There is no conclusive evidence that dairy is bad for endometriosis. Dairy products often contain a high percentage of saturated fat and many types of hormones, which may aggravate endometriosis. On the other hand, a large study in the U.S. found that a higher intake of dairy products was associated with lower risk for endometriosis.
If you are not lactose-intolerant, you may benefit from eating low-fat, organic dairy products as they contain nutrients like calcium, phosphorus, trace minerals and vitamins. Vitamin D in particular is found to reduce inflammation, which can ease endometriosis symptoms.
Dairy product tolerance varies for each individual, and different dairy products have different effects on the digestive system. For example, some people find it difficult to digest milk but have no problem with yogurt or cheese. An elimination diet (in consultation with your doctor) may help you determine whether or not dairy helps or worsens your endometriosis symptoms.
What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a condition in which endometrial tissue grows outside the uterus, most commonly on the ovaries, fallopian tubes and the tissue surrounding the uterus. It can also grow on the bladder, bowel, vagina and cervix. While the cause of endometriosis is unclear, the condition is hormone-dependent and may be aggravated by certain foods.
The endometrium is the innermost layer of the uterus, which builds up with new tissue and blood vessels every month during the menstrual cycle in preparation for pregnancy. If conception doesn’t take place, the endometrium is shed during menstruation.
In people with endometriosis, the endometrial tissue that is outside the uterus also goes through the same process of building up and breaking down during the menstrual cycle, but there is no way for the broken down tissue and blood to flow out of the body. This internal bleeding can result in the following symptoms:
- Excessively heavy menstrual flow
- Pain with menstruation and sexual intercourse
- Pelvic pain
- Urinary and bowel problems
- Scar tissue and abdominal adhesions
Can I reverse endometriosis naturally?
Naturopathic treatment is a holistic approach that addresses symptoms of the body, mind and the spirit. While some women may benefit from naturopathy, there is no definitive cure for endometriosis. Conventional treatments for endometriosis include medications and/or surgery. Before starting any kind of treatment, you should first consult with your doctor.
Naturopathic treatment for endometriosis aims to:
- Stimulate the body’s innate ability to reduce inflammation and heal
- Balance the hormones which influence endometriosis
- Improve the liver’s ability to break down toxins
This type of treatment includes dietary modifications, botanical medicines and supplements. It may also include acupuncture, a treatment in which thin needles are inserted into your skin at specific points; this is believed to stimulate the central nervous system.
Naturopaths usually advise endometriosis patients to go on anti-inflammatory diets, which typically involve higher consumption of fruits and vegetables and reducing intake of processed foods, red meats and trans-fats.
Botanical medicines that may provide relief from endometriosis symptoms include:
- Vitex (chaste tree), used to treat hormonal imbalance
- Motherwort to relieve pain and menstrual cramps
- Rosemary, an anti-inflammatory herb
- Curcumin, an anti-inflammatory compound in turmeric
- Flax seeds for their anti-inflammatory properties
- Pycnogenol, a product extracted from the bark of pine tree, for pain relief
Supplements used in naturopathic treatment to reduce pain, inflammation and excessive bleeding include:
- Diindolylmethane (DIM), a substance found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, brussels sprouts and cabbage
- Beta-carotene a substance found in orange/yellow vegetables and fruits like carrots and apricots
- Essential fatty acids such as omega-3
- N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) which is thought to reduce cyst size
What foods are bad for endometriosis?
Inflammatory foods are generally believed to aggravate endometriosis symptoms, but each individual is different. An elimination diet may be an effective way to identify which foods worsens your symptoms. You should then be able to re-introduce foods that don’t affect you. It’s also important to remember that with many foods and beverages, moderation is key.
Many women report endometriosis symptom relief from reducing or eliminating the following from their diets:
What foods help heal endometriosis?
Foods cannot cure or heal endometriosis, and there is no perfect universal diet for endometriosis. For women who have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in addition to endometriosis, a low FODMAP diet (Fermentable Oligo, Di, Mono-saccharides and Polyols) may be beneficial.
The following foods, which generally promote good health, may also help lessen endometriosis symptoms:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Fatty fish and lean meat
- Beans and legumes
- Whole grains
- Nuts and seeds
- Low fat dairy
- Green tea
- What Is Avascular Necrosis and How Does It Affect Bones?
- The Arch of the Human Foot Was Key to Upright Walking, Scientists Say
- Worried About Cataracts? Here's What You Need to Know
- FDA Issues Warning About Compounded Versions of Wegovy, Ozempic
- Sick Restaurant Workers Fuel Many Foodborne Illness Outbreaks
- More Health News »
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Top Is Dairy Bad for Endometriosis? Related Articles
Does Endometriosis Make You Fat?Endometriosis is a condition in which tissue that lines the inside of the uterus grows outside of the uterus. There is no research to conclusively prove that endometriosis directly causes weight gain in women who suffer from the condition. However, these women do frequently find themselves gaining weight.
EndometriosisEndometriosis implants are most commonly found on the ovaries, the Fallopian tubes, the outer surfaces of the uterus or intestines, and on the surface lining of the pelvic cavity. They also can be found in the vagina, cervix, and bladder.
What Is Endometriosis?What is endometriosis? Endometriosis is an abnormal growth of endometrial cells found in the uterus. Not to be confused with endometrial cancer, endometriosis has different symptoms and treatments, including surgery.
Endometriosis QuizEndometriosis is a common gynecological condition. Take this quiz to learn what happens when a woman has endometriosis as well as causes, treatments, and risks.
Does Getting Pregnant Help Endometriosis or Make It Worse?Endometriosis can affect fertility and cause painful periods. Endometriosis symptoms may subside during pregnancy because your menstrual cycle has stopped, but this isn't always the case.
How Do I Know If I Have Endometriosis?Approximately, one-third of the women with endometriosis remain asymptomatic. Severe pain during menses may be the first sign of endometriosis. Other symptoms that you may experience include heavy periods, low back pain, cramps, pain during intercourse and other symptoms.
lactase enzymeLactase is a digestive enzyme that breaks up lactose, the carbohydrate in milk and milk products. Lactose intolerant adults and children can take lactase enzyme as a supplement to help digest milk products. Do not administer lactase to children younger than 4 years of age without checking with a pediatrician. Lactase enzyme has no documented side effects. Some people may have an allergic reaction. Consult your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Orilissa (elagolix)Orilissa (elagolix) is a prescription medicine used to treat moderate to severe pain associated with endometriosis. Bone density loss can be a serious side effect.
What Are the Early Signs of Endometriosis?The endometrium is the inner lining of the uterus, which changes throughout the menstrual cycle, shedding during menstrual periods. Endometriosis is the presence of normal endometrial tissue abnormally implanted in locations other than the inner wall of the uterus. This causes pain and other symptoms that may include infertility.