Take Control Of Your Endometriosis
Wild Nutrition is committed to supporting women with Endometriosis. A philosophy born from our co-founder Henrietta Norton’s personal and professional experience of this condition. We understand the profound impact that nutrition and lifestyle interventions can have on the lives of women who are affected. As many as one in ten women are known to suffer from Endometriosis - a painful and debilitating condition which affects the female hormone and immune systems - with symptoms ranging from low energy and mood, painful and very heavy menstruation, poor digestion and difficulty conceiving. However, eating and living well, in combination with supplementing your lifestyle with specific nutrients, can make it easier to cope. Our nutrition team are experts in Endometriosis, and can help you to manage your symptoms naturally, while offering support to those who are recovering from surgery, undergoing medical interventions or taking medication. After all, the body has a remarkable capacity to heal itself - and it is you that can make these changes happen.
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"I always thought that being in pain while on your period was normal - even if it was the kind that would prevent you from walking. After one night spent in extreme pain at the hospital, I discovered that I had Endometriosis. No explanation was given, except to say that the condition carried a risk of infertility. I was given the contraceptive pill, and told it would help to lessen the pain. I took it without questioning. Then, 18 months ago, I read "How to Take Control of your Endometriosis" by Henrietta Norton - and suddenly everything made sense. Soon after, I made an appointment with a nutritionist at Wild Nutrition, to try to find a way to control my Endometriosis naturally. I was very afraid to have periods again, and was anxious about the pain - however, my nutritionist was amazing: kind, open-minded and an absolute expert on Endometriosis. Under her guidance, I paid attention to what I ate, and I took the supplements she recommended. When my periods restarted, they were pain-free. Nearly two years on, and my Endometriosis is under control: I still experience a little discomfort on the first day of my period, but it’s nothing compared to what I used to endure. I don’t even need painkillers. Without doubt, making that appointment is the best decision I’ve made."
Our team of expert nutritionists host consultations with women all over the world. We sat down with our Head of Nutrition, Lorna Driver-Davies, to discuss the most commonly-asked Endometriosis questions...
Any woman who suffers from Endometriosis should take a fresh look at her diet: however, vegetarians and vegans need to be especially mindful. Ensuring that you’re getting adequate amounts of Iron, Vitamin D, Iodine, Choline, Vitamin A, Zinc and Vitamin B12 is essential, as a deficiency can contribute to slow healing after surgery, ineffective oestrogen metabolism, as well as low mood and fatigue. We recommend topping up on those key nutrients, which you can find in our multi vitamins and minerals. Otherwise, our Food-Grown Endo Complex contains many nutrients that vegans or vegetarians miss out on, including those that play a key role in oestrogen metabolism, strengthen immunity, reduce inflammation and support your mood, energy and menstrual cycle. Vegetarian and vegan diets can also be low in Omega 3, unless you supplement with vegan oils. If you are Pescatarian you can take our Pure Strength Omega 3, which is derived from fish gelatin rather than pork or beef.
Q: I am Vegan/Vegetarian - is there anything I need to be aware of with Endometriosis?
From extreme fatigue to a general lethargy, there is no easy explanation as to why women with Endometriosis often feel so tired. It may be that when the body is in a state of disease and the immune system is ‘activated’ that all energy is focused on the area in need of healing. If this is a continual state, energy supply to the rest of the body is less – so our Food-Grown Iron Plus is an essential, especially if your periods are heavy. Getting on top of inflammation can also help to protect energy levels, so we recommend our Turmaforte Full Spectrum Turmeric or our Food-Grown Immune Support and Pure Strength Omega 3. Fluctuations in energy can also be caused by blood sugar imbalance, or indicate that the thyroid needs more support - so we recommend our Food-Grown Balance Multi Nutrient, which contains Chromium for blood sugar and Iodine for a healthy thyroid, and can be taken alongside our foundational Food-Grown Endo Complex. Finally, therapeutic herbs, such as our KSM-66 Ashwagandha Plus, can work to restore stamina, strength and mental capacity - especially if stress and exhaustion have taken their toll.
Q: I often feel exhausted - what is good for energy when you have Endometriosis?
There is much concern around the subject of Endometriosis and fertility, both among sufferers and health professionals. Fertility is a complex and multi-faceted process and is not guaranteed in any woman; however, it can be made significantly harder with Endometriosis. Still, there are other factors - such as the quality of a man’s sperm, age (of both partners), ovulation cycle, and even state of mind - that play an equally important role in healthy conception. We recommend our Food-Grown Fertility, which provides you with the most powerful nutrients to support pregnancy; in addition to our Pure Strength Omega 3, which ensures hormonal stability and nutrients for your future baby, plus our Food-Grown Vitamin D, which is an immunity and future pregnancy essential. You can safely use our Food-Grown Endo Complex in preconception, but please stop taking it once you are pregnant. If you are considering or planning IVF, do arrange a call with our nutrition team, who understand the procedures you are undergoing and can recommend products to support.
Q: I am looking to conceive with Endometriosis - what should I take?
Most surgical interventions for Endometriosis are performed via laparoscopy (keyhole surgery). While this may sound straightforward, the importance of allowing your body to fully recover should not be underestimated. Even undergoing exploratory surgery (in other words, surgery without any treatment) involves an anaesthetic, which the body will need to process - therefore supporting your liver (take a look at our Cleansing products) and immunity is critical (we recommend our Food-Grown Immune Support). If you do have treatment during the surgery, you will need approximately two weeks to fully recuperate: one week off work is not enough, so speak to your GP who will ensure you get the time off you need. Remember that your body requires a great deal of energy to heal effectively, and it is important that you eat well and get enough sleep. Do consider a multi vitamin and mineral if you think it will be difficult to get all you need from your diet: our Food-Grown Balance Multi Nutrient contains everything you need for a healthy recovery. In the two weeks following surgery, a double dose of our Food-Grown Immune Support may help to accelerate healing and reduce inflammation, while our Multi Strain Biotic will work to rebalance your gut flora. This is especially important as surgery can disrupt the gut’s natural ecosystem, especially if you have been prescribed painkillers or antibiotics. Doing so will also help to settle your digestive system, effectively eliminating unwanted oestrogen in the body via healthy bowel movements. If you are using our Pure Strength Omega 3, you will need to stop supplementing one week before surgery; however, you may resume usage one week following surgery, if you had treatment. Finally, if it is the first time you have been fully diagnosed, you may also need to take the emotional impact of your diagnosis into account: so supporting your mood with our Food-Grown Balance Multi Nutrient or KSM-66 Ashwagandha Plus will alleviate anxiety and restore lost energy, while therapy or counselling may also support your wellbeing.
Q: I am due to have surgery for Endometriosis - what can I do to prepare my body and support its recovery?
Women with Endometriosis have a complex relationship with oestrogen production and metabolism. Production of oestrogen is intensified during Endometriosis, and some women - due to varying body chemistry and digestive function - may also find it hard to eliminate (all hormones once they have been used become a waste that needs excreting safely). This is further complicated as oestrogen is also produced from Endometrial lesions, which disrupt hormonal balance. Tests can also be misleading, and may show that oestrogen levels are normal, but this is often because oestrogen production is localised to the sites of Endometriosis. In order to eliminate excess oestrogen from the body, and to protect from its sometimes negative effects, special attention needs to be paid to the liver, gut and other biochemical pathways involved in hormone metabolism and detoxification. We recommend our Food-Grown Endo Complex, which contains specially selected nutrients and botanicals to support safe oestrogen metabolism. A regular cleansing programme at certain times of the year can also be beneficial, and our Food-Grown Total Cleanse Complex in combination with our Food-Grown Antioxidant Boost to support effective detoxification. However, cleansing is only fully effective if your digestive system is working as it should - so we suggest our Multi Strain Biotic and Digestive Enzyme Complex. Don’t forget to include plenty of vegetables and some fruit in your diet, in addition to grains and pulses - all of which will provide necessary fibre to keep the bowels moving - and drink water or herbal teas regularly. Movement of any kind, including yoga or Pilates (anything that involves the abdominals is great) can also help to regulate digestion.
Q: How do I manage my oestrogen levels with Endometriosis?
Q: Each month, I experience debilitating pain around the time of my period - is there anything that can help?
Pain during a period, or pain throughout the cycle, is reported by 95 per cent of women with Endometriosis. Otherwise known as ‘Dysmenorrhoea’, it is associated with the confined internal bleeding characteristic of this condition, with pain usually lasting beyond the first couple of days of the period and even in the days preceding. This pain is in an altogether different league from ‘normal’ period pain: it can be debilitating and disrupt your everyday tasks, including work; and when suffered regularly, it can be exhausting - both mentally and physically. However, diet and supplementation may help to relieve pain and improve quality of life. Omega 3 essential fatty acids are especially important, as they promote healthy hormonal function and help to lessen period pain. In fact, studies show that women who followed a diet low in caffeine, sugar and dairy, while supplementing with fish oils, experienced a significant reduction in Endometriosis-associated pain in the pelvic area - and our Pure Strength Omega 3 will help.
Vitamin B6 is also vital, contributing to the breakdown and regulation of oestrogen, as well as significantly reducing the intensity and duration of period pains - you can find it in our Food-Grown Endo Complex and our Food-Grown Vitamin B6. Otherwise, our Food-Grown Magnesium can act as a muscle relaxant and has been shown to have a beneficial effect on painful periods and lower back pain. Acupuncture has also been widely acknowledged for its benefits in treating Endometriosis and working to lessen physical pain. If your periods are very painful and you experience PMS, we recommend combining our Food-Grown Endo Complex, which is excellent for pain management, and our Food-Grown Premenstrual Complex, which includes Dong Quai, a therapeutic herb which is a traditional remedy for promoting healthy menstrual flow and supporting period pain.
Q: My Endometriosis used to feel under control, but now I seem to be in perimenopause, my symptoms have come back. Why is that and what can I do?
Perimenopause can be a time where oestrogen levels start to fluctuate: often increasing, as well as decreasing. Although you may still have a cycle and menstruation, ovulation may have become inconsistent or stopped - and this leads to hormonal imbalance as progesterone drops off and oestrogen soars. This can mean that the heavy, painful periods you may have once experienced have now returned, while inflammation may also increase. Supporting your immune system at this time is key, in order to manage your transition from perimenopause to menopause - so now is the time to regroup. Ensuring that you are taking exercise, eating a balanced diet and getting the right nutrients - in addition to minimising stress and tiredness - can help to manage flare ups. Our Food-Grown Endo Complex will be of great benefit at this stage, and you might also consider combining it with our Food-Grown Premenstrual Complex if you’re feeling hormonal in a way that it reminds you of your teenage years. Otherwise, our Botanical Menopause Complex is wonderful at managing classic perimenopausal symptoms such as hot flushes, mood swings and sleeplessness. Perimenopause can also affect the thyroid, which is responsible for hormonal balance, metabolism, energy and mood - so try our Food-Grown Thyroid Connect, which supports thyroid activity. Other physical symptoms such as stiff or aching joints can also be eased by taking our Turmaforte Full Spectrum Turmeric, a powerful botanical, which is proven to reduce inflammation, in addition to our Pure Strength Omega 3. And don’t forget to top up with hormone-supporting Food-Grown Vitamin D in the darker months.
Take Control Of Your Endometriosis
With an explanation of Endometriosis and its symptoms, a guide to what foods to eat and which to ditch, plus recipes to make the dietary changes easy to follow, this is an authoritative and accessible guide to empower women to manage their Endometriosis.