We know that some foods can boost our immune system and protect our bodies from some illnesses and diseases. Unfortunately, there has been very little research done to figure out if eating certain foods can help improve endometriosis symptoms. Although, we do know that young women who eat lots of fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats and limit their intake of red meat and unhealthy fats are less likely to have endometriosis. Some young women with endometriosis say they feel better when they eat a nutritious diet and some experts believe that eating certain foods can help endometriosis symptoms by reducing inflammation and estrogen levels in the body.
Some experts recommend that girls make some changes in their diet for overall health. Even if they don’t improve your endometriosis symptoms, there are lots of other benefits to having a healthy diet.
Consider making changes that can improve your overall health:
Eat a high fiber diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, and nuts
Limit saturated fat by eating mostly plant–based foods, choosing low–fat dairy products, and selecting lean meats
Eat more sources of omega–3 fats such as fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, herring, and sardines), fish oil, canola oil, flaxseeds, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds
Choose organic produce, meat, and milk when possible
How can I make sure I am getting all of the nutrients I need?
Eating a balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, plant–based protein, lean meats, and healthy fats can help you get all of the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients you need to keep your immune system and body healthy.
Do I need take a vitamin supplement?
If you eat three nutritious meals a day and healthy snacks which include a variety of fruits and vegetables, protein, dairy foods, and whole grains, you are probably getting enough of most vitamins and minerals through the food you eat. If you aren’t getting in all of your food groups on a regular basis, you may want to consider taking a daily multivitamin so you will get the total amount of nutrients that your body needs. Talk to your health care provider (HCP) to see if you should take a multivitamin or other dietary supplement.
Do I need to take extra calcium?
Some endometriosis medications work by lowering estrogen levels. If you are on an estrogen–lowering medication for more than 6 months, you may be at risk of developing osteoporosis (brittle bones). Ask your HCP if you should take calcium and vitamin D supplements to help protect your bones.
What about other vitamins and herbs?
Some young women with endometriosis take other supplements such as vitamin E, zinc, selenium, B–complex vitamins, magnesium, essential oils (such as primrose, flax, and fish oils), and acidophilus, but there are no published scientific studies that prove that extra supplements improve endometriosis symptoms. It is important to remember that some herbs (such as ginseng) can actually interfere with medications that treat endometriosis because they contain plant–estrogen. It is always best to talk with your health care provider first before taking any over–the–counter herbs.