It’s Endometriosis awareness month and we’re here to share some facts to know about this disorder. Endometriosis affects 1 in 10 women, and it is not talked about nearly enough! It is important to understand the signs and symptoms because they’re often written off as “normal”. We want to provide you with the basics so that you can be an advocate for your health and thrive in your wellness journey.

What is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a disorder in which tissue similar to the inner lining of the uterus (the endometrium) is found on the outside of the uterus. It is a painful condition because it causes chronic inflammation, particularly during menstruation. This affects women of child-bearing age and can appear as early as a girl’s first period, and may remain through menopause. 

What are the signs and symptoms? 

Signs and symptoms to look out for include heavy and painful periods, pain during or after sex, fatigue, constipation, and infertility. Symptoms will vary from person to person. Endometriosis is definitively diagnosed by a surgical procedure.

What about Nutrition?

Endometriosis is characterized by severe inflammation, so it is essential that those who have an endometriosis diagnosis fill their eating routine with anti-inflammatory foods. Studies have shown that a diet composed of healthy omega-3 fatty acids can reduce inflammation and in turn reduce the amount of pain one experiences. Omega-3’s can be found in fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring, and more. Other anti-inflammatory foods include fruits, nuts, dark leafy greens, and seeds, beverages like green tea, and even spices such as cinnamon, ginger, and turmeric.

There is no one right diet that works for all individuals with endometriosis, it is very important to seek individualized nutrition and lifestyle advice from a dietitian specializing in endometriosis before making any major dietary or lifestyle changes. 

Where to find more information about endometriosis

If you’d like to dig deeper into all there is to know about endometriosis, Office On Women’s Health provides helpful information and resources. You can also check out The Endometriosis Foundation of America where they dive into causes, different stages, symptoms, and more. Also, please talk to your healthcare provider for all health concerns.