Endometriosis is a chronic disease which affects a large number of women. Here are our suggestions for natural solutions to help alleviate the symptoms.
Endometriosis: what exactly is it?
An estimated 1 in 10 women suffer from endometriosis but how does the disease manifest?
Every month, hormones cause the endometrium (the mucous membrane that lines the uterus) to thicken in preparation for a potential pregnancy. In women affected by endometriosis, tissue similar to this membrane grows outside of the uterus in the wider urogenital area, resulting in intense, chronic pain, and possible infertility.
If you think you may be suffering from this problem, the first step is to consult a health professional. But there are also natural solutions that can help relieve the pain.
Modify your diet to combat endometriosis
The right diet can not only help reduce the symptoms of this disease but will also lower the risk of it developing (1-2).
Studies have shown the following dietary elements should be a priority:
- omega-3, the unsaturated fatty acids found in oily fish, linseed, rape seed oil … (or at optimal levels in natural supplements such as Super Omega 3)
- fresh fruits and green vegetables.
These same studies recommend restricting consumption of:
- red meat ;
- ham ;
- omega-6, other fatty acids found in vegetable oils apart from rape seed oil and olive oil.
In short, you should focus on fish, fruits and vegetables, and try to eat a balanced diet in general. And listen to your body’s signals: certain foods will affect certain women. If in doubt, eliminate a particular food from your daily diet to see how much effect it has on your endometriosis.
Put your faith in plants to ease the pain
Phytotherapy is always a good option for the body. All you need to do is choose the right plants … In the case of endometriosis, this means those containing anti-inflammatory compounds (3). Inflammation of the endometrium is actually one of the disease’s main characteristics and is responsible for the pain it causes.
A number of plants have anti-inflammatory properties:ginger (you can safely increase your intake by taking a supplement such as Ginger), viburnum, Japanese mugwort, alchemilla, garlic ... But be careful not to take ginger or garlic during your period as these two plants also have a blood-thinning effect.
For endometrial lesions, try alternative treatments
Science has shown that various gentle medicines and techniques can help you manage your condition. Acupuncture for example, can significantly reduce endometriosis-related pain (4).
Mindfulness meditation also improves the symptoms of endometriosis and well-being in general (5). Yoga too reduces intensity of pain (6). These practices complement, rather than replace medical treatments, and as such, offer significant effects for well-being.
Discover the soothing benefits of melatonin
Melatonin can also help relieve uterine pain(7). In some cases, it can even enable women to take a lower dose of their conventional painkiller.
Studies also show that taking melatonin helps improve sleep in women affected by endometriosis, thus reducing the chronic fatigue they can suffer. It thus offers a significant dual advantage! To benefit from the properties of this unique substance, choose a supplement such as Melatonin.
Antioxidants to tackle endometriosis
Oxidative stress appears to be a key factor in severe endometriosis. When it comes to reducing the effects of free radicals in patients, certain molecules have been shown to be effective:
- N-acetyl cysteine, a precursor of glutathione, a powerful endogenous antioxidant. Supplementing with N-acetyl cysteine has been found to be as effective as hormone treatments for reducing the lesions caused by this disease (8). The supplement N-Acetyl Cysteine, for example, is a good choice;
- resveratrol (available in Resveratrol Synergy) epigallocatechins derived from tea, have also been shown to exert powerful antioxidant effects on lesions. Both reduce proliferation of cells and formation of the blood vessels that feed them;
- maritime pine bark (often known as pycnogenol, and available in the supplement of the same name Pycnogenol) also reduces the pain of endometriosis (10).
In summary then, the pain and discomfort of endometriosis is not inevitable. In addition to medication, there are natural solutions that can significantly reduce its impact on your quality of life. A well-chosen diet, appropriate supplementation and a calmer frame of mind can all make living with endometriosis much easier.