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endometriosis and diet - how would you approach this?

by (435)
Updated October 19, 2014 at 3:56 AM
Created November 15, 2012 at 11:44 PM

I have pcos, and possible endometriosis. I have insulin resistance, but I think that has improved a lot due to weight loss, interval training, weight lifting, and eating low carb.

The biggest problem, and the one I most want to fix, is severe pain intermittently throughout my cycle. The pain is worst for 2-3 days at the end of my period, then intermittently from ovulation to my period starting. I've gone from 5-week cycles to 4-week ones, with paleo, which is a big sign that hormones are improving. I don't get cramps, but my periods are very heavy.

I currently eat low-carb: green veg, meat (primarily pork, beef, some salmon & shrimp), eggs, nuts (1 - 2 oz almonds or cashews per day), coconut oil, butter, some avocado, and some dark chocolate. I have one large coffee in the morning, and I drink black tea and herbal teas as well. I also take vitamin d, magnesium, and omega-3 supplements.

definite changes:

  • cut out the every-few-weeks wheat "cheat" (I think this one is a no-brainer. I've never noticed a problem from it, but it's a likely culprit)

  • add organ meats (this seems totally doable)

  • add bone broth (this seems doable too)

possible changes:

  • cut out dairy (I don't eat a lot, just cheese on things, and not daily) - many say this is helpful for their endometriosis

  • cut out eggs (I don't particularly like eggs, but they are currently a large part of our diet. They tend to "sit in my stomach", which maybe is trying to tell me something?)

  • cut out nuts (I eat 1-2 oz of almonds and cashews a day) - they could be contributing to inflammation

  • cut out coffee (this would be hard to do!) - there is conflicting info as to whether caffeine is helpful or harmful for endo

  • cut out dark chocolate (this would be very hard)

I'm torn because on the one hand, I recognize it can take months to see if changes are going to make a difference to complex hormone problems. In that regard I'd like to cut out all the potential problems, and give it 6 months.

On the other hand, if it's too many changes, and I fail at it and eat worse, then where am I going to be. Cutting out everything but meats, green veg, and coconut oil & butter would give me an answer, but I don't think I could stick to it for months at a time. Maybe I'm missing something, though.

If I can't stick to it that strictly, I'm not sure what the safest foods to add are. I want to say berries, but then fructose isn't great for hormone issues. Potatoes and sweet potatoes have the same "sit in my stomach" problem. Oats? Rice?

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631 · November 19, 2012 at 7:29 PM

A lot of people have a "leaky gut syndrome" with eggs, because our vaccinations are prepped from egg cultures. Not only are you building antibodies to the pathogen you are vaccinating for, but the egg as well. Therefore, I don't eat eggs or chicken!

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5 Answers

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1187 · December 14, 2012 at 11:09 PM

I have endo (but not pcos) as well and was bleeding a lot all the time. I went to an acupuncturist who prescribed "moxbustion" on the SP-1, KID-1, and ST-36 points. I stopped bleeding in 3 applications.

I also use progesterone cream which helped at first but hasn't done much for me lately. I still take it though.

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329 · December 15, 2012 at 8:35 AM

It is better to cut one thing at a time, to see what makes a difference. For me (I have endo) the biggest change was cutting the dairy. Consider adding b-complex vitamin supplement. Homemade ginger tea usually eases my pain.

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32518 · November 30, 2012 at 7:59 PM

Be patient! You will definitely need 6 months to a year to see changes with hormone balance. I like your "definite" changes and would do them for 3 months before making any other "possible" changes.

Also, get your Vitamin D3 level checked & sun/supplement to 60-80 ng/ml. You won't know if you are supplementing enough without a test. More info at www.vitamindcouncil.org

D3 is a hormone precursor & deficiency is going to impact your Progesterone levels which will affect your PCOS & endo.

More suggestions on my blog posts on fertility (fertility is largely about hormonal balance!)

http://www.sondrarose.com/optimum-fertility-nutrition

http://www.sondrarose.com/optimum-fertility-environment

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10919 · November 16, 2012 at 3:52 PM

Stefani from Paleo for Women has a protocol and book for PCOS sufferers. Perhaps it will be helpful for you. http://www.paleoforwomen.com/pcos-unlocked-the-manual/

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100 · November 16, 2012 at 3:28 PM

Have you ever met with a naturopath? Or gotten a consult from a paleo/primal nutrition specialist? Might be worth it. I have a lot of the same issues you do, and a fear that if I eliminate too much, I'll fail. My ND has helped me identify likely culprits that contribute to my health issues. If you've not done an elimination diet, it could be helpful. I found that unfortunately I can't do dairy and that chocolate and nuts are only ok in small amounts. Googling paleo autoimmune protocol will give you a lot of info. Practical Paleo also has a great section on it as well and a menu plan to go along with it.

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