Nutrition

 

Feed yourself better!

 

Endometriosis is not just a gynaecological problem, it is a systemic, auto-immune disorder. Systemic meaning involving the entire body, and auto-immune meaning that your body is turning on itself, causing an immune response against one of the body's own tissues or cells. This means that you are your own worst enemy. You simply cannot win this fight against endometriosis because you will only lose again and again unless you arm yourself, not only with information, as I have said again and again in this site, but with top quality, clean nutrition. Nutrients are what run the engine of your body, and if your body's immune system is compromised, as in endometriosis, then you need extra help and support to overcome the defecit. Are you having lots of pain? Having problems with constipation and/or diarrhoea? Does your abdomen bloat up so badly after eating that you look 9 months pregnant? Then this nutritional approach will probably help you more than any drug can.

 

These guidelines are simple to follow, but it's never easy to make a big change in your life, especially when you think you can never eat your favorite foods again. No one says you have to give up chocolate or bread forever, but you simply cannot go on eating these things on a daily basis and expect your pain to ever go away. If you want to improve the way you feel and gain some control over this disease then you have no choice but to try this. Do a trial run for 30 days...you can do anything for 30 days! If you don't feel better then go ahead....go back to eating chocolate, chips, bread, coffee and all that bad stuff. Knock yourself out! I guarantee not one person, who seriously makes the change 100%, will say they don't feel better.

 

The best thing you can do for yourself right now is to read this book. I cannot stress how important this book is in terms of treating this disease. Endometriosis: A Key to Healing Through Nutrition by Dian Shepperson Mills

 

Dairy

Wheat

Years ago, in the 70s, something happened to wheat that affected millions of women with Endometriosis without them even realising it. Farmers starting adding hormones to the wheat crop to make it more resistant to disease. Unfortunately, this trickled down the food chain and ends up in humans where it can cause problems with people who are sensitive to hormone disruption. That means you! Your hormones are already out of whack and you do not need this added insult. Many women find that giving up wheat and food products containing wheat, that their pain and bloating dissipates. Replace wheat with rye, corn and rice products like rice noodles, corn tortillas and rice cakes.

 

In the words of Dian Shepperson-Mills, author of "Endometriosis: a key to healing through nutrition":
"Whole wheat, all wheat is a problem. Anything with wheat flour, like pastry cakes, pizza, pasta. Buckwheat isn't wheat; that's rhubarb family. That's the same plant as rhubarb, so buckwheat isn't wheat. That works in a different way. But there's something different. I think there may be the hormones in the wheat or the phytic acid is locking up some of the minerals but certainly there seems to be some modality with wheat and endometriosis. It's almost as though something within wheat is exacerbating the implant."

 

 

Many women find that they are intolerant to milk and dairy products, including cheese and products including lactose. Dairy is pro-inflammatory in women with Endo. This can cause bloating, gas, nausea and indigestion. Although true lactose intolerance is due to an inability to digest lactose, women with Endo are sensitive to dairy products because of the hormones introduced into regular farming. Try switching to organic, or even goats milk and cheeses. I switched to goats milk and cheese and found I actually preferred them! Try also Almond milk and other nut milks. Stay away from Soy milk because it is mildly Estrogenic and you do not need anymore Estrogen! Endo is Estrogen-fed, remember!

 

Fruits

The same goes for fruits...I cannot stress highly enough how important a role fruits play in nutritional health in Endometriosis. Fruits and vegetables go hand in hand when it comes to nutritional health. Eat a wide variety of berries, citrus fruits and exotic fruits like figs and dates. Buy organic wherever possible.

 

 

Red Meat

 

 

Vegetables

It is recommended to eliminate red meat from your diet, mainly because of the hormones that are added into the farming methods of livestock. Eating organic helps, but red meat is more inflammatory to your system, so to get your protein, try switching to chicken and fish, particularly oily fish high in Omega 3 fatty acids, like salmon and mackerel.

 

"Women who eat a diet high in red meat may be at increased risk of endometriosis, a new study has found. The study, published in the August 2004 issue of Human Reproduction also showed that eating a diet high in fruit and vegetables may reduce the risk of the condition. The study showed that women who ate beef or other red meat seven times a week or more were 100 percent more likely to have endometriosis than women who ate red meat three times a week or less. Women who ate ham three or more times per week were 80 percent more likely to have endometriosis than those who ate it less than once a week"
Source : MedicalNewsToday.com

I cannot stress highly enough the need for you to eat many varied vegetables in your diet. In fact, the majority of your food intake should be from vegetables of all kinds, and as fresh as you can get them, and as uncooked as you can eat them, and preferably organic. Dark green leafy vegetables, nuts and legumes all contain substances called phytoestrogens, that may protect against oestrogen-related diseases. This is because phytoestrogens have been found to reduce the effects of estrogen in the blood. There is also some evidence that eating fibre - another component in fruit and vegetables - reduces the amount of estrogen.

"Women who ate green vegetables 13 times or more per week (roughly twice a day) were 70 percent less likely to have endometriosis than those who green vegetables less than six times per week. Women who ate fresh fruit 14 times or more per week (at least twice a day) were 40 percent less likely to have endometriosis than those who ate fruit and vegetables less than six times per week"
Source : MedicalNewsToday.com

Organic

Always try to buy organic foods whenever you can. Organic farmers grow their crops and produce without the use of pesticides and hormones. Pesticides are hormone disruptors and hormones used in farming can also disrupt your hormone balance, triggering worse Endo symptoms. Always go for the most natural and unprocessed food you can go for. Read the labels and the more natural the ingredients are the better. If it has High Fructose Corn Syrup or Hydrogenated Fats in it then put it back and pick something else.


 

Watch out for statements like these on packages:

  • NATURAL FRUIT FLAVORS, with Real Fruit Juice 

  • ALL NATURAL INGREDIENTS 

  • NO ARTIFICIAL PRESERVATIVES 

  • 100% NATURAL 

  • REAL FRUIT 

  • NO PRESERVATIVES 

  • NO ARTIFICIAL INGREDIENTS

     

 

Statements like these do not mean there are no harmful additives in the product. There may be harmful ingredients... The manufacturer hopes you'll think there are no harmful ingredients, but as you will see from the following examples, it's not true. Buying a product in a health food store does not guarantee that packaged products you buy will be free of harmful additives either. So, it's important to always READ LABELS VERY CAREFULLY." ...

"ALL NATURAL INGREDIENTS and NO ARTIFICIAL PRESERVATIVES ADDED does not mean there are no harmful additives in the product. The ingredients from a loaf of bread that states on the label in big letters, 'ALL NATURAL INGREDIENTS,' and 'NO ARTIFICIAL PRESERVATIVES ADDED,' are: Enriched wheat flour (wheat flour, malted barley, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin), water, high fructose corn syrup, yeast, wheat bran, vital wheat gluten, butter. Contains 2% or less of each of the following: rye meal, corn flour, molasses, rolled whole wheat, salt, dough conditioners (ammonium sulfate, sodium stearoyl lactylate), brown sugar, honey, vinegar, oatmeal, soy flour, mono and diglycerides, partially hydrogenated soybean oil.

 

Here is an analysis of the ingredients.

  • Enriched wheat flour is white flour.
    The bran and the germ portion of the whole wheat, which are rich in vitamins and minerals, have been refined out. To compensate for refining out approximately 20 nutrients, they add back 4 synthetic nutrients, niacin (vitamin B3), reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate (synthetic vitamin B1), and riboflavin (vitamin B2). These nutrient additives...are added to mostly refined and processed foods giving a false sense of nutritional value and can lead to nutritional imbalances. 

  • High fructose corn syrup is basically sugar derived from corn. It is associated with blood sugar problems, depression, fatigue, B-vitamin deficiency, hyperactivity, tooth decay, periodontal disease and indigestion. 

  • Dough Conditioners, in general, can cause mineral deficiencies. 

  • Ammonium sulfate may cause mouth ulcers, nausea, kidney and liver problems. 

  • Sodium stearoyl lactylate may be corn, milk, peanut or soy based, and may cause blood pressure and kidney disturbances, and water retention. 

  • Brown sugar is frequently white sugar with molasses added. It is associated with blood sugar problems, depression, fatigue, B-vitamin deficiency, hyperactivity, tooth decay, periodontal disease and indigestion. 

  • Mono and diglycerides may be soy, corn, peanut or fat based. They may cause genetic changes, cancer, birth defects, and allergic reactions. 

  • Partially hydrogenated soybean oil is associated with heart disease, breast and colon cancer, atherosclerosis and elevated cholesterol.

 

 

So, ALL NATURAL INGREDIENTS and NO ARTIFICIAL PRESERVATIVES ADDED does not mean there are no harmful additives in the product. The manufacturer hopes you'll think that, but as you can see from the above list of ingredients, it's not true."

 

Worst Food Additives

Here is a list of some of the worst food additives. Check food labels to make sure that what you buy does not contain these ingredients.

 

  • Acesulfame-K - "Sunette"; may cause low blood sugar attacks; causes cancer, elevated cholesterol in lab animals. 

  • Artificial colors - contribute to hyperactivity in children; may contribute to learning and visual disorders, nerve damage; may be carcinogenic 

  • Artificial sweeteners - associated with health problems; see specific sweetener. 

  • Aspartame - may cause brain damage in phenylketonurics; may cause central nervous system disturbances, menstrual difficulties; may affect brain development in unborn fetus. 

  • BHA - can cause liver and kidney damage, behavioral problems, infertility, weakened immune system, birth defects, cancer; should be avoided by infants, young children, pregnant women and those sensitive to aspirin. 

  • BHT - see BHA; banned in England. 

  • Blue No. 1 - see FD&C colors. 

  • Blue No. 2 - see FD&C colors. 

  • Brominated vegetable oil - linked to major organ system damage, birth defects, growth problems; considered unsafe by the FDA, can still lawfully be used unless further action is taken by the FDA . 

  • BVO - see brominated vegetable oil. 

  • Caffeine - psychoactive, addictive drug; may cause fertility problems, birth defects, heart disease, depression, nervousness, behavioral changes, insomnia, etc. 

  • Citrus Red No. 2 - see FD&C colors. 

  • FD&C colors - colors considered safe by the FDA for use in food, drugs and cosmetics; most of the colors are derived from coal tar and must be certified by the FDA not to contain more than 10ppm of lead and arsenic; certification does not address any harmful effects these colors may have on the body; most coal tar colors are potential carcinogens, may contain carcinogenic contaminants, and cause allergic reactions. 

  • Free glutamates - may cause brain damage, especially in children; always found in autolyzed yeast, calcium caseinate, enzymes, flavors & flavorings, gelatin, glutamate, glutamic acid, hydrolyzed protein, hydrolyzed soy protein, plant protein extract, protease, protease enzymes, sodium caseinate, textured protein, yeast extract, yeast food and yeast nutrient; may be in barley malt, boullion, broth, carrageenan, malt extract, malt flavoring, maltodextrin, natural flavors, natural chicken flavoring, natural beef flavoring, natural pork flavoring, pectin, seasonings, soy protein, soy protein concentrate, soy protein isolate, soy sauce, soy sauce extract, stock, whey protein, whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, anything that is enzyme modified, fermented, protein fortified or ultrapasteurized and foods that advertise NO MSG; see MSG. 

  • Green No. 3 - see FD&C colors. 

  • Hydrogenated vegetable oils - associated with heart disease, breast and colon cancer, atherosclerosis, elevated cholesterol. 

  • MSG - may cause headaches, itching, nausea, brain, nervous system, reproductive disorders, high blood pressure; pregnant, lactating mothers, infants, small children should avoid; allergic reactions common; may be hidden in infant formula, low fat milk, candy, chewing gum, drinks, over-the-counter medications, especially children's, binders and fillers for nutritional supplements, prescriptiona nd non-prescription drugs, IV fluids given in hospitals, chicken pox vaccine; it is being sprayed on growing fruits and vegetables as a growth enhancer; it is proposed for use on organic crops. 

  • Neotame - similar to aspartame, but potentially more toxic; awaiting approval. 

  • Nitrates - form powerful cancer-causing agents in stomach; can cause death; considered dangerous by FDA but not banned because they prevent botulism. 

  • Nitrites - may cause headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness; see nitrates. 

  • Nutrasweet - see aspartame. 

  • Olean - see olestra.

  • Olestra - causes gastrointestinal irritation, reduces carotenoids and fat soluble vitamins in the body. 

  • Partially hydrogenated vegetable oils - see hydrogenated vegetable oil. 

  • Potassium bromate - can cause nervous system, kidney disorders, gastrointestinal upset; may be carcinogenic. 

  • Red No. 3 - see FD&C colors. 

  • Saccharin - delisted as a carcinogen in 1997, however, studies still show that saccharin causes cancer. 

  • Sulfites- destroys vitamin B1; small amounts may cause asthma, anaphylactic shock; dangerous for asthma, allergy sufferers; has caused deaths; banned on fresh fruits and vegetables, except potatoes. 

  • Sweet 'N Low - contains saccharin. 

  • Yellow No. 6 - see FD&C colors.