What I’ve Tried So Far
I have read enough research papers about the effects of x, y and z on endometriosis that it blurs into one. There is so much information online and you can drown in it. So, diving straight in:
There’s no definitive research on the link between diet and endo (the papers usually conclude with “more research needed”), but the word of mouth knowledge that comes online from endo support communities tends to ere on the side of “no gluten, no dairy, no soy, no phytoestrogens or oestrogen mimicers, low fat, low sugar, high fibre, semi vegan diets. So basically typical health eating with added suffering on the side. But I did try it. I’ve cut out dairy permanently because it doesn’t agree with me since the surgery (most painful decision ever). I tried cutting out gluten for 4 months, with no effect on symptoms. I’ve cut out soy because it seems pretty common sense that excess oestrogen isn’t a good thing for endometriosis, although no change in symptoms since doing it. As for the rest, I exist on a super health, low sugar low fat, very high fibre semi vegan diet. Have done for 5 months. But no change in symptoms unless you count slowly getting worse as change.
Again, there are a million papers saying that selenium or vitamin e have a positive effect on endo. I’ve tried some, but I’ll try others and keep you posted.
selenium – no change
tumeric – no change
omega 3s – no change
vitamin c – no change
A whackier one, tried it weekly for 2–3 months – it helped with pain (down from 4–2) for a day after having it, which isn’t enough of a result to justify the expense.
Curtesy of my work, I was sent to the Mayr clinic, a horribly expensive fasting clinic which professes to reset your gut and immune system by feeding you 200 calories a day for a week and cramming you full of every vitamin and mineral you’re vaguely deficient in. The doctors there are both western trained and “holistic” and absolutely great people, but the programme left me feeling iller and more tired than before, no change in symptoms.
i saw an osteopath for pelvic pain once a month after my cycle for 4 months. No change to pain or other symptoms.
Stress management and Body awareness
As most people who have endometriosis know, stress makes your chronic symptoms (rather than once a month symptoms) worse. De-stressing my life in work and play did improve symptoms, just not substantially. As part of stress management, one of the doctors I saw suggested there was a link between mental health and physical health, and that reconnecting Body with my mind would help. Conventionally, mindfulness overlaps with this idea. Being in pain every day enables a disconnect between your mind and your body, so that you become at war instead of working together. It has been so hard to reestablish a connection with an element of myself that causes me pain, particularly an emotional connection of valuing it. It does help. Not cure, not get rid of symptoms, but it does help.
I tried hiring a personal trainer with experience of working with women with gynaecological conditions. She put me on a half hour aerobic programme to do 3–4 times a week, which made me throw up once a week a day after doing the exercise. Not a success, but we’ll come back to that one.
So there you have it. Every road tried so far. Most related to trying to find symptomatic relief rather than a cure. Now I’m beginning to run out of options for either.