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Ask the Readers {Endometriosis and Diet}

I will freely admit that today’s Ask the Readers question is a tough one for me and one I never thought I would deal with on this site, but it is a question I had to post, because it could have easily been me asking this same question about ten years ago.

I have endometriosis and am looking for more information (and especially recipes!) that help others with this condition. I recently recovered from a miscarriage and am trying to get my body healthy for another pregnancy. Help is appreciated!!

I was asking those same questions not all that long ago. I had/have endometriosis. I struggled with infertility. I know the pain both physically and emotionally endometriosis and infertility causes. I know it all too well.

Several years ago I shared some of my story over at Amy’s Finer Things, so I won’t repeat it all here, but I did want to share this question and share a little of my story.

In my quest to help my endometriosis I tried many things. My husband endured some strange diets and foods during those years and I really cannot say that any of them worked for me. I know they have worked for a lot of people, but for me I saw no real change with anything I tried.

What I think worked and helped me function during those years was to stay healthy overall. Eating right, exercising, and maintaining a healthy weight is what I think helped the most. I also took vitamins and a few other natural things like evening primrose oil, but trying to stay healthy overall was what I think what helped me eventually have three kids and put off major surgery.

Looking back now, and at my history, I personally wish I had tried the gluten free diet years ago. It may not have helped, but it is one of the things I never tried during that time, that I really wish I would have.

And with that being said, I had major surgery and still have problems. There are days I still deal with a great amount of pain and that is now, when I am on a gluten free diet. So, although I wish I had tried gluten free for my endometriosis year ago, I doubt it would have been the “cure” for it, since it has not been now for me. It may have helped me, but I don’t think gluten free eating would have taken it away.

So, my answer to this question is not an easy one, because I don’t think there is one thing that helps it by diet alone. My thoughts are to stay healthy overall and try to stay positive. A positive attitude goes a long way in how we feel.

Now, I know some of you have dealt with or are dealing with a similar issue. What are your tips and advice for dealing with endometriosis? Have you found a diet or food that helped you?

Note: I am not a doctor. These are my thoughts and my story. The comments left on this subject are the thoughts and stories of others. If you are dealing with these issues please consult the advice of your doctor. Disclaimer over.

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures


  1. I believe in a healthy whole foods diet as well. I also research specific health issues on line. Recently I was looking fir fibrous options and found information on serrapeptase and nattokinase which are digestive enzymes. Your reader could perhaps look at the youtube video on using these enzymes for treatment of endometriosis and infertility issues.

  2. I suffered with endometriosis and infertility as well. Long story short–after numerous surgeries& treatments, I achieved my one and only pregnancy which resulted in very healthy daughter. I, unfortunately, had a hysterectomy before she was one year old. 27 years later, I still have issues and discomfort at times from that tissue left behind. Every surgical procedure i have had over the years, they cleaned up some of the endometriosis as well. It just doesn’t go away. Minimal issues for me now, though. Daughter, now adult, was diagnosed with it as well. She eats well, exercises and takes care of herself. Healthy lifestyle. Here is the recommendation from our family–go to a licensed/certified Naturopath. Daughter did immediately upon diagnosis and indications are that it cleaned her up in a healthy and non-invasive way—to the point where she achieved pregnancy right away. I would also suggest that no supplements are begun without guidance from someone who is educated in the treatments. This comes from being married to a doctor! You are correct about the emotional issues and physical pain. The emotional side is very painful.

    • Thanks for sharing that. My hysterectomy was 7 yrs ago and like you have issues with the discomfort etc. Surgery helped, but did not take it away. And thanks for the supplement reminder through a dr. I should have added that. Drs in my family as well, so I agree on that one. I took the evening primrose and others because my dr at the time recommended it. Thanks for sharing your story!

  3. I too went through this. I had monthly problems for two years when young ladies didn’t know it was a problem and it wasn’t OK to discuss such issues with their mothers and even if it was discussed there was no check-up until marriage. (early 1960’s). When I tried to get pregnant in the 70’s, I discovered that both of my tubes were completely blocked and my uterus was inverted and that I had had endometriosis at some point and nothing could be done to open my tubes.(Believe me I tried surgery twice to no avail.) When time came to start a family I was infertile and it was all a result of the endro. No one has ever been able to tell me where it came from or even why. Then one day I didn’t have any problems, the result of having my uterus tacked. I will always believe that it was the manner in which I had my periods since my uterus had to fill and then contract to have a normal discharge.

    Thank you for doing this blog! When I know what we women and girls went through in my younger days, I think that it is important that women appreciate opportunities they have and that they may be able to do something about issues like this before it is too late.

    • Thank you so much for sharing that. I know it is not an easy issues to share. My hope is that this post and by others sharing their story will help those dealing with it at least know others understand and have been through it.

    • My uterus was also inverted and had to be tilted upward and stitched in place. I had not thought about that being the reason for the horrible cramping I experienced from the time I started menstruating. I was miraculously healed in February 1994, (Thank you, Jesus!), and I have three great kids now.

  4. Although I have no experience with this, I would recommend that you research the nutritional suggestions found here: Praying that you wil find answers!

  5. I think eating healthy and living a healthy lifestyle is important for anyone living with medical problems and/or disease. It’s the first step to help one and her doctor find the best treatment plan long-term.

    I have Crohn’s, Fibromyalgia, and Asthma.

  6. I had surgery for endometriosis in 1991, and after was put on a drug induced menopause. Two years later, all of my symptoms started returning. I did not want surgery again, and I chose to see another doctor who suggested using a diuretic for about the last ten days of my cycle (before the onset of my next period) and eating no sodium except for what occurs naturally in a food. It was a little difficult to adjust to and took a lot of imagination to make meals taste good, but it worked. I didn’t retain fluid which eliminated the excruciating cramping during my period.

  7. I have endo and had a blocked tube and ectopic pregnancy as well as secondary infertility. Three of four of my daughters was conceived while on a very low carb (and gluten-free) diet (my second was conceived through fertility treatment). Nothing else worked, although I also took wheat germ oil before my last pregnancy and that may have helped, too. My heart goes out to everyone struggling to conceive. Don’t give up hope!

  8. I have endometriosis as well.
    All I can suggest is more of the same – eat healthy, exercise, etc.
    The healthier you are in body, mind, and spirit, the better you feel overall.
    It’s not a cure … but at least if you are taking care of yourself to the best of your (and your doctor’s) abilities, you won’t be feeling worse. I also suggest routine tests – like full endocrine work, to make sure all of your levels are well maintained. There could be other underlying issues that combine to make the pain even worse.
    I have Endo, Essential Tremors, Arthritis (RA and Osteo)… When I work with my body to be as healthy as possible, I feel my best. There is always that underlying pain that I think we all get used to, but sometimes I can even forget it is there and enjoy life!

  9. I have been treated for Endo, back when I was 21, then again at 26. Endo was secondary diagnosis after fibroid tumors that took 1 1/2 ovaries. I know this isn’t the popular treatments but I took birth control pils for over 15 years, and the surgeries that the ob-gyn could clear out on the endo, as well as the ovaries. I had massive, heavy periods, lots of cramps and I would be bed ridden 2 out of 4 periods before the surgeries. All the time my ob-gyn told me that my fertility was never comprimised since I was in good health, eat decently, etc. Nothing outside the norm, really. I still have bad months of cramping, more like two or three bad periods a year.

    Now, sharing that, I’ve been married to my soulmate for almost 20 years with no kids. Partly because of my missing parts, part of not wanting to stress us out with having to get pregnant. (We’ve seen friends marrigages break up from those stresses.)

    We also know that we are not where we need to be to even consider having kids. We’re the best “aunti and unkle” we can be to family and friend’s kids.
    When it ever comes up, my husband or I will smile and reply, “We’re still practicing.” And we’re ok with that idea.

  10. Disclaimer – I do not know much about endometriosis, even though I have had stage 4 endometriosis.
    What I found to be the most help, prior to my hysterectomy – which included removal of the misplaced uterine lining – was at:
    It is a site for women who are thinking about, are having or who have recently had, a hysterectomy.
    But it is not pro-systerectomy, nor is it anti-hysterectomy.
    The topics of the forums range widely – including diet and exercise.

    Although the hystersisters disclaimer there is that they are not doctors and are not giving medical advice, the forums would have an answer to a hysterectomy and best diet question.
    Registration is required, but it is free.

  11. I have endo. I am 31 and I’ve had 2 surgeries, one of which took one of my ovaries.

    The pain of endo is fed by inflammation, and that includes the headaches. It has something to so with the chemicals your body produces to fight the inflammation, and how they build up and cause migraines. When I avoid refined sugar and dairy (both of which cause inflammation), my pain is lessened.

    Bon courage to all of you!

  12. karrie king says

    I got a “99%” diagnosis of endometriosis at age 19 after over 4 years of periods with vomiting, pain and unexplained issues. The Dr. didn’t fully diagnose me because you need a laparoscopy to detect actual lesions and of course, the doctors I had previously and this new saw no need for that since I had all the pain and symptoms. I had an ectopic and then 2 healthy pregnancies but the pain and vomiting were still there even after the second pregnancy, and drs have not found the lesions in my pelvic region so if I do have endo, its located elsewhere. But I do know that pregnancy does make it all go away as that dr. tried to inform me and now at age 32, I am blessed because they’d told me when I was 19 that I might not have kids and God had other plans. What has helped me personally, lately, is getting my vitamins, rest, a lot of Soy (*yes, that seems backwards to natural healing when it’s not fermented at times even, but for some reason it is helping). And for me to try to eat as much organic and chemical-free, whole foods as possible.

  13. Christina K. says

    I was diagnosed with Endometriosis when I was 22. I have had 6 surgeries – the last surgery I had took a fallopian tube and part of an ovary. Since my last surgery 5 years ago I have had two children…I know that I will eventually (probably sooner rather than later) need to have a hysterectomy.

    I have found that eating mostly whole foods helps and drinking lots of water. I also try to limit the amount of lettuce I eat at the end my cycle – I know it sounds crazy but for whatever reason, it seems to help keep the pain tolerable. I also take birth control to help ease the heaviness of my cycles – which has helped.

  14. I too had Endo for many years, perhaps glutin free may have help.
    After too many surgeries. I was left with adhesions, these too cause
    pain. I am now have sulphite allergies, train of thought ant connection?
    Just hang in there, eat well and pamper yourself when possible.

  15. Hilary Davidson says

    I was diagnosed with Endo when trying for a second baby. After treatment I had my second daughter but after a few years I started to get pain and discomfort again and didn’t want to go down the road of more medical intervention so discovered a ‘kinesiology healer’ who tested me for foods I might be allergic to. It was my first time on any sort of a diet and was reluctant at first but got used to the food I could have, rather than the foods I couldn’t have. It was amazing how much better I felt almost immediately, no pain, bloating, discomfort or mood swings!!!

  16. I’ve experienced great monthly pain from endometriosis for 8 years. The two best pieces of advice I ever got were 1) cut out sugar, bread, alcohol, soy, dairy, and red meat before period, and 2) take 1/2 tsp turmeric with ground pepper twice daily to reduce inflammation. I still have pain sometimes, but following both of those rules has immensely decreased the constant back pain I used to experience, and my periods are now much lighter and more bearable.

    • I am curious how you take the turmeric and pepper? Do you just get basic turmeric and pepper? Do you mix it with something? I have heard a lot about turmeric and inflammation, but I have known people that have tried it and they can’t stand the taste.

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