Dish of granola with berries and yoghurt

Struggling with the endometriosis diet?

You may have heard that diet can help manage endometriosis symptoms, but if you’ve looked it up on the internet you’ve probably come away feeling overwhelmed about how difficult it is and unsure where to start. Or maybe you’ve tried doing an endometriosis diet and found it too difficult to keep going.

I completely get that. I remember how I felt when I first started trying to find ways to manage my endometriosis symptoms. I initially tried to do it myself from things I had read but didn’t find it made much difference (largely because I wasn’t doing it right!). I then got help from a nutritional therapist, but even then I found it tough going making changes when I was feeling so tired and in so much pain.

But it is worth preserving with making changes to your diet as it can make a massive difference to your endometriosis symptoms – I found that myself, I’ve seen it with clients and there are research studies that support the impact diet can have on endometriosis symptoms.

And it is possible to make changes without it feeling overwhelming. Part of my role as a nutritional therapist is making change manageable for people.

So, these are the top tips I share with clients who are starting to make changes to their diet to help manage their endometriosis symptoms.

Start small

You don’t have to change everything at once. In fact, I prefer people to make small, gradual changes rather than big drastic changes as I find this makes the change more sustainable long term. And ultimately that’s what we are aiming for, you finding a new way of eating that helps you manage your endometriosis symptoms long term rather than feeling like you are following a ‘diet’. After doing talks on managing endometriosis with diet I often suggest if you do one thing, you just start eating more cruciferous vegetables (e.g. broccoli, kale, cauliflower, cabbage) as this alone with help your liver break down hormones more safely.  

Start with the basics

After you’ve done your first change, check that you’ve got the basics covered. Getting enough hydration, eating plenty of anti-inflammatory fruits and vegetables and chewing your food well sound basic but can make a big difference to your gut health, which plays an important role in endometriosis and is the cause of bloating problems like ‘endo belly’.

Don’t over restrict

If you’ve read about the endometriosis diet, you’ll have seen a long list of foods which some people suggest you cut out. But getting too restrictive is what makes this hard. So, my starting point is to add in plenty of anti-inflammatory foods first. Then depending on how you feel you might want to see if particular foods e.g. gluten or dairy are a trigger for your symptoms. But they might not be for everyone and so you don’t always have to be overly restrictive with them. Which leads nicely on to my next tip…

Experiment to find what works for you

There is no one size fits all endometriosis diet. It is a case of experimenting to see what foods trigger your symptoms and what helps ease them. We are all different and react to different things. For example, wheat and sugar are my triggers. I can eat loads of dairy and it makes no difference to my symptoms, but I have a lot of clients who find dairy makes things worse for them.

Have some quick easy options on standby

Often where people struggle is when they are busy, tired or in pain and don’t have much energy to cook, this is when the takeaway or fast food options come in. Don’t get me wrong, having them occasionally is not the end of the world, but having them regularly make be making your symptoms worse. So, knowing what your go to healthy food options are in advance is really helpful. If you can batch cook, then having spare portions in the freezer is easy. Or go for things like packs of stir fry veg with cooked chicken or edamame beans.

The benefits come the longer you do it

The longer you consistently follow the principles of an endometriosis diet, the more benefits you get. I usually work with clients for three months; we get a plan in place and people are usually starting to see changes. But when clients come back for 3 or 6 month follow-up appointments, they report more and more improvements. So, keep going, it will pay off in time.

If you’d like some help with working out what foods would help manage your endometriosis symptoms and how to work them into your diet, then do book in for a free hormone health review to find out how one of my three month nutrition programmes could help.

Content Disclaimer

The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this blog  are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this blog. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this blog. Emma Belton Nutrition disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this blog.

Posted in

Leave a Comment