Broadly speaking, endometriosis is a gynecological disease derived from a hormonal imbalance that generates growth of tissue around the uterus, which causes pain and chronic inflammation. In at least 30% of cases it can cause infertility. However, the biggest problem, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), is the late diagnosis and the lack of medical monitoring that this disease has.
According to this same organization, this disease affects approximately 10% of women and girls around the world. That means that about 190 million women of reproductive age may have endometriosis..
Despite not having a cure, several studies have shown that a specific diet can help control symptoms. According to GebFra Science, foods rich in vitamin B and Omega 3 are ideal for reducing the symptoms and pain caused by endometriosis. On the other hand, the following foods were shown to have an amplifying effect on both pelvic swelling and chronic pain and are therefore considered off-limits foods.
According to several studies, drinking alcohol affects the hormonal levels of the body. For example, a study published in Women’s Mental Health showed that after drinking there is an increase in estrogen levels and sometimes testosterone and luteinizing hormone (LH). This means that excessive alcohol consumption can change a woman’s menstrual cycle and, in the case of endometriosis, can increase the hormonal load that causes the symptoms.
Additionally, scientists are exploring the theory that alcohol may increase the risk of being infertile, since it increases estrogen levels, which could inhibit follicular development and ovulation, but there are still no conclusive results in this regard.
Red meat is one of the most prominent risk factors because it is an inflammatory food. According to a study published in 2018, meat has this effect regardless of whether it is natural, processed, or ultra-processed.
The main recommendation to avoid this is to replace red meat with fish, crustaceans and eggs. These three foods provide protein without causing further inflammation of the organs of the reproductive system.
The third group of foods that is prohibited for people suffering from endometriosis are foods with high percentages of trans fats.
A study published in the journal Human Reproduction reported that people who eat a diet with a higher intake of trans and saturated fats are 48% more likely to report endometriosis-related symptoms. In addition, people with diets high in unsaturated fats such as Omeg-3, are 22% less likely to develop endometriosis.
What are the symptoms of endometriosis?
The symptoms of this disease may be the following:
- Painful periods.
- Chronic pelvic pain.
- Pain during or after sexual intercourse.
- Pain when going to the bathroom.
- Abdominal distension and nausea.
In addition, people suffering from this disease are more prone to depression and anxiety due to constant symptoms and late diagnosis. In fact, according to the WHO, there is a lack of medical awareness about this disease, which is why many times people suffering from endometriosis are quickly discharged or simply diagnosed with painful periods.
Because of this, March 14 was established as World Endometriosis Day. This date has the objective of publicizing this condition that affects a percentage of the female population worldwide and that alters the quality of life of people who suffer from it.