What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is an inflammatory condition where endometrial tissue, normally located in the uterus, is also present in other parts of the body such as the uterine tubes, abdominal cavity, and on the ovaries. Symptoms of endometriosis include severe menstrual pain, pain related to sexual intercourse, chronic lower back or pelvic pain, fertility issues, the formation of endometrial cysts, and more. 1
Nutrition for Endometriosis
Foods that reduce inflammation and foods that are high in fiber are recommended for people with endometriosis. Fiber-rich foods may decrease estrogen levels, helping to balance hormones and reduce symptoms associated with the condition. 2 Fiber-rich foods include raw fruits and vegetables, oats, and lentils. Anti-inflammatory foods, such as turmeric, leafy greens, fatty fish, and green tea, reduce inflammation in the body, helping to mitigate pain caused by endometriosis.
Chamomile has antispasmodic properties and is often used to help manage the severe menstrual pain that usually accompanies endometriosis. 3 Chamomile can be taken as an herbal supplement or brewed into a tea.
Massage Therapy for Endometriosis
Massage therapy is commonly used to relieve chronic pain and reduce stress levels. While massage therapy will not cure endometriosis, it can be a powerful pain management tool either as a complement to medication or on its own. Many naturopathic doctors (NDs) recommend regular massage therapy to patients with endometriosis as a natural way to diminish lower back pain and reduce the intensity of menstrual cramps. 4
Acupuncture for Endometriosis
Acupuncture is an ancient therapeutic technique where very thin needles are inserted into specific parts of the body and gently manipulated in order to stimulate points that are thought to connect to internal organs. 5 Acupuncture is often recommended as an endometriosis treatment. More studies need to be conducted to fully flesh out acupuncture’s effect, but research suggests that acupuncture can relieve endometriosis pain, and many people with the condition find this treatment beneficial. 6 7.
Seeing a Naturopathic Doctor for Endometriosis
While the above approaches are helpful to many people living with endometriosis, it is a good idea to book an appointment with a naturopathic doctor to get personalized advice on the best plan for you including exposure to endocrine disruptors and other external factors. An ND will get to know the specifics of your condition, lifestyle, and diet and will collaborate with you to create an integrative treatment program that helps to reduce and manage your symptoms.
If you are interested in natural approaches to endometriosis and other health conditions, a career in naturopathic medicine may be the right choice for you.