Self-care tips for Endometriosis
Endometriosis is an inflammatory disease that affects millions of women around the globe, and it’s estimated that at least 1 in 10 women in New Zealand will experience it.
Endometriosis is where cells that resemble the uterus lining, called endometrial cells, grow outside the uterus. It’s one of the most undiagnosed conditions for women, and it can on average take 8 years to diagnose.
While there is no cure for Endometriosis, there are some self-care tips to help you live your best life with Endometriosis.
Get emotional support.
Living with ongoing pain can lead to anxiety and depression, and if you’re not feeling well mentally this can worsen any pain you may be feeling.
If you are struggling with this, try some meditation even for just five minutes a day. A mental health therapist may help you manage your condition or lean on friends and family when you don’t feel well.
There are some great online blogs centered around living with Endometriosis which you might find helpful.
Nutrition plays a key role in many ailments and Endometriosis is no different. Inflammation and estrogen levels can make endometriosis symptoms worse, and your diet can influence both factors.
Some anti-inflammatory foods to add to your diet:
- Leafy and dark green vegetables like broccoli, sprouts, kale, cauliflower, cabbage
- Nuts (walnuts and brazil nuts are great) and seeds
- Omega fatty acids, such as oily fish like Salmon, seeds and extra virgin olive oil, avocado, olives, peanut butter
- Iron-rich foods such as green leafy vegetables, beetroots, dried apricots and plain yogurt
- Fibre. Aim for 30 grams of fibre each day from fruits and vegetables, seeds, legumes and whole grains
- Foods high in magnesium, such as dark chocolate
- Water. Drink four to six glasses of water per day. Pay attention to the amount of water your body tells you it needs
Organic foods are recommended in an effort to reduce the exposure to toxins and pesticides, as is a wide variety of foods.
One of the best ingredients for its anti-inflammatory properties is the humble Blackcurrant.
Blackcurrants have a direct effect on your body’s inflammatory response. Blackcurrant seed oil contains gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), a type of omega-6 fatty acid that’s been said to help ease inflammation in the body.
Foods to avoid:
- Fatty red meat
- Refined sugars
- Processed foods
- Sugary drinks
- High fat Dairy
- Citrus fruits like grapefruit and oranges
Note: When excluding foods from your diet, make sure to eat alternatives so you avoid any nutrient deficiencies.
Get support at home and work
You might not want to tell your boss or colleagues about your illness, but it is possible that confiding will help them to be more understanding if you need to take a couple days off work or need a bit more flexibility around your work schedule.
Get a good night’s sleep.
Getting a good night's sleep is an essential part of managing stress levels.
If sleep is something that eludes you, then you could try to:
- Maintain a regular bed and wake schedule
- Establish a regular relaxing bedtime routine
- Remove phones, laptops and TVs from your sleep environment
Find the best exercises
Exercise is important as long as it is the right exercise for YOU. So you might have to try out a few things to see what helps.
HIIT, running or other aerobic workouts may worsen your symptoms. If that happens try yoga or walking for a more passive and gentle workout.
Movement may ease some of your symptoms because it lowers your levels of estrogen and inflammation, and at the same time may boost the levels of endorphins and therefor ease you pain.
When you feel up to it, make it a habit to move more.
Living with pain can make you stress out, which can worsen your Endometriosis symptoms and make you more sensitive to pain. So, relax. Try deep breathing by inhaling through your nose to fill your lungs with air. Try meditation to calm your mind and body.
Acupuncture is a traditional Asian therapy that use fine needles to stimulate pressure points around the body. It raises your blood flow and releases natural painkilling chemicals in your body.
Nutrient Rescue whole food powder
It’s not often that we put our own product in an article like this as a genuine self-care mechanism, however we’ve had customers share their Endometriosis stories of their own accord, because they’ve found significant benefit. Now this might not be the case for everyone, but we believe there is benefit to be gained from the level of nutrients found in our whole food powders.
Here’s what Mandy told us.
“Two weeks in and I noticed my midday slumps had disappeared at day three. My energy had increased huuuugely by day 5. 10 days and I caught myself smiling away, so much happier in myself. I have literally found some relief from depression and anxiety (not completely gone), but definitely so much happier. With years of suffering to endo/pcos I have severe symptoms at the monthly mark. Most being crippling. Day 9 of taking this and I never even saw it coming. Slight discomfort, but I was able to keep trekking through my days. Where most months I would need to reschedule at least two days of work during a cycle. My weight!!! I'm eating less and finding myself to be fuller faster. I am ecstatic! Sleep is fantastic for an insomniac. And yes, the taste may be slightly odd, but it's easily do-able, especially being a shot at 110ml only. Packaging is awesome. Super easy to use. You can't go wrong. What a blessing. Thank you so much Nutrient Rescue.” MANDY
If you’re interested in more information about diagnoses and treatment options, then visit the Endometriosis New Zealand website.
NOTE: Please consult with a medial professional before embarking on any self-help practices.
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