Endometriosis is one of the causes of menstrual pain and infertility. In endometriosis, the cells that normally line the uterus (endometrium) are also found outside the uterus. Even though they are found outside the uterus, the still respond to hormones the way they would inside of the uterus. This causes recurrent pain along with the menstrual cycle. The pain can be mild, moderate or even severe. Women experience cramping or stabbing pain. The pain can be located anywhere in the pelvis, in the lower back and rectal area, and even into the legs.
Scientists believe that estrogen promotes endometriosis. One of the ways that women can reduce the amount of free estrogen circulating in their blood (the estrogen that’s in excess of what they need) is to increase fiber in their diet and also work to balance the probiotics in their intestines (gut bacteria, also known as intestinal microflora). Eating a diet that’s high in fiber will improve your bowel transit time, meaning that the food you eat will be digested and pooped out quicker rather than lingering in your intestines. This is especially important when your microflora is off-balance because bad strains of gut bacteria deconjugate estrogen excreted by your body in bile, making it active again, and absorbable by your body. So, the bacteria has turned the estrogen back on and it goes right back into your body. Probiotic foods like lactofermented sauerkraut and kimchi, kombucha, kefir and yogurts will help restore your natural balance of intestinal microflora. Some people may choose to take a probiotic, but talk to your healthcare provider first.
Another helpful food is freshly ground flax seeds because the lignans in the seeds bind up free androgens (sex hormones, like estrogen) so there isn’t more floating around than your body needs.
Tumeric is a great spice to add to your cooking because it supports liver detoxification. Carrots, beets, artichokes, dandelion greens, watercress, burdock root, and cabbage also support liver detoxification.
In general, it’s a good idea to reduce sugar, caffeine and alcohol intake because they can be lead to inflammation in the body, something we’re always trying to avoid, but even more so in conditions like endometriosis.