Endometriosis: Dr Larisa Corda discusses symptoms on This Morning
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According to Endometriosis UK, it occurs when “cells similar to the ones in the lining of the womb (uterus) are found elsewhere in the body”. The charity explains: “Each month these cells react in the same way to those in the womb, building up and then breaking down and bleeding. Unlike the cells in the womb that leave the body as a period, this blood has no way to escape.”
This can lead to a number of symptoms including pain the the tummy and back, pain during or after sex, and period pain that stops you carrying out daily activities.
It can also make it harder to get pregnant.
Some medical treatments do exist to keep symptoms under control, although they will not get rid of it.
These include painkillers, hormone medicines and contraceptives, surgery to cut away patches of endometriosis tissue and an operation to remove part or all of the affected organs.
An expert has suggested that cutting out a certain food could help sufferers of endometriosis.
Lorna Driver-Davies, head of nutrition and the nutritional therapist at Wild Nutrition, told Express.co.uk: “Research has documented an improved response in those following a gluten-free diet; 75 percent of participants found a significant decrease in symptoms when following a gluten-free diet over 12 months.
“Gluten elimination has been shown to reduce endometriosis symptoms.
“My clinical experience is that patients benefit from removing gluten or wheat, especially if they were experiencing discomfort or pain in their gut or joints that was worsened by eating gluten or wheat and then this was setting off endometriosis pain and other negative symptoms.
“Wheat or gluten exclusion should be professionally supported so that nutrient loss does not occur, and alternative options are healthy (as it is easy to consume very unhealthy gluten-free foods and products).”
Gluten is mainly found in foods made with wheat flour like standard bread, pasta and cake.
To cut it out of your diet requires either dropping those foods completely or trying gluten-free versions.
Lorna suggested several other dietary changes to ease endometriosis pain.
She said: “I also in my 12-year clinical career have seen the benefits of cutting down on alcohol, tea, coffee and sugar – all making a difference to pain associated with endometriosis.
“And if you are healing from surgery, all those types of foods are not ideal especially when you should be giving your body the healthiest foods to heal and recover.”
She also recommended eating more omega-3 fats, fruit and fibre but less red meat and dairy.
“Omega-3 is an anti-inflammatory and one of the hallmarks of endometriosis is that it is partly an inflammatory condition and there are issues with the immune system and an ability to control inflammation that worsens the disease and its symptoms,” she explained.
She added: “Women with endometriosis have been reported to have lower intake of vitamin A than women without endometriosis.
“Therefore they should be eating more vegetables that are brightly coloured yellow, oranges and reds as well as vitamin A rich foods such as meat and fish.
“Fibre is important in endometriosis to keep bowel movements regular – and this helps to make sure oestrogen is removed and does not build up.
“Oestrogen is one of the hormones that fuels endometriosis and can worsen symptoms and old oestrogen is removed from the body in stools during a bowel movement.”
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