National Endometriosis Awareness Week
Endometriosis is a painful condition which causes endometrial tissue to appear outside the womb, causing pain especially around menstruation. Generally managed by medication but there is evidence that diet can help.
- Increase consumption of low fat dairy which contain significant levels of calcium, magnesium and also vitamin D.
- Reduce consumption[more] of sugar to lower insulin levels (believed to be a factor)
- Reduce consumption of red meat, an excess of which can be inflammatory
- Reduce consumption of inflammatory omega 6 fats such as vegetable oils and fried foods
- The Omega 6 GLA is an anti inflammatory exception. Blackcurrant seed oil is a good source with a better Omega 3 content than primrose or borage oil. However consult your GP first as it may be contraindicated with medication.
- Oily fish such as salmon, pilchards and mackerel are a good source of anti-inflammatory Omega 3 oils.
- There is some experimental evidence that anti-inflammatory turmeric may also help so use regularly.
- Reduce the influence of oestrogen by introducing plant-based phyto-oestrogens that compete against it. Found in soy, legumes and flaxseed.
- Optimise liver function so that used hormones are metabolised efficiently and removed from the blood stream. Vegetables which support the liver include carrots, beetroots, artichokes, brassicas and alliums. Foods rich in magnesium and B vitamins also help the liver to inactivate oestrogen.
- To prevent these hormones being reabsorbed from the gut ensure good transit time by including plenty of high-fibre foods.
On the bright side there are conflicting studies based on the need to decrease caffeine or cut out alcohol. A meta-analysis published in January concluded that there was no health risk between coffee / caffeine consumption and the risk of endometriosis. Being underweight rather than overweight was also found to be a risk factor. However this should not be taken as a green light to drink vodka red bulls whilst piling on the pounds! Everything in moderation…
Please feel free to contact me for study references or further information.
By Saffron Rogerson
27 February 2014