The diet for endometriosis: reduce inflammation and fight pain

The diet for endometriosis: reduce inflammation and fight pain

On the occasion of the month dedicated to the disease, the experts of the Italian Endometriosis Foundation reveal the advice on the foods to bring to the table and those to avoid

March is the month dedicated to endometriosis, a female disease that affects 3 million women in Italy alone, causing symptoms that are often disabling and devastating, especially in the cycle and ovulation phase, such as chronic physical fatigue, amnesia and attention disorders. . But it is above all the pelvic pains that make living with the disease difficult.

There is no definitive cure today. However, choosing the most appropriate foods to bring to the table can help reduce the chronic inflammation caused by this anomaly and improve symptoms. In fact, there are some foods that, although they are generally considered healthy, should be limited if you suffer from endometriosis since they carry components that exacerbate inflammation (pro-inflammatory). On the other hand, however, there are foods that have components that counteract and reduce inflammation.

Changing your meal plan, introducing recommended foods and reducing those not recommended, has proven to be one of the best ways to reduce the symptoms of the disease and pain and to reduce or eliminate the use of drugs and painkillers.


  • The diet for endometriosis
  • Recommended foods
  • The foods to reduce
  • Foods to avoid

The diet for endometriosis

Starting from these assumptions, the Italian Endometriosis Foundation has been developing a type of diet based on four pillars for over 10 years. “The first – explains prof. Pietro Giulio Signorile, president of the Italian Endometriosis Foundation – is a reduction in the intake of estrogenic foods; followed by an increase in antiestrogenic foods; the reduction of pro-inflammatory foods and the increase of anti-inflammatory foods. In this way, the hormones in the blood and inflammation, and therefore pain, are reduced. But in addition to acting on the symptoms, the diet also acts on the pathology: by reducing estrogen, the percentage of growth of endometriosis is also limited ".

"A real 'therapeutic food' – adds Dr. Maria Cassano, nutrition biologist of the Italian Endometriosis Foundation -. By following some specific nutritional recommendations, the body can in fact enjoy benefits ".

So what to bring to the table? “First of all, a diet containing anti-inflammatory and antioxidant substances, such as turmeric and ginger, is preferred. An excess of saturated fats and sugars, on the other hand, could trigger a cascade of reactions capable of stimulating the activation of inflammatory mediators, while an adequate distribution of carbohydrates in the diet allows to maintain the secretion of insulin within ranges favoring hormonal balance. Great attention must also be paid to the presence of endocrine dysregulators, hidden within canned food, plastics and pesticides, capable of interfering with estrogen production ".

Recommended foods

Dried fruit; flax, chia and pumpkin seeds; salmon and small blue fish; avocado: these are all foods rich in ALA (alpha linolenic acid) fats, which help reduce inflammation associated with endometriosis thanks to the regulation of the function of cytokines, molecules involved in inflammatory processes. In addition, they increase the production of prostaglandin PGE1 which reduces the level of abdominal inflammation caused by the disease.

Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes contain dietary fibers that help the body to:

  • regulate the levels of certain hormones in the body
  • adjust the insulin ups and downs
  • to reduce estrogen
    It is recommended that you increase fiber by 20-30% and always include it with every meal.

The foods to reduce

Red meat is to be reduced to a minimum, white meat of controlled origin and breeding is preferred; it is also good to minimize dairy products due to the presence of casein and lactose. Finally, gluten, to which women with endometriosis seem to be more sensitive, should be taken from whole and raw flours.

Foods to avoid

Sugars and refined products and saturated fats. Simple sugars, in particular, cause an inflammatory reaction, produce a more acidic environment in the body that promotes inflammation and therefore endometriosis. It is therefore good to eliminate snacks, industrial biscuits, sugary drinks, products with white flour and refined sugar, but also fats such as butter and margarine. However, artisanal or homemade products with little sugar and wholemeal or low-gluten flours are allowed.

Coffee and energy drink. Caffeine increases abdominal cramps, estrogen levels and the body's acidity level and therefore the likelihood of inflammation.

Fried foods and alcohol. Fried food can stimulate negative prostaglandins. Good liver function is vital as the liver will help eliminate excess estrogen from the body.

Soy, oats, aloe and rye. Soy contains xenoestrogens, which are proven to be toxic to estrogen-sensitive tissues and the thyroid. Rye and oats are to be avoided due to the high estrogen content.

Supplements yes or no?

Today, most of us need to supplement our diets with some of the vitamins and minerals our bodies need to function optimally. Among the supplements and essential nutrients, if you suffer from endometriosis, there are: vitamin D; Omega 3; turmeric; quercetin; luteolin; feverfew; nicotinamide and calcium metifolate.

The benefits of this diet for the woman suffering from the disease are different, assure the experts of the Foundation. Such as the reduction of pelvic cramps and their recurrence; the decrease in bloating and the improvement of the digestive process; the improvement of the state of inflammation; lowering of local estrogen levels; hormonal balance. Finally, bringing the right foods to the table contributes to a reduction of chronic physical fatigue.

Read also

  • Anti-inflammatory diet: foods to avoid to protect the heart
  • Guenda Goria tells about endometriosis: "Don't underestimate the symptoms"
  • Endometriosis, "conscious" showcases for the disease of the uterus out of place
  • Anti-inflammatory diet for healthy intestines and colon
  • Endometriosis, how it affects fertility and available therapies. Talk to the gynecologist

Tag: Menstrual cycle Diets Pathologies

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