The endo-diet-diaries

The start of a new way of life?

Hi readers! Let me start with the causes which have lead to the topic of today’s post: 10 years of pain, cramps, birth control pills, doctor visits, hospital emergency rooms, false diagnoses, 1 year after my first laparoscopy and a horrible experience with IVF, where hormones made my endo explode, a complication of the surgery which has damaged my sciatic nerve, 2 weeks after my second laparoscopy… with intense bloating, crazy bowel sounds, cramps and belly aches,… (you probably all know these symptoms all too well…)

A combination of all these things have finaly made me decide it is time for a change. In the last 12 months, I have read so much about the effects food can have on your health and the symptoms and progression of endometriosis, (since my official endo diagnose in March 2019 – has it been a year already??) I didn’t want to believe it was true. – Smal sidenote: I am such a foodie and I just love, love, loooooove testing exotic food, eating out, looking for the newest, best restaurant in town, I even choose my travel destinations, based on the food they serve,… I adore eating and tasting everything – and to be honest, I never liked it when people said, they were vegetarian, gluten-free, sugar-free, lactose intolerant or more and now I had read that in order to feel better I would have to do and be all these things! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ This sounded like hell to me… In the beginning I thought I would rather die and suffer than switching to this diet. For this reason, I was always looking for excuses or reasons to not having to do it… not having to start with the endometriosis diet, which is, let’s face it: quite restrictive… I was looking for articles or studies, that proved the endo diet doesnโ€™t work or I tried to find experiences from people who were not feeling better. I asked people who were eating according to the endo diet whether it worked, I asked doctors and gyns for their advice and I was getting obsessed by it. I think I read the entire internet. ๐Ÿ™‚ … Conclusion, I have to say, in the last year, I didnโ€™t find ANY negative articles, testimonials or stories… All women who honestly tried it, said they at least had some benefit from it and all doctors, gyns, experts said it couldn’t hurt. All research has proven it actually helped, both in symptoms, but also, which is much more important to me, it seems that women also tend to avoid follow up surgery, so this could mean….it also helps avoid spreading the endometriosis!!! it took me a year to realize and believe this, but now I can not avoid the truth any longer. I owe it to myself and my body to at least give it a try. If I realize in a couple of months, years that it is not working for me, I can always stop. But I have to test it in order to know it first!

SO, what do we know about it and how does it work? Allthough classical medicine and most practitioners are still avoiding to talk about the correlation of food and endometriosis (of course, because then they would all be out of a job) and there is not yet too much research which is done on the topic (because who would pay for that if not the medical or the pharmaceutical lobby!?), there is already quite some research which can be found on women who feel better after changing their diet and lifestyle, who have less symptoms and can have a normal life! The diet is wired around the concept of inflammation and the believe that we should all avoid inflammatory foods and focus on food which have anti-inflammatory caracteristics. This actually makes sense to me. I read on a blog somewhere that endometriosis sometimes feels like there is a war happening in your body. The good guys try to fight and kill the endometriosis cells, that of course fight back and seem to be quite strong and stubborn unfortunately. So I quite like the idea of bringing piece back into my body and stop this inflamed war. In real life, this means we should basically avoid: Trans fats, red meat, gluten, alcohol, caffein, sugar, dairy, food containing pesticides and soy, allthough soy seems still to be quite controversial… some research says it’s even good for women with endometriosis, but there is not a final result yet, so best to be careful with soy…I know, the list of foods to avoid is very long and scary, but keeping in mind that every body is different and it might be that you are more sensible to gluten than to coffee, it doesn’t mean you may NEVER have anything from this list again. So it will be important to try out what works for you, with or without a professional. The most important thing will be to listen to your body, because it will tell you what is good for you.

To be continued… I will try to post regular updates. If you want to see whether, how and if it works, just follow my blog. ๐Ÿ˜

But now, let’s focus on the positive side. Which foods are doing good things to our body and can be enjoyed daily, for the rest of our lives? Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, omega 3 fatty acids, lean meats (organic) and healthful fats, such as avocado’s, olive oil, olives, nuts, salmon, other fatty fish. Especially berries, leafy greens, broccoli, beans, nuts, seeds (chia, flax,…) seem to have very good effects, together with green tea and herbs such as turmeric and ginger, because they have anti-inflammation benefits and could really calm down our military of anti-endo-warriors.

So, today is my first day… allthough I have to say I already over the past year, slowly tried to incorporate some healthy habits and tried to cut down already on processed red meat and coffee. I had also already replaced cow milk by plant based milk and I have been eating already a lot of berries, fruit in general and avocado’s. So, my start today is not really ‘cold turkey’. For me the challenge will be this: I was still eating gluten and cheese (of course, I live in Switzerland!) on a daily basis until yesterday and eating a couple of times per week some chocolate, sweets, cookies,… These things are for me hard to replace or to miss out on. But what the heck… let’s do it: so here we are: day 1 officially. My goal is to be absolutely strict in the beginning and if possible, I will allow myself to move to the endo diet for at least 80 to 90 % of the time. This will already be soooo much better than how I have been eating and living up till now. Long story short, I filled my fridge and cupboards with as much inflammatory food as possible. We went out to dinner yesterday to my favourite restaurant, where I had some meat and wine and everything I wanted to at least close this chapter in style. Time for a new beginning. ๐Ÿ™‚ This morning, I had my first endo-proof-breakfast, which some coconut yoghurt, berries and home made granola (without sugar). Instead of a coffee, I had a Golden Latte (Tumeric and ginger herbs with oat milk). So far so good… ๐Ÿ™‚

To be continued… I will try to give regular updates on how it will work. If you want to stay informed, just follow my blog. ๐Ÿ˜‰

5 Comments Add yours

  1. kimi says:

    Good Luck to you! It can be so hard to start a lifestyle change. My sugar free journey has been rough, as you know, but it gets better. I have SIBO in addition to Endo so I was advised to try the Low Fodmap diet which is very similar but a few differences. The good and the bad new is that if this diet doesn’t quite work there are more to try ๐Ÿ˜‰ (Fodmap, specific carbohydrates diet, etc.)

    Do you have a lot of IBS symptoms along with the Endo? SIBO and Endo are closely related and if you have a lot of the bloating and cramps when not menstruating I am sure this diet will help those symptoms a ton, but you may also want to limit ‘gassy’ foods a bit (broccoli, cabbage). There’s a chance that increasing those types of food might make those symptoms worse, so just keep and eye on that and try not to get too discouraged as you are figuring it all out. Peace and love and best of wishes to you! ๐Ÿคžโ™ฅ๏ธ

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    1. EmmannuelleT says:

      Thanks Kimi! Thanks for the tips. How can I know whether I have SIBO? did you do a test? I did think about Fodmap as well… but I want to start with the gluten free, dairyfree, sugarfree endo one. If it doesnโ€™t help, you are absolutely right, I will have to look further. My endo (stage 4- DIE) is infiltrating my bowel and my bladder, so I always figured this is why it feels like the bowel is irritated almost constantly. I hope to bring some peace back to it though. Which vegetables do you recommend eating, which are not so bad for the bowel? According to the endo diet, I should try to eat as much as possible cooked, steamed or boiled vegetables, not raw ones. Is it the same for fodmap? Were you able to reintroduce a lot of food back in your diet after doing fodmap? Sorry, for all of my questions, but I am really interested in your experience. โ˜บ๏ธ thanks so much!

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      1. kimi says:

        I did a hydrogen breath test to get the SIBO diagnosis. It also tests other things like lactose intolerance. I actually blogged quite a bit about my Fodmap diet and going through the reintroductions. Here’s where I start reintroductions https://wp.me/pa9WEQ-4q

        Cooked veggies are preferred over raw. Tomatoes, peppers, lettuces, spinach, (most greens except cabbage), squash, zucchini, green beans, cucumber – those are all good options for veggies.

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      2. EmmannuelleT says:

        Wow, your blog is great. Really gives me a better idea and a lot of info. Thanks for that! ๐Ÿ™ you did it with a nutritionist, right? Do you think doing it on my own will work, maybe with the app you described? I wish you good luck with the no sugar! I am curious to see whether I will miss that too. I am a sucker for chocolate and cookies… ๐Ÿ™Š

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      3. kimi says:

        If you are going to do the Fodmap diet, I highly recommend the Monash Univerity app as a guide. The food guide is pretty thorough and they have a feature that helps you reintroduce foods with specific amounts for each day. I would recommend seeing a GI doctor and/or nutritionist/dietitian for some guidance, and especially to maybe do a hydrogen breath test. Not sure how much of my blog you looked through, but here’s one where I talk about the relation between SIBO and Endohttps://healingrunner71652512.wordpress.com/2019/09/05/sibo-and-endometriosis/

        Worth looking into if you ask me. And with the sweets – it is hard! But I feel like I’ve turned a corner the last couple of days and my cravings are beginning to abate. Good luck!

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