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Endometriosis is a common inflammatory condition which affects 1 in 10 women in their reproductive years. Symptoms of endometriosis can vary, however the most common (and distressing) symptoms is pain; pelvic pain, painful periods, pain during sex, pain during ovulation, pain in the legs and back. Endometriosis can also cause infertility.
Endometriosis occurs when tissue similar to the lining of the uterus starts growing outside the uterus. The most common areas which endometriosis grows is in the pelvic cavity, such as ovaries, fallopian tubes, lining of the abdominal cavity, ligaments outside the uterus, bladder, bowel and intestine. Many sufferers of endometriosis also have symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, due to lesions growing on the bowel. The exact cause of endometriosis is unknown.
Nutrition can play an important role in helping manage endometriosis. There is no specific diet to treat or cure endometriosis, however there a number of strategies to assist with bowel symptoms, inflammation and improving wellbeing – alongside other prescribed treatments.
As many women with endometriosis also suffer from symptoms similar to IBS they can benefit from a similar dietary management used for IBS – The low FODMAP Diet – which has been shown to have a positive affect in women with endometriosis.
As endometriosis is an inflammatory condition, eating plenty of foods that have anti-inflammatory properties and avoiding those which promote inflammation may be of benefit. For example doing the following can be beneficial;
i) eating a variety of colourful fruits and vegetable that are full of antioxidants
ii) including legumes, lentils, wholegrains nuts, seeds, soy and tofu in your eating plan . Plant based proteins are high in fibre and help promote good gut bacteria
iii) flavouring foods with herbs and spices; adding flavour to your meals without the extra salt, sugar or fat from processed foods
iv) using healthy fats and oils; such as olive oil which are high in antioxidants. Oily fish is high in Omega 3 fatty acids and walnuts are a great snack food.
Why not come in and see Amelia to help you with your nutrition for your endometriosis!
To book in with Amelia just call T: 8234 9707 she would love to see you!

Stephanie Gaskell is an Accredited Practising Dietitian, an Accredited Sports Dietitian, and a competitive Ultra Trail Marathon Runner. She is available for Phone and Skype Consultations, and has published the FODMAP™ & Gluten Status Sports Supplement Guide.

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