a week or less)

    - reducing carbs or eat gluten free (in my case I prepare my own bread at home which is healthier)

    - trying to eat dairy free: I replace normal milk by rice or coconut milk.

    In terms of pain, I do suffer of pain but mostly related to my periods and not during the rest of the month. I need strong painkillers to go out of bed but I still think it's not that bad compared to what other people feels.

    Hope it helps!!!

  • Hi Amy...

    I have heard this too!!! Luckily I have an appointment with a private nutritionist in a week or so (who deals with natural sides of healing rather than medication)! . hopefully I will get something out of that!!! I'll keep people posted.... I'd rather manage endo naturally than being pumped with loads of hormones and pills- better in the long run!!!!!! Think I will struggle to change my diet... But I will try it!!! Ana xx

  • Thank you, hope your appointment goes well, keep us posted

  • Lots on here follow the endo diet, I struggle with not eating gluten personally but it's a good healthy diet if you are willing! I have a kindle book on the endo diet which outlines the principles or there's lots of info on line x

  • I've also found that doing a juicing detox for 3 or 5 days once a month helps reduce pain. Jason Vale's plan is the one I follow but you do need a juicer and a blender which can be quite costly. Once I've done the detox I try to have at least one juice/smoothie a day for breakfast or lunch. Reducing wheat (i.e endo diet) does work but I found it really hard to follow. Good luck. x

  • Hi there,

    foods listed above are key to avoid - Gluten /wheat, dairy, red meats, but there is a lot more. I also avoid soy, limit refined sugars, caffeine, and heavily reduced alcohol too (I notice significant increase in pains in first two weeks of cycle with alcohol but can be fine at other times). All other previous mentioned items I try to avoid as much as possible all the time. There is a great book by Carolyn Levett - Recipes for the Endometriosis diet. the front section is actually what i find more useful as it explains the foods to avoid and more importantly a little behind the reasons for it - i.e. containing hormones or increasing estrogen levels or putting too much load on liver etc which then personally helps me as I then find it less difficult to say no when i understand why I shouldn't have it. It also suggests what to use instead and which are healthy alternatives and can be healing too such as having anti-inflammatory properties. The other thing I would add is try to eat organic meats and veg etc where at all possible - again reasons for this. I found that although they are more expensive - the quality and taste is far better - I actually eat less anyway, and I am not spending money on expensive coffees and processed foods, less alcohol so on the whole it balances out, but is worth it to be in less pain.

    I also do juicing - and like Barbara have done a couple of 3/5 day detoxes (Jason Vale is amazing) - but tend to limit mostly to 1 juice a day now (gives you lots of vitamins and minerals and easily absorbed), as i personally don't want to lose any more weight (it dropped off me as the for i eat is naturally healthier and less fattening - I try to avoid the word "diet" as I like to think f it as a lifestyle change not a diet.

    There are also a couple of Facebook groups which focus purely on diet for endo "endometriosis diet and nutrition" and "endo diet support group & nutrition.." which may help when struggling for ideas or give you some other inspiration.

    In terms of how to approach this - I have met numerous people who have tried the diet, and some say don't try and do it all at once, and others will say avoid everything then gradually reintroduce one at a time to see how you get on. I think which one you do is personal choice, but what i would say is you need to give it time and don't think just because stopping one food item didn't help then it doesn't work, everyone seems to have some foods they can tolerate better out of the foods to avoid. For example i seem to be fine with Goats cheese so have that a couple of times a week.

    Most that have tried this have experienced reduction in pain - mine certainly reduced in severity, and frequency, but then i added acupuncture in later and that really gave a final help too.

    Good luck


  • Thank you so much. You've been so helpful! I'm going to be very strict for a month and see how i get on. Definitely life changing but I'm struggling to cope with the pain now more than ever so this for me is the last resort. X

  • Thank you so much. You've been so helpful! I'm going to be very strict for a month and see how i get on. Definitely life changing but I'm struggling to cope with the pain now more than ever so this for me is the last resort. X

  • I followed the following:

    1) Gluten free diet

    2) No sugar, caffeine, coffee, tea( Sometimes decaf tea) and mostly Green tea, Mint tea etc

    3) No Diary products ( replaced with Almond milk or hazelnut)

    4) No meat, eggs,poultry

    5) First thing in the morning, i make a glass of juice made from Carrots, one beetroot mixed with Black strap molasses, one spoon aloe vera juice and Apple cider vinegar.

    6) Switched to Mineral water

    7) Lots of fruits & vegs

    8) Joined GYM

    9) Took 3 months course of Homeopathy medicines for Stage 4 endo, cyst, fibriods, heavy periods.

    9) Positive attitude that i will beat the pain one day and overcome infertility. I am now naturally pregnant after Decapeptyl, surgery

  • Hi Nazabrar - I am really interested in your experience with this. Did you follow the diet before the decapeptyl (or was it taken at the same time) and before the surgery, or was it followed after (or both?). when you had surgery was there any signs of less / reduction in endo? I know it has helped with my pains, but I don't know if there are any physical changes with the endo or just the pain it gives me. I hope that makes sense, as i doubt there is any research into this, so patients experience is the only source.

  • Hi AC39. Thanks for the wishes. The story started like this. I had a miscarriage last year in Jan and during D&C process, they saw a chocolate cyst and fibriods. Took 6 months for them to do laproscopy where they saw stage 4 endo, lot of adhesions, cyst, fibriod, bowel endo and it was hell complex to resolve and attain fertility as my ovaries were burried under adhesions, endo was spread to level they can ever imagine. They put me on waiting list for final surgery to remove endo and cyst. During the wait, i decided to take decapeptyl as periods pain was unbearbale and i was getting frustated for not conceiving. I started the diet during my wait for surgery and started decapeptyl too. I followed the diet plan and everything together right before surgery until i conceived. So it was almost a year i was following the diet plan i shared. There were no hard rules to follow before injections or pre pr post surgery. Just start from now on until u start noticing difference in periods, pain, fertility wise etc..its not a quick thing to acheieve so we must give it time for body to get used to new diet. I was also taking TURMERIC tablets as they reduce inflammation and help in reducing adhesions.I am an indian and using turmeric in milk and everything is our good home remedy. So turmeric tablets, aloe, carrot, beetroot juice, injections, waiting for surgery, gym to reduce weight and stress...the list is endless..i was trying everything i read on different forums.. BUT after i took 3 decapeptyl injections, i went for private scan a NHS denied scan. The private scan showed CYST disappeared and no fibriod. Then my surgery date got postponed due to surgeon unavailablty and my periods returned within 3 months of stopping decapeptyl. Periods were lengthy but had less pain. Then I took 2 more injections before final surgery as removing ENDO while you are near your periods time will keep it active and surgeons cant clean it properly. Hence I took 2 more injections before surgery to stop periods and dry endo. Finally after i took my second injection, i got my surhery data. I was still into temp menopause when my surgery was carried. When they were doing surgery, surgeon was shocked to see cyst gone, no fibriod and ENDO shrunk to 60%. That injection, diet, Homeo medicines etc helped so much that my endo was reduced and most of the problems were resolved on it own. What was not resolved was ADHESIONS and SCAR tissue. So in the surgery all they did was remove adhesions, correct ovaries as they were twisted, removde some scar tissue, did dye test to make sure tubes are open, removed some endo they could see. Thats all. No cyst, no fibriod, no complex endo. Surgery was successfull. Now waiting game for periods so that i can try for baby. But we were so restless, we started trying for baby already while waiting for periods to come thinking i will not get pregnant as i didnt get periods. But by grace of GOD, the injection effect already left my body in oct when were trying and i conceived in Oct which i was not aware. In Nov, was so restless thinking y periods did not return and no preg symptoms but i still did preg test for my satisfaction and BINGO...DARK positive. SO decapeptyl is not contraceptive. It stops certain hormones but not ovulation as per leaflet. I am not taking any special diet now as i am eating everything now. Dairy, cheese, meat etc so that my baby will be healthy. I started taking Pregnacare right after my surgery plus Bee Pollen Tablets. Thats it. Hope this helps.

  • Thank you for your detailed response yes that is very helpful and well done on your efforts look like they have been worth it. I'm not sure if you saw my previous post re the diet. I have also been following for about 9 months, and had acupuncture and herbs and saw a major improvement in my health and pains - going from two weeks of agony and painkillers every 3/4 weeks to just one nurofen for a few days when my period starts, and maybe in week two i get pains if i drink alcohol it seems, but it can go away by the afternoon, so stopping that now too. I am just curious to know if the endo is going / shrinking which i can't tell without surgery, but I do still have an endometrioma cyst in one ovary (but only smaller at 3cm). following a recent infection, which turned very nasty and has required weeks of strong antibiotics I am now waiting for a follow up scan to see what my ovary looks like now and may still need surgery (in which case i may end up finding out anyway), but am just curious and trying to find examples where the diet seems to help the endo itself. thanks again and good luck.

  • Hi I am so glad to read such a positive fact about the decapeptyl injection as I was diagnosed two months ago with stage 4 endemetroises and I will be having my third injunction next week

    Thank you very much with such a positive post and good luck

  • Apologies, many congratulations by the way and I wish you all the best with your pregnancy.

  • Hi. So my diagnosis for endemetriosis occurred mid November, but for the last 8 years I felt like a huge change to my digestion system. I actually ended up in A&E twice because I thought it was apendicitis. It was upper intestinal constipation, and everyone said it was stress. Last September 2013 I went through a period where I ate a bad combo of food and couldn't eat for a week. I then went to see my friend's dr that cured her IBS at the Hale Clinic in London. I was having a lot of eczema at the time, and turned out after doing a bioresonance exam, the following I was sensitive:

    Legumes, beans


    Onions, garlic, asparagus


    Pepper (all kinds)







    I'm sure I am missing something bust basically I joked that I was on a dude's diet. Tequila, Red Wine, meat, fruit and some veg. Basically I followed this and within 3 days, eczema was gone. I was no longer constipated and I lost a lot of water weight. She said I was borderline celiac, which meant that my intestines were swollen and I wasn't absorbing nutrients. I found cutting all this food out helped me. I now a year later have realised that maybe the endemetriosis was causing the issues, but I know that depending on what foods I eat, help me feel good.

  • Hi there, I know there are a lot of posts here already but as no one has recommended Henrietta Norton's book, "Take Control of your Endometriosis" I thought I'd let you know about this. It's extremely comprehensive on this topic and offers some great recipes too. However, I wanted to go one step further and have it tailored to me and my particular lifestyle and ailments so I'm now seeing Henrietta as my dietician (she works at the Grace Belgravia Clinic in London) after someone on this site recommended her to me. I have been diagnosed with adenomyosis and have been on the anti-inflammatory diet since September. I also take a number of supplements as recommended by her. Since then I've halved my pain killers. I'm hoping to be pain free by the summer. People say I look healthier than ever and I certainly feel great even though I do get the occasional break through pain. I'm enjoying my eating and Henrietta's approach is very positive and practical. I would say you have nothing to lose by trying this, but if you do, give it time. All the best!

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