Endometriosis diet: Studies & experts recommend one of the best diets to reduce symptoms

Endometriosis diet: Studies & experts recommend one of the best diets to reduce symptoms


Louisa Lytton discusses EastEnders’ endometriosis storyline

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Endometriosis is a long-term condition where tissue similar to the lining of the womb grows in other places, such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes. Symptoms of the condition can include pain in the lower stomach, severe period pain or pain during or after sex. The condition can also cause infertility for some woman. Can a diet help to reduce these symptoms?


Endometriosis is far more than a cause of painful periods.

The condition can be long-term condition and affects the lives of one in 10 women in the UK of reproductive age.

Gastrointestinal issues aka ‘Endo Belly’ is often a daily plight for women with Endometriosis and involves bloating, constipation, diarrhoea or pain passing stools.

One major way to help reduce these painful symptoms is opting for a low-FODMAP diet.

One study found that more than 70 percent of participants with both endometriosis and IBS-like symptoms reported bowel relief when they eliminated high-FODMAP foods

“The low-FODMAP diet just de-stresses the gut,” said Dr Rebecca Burgell, a gastroenterologist at Monash.

She added: “Because it reduces the distention of the bowel and it reduces the amount of gas formed in the bowel, it just seems to de-stress the bowel in those that are over responsive to normal stimuli.”

What is low-FODMAP?

FODMAPs are types of carbohydrates found in certain foods, including wheat and beans.

Studies have shown strong links between FODMAPs and digestive symptoms like gas, bloating, stomach pain, diarrhoea and constipation.

Low-FODMAP diets can provide remarkable benefits for many people with common digestive disorders.

FODMAP stands for “fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides and polyols”.

These are short chain carbs that are resistant to digestion. Instead of being absorbed into your bloodstream, they reach the far end of your intestine where most of your gut bacteria reside.

Your gut bacteria then use these carbs for fuel, producing hydrogen gas and causing digestive symptoms in sensitive individuals.

A low-FODMAP diet may also be beneficial for other functional gastrointestinal disorders or digestive issues.

In addition, some evidence suggests that it can be useful for people with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

In many cases, those who follow a low-FODMAP diet experience major reduction in symptoms and impressive improvements in quality of life.

What to eat on a low-FODMAP diet?

  • Eggs and meat
  • Certain cheeses such as brie, Camembert, cheddar and feta
  • Almond milk
  • Grains like rice, quinoa and oats
  • Vegetables like eggplant, potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers and zucchini
  • Fruits such as grapes, oranges, strawberries, blueberries and pineapple

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