READ ME: Endometriosis and gut health
How’s your gut bacteria?
Probably not something that you are used to being asked, but bare with me. It’s SO important when it comes to managing your endometriosis symptoms
The easiest way I like to explain gut bacteria (aka the microbiome) is that your digestive system is essentially a very large battleground. And on a very large battle ground you have soldiers, and usually we are rooting for one side. So we’ve the bad side and the good side.
We always have both and having some bad gut bacteria isn’t the worst thing in the world. The real issue is if we start to have more of these bad guys than the good ones.
And unfortunately with the way we live our modern lives, our gut bacteria can easily become unbalanced.
Several activities that we are participating in ON THE DAILY can interfere with our gut bacteria including:
A diet rich in things like sugar, alcohol, caffeine and processed food
A diet low in fibre
Being on the OCP
Taking certain medications such as the NSAID’s which are commonly taken for period pain
But how do you know if the bad guys are winning the battle? Well symptoms can be varied but usually result in some sort of digestive discomfort (bloating, gas, diarrhoea, constipation) or perhaps even signs of excess Candida overgrowth (which is actually a yeast) like cravings for sugary foods or even thrush.
An unbalanced microbiome can also lead to increased inflammation in the body which unfortunately means more unsavoury endometriosis symptoms.
So how do we go about turning the table back in the favour of those good guys?
Here are 3 simple things you can do right now.
Fibre. Increase the amount of fibrous vegetables and fruits in your diet. Fibre is essentially food for your good gut bacteria. More fibre means they will be able to thrive. Aim for colour, diversity and seasonality. Its also important to take note of any change in symptoms when you do increase the amount of fibrous foods in your diet. If you aren’t able to tolerate them this may indicate a different issue (which is most definitely the topic for a different blog post!)
Consider adding in some fermented foods into the mix. Fermented foods are high in probiotics (good live bacteria). If you are getting started with fermented foods, Kombucha is a great place to start. Its a slightly fizzy flavoured tea which not only tastes great but will make your tummy very happy. Kombucha is now easily available in health shops and also in some supermarkets.
Consider a supplement. Supplements aren’t necessary for everything but it’s one of the supplements I do recommend for women with endometriosis especially if you are suffering with digestive symptoms, have been taken painkillers for your endometriosis pain for a prolonged period and/or have been on an anti-biotic course recently. If you would like to know the other supplements I recommend take a look at this blog post.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post.
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