What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is an inflammatory disease that affects millions around the globe, and it’s estimated that at least 1 in 10 women, girls, and those with a uterus in New Zealand will experience it.
Endometriosis occurs when the endometrial cells located inside the uterus, start to grow on the outside of the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. It’s one of the most undiagnosed conditions for women, and it can take up to 8 years to diagnose.
Living with a condition like Endometriosis can be debilitating. The physical and emotional effects can be serious, far-reaching, and persistent. We’ve put together a list of self-care tips to help you or someone you know better cope.
Get emotional support
Living with chronic pain can be an incredibly difficult experience that can take a toll on your mental health. It's common to feel anxious or depressed, and these feelings can make your pain feel even worse. If you're struggling with negative emotions, it might be helpful to try practicing meditation or mindfulness for just a few minutes each day.
It's helpful to let your friends, family, and even colleagues know about the pain and how it's affecting you. Your peers are an important place to receive support from, and letting your workplace know could help ease work pressures when you are not feeling your best.
For more specialist support, it would be beneficial to connect with a mental health therapist, or find support online. The digital age has made it so easy to be able to connect to others on the same journey as you. Below are a few online blogs and resources dedicated to sharing the experiences of those living with Endometriosis that you might find helpful and relatable.
Nutrition plays a key role in many ailments and Endometriosis is no different. Inflammation and oestrogen levels can make endometriosis symptoms worse, and your diet can influence both factors.
Some anti-inflammatory foods to add to your diet include:
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, almonds, cashews and avocado
Water. Aim to drink six glasses of water per day. Pay attention to your thirst queues, your body is amazing at telling you what it needs!
Foods that contain anti-inflammatory properties, such as blackcurrants. 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 consume less frequently:
Fatty red meat
Drinks high in sugar
High-fat Dairy products
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 a good night’s rest
Getting a good night's sleep is an essential part of managing stress levels and fighting inflammation.
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
Read your favourite book
Try an oil diffuser with calming and relaxing scents
Remove phones, laptops and TVs from your sleep environment
Move your body
Exercise does wonders for the mind and body. If it’s the right exercise for you, it can be a very powerful tool to help manage your symptoms. Moving your body has been shown to help ease pain as it releases endorphins, and lowers levels of oestrogen and inflammation.
High-intensity interval training, running, or other aerobic workouts may worsen your symptoms. If this is the case, try yoga or walking for a more passive and gentler workout. When you feel up to it, make it a habit to move more often. 5 minutes a day counts!
Living with pain can be stressful, and stress can make your symptoms worse while contributing to your pain sensitivity. Try deep breathing by inhaling through your nose to fill your lungs with air, hold for 10 seconds, then slowly exhale. Try meditation to calm your mind and body during tough episodes, and please always remember to be kind to yourself.
Acupuncture is a traditional Asian therapy that use fine needles to stimulate pressure points around the body. It improves your blood flow and releases natural painkilling chemicals within the body.
NOTE: please consult with a medical professional before trying any self-help remedies.
Nutrient Rescue whole food powder
We're humbled by the numerous stories our customers have shared about the benefits they've experienced from using our wholefood powders as a part of their self-care routine, particularly those dealing with Endometriosis. While we recognise that our powders may not be a one-size-fits-all solution for everyone, improving your diet has been shown to improve various health conditions.
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, visit the Endometriosis New Zealand website.