Endometriosis UK
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Diet and Endometriosis

Hello, I'm looking for any advice about specific diets--foods to avoid/include?

I am vegan so I know that's a help already but I have read avoiding gluten and soy can be helpful. Does anyone have experience of this?

As of tomorrow I'm planning on eliminating all the standard inflammatory foods like gluten, soy and sugar. I've got my farewell doughnut ready to eat! 😂 I'm hoping this will help as my fatigue seems to be gradually increasing again 😥

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Hi weekari

Hope you're feeling okay today and hope you managed to change your GP surgery!

Yes, in answer to your question, I decided to read up on the endo diet back in October/November after I'd read a really helpful post by another sufferer on this forum. To begin with I was a bit sceptical because I thought my diet was already pretty good. I was generally a vegetarian but ate fish and cooked most of my meals from scratch, didn't over-indulge etc., etc.

Anyway, I decided to completely cut out dairy, gluten, soy, alcohol, caffeine, all refined sugar, all processed food and all processed oils ('normal' sunflower, veg oil). Over time I've also discovered that I've gone off fish and eggs, so like you I'm now a vegan.

I now only use cold-pressed, organic oils like olive oil, coconut oil, rapeseed oil, avocado oil and hemp oil. I also try to buy organic fruit and veg as much as possible.

Other foods to avoid are white flours and breads which can be overly processed, bleached and stripped of their nutrients.

Other foods to include into the diet on a regular basis are turmeric, cumin and ginger - all anti-inflammatories, apparently.

I also drink only purified water and avoid using plastic food containers or food which is covered in plastic wrapping.

To be honest in my experience and also from what I've read, you do have to stick with the diet for a good 3 months or so before you start noticing the benefits. For me, at least, I'm noticing that my health overall is so much better than it was, and also, just as importantly, I'm feeling so much better emotionally than I was because I feel that I'm much more in control of my health and don't feel so much like a passive victim, which is how I felt when I was first diagnosed.

I know it's really hard to get used to a completely new way of looking at food and so many habits are hard to break - we're just brought up to feel that if we can't have a cake or biscuit or chocolate bar, or glass of wine, etc., etc. we're being denied one of life's greatest pleasures. But I really do believe that if you really want to, you can change your mindset completely, so that now I look at a lovely piece of fresh fruit instead and get the same feeling of pleasure...chocolate bars just don't do it for me any more!!!!

Best of luck with everything and enjoy the new diet!!! XX

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Hey, thanks for you super helpful reply. I struggling with fatigue today so feeling a little bit sorry for myself 😢 thanks for asking though 😊

I've followed a lot of elimination diets over the last 4 years to try and 'get better' and I got super obsessive about it. I originally thought it was all due to gluten and thought I had coeliacs. When I was told 2 years ago I didn't have endo and basically my health issues were psychological (🙄), I decided to stop looking for a cure and just learn to look after myself. I just tried to eat healthy but other than animal products, nothing was banned. I've got a background of eating disorders so I know I need to be careful with anything that's restrictive- I can get very fixed on things. Having a much freer attitude to food has really helped, I think I needed that. I used to think eating a banana was 'bad' due to the carbs. And I was scared of tomatoes because they were nightshade and they could be inflammatory. At one point I lived on parsnips fried in coconut oil! 😂

But I think I can be more balanced about it now.

Now I do have a diagnosis, there does seem to be good health reasons to cut out gluten, soy, sugar, alcohol (😱) and processed foods. It's how I eat a lot of the time but I do have some rubbish and gluten most days. I like how you talk about it - that its me taking charge of my health rather than it being a removal of things that are rewarding. I don't expect it to cure me. I've eaten this way before and I still felt awful but if it helps my body manage better with the inflammation then it'll maybe just reduce my down times etc.

Can I ask how strict you are? Do you check when eating out for gluten etc or are you more relaxed about that side of it?

Thanks for all your help 😊

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Hi weekari!

I'm so sorry you're feeling so tired today...yes, endo does tend to sap you of all energy!! And we all have days when we feel sorry for ourselves....it's totally normal.

I'm so pleased I could be of help about the diet. Actually I honestly do believe that changing what I eat has been SO beneficial...and as I said, I was pretty sceptical at first. It's just been so life-changing for me to start believing that there's something I can do to help myself and finally regain some inner peace. Believing that I can help myself has also been so important because I just don't have any faith in the medics at all now, unfortunately, and in fact, given my own experience, I don't intend to have any further surgery or medical interventions from now on.

Yes, in answer to your question I am strict. I haven't eaten out at all now since my lap in September - not even to celebrate birthdays, etc. But the upside is that I've become a much better cook and without blowing my trumpet too much (!!!), there are very few places I'd like to go to now where I think the food would be better than what I come up with at home!!! I'm also very much aware that restaurants tend to cut costs by cooking their food in unhealthy oils like cheap sunflower and veg oil and another oil that they substitute for olive oil called pomace oil. Apparently these oils are very heavily processed using chemical solvents which can be carcinogenic!!

So, instead of going out, I've been inviting my friends round and asking them to sample my new food and I've had some pretty good feedback so far!!

Strangely enough, though, I don't think I'm actually being all that obsessive about my diet. I'm actually eating more now than I've ever done before in my life because I eat a proper cooked meal twice a day - one at lunch time and one for dinner - and yet I've managed to lose a bit of weight which is a good thing because I gained half a stone immediately after the lap through lack of exercise and general bloating!!

I really do enjoy my food a lot more now. I never eat just for the sake of it and never eat any 'dead' food without any nutrients or goodness...I know that everything that's going into me is wonderful healthy stuff - food has become my new medicine!!!

Anyway, please feel free to come back to me if I can help with any other queries. I'm really passionate about the whole subject of eating for good health now, as I think you can probably tell!!

Take good care of yourself in the meantime - hope you feel better very, very soon!! XX

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