What diet has helped your endometriosis p... - Endometriosis UK

Endometriosis UK

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What diet has helped your endometriosis pain?

EndoRabbit08 profile image

I understand there is the anti inflammatory diet, then there's Keto and Paleo which have helped some. There's also being vegan or vegetarian/ plant-based.

I've sort of tried all of them switching forwards and backwards but have settled on being mostly plant based.

However only slight improvement. There are days when I don't know what helps and what doesn't. Despite all the foods I've restricted myself from I still get flare ups. Where am I going wrong? Or is it something else other than diet? 😩

What has helped you and what hasn't? Which foods trigger your flare-ups?

I'd love to make sense of it all.

Thanks

Xx

51 Replies

I’m definitely interested in reading people’s comments on this one

I have tried Keto, vegan diets, vegetarian diets and the anti-inflammatory diet where you basically cut of joy out of your life (haha) I’m trying the anti inflammatory diet again now fingers crossed I’m not really sure on which has the most benefits probably the anti inflammatory diet xx

Hello there. You sound a lot like me! Yes, I've cut out all the joy in my life too 😂😂. Gone are the days when I can tuck into something I enjoy. Sigh

Right now I've gone vegetarian/ plant based early days yet. Let's see how it goes. Trial and error I think!

XX

Let me know how you get on I accidentally ate a donut yesterday but these things happen 🙈🙈🙈

Started this morning with a fruit smoothie! Fingers crossed xx

How do you accidentally eat a donut?😂

I used to have a 'treat' day once a week which I then changed to once a month where I could eat what I wanted but, alas, I'd pay for it the following few days. So not worth it! 😓

This condition has got to be the only thing out there that gives you instant punishment when you cheat! I've just learnt to live without all the stuff I used to enjoy and finding and learning new ways to eat and recreate my favourites using healthy ingredients. So far so good.

Xx

Hello ive not followed a diet but have cut sugar down no caffeine drinks eating more fruit and veg lots of water i also do acupuncture which has helped regulate my cycle and help with my blood flow as i always used to get clots when on sorry for the info but that has also drastically reduced my periods was all over place now they come when they should its very relaxing too xx

Hello there. Thanks for replying.

And has eating that way help reduce pain?

I get clots too, I think I'll look into acupuncture. It's the only thing I haven't tried. Thanks for that.

Xx

No probs im lucky that i only suffer with endo pain leading up to my period when i do get the pain sometimes it worse then other months so hard to say but i know sugar does caUse inflammation i cut out alcohol one of the things i do suffer with is constipation thats the worse one for me when coming on and i was suffering with pain while going peeing but not had that since acupuncture what symptoms do you get ? X

I get pain a day before my period starts that's stays with me until about 4/5 days after my period finishes. So that's about 10-12 days of pain.

I also have 2 endometrial lumps, one on right side of c section scar and another larger one on left side of scar that hurts all the way up to my belly button.

These 2 lumps are the worst because it feels like 2 hot coals burning under my skin and when they swell during my period, it's excruciating to sleep on sides, cough, sneeze or even laugh. I'm constantly having to hold a cushion on top of my belly for fear of anyone bumping into me by accident.

I've stopped moaning because I'm pretty sure everyone is secretly tired of hearing the word ' endo'. So I just get on with things.

Glad I can vent on here!

Yeah, not fun at all! 😅

Xx

Sorry to hear this sounds really painful 😣 its exhausting too like today i with a hot water bottle cause I'm on and they are sharpe pains 😬shape pains anyway its not much fun having to deal with endo xx

Sorry to hear it. Hope you feel better soon. Xx

Lagoon profile image
Lagoon in reply to Wintss1982

Hello, I wonder how often do you have acupuncture?

Wintss1982 profile image
Wintss1982 in reply to Lagoon

Hi there in beginning I was going once a week for about 7 weeks I now go every 3 weeks it has really helped regulate my period and help the flow of it plus its relaxing 😌

I’ve cut out gluten, sugar, dairy and red meat, also on a low histamine diet xx

EndoRabbit08 profile image
EndoRabbit08 in reply to Vps1980

Hello there. So have I. What's a low histamine diet? 🤔

Xx

Vps1980 profile image
Vps1980 in reply to EndoRabbit08

If you google it lots will come up, low histamine equals low inflammation xx

Vps1980 profile image
Vps1980 in reply to Vps1980

Plus since endo I now have food allergies etc xx

Lagoon profile image
Lagoon in reply to Vps1980

Interesting, me too

Vps1980 profile image
Vps1980 in reply to Lagoon

Google estrogen histamine xx

Lagoon profile image
Lagoon in reply to Vps1980

Thanks so much for informing me about this, I have been struggling over the last 2 years with unpredictable skin rashes and none of the doctors ever gave me (or cared to give me) an answer. However, now it all makes sense to me as these last 2 years I have endo, and had 2 MCs, so my hormones have been all over the place.

Vps1980 profile image
Vps1980 in reply to Lagoon

Aw I’m so sorry to hear that lovely, you’re very very welcome, i made the connection myself 2 years ago when this all started, I do my own research (I’ve not been wrong yet) we know our own bodies better than anyone else ❤️ Xx

Hi.hope you are having a comfortable day. I was very sceptical when my husband suggested diet might help after he’d been talking to a lady at work about my endometriosis diagnosis ( did it with style, emergency surgery, two weeks in hospital ). He bought the healing endometriosis and fertility through nutrition ( can’t remember the author but can find it if you are interested). I followed to the letter for two months and my pain was helped but it’s very restrictive so I introduced one thing at a time so for me any form of pasta gluten free or normal sets of off painful flare ups as dies bought cake, oranges and orange juice, seeds and some bread, shop bought pizza however I am ok with milk, cheese, chocolate, coffee in small portions. I have had surgery and a pregnancy and have kept it at bay. I get the odd flare up which I can usually pinpoint to something I’ve eaten with out thinking. For information I have stage 4, deep infiltrated endometriosis and had surgery for the removal of large chocolate cysts and some exiersion if adhesions. They couldn’t do anything for the bowel and bladder endometriosis as it’s beyond treatment so I just have to manage it. Hope that helps. Xx

Vps1980 profile image
Vps1980 in reply to Tillyfloss

Have you tried buckwheat pasta? Xx

Tillyfloss profile image
Tillyfloss in reply to Vps1980

Hi. No I haven’t , thank you for the tip I will look into it. Xx

Moonglo profile image
Moonglo in reply to Tillyfloss

There’s also pasta made from lentils, another option? You can get this from supermarkets.

Tillyfloss profile image
Tillyfloss in reply to Moonglo

Thank you, I will have to go and look as my husband does the food shop so I didn’t realise you could get alternatives. Xx

Meworange profile image
Meworange in reply to Tillyfloss

Hi yes would u share pls, as I have endo stage 4 had a surgery recently and now trying to get pregnant any advice around fertility u ca give?

I would suggest taking NAC- 3xs a week, 3xs a day, along with a Serrapeptase/Nattokinase tablet. Along with cutting out sugar, gluten, and dairy.

Tillyfloss profile image
Tillyfloss in reply to Meworange

Hi. Hope you have been ok after the surgery. I’m not at home this weekend but I will put the books details on in the week for you. We had to go down the ivf route and due to the extent and damage they had said it was very unlikely to work, however it did work and first time so they aren’t always right with their predictions. I didn’t really do anything special ( our first wasn’t ivf) just tried to eat well and kept fairly fit. I shall get the books details to you next week. Xx

Meworange profile image
Meworange in reply to Tillyfloss

What did they mean the damage u was that from surgery?

Tillyfloss profile image
Tillyfloss in reply to Meworange

Hi. Sorry this is so late with renovations and sickness I have only just found the books. They are endometriosis a key to healing and fertility through nutrition by Dian shepperaon mills and Michael vernon. I found this good, it’s quite heavy on the information but for me as just being newly diagnosed was exactly what I needed as I never heard of endometriosis. The second is recipes and called heal endometriosis naturally cookbook by Wendy laidlaw. It’s a lovely book and spent months sat on the coffee table for inspiration 😀. Hope you are doing ok and again I’m sorry it’s been so long for getting the names to you. Xx

Meworange profile image
Meworange in reply to Tillyfloss

It's fine thank u so much!

Sainsbury’s sell it xx

Chiming in here as it’s something that’s helped me hugely as a sufferer. I’m yet to have my Op for stage 4 endo with bowel involvement & large choc cysts. I’m a veggie so can’t comment on meat side of things, but have found above everything, for me personally it’s gluten that’s the main issue for my endo flares. Caffeine, alcohol & high sugar foods aren’t worth my time either - if you can’t live without them I’m sure small, infrequent amounts won’t hurt. I don’t have loads of dairy & personally didn’t notice much difference when I stopped/ reintroduced it when I too tried being wholly vegan for a year. Lots of veggie & vegan ‘plant based’ food in supermarkets are heavily processed & are often made with processed soy or seitan (hydrated gluten).

Making stuff fresh & knowing exactly what’s gone into a meal is a huge labour of love each day (and appreciate not always possible). For me is absolutely been worth the extra time & learning. No body is the same, but diet has been a huge part of my endo toolkit within the past year. Made some honey ‘& banana buckwheat cake yesterday. It’s empowering to find recipes that taste amazing & don’t make me miss the old stuff at all!

Google is a minefield of info on this & can feel quite overwhelming but I’m sure that finding what works best will help you in the long run. X

EndoRabbit08 profile image
EndoRabbit08 in reply to aannaa

Hello there. Thanks for replying.

Yes, Gluten was the first thing I stopped. I haven't looked back and plenty of stuff out there that's tasty and gluten-free. I'm a veggie too. 😊

I, like you stay clear of processed packaged foods. I try to stick to a wholefood plant based diet. Prepare and cook everything from scratch which is doable when I'm not on my period but when endo strikes I can hardly make a sandwich😵‍💫, so I struggle. I stick to soups and salads and gluten-free pasta on those days. Sometimes it's just oat smoothies.

I absolutely love buckwheat flour and make a lot of buckwheat blueberry pancakes/ muffins/ cakes/ brownies and yes they taste amazing. I don't miss junk or sugar at all. Oat flour has been amazing too.

It's hard. But onwards and upwards!

Xx

I avoided sour food (including fruits like kiwi, orange, grapefruit), tidbits and the like, and take warm water and warm soupy meals too (as appetite also dropped during those days in particular). Tried to keep abdomen warm too during the night. It helped me much. Applied nutmeg oil or tiger oil too, which helped me.

Thanks for that. I haven't tried that but will do

Xx

The one and only diet that has helped me is the low fodmap diet. I've tried them all! This one does not suck all the joy out of your life but isn't initially easy either. It's an elimination diet you do for about two or three weeks (the hard bit) and then reintroduce the different food groups to see what affects you. I've stuck with it for almost four years and my consultant is happy with it as it has helped a number of patients.

I'm totally unable to tolerate what might be considered a healthy diet as I can't have much fruit or veg at all and must be well cooked. I discovered that I am sensitive to gluten and lactose but need a lot of calcium for my bones so I have lactose free dairy (very easy to get).

Different diets seem to help different people it seems.

I made my life a misery for years trying diets that just didn't work anyway.

This diet helps my digestive endometriosis symptoms but I do still suffer with pain flare ups that are endometriosis but not the digestive related stuff nearly so much as I used to.

Good luck xx

EndoRabbit08 profile image
EndoRabbit08 in reply to Dogmad6

That's really interesting. I haven't thought of doing that. Maybe that's why I'm still in pain no matter what I try. And you're right everybody is different so not a one size fit all with this endo.

Thanks for sharing. Maybe I'll try that. I'll try anything!! 😆

XX

Hi, different things work for different people, but I found cutting out wheat, sugar, alcohol and caffeine made a big difference to my symptoms, along with adding in plenty of anti-inflammatory foods like fruit and veg. If you are not noticing much difference it might be worth doing a food diary for a bit to see if you can notice any patterns, What is your stress level like too, as that can have a negative impact on endo symptoms, even if you are eating good foods. Good luck.

EndoRabbit08 profile image
EndoRabbit08 in reply to EmB18

Hello there.

Thanks for that. I'm afraid my stress levels aren't good. I've been told that before that it somehow makes endo worse.

But I have 5 kids to take care of and an elderly mother who needs care 24/7 who's diabetic and disabled so I'm having to make 2/3 different meals sometimes, and it's that much harder when I'm going through a flare-up or during my period ( usually in pain for about 10-12 days). Sometimes I dunno what to do with myself 😶

But I try to remain positive, see the funny side of life and not let it get me down. But it's exhausting yes. I don't know how I get through most days, but I do.

Thanks for the tip about keeping a food diary, I'll do that.

Xx

EmB18 profile image
EmB18 in reply to EndoRabbit08

No wonder you feel stressed, you have a lot going on. Keep hanging on in there and if you can get 10 minutes a day for you time to do something relaxing that will help a bit too. Take care x

EndoRabbit08 profile image
EndoRabbit08 in reply to EmB18

Thanks. Will do 💞

I was brought up pescatarian and now mostly follow an anti inflammatory diet. I have found the biggest thing that has helped me to stick with it and not feel I'm missing out is mindset change. Focusing on all the things I can eat, and adding/ trying new foods rather than focusing on the ones I don't. I also think of it that if I was a diabetic I wouldn't be messing about having the wrong foods/sugars for my body as I'd likely get very unwell or die. Extreme (and I know it's not really the same) but it helps me to give my body the foods it needs and not the ones it doesn't run well on. It broke the cycle of the idea of 'treats' and it gave people around me something to think about when they didn't 'get it'. I've had 5 alcoholic drinks this year and honestly this has been the thing that's made the most difference. That and giving up potatoes which seem to be my worst food. It is hard work but worth it. My advice would be to pick 1 thing do it for a while then add the next thing and so on. Don't change all at once because its really hard to stick with it.

Vps1980 profile image
Vps1980 in reply to Gardenist

What symptoms do you get with potatoes? Xx

Gardenist profile image
Gardenist in reply to Vps1980

Stomach pains and slow digestion. And if I wasn't on top of my digestion my endometriosis was worse as I had high levels of oestrogen (recently had my ovaries removed so this is different now). Also since I gave them up completely if I eat some now I get a flare of itchy skin on my legs the next day. Weird!

Vps1980 profile image
Vps1980 in reply to Gardenist

My estrogen has been high every blood test, my stomach also hurts when I eat potatoes, I had some 3 days ago for the first time in over a year, so sick of this my diet is super limited xx

Gardenist profile image
Gardenist in reply to Vps1980

Oh no I'm sorry. I love potatoes and I really miss them. I eat a lot of sweet potato instead now. I have a child who has been really allergic to lots of foods from birth. It's really helped me to find a lot of alternative foods and think of food differently. It's so hard though x

Vps1980 profile image
Vps1980 in reply to Gardenist

Thank you, I think it’s high histamine foods mainly, was fine until my periods changed, I miss dark chocolate, I don’t care if never eat buckwheat pasta again when/if this is over xx

Thanks. I gave up potatoes too and they were one of the hardest to give up but like you I've had to get serious and think of my health first. I don't see food the same way now. Before endo it was eat anything I like. But now it's eating to heal. Hard adjustment but worth it.

Xx

HelloDairy free helped me.

I had temporary dairy intolerance after a stomach bug and as a happy consequence found it reduced pain specifically around my period as well. It was a great moment - but very hard to stick to dairy free with no treats! I suspect an anti inflammatory diet would help me but I’ve never got any further with experimenting.7 do limit dairy now though.

Thank you. Yes I've stopped dairy, gluten, sugar and meat.

XX

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