Endometriosis is a condition that occurs when the lining of the uterus grows outside of the uterus. It affects more than 11% of American women between the ages of 15 and 44. The exact cause of endometriosis is unknown, but endometriosis symptoms can be painful and may cause trouble with conception. (1) While there is no cure for the condition, endometriosis treatment focuses on an anti-inflammatory diet and natural forms of pain relief.
- Painful periods
- Irregular periods
- Painful intercourse
- Increased pain during bowel movements
- Increased pain during urination
- Excessive bleeding
- Spotting and bleeding in between cycles
- Painful digestion
- Chronic lower back and abdominal pain
- Pelvic pain
- Joint pain
- Nerve pain
- Chronic Fatigue
1. An Anti-Inflammatory Diet
Inflammatory foods can end up worsening endometriosis symptoms. Foods that should be avoided to reduce inflammation include dairy, processed foods, refined sugar and caffeine. Alcohol, soy and other foods that contain estrogen should also be avoided. An anti-inflammatory endometriosis treatment diet should include:
- Organic Foods: Pesticides and other hormones in processed foods can affect estrogen levels. Choose organic foods to ensure that your food isn’t full of toxic ingredients and added hormones that may worsen endometriosis symptoms.
- Flax, Hemp Seeds and Chia Seeds: These foods can help naturally improve estrogen levels in the body. Consume 3 tablespoons daily.
- Cruciferous Vegetables: Cruciferous vegetables increase indole-3-carbinol in the body, which helps support liver detoxification to rid the body of excess hormones and harmful toxins. (2)
- Avocados: Avocados are high in healthy fats, potassium and magnesium, which are nutrients that support hormone balance and reduce inflammation.
Certain supplements can help reduce pain in women who suffer from endometriosis. Natural endometriosis treatment supplements include:
- Pycnogenol: Pycnogenol is a Fresh maritime pine bark extract. A study published in the Journal of Reproductive Medicine showed that endometriosis sufferers who were treated with pycnogenol showed a reduction in symptoms. (3)
- Vitamin B Complex: B vitamins help support cellular function, reduce toxicity in the body and promote balance. Taking 50 milligrams of Vitamin B complex each day can help relieve chronic pain, boost mood and increase energy levels.
- Chasteberry: Chasteberry can help balance progesterone and estrogen levels in the body. Take 400 mg twice a day as an endometriosis treatment. (4)
- Milk Thistle: Milk thistle naturally supports the liver in its detoxification process. By promoting detox, milk thistle helps naturally balance hormones. Take 150 mg twice a day. (5)
3. Essential Oils
Essential oils can work as an endometriosis treatment to help boost immunity, reduce inflammation and naturally balance hormone levels. Try:
- Castor Oil: Castor oil is known to help soothe digestion and boost immune function. Use castor oil packs on the abdomen and pelvic area to help reduce pain and inflammation associated with endometriosis. (6)
- Clary Sage: Studies have shown that clary sage is an effective natural treatment to reduce pain and cramping. Apply 2-4 drops topically to the abdomen, followed by a warm compress over the are to help relieve pain and promote hormone balance. (7)
Research has shown that acupuncture is a safe and effective way to help relieve pain associated with endometriosis. According to a study conducted at Harvard Medical School, women with endometriosis experienced 62% less pain after being treated with acupuncture for four weeks. (8)