READ ME: I've started the endometriosis diet so why aren't I feeling any better.....
This is one of the most commonly asked questions I get asked on my social media…..for the most part women with endometriosis are extremely educated and motivated to make changes especially to their diets and will do anything and everything to try and make themselves feel better.
It can feel really disheartening when you’ve made significant changes to your diet and lifestyle and are following something as restrictive as the endometriosis diet and aren’t reaping the benefits.
Embarking on a predominantly whole foods diet (A whole food is a food that hasn’t been processed or is minimally processed) is such an important part of improving your endometriosis symptoms but its only step 1.
I outline some other factors that really need to be addressed if you want to help manage your endometriosis symptoms through your diet.
FOCUS ON WHAT TO ADD TO YOUR DIET NOT WHAT TO TAKE AWAY
When I work with women one on one, the first thing I always ask them to do is improve their diet overall. I do this for a number of reasons. Firstly it allows you some “quick wins” which are so important when you have been feeling unwell for a long time.
It also allows you to feel like you are taking some control over your dietary symptoms and hopefully help your energy (and motivation) in particular.
IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM FOODS
This however isnt the whole story….My main issue with the endometriosis diet is that it eliminates A LOT of foods. The truth is you are completely unique and what is a problem food for you, may not be a problem for the woman next to you. That is why you need to actually identify what are problem foods for you. Its also worth noting that problem foods may not all necessarily be unhealthy foods. Some women with endometriosis have problems digesting certain carbohydrates and can benefit from following a FODMAP diet. That is why it is so important to work with a professional during this period rather than just trying to follow the endometriosis diet. Support is a vital part of the process.
This is where it starts to get tricky, but it really is key. Once we’ve found out what our trigger foods are they do need to be removed from the diet for a period of time. I do say period of time though….for the most part these foods only need to go for a while (there is a possibility some need to stay out permanently). There is no point in saying this is easy..its not but its where the work is done and where real proper progress can be made with management of symptoms.
REINTRODUCTION & REPAIR
This is the big one and a big part of why a lot of women with endo might not start to feel better. If we’ve been eating foods for a long time that we perhaps shouldn’t, our bodies and more specifically our guts are not going to be happy. Even if we improve our diet there will still be damage there that needs to be fixed. Therapeutic supplements and foods can work really well in this area.
THE MISSING INGREDIENT: PATIENCE
These things take time and are absolutely not an overnight success but once the proper steps have been implemented and not just changing your diet improvements can be made over time.
I myself was diagnosed with endometriosis when I was 26 and have made improvements to my diet only a period of 8 years….I wish it was, but this isnt an overnight thing. It takes time and dedication but what is the most important part is learning what are potential triggers for you.
FOOD IS ONLY PART OF THE PICTURE
Food is also only one part of the story. Ever notice you seem to tolerate your food a little bit better when you are on holidays? Its not an accident.
It because you are hopefully feeling less stressed. Stress and lifestyle management are key parts of managing endometriosis symptoms and are just as important as what you are putting in your body.
I’ll cover stress management and self care in separate blogs as these are hugely important parts to feeling better overall if you do have endometriosis.
I hope this was helpful and maybe gave you some ideas on why your symptoms aren’t improving as quickly as you’d like. Stick with it…it takes time.
Don’t forget I do work with women one on one (on a limited basis) and am currently taking on clients so do go to the contact page and send me a message if you would like some more info
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