Endometriosis is an undiagnosed disease for millions of women. Bloating, abdominal pain, rectal pain, and heavy periods are just a few of the symptoms that women with endometriosis experience. And once diagnosed, your options are often limited.
It doesn’t have to be this way. As an integrative physician, I’ve worked with thousands of women over the past decade, many of whom were battling endometriosis. In this article, I’ll talk about what endometriosis is, and how you can address it naturally.
What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a condition of estrogen dominance, meaning your body isn’t breaking down estrogen the way it should. The excess estrogen causes the lining of your uterus (your endometrium) to thicken and spread.
The key to managing endometriosis is getting your estrogen back into balance. Here are three steps you can use to relieve endometriosis and estrogen imbalance.
Strengthen your gut bacteria
A healthy gut leads to healthy hormone levels. The bacteria in your gut release an enzyme called beta-glucuronidase that breaks down estrogen and keeps your circulating hormone levels where they should be.
If your gut falls out of balance and damaging gut bacteria start taking over, good bacteria stop producing enough beta-glucuronidase to keep estrogen where it should be. An imbalanced gut is one of the root causes of endometriosis .
Use my favorite gut-healing supplements to support your good gut bacteria and get rid of the bad ones. When you’re looking for a probiotic, choose one that has Lactobacillus gasseri, a bacterium that’s particularly helpful for clearing out excess estrogen and reversing endometriosis .
Eat an anti-inflammatory diet
Inflammation can trigger endometriosis and make it worse . Eat an anti-inflammatory diet to relieve pain and cramping from endometriosis [4,5]. You may find many of your symptoms start to disappear.
Avoid inflammatory foods like sugar, gluten, dairy, alcohol, and oxidized oils.
Instead, base your diet around healthy fats and antioxidant-rich vegetables. Eat foods like these:
- Wild-caught fatty fish (salmon, sardines, anchovies)
- Grass-fed beef and lamb
- Pasture-raised eggs
- Olive oil
- Avocado oil
- Brussels sprouts
- Fresh berries (blackberries, blueberries, strawberries)
Eat foods that calm inflammation to relieve your endometriosis symptoms. Olive oil and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts are particularly useful for breaking down estrogen.
Take a DIM supplement
Diindolylmethane (DIM) is my favorite supplement for breaking down excess estrogen. It’s a natural estrogen blocker that helps your body to disassemble estrogen and bring your levels back into balance . Take at least 200mg of DIM every day, with food.
Manage endometriosis naturally
Use these steps to relieve endometriosis and get back to feeling your best. And for more personalized advice and tips to balance your hormones, check out my Power Type Quiz. It’s a free quiz you can use to figure out how to best support your body and become the superhero version of yourself.
- Baker, J. M., Al-Nakkash, L., & Herbst-Kralovetz, M. M. (2017). Estrogen–gut microbiome axis: Physiological and clinical implications. Maturitas, 103, 45-53. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28778332
- Itoh, H., Sashihara, T., Hosono, A., Kaminogawa, S., & Uchida, M. (2011). Lactobacillus gasseri OLL2809 inhibits development of ectopic endometrial cell in peritoneal cavity via activation of NK cells in a murine endometriosis model. Cytotechnology, 63(2), 205. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3080482/
- Rondanelli, M., Faliva, M. A., Miccono, A., Naso, M., Nichetti, M., Riva, A., … & Perna, S. (2018). Food pyramid for subjects with chronic pain: foods and dietary constituents as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agents. Nutrition research reviews, 31(1), 131-151. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29679994
- Towery, P., Guffey, J. S., Doerflein, C., Stroup, K., Saucedo, S., & Taylor, J. (2018). Chronic musculoskeletal pain and function improve with a plant-based diet. Complementary therapies in medicine, 40, 64-69. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30219471
- Morales-Prieto, D. M., Herrmann, J., Osterwald, H., Kochhar, P. S., Schleussner, E., Markert, U. R., & Oettel, M. (2018). Comparison of dienogest effects upon 3, 3′–diindolylmethane supplementation in models of endometriosis and clinical cases. Reproductive biology, 18(3), 252-258. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30001982