Sunday, March 2, 2014

healing endometriosis through nutrition

It's time.

I've been sad and depressed.
To escape my those feelings, 
I've slept too much, ate too much and drank too much.

But not taking care of myself isn't going to bring me a baby and it isn't going make me miss my grandmother any less. So I've got to stop trying to bury those feelings. 

I pretty much feel awful lately. The pain from my endometriosis has gotten noticeably worse from my poor diet. After my egg retrieval, I started drinking caffeine every morning, wine every night and eating pretty much anything I wanted - all the time. Why? Because I could. 
That has to stop.

Yesterday, I drew a line in the sand. No more. I decided to try something I've always wanted to do - heal my endometriosis through nutrition. 

Or at least give it a try.

I don't know if it will work. 
But it certainly can't hurt. 

At the end of diet day 2 on cycle day 2…my cramps are pretty bad. 
It is too soon to tell if the diet is working just yet. 
But I can tell you that this diet isn't going to be easy to follow.

The Endo Diet is supposed to help reduce the inflammation caused by endometriosis. Some people who've had severe, disabling symptoms have been essentially healed with this diet.

The guidelines for the Endo Diet are:
-no red meat
-no dairy
-no eggs
-no soy
-no gluten (wheat, barley, rye)
-no sugar
-no caffeine
-no alcohol
- no fried foods
The diet is all about reducing your estrogen exposure and the items above are either pro-inflammatory or have estrogenic hormones. 

So what the heck is left to eat, right?
That's what I was wondering. 
Well, here's what I can eat:

Alternative milks: coconut milk and almond milk (all except soy milk)
Whole grains: brown rice, millet, quinoa, etc
Peas & Beans 
Seeds & Nuts 
Fruits and Vegetables
Organic fish
Organic Vegetarian-Fed Chicken

Supplements and other diet tips:
Drinks lots of water.
Choose organic foods whenever possible.
Take omega-3 fatty acid supplements. 
Drink a cup or two of red raspberry leaf tea daily to relieve cramps.
Drink decaf organic green tea to protect against the toxic effects of dioxins. 
Try noni juice. It contains a natural anti-inflammatory enzymes that reduce swelling & inflammation. 
Try the herb dong quai, three to four grams daily, for its anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic effects. 
Use cold-pressed, virgin coconut oil which is known for being anti-viral, antibacterial and anti-fungal. 

Do you suffer from endometriosis? Have you ever tried the Endo Diet? Did it work for you?

I'll keep you posted on my progress and let y'all know if it is worth the sacrifice and hard work that it will surely take to keep this diet going. 


Elisha Kearns said...

I did the Daniel Fast with my church in January and it is basically the same kind of diet. No meat. No dairy. Only fruits/vegies/brown rice and it was one of the shortest cycles I had ever had and I think i even ovulated that cycle. So try to stick to it if you can. I obviously fell of the wagon after i finished the 21 day fast and if my cycle is longer this time around, I will know fo'sho I need to change my diet. I'll keep you updated :)

Laura Rahel said...

Good luck pretty lady! I just tried going dairy free last month and started taking probiotics. Spent 2.5 weeks with a terrible, itchy rash afterwards. Turns out I'm allergic to coconuts and never knew before because I don't like them.

Sarah said...

oh love.
good luck. the endo diet SUCKS. it is SO SO SO hard. at least, it was for me. near impossible.
thinking of you! big hugs.

Anonymous said...

I've done this diet and it truly helps. It takes some time for the benefits to kick in. When I go off the diet I definitely feel in the form of increased pain. Good luck to you. It's definitely possible to do, especially if you eat in and cook at home a lot.

Kathleen DiVirgilio said...

Oh my goodness! I feel the same way after a failed round. I alway drown myself in wine "because I can" I too have endometriosis and some months it is just unbearable! I am curious how this works out for you
Good Luck!

Amanda said...

I'm with you in terms of sleeping too much and eating whatever I want... partly because I can and partly because "I deserve it." But you're right, I need to get my life in order because this is not okay.

As to the endo diet, Erika over at Something Beautiful tried it/uses it. You might check in with her and see what worked. The diet sounds AWFUL but the pain sounds miserable too.

Thinking of you, my friend!

JM said...

Hi Jessah,
I suffer of endometriosis and that is most likely the cause of my poor egg quality. I had never heard of the endo diet, but I will definetely try to avoid some of the hutful items from my daily intake. What I have been trying for a month that I am already seeing results is a supplement called Pine Bark. Only one month of taking 100mg/day made a differene on my last period. Keep us posted on the results of your diet. GL!

gypsymamasjourney said...

Wow this would be such a tough diet for me to follow. I admire your willpower! I hope you start to feel better soon...

AM said...

There is a news anchor Alicia Vitarelli here in Philadelphia that battled endometriosis and infertility. Here is a link to her story that you might find helpful and encouraging. Good luck.

Suzanne said...

It's so easy to just need a little bit of indulgence in wine and food when you're going through what you have. I completely understand and tend to do the same thing. I commend you on the endo diet. I've looked into it several times, but so far, haven't had the discipline to commit to such a diet. I seem to just cut little things here and there out, versus all of them. I also don't have endo symptoms, regardless of having stage III.

Hang in there. The loss of someone you love so much can really take a lot out of you. Sounds like you're focusing on taking extra good care of yourself. xoxo

Emily said...

Totally makes sense why cutting those things out would help. I was aware of the inflammatory effects of gluten and dairy, but wasn't really aware of the role that soy plays in that aspect specifically...just knew that most all acu's and nutritionists do suggest cutting soy for hormonal balance anyways. I think you are going to do great! Just look at it as a new are bound to find some new favorite meals and will probably feel so much better!

Mrs. Lost said...

Good luck.. man that doesn't seem very easy at all! I will be praying for you. Have you ever tried oils?

Amie said...

I saw someone post info about this diet and although I don't have endo I looked it up. Girl I was thinking what CAN you eat?? Wow! Wishing you the best of luck with this and hope it's the answer for you :)

Caroline said...

Very excited to see what you think! I do the same diet except I eat cheese and eggs :) I think we should all be on this diet - it's so much better for our bodies! xoxo

Logan said...

I hope this will be a fun adventure for you! I'm a firm believer that the foods we eat (or don't eat) can sometimes be the best medicine. It sounds like this might be just what you need to give you a new focus and motivation. So excited for updates!!!

Elizabeth said...

I kind of think that this diet depends on the person. I did it fairly strictly for 6 months after my lap and the endo still came roaring back in that timeframe. My doctor termed my endo "aggressive."

Ironically, the best cure I have found for endo is pregnancy. Although I have heard some amazing stories about excision surgery!
And pycnogenol helped me too.

schumt said...

I need to get back to eating like this...hard to do when I have a husband who is amazing at smoking pork and brewing beer. And when we like to go out to eat (I swear everyone cooks in soy oil these days.) I will say, I feel better when on the diet. Be careful with green tea though. It's an amazing, practically miracle healing tea...unless you have a thyroid issue. It can interact negatively with your thyroid. Found that out the hard way. And a lot of women with Endo also have hypothyroidism. We get it all, don't we?

Good luck!

leashd said...

What have you been preparing for breakfast, while on this diet?

JoJo said...

Goodluck with the diet. Hope everything works out for you. My aunt changed her diet completely bc of her lupus and she says it definitely helped. I am trying as well to cut back on certain things for my thyroid which include a lot of the stuff you listed above.

Ashley @ Life on the Parsons Farm said...

Endo is just the worst. I suffered from it from age 15 to 26. When I had my first ectopic pregnancy and surgery my doctor removed it for me. Thankfully since I haven't had the same level of pain and it seems to have been taken care of....though I have had 3 miscarriages since... Really hoping this works for you.

ourfamilybeehive said...

I must say we are dairy free, soy free and only eat organic meat, no red or pork.
We feel amazing!!
Who knew dairy could make you feel like crap!


Aubrey said...

Good luck Jessah! I hope that by following this diet you start to feel better. XO

Lisa Mace said...

Hey! So glad you are trying this! I really hope we both get our miracle baby!!

{Jessica} said...

I have a sweet friend who has battled ovarian cancer three different times now (and is only 27 like me - so scary!) Her scan back in August showed that some spots had returned in different areas of her body. They were able to surgically remove them; however, the doctor suggested that she start a chemo regimen. Instead of choosing to do that, she has drastically changed her diet. Everything she eats, uses on her skin (makeup, shampoos, body washes, etc) drinks, etc. Her diet reminds me of this one that you've shared. Her most recent scan - which was done last month - showed the tiny spots that were still left behind after surgery are now completely gone. Her scan was clean. I found that pretty amazing! Definitely amazing enough for me to take a look at my own diet and want to change it! Hoping this works for you, sweet Jessah. It won't be easy, but you can do it!:)

Charity said...

I know how hard it can be to make diet changes. I hope this works to bring you less pain. I am sorry that you have been having such a hard time I am praying for you that peace will flow all over you.

katytrackslife said...

Wow, I'd love to see some of the recipes you try. Sounds like a really clean, low gi diet. Good on you for deciding to look after yourself

Ashley said...

Wow. That's quite a strict diet. I have endo that has been noticeably worse lately but I honestly don't think I could stick to that diet long enough to know if it helps. We live in a small town so access to the "proper" foods would be rather difficult as well. I'd love to know if it works though.
I'm still praying for you!


I followed this diet and it helped tremendously! Physically and mentally - I felt better than ever!

Life at The Hadenfeldt's said...

I started reading your blog though andbabymakesthreeeventually, Suzie was a great friend growing up.
I read
She has had major issues with endo and suggests some herbs that have helped her. I thought I would share so you could check into it, it sounds a lot like what you are doing plus more herbs. Good luck!

conceptionallychallenged said...

I have tried parts of it, but perhaps not seriously enough to help. However, what did help me was leaving out foods I'm allergic/oversensitive to (tomatoes, in my case), and avoiding any and all inversions and strenuous exercise during menstruation. That made an incredible difference.
I have a book on curing endo through nutrition, which also mentions yeast as a possible issue, and other factors. If you want, send me your mailing address and I'd be happy to send it to you.
I really hope you find something that helps. This pain is awful, and I wish so much for you to get better. Hugs.

Cristy said...

Wow, that's one hell of a diet. It reminds me of some elimination diets others have been on and one major benefit was they learned which foods were particular triggers. Will be rooting for you as you makes these changes and I sincerely hope that you see the desired effects very, very soon.

Sending love.

Kristin said...

It's a diet I should probably try since my cramps are hell, seems tough :/

Kacy said...

Good luck and more power to you for doing this! We should all be this good to our bodies! And you are allowed some time to be sad and eat and drink whatever the hell you want. Even superwomen need time to grieve.

Chelley N said...

I'm anxious to follow you in this journey . . . I fully believe in nutritional healing, so I love to watch it firsthand.

shay said...

oh man, having just been diagnosed with endo, i'm going to bookmark this. though i seriously love food so much that i don't know if i could give up ALL those things! LOL good luck, i hope it helps!

Northern Star said...

I have done it with some positive results - I had some pain-free (yes! I really did say PAIN-FREE!) months, but they weren't consistent. I do find that a sugar-free, red meat-free, gluten-free diet helps... But I am unfortunately not disciplined enough to make it a lifestyle.

I am currently managing my pain using full-time birth control pills... As I am no longer TTC, this has been the best option for me.

Marianna Dunn said...

I, fortunately, don't have endometriosis but do have rheumatoid arthritis and started eating gluten-free/dairy-free last year. I noticed big differences in how I felt all around! Good luck!

futureMom said...

I am interested in knowing how this diet works out for you. I have tried some of those things, except the dairy, eggs, and gluten... I do feel better by reducing the sugar and cutting out caffeine, alcohol, fried foods, etc. I think all of these little changes can make a big difference. Good luck to you! I found some good suggestions in the books "The Fertility Diet" and "Fertility Foods". Not quite an endo diet, but along the same lines.

Ana P.H. said...

I'm sorry that you're feeling so bad right now. I haven't tried the diet yet - it is really intimidating! I didn't realize how bad my endo pain really was until I experienced a few pain free weeks during my IVF cycle. Now that I'm off the meds, the pain is back and it's tough to handle so I'm sure I'll try the diet in the future. Good luck - I hope that you find some relief!

Jennifer T said...

I hope that this diet brings you healing. I have started to do a diet with my husband (just to lose weight). We have a long way to go, but it is amazing how much it helps to keep me in a better, hopeful place. Good luck!

wishingwales said...

You have been in my thoughts so much. Praying especially for you and your husband during your time of pain and grief. I really hope that you are able to get some relief from your endo-pain, and I'll be faithfully following to see how you're doing!

JenS said...

Holy crap! That is a hard diet to follow. I'm sure it gets easier as you get more used to it. I really hope it works for you. I'll definitely be interested to hear how it goes. Good luck!

Jamie said...

Oh I have missed you pretty lady. I have been praying hard for you. I am proud of your resolve and your perseverance and your determination. Remember, spring always comes after winter. And sometimes, it comes slowly. And beautifully. There will be beauty from your ashes. Love you.

The Bird said...

I've been eating this way (more or less) for just over 2 years now and I have noticed a huge difference! I do indulge in wine, chocolate, and ice cream on occasion and do drink coffee in the morning since going back to work in August. It is hard, but so worth it! The gluten free part was the biggest positive change for my pain! Good luck!

Darcie K said...

I wish you the best of luck with this new endo treatment/diet. It surely doesn't sound easy, and I admire you for even attempting it! You're a strong and willful person though, so I'm sure you will succeed :)

Amber said...

I would have a very difficult time cutting all that out of my diet. I know it's possible though and I wish you the best of luck! I'm very behind in my blog reading, but I've been thinking about you often. I hope you are starting to feel better physically and emotionally. You've had a lot to deal with.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jessah,

I forgot to mention that, although the Endo diet seems to be effective (it has worked wonders for me and some friends), Ive heard many times that to get the greatest results, it doesnt just stop at changing diet. Try and move away from estrogenic products (popular make-up brands, laundry soaps, lotions, cleaners, etc). For example, several laundry soaps are full of estrogenic chemicals and your skin is exposed to them all day as you wear your clothes. You can get several things at Whole Foods - natural soaps, creams, make-up, paper towels, you name it with more natural ingredients. I know it sounds like a lot, but after awhile its really not too bad of a change and Whole Foods has a lot to choose from :) Good luck!

Janna Renee said...

This diet doesn't seem too bad! I don't follow this strictly, but it isn't too far from what I strive to eat! Hope it helps!

Anonymous said...

Hi. I just stumbled across your site and wanted to reach out. I was diagnosed with Endo Stage IV, deeply invasive, a few years ago and found Dr. Sinervo at The Center for Endometriosis Care in Atlanta, GA who helped restore my quality of life. I am currently seeking IVF. I empathize with your story and just wanted to share that finding a Dr. who understands the physical/emotional pain of Endo is really helpful. I wish you much success and look forward to following your story.

The Preppy Vegan said...

I love the sound of this diet (though probably because I'm already a vegan who's mostly gluten-free...). My best friend's mom's endo was cured on a diet very similar to this one (with an emphasis on gluten free and zero dairy). I don't know much about TTC, but I do know a lot about living and eating joyfully on this diet, so please don't hesitate to ask! I'm actually trying to only feature vegan + GF recipes on my blog from now on, so I hope that helps!

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