Saturday, December 19, 2009

Endometriosis: Nutritional Recommendations!

A friend of mine was diagnosed with Endometriosis and she has been trying to get pregnant for over a year now, so I pray that these nutritional recommendations help her and those of you out there who have the same diagnosis. Thankfully the food choices you make, can have a significant impact! That hand to mouth action has a lot of POWER!!

Endometriosis- is the abnormal growth of cells that form in the uterine lining. Some of these cells, instead of leaving the body during the menstrual cycle, actually end up continuing their cycle elsewhere in the body. So, the material builds up and may attach itself to other organs in the lower abdomen, such as the ovaries or bowel. Several types of symptoms may result, such as pain in the uterus, lower back, and organs in the pelvic cavity prior to and during the menses; intermittent pain throughout the menstrual cycle; painful intercourse; excessive bleeding; nausea/vomiting/constipation during menses; difficulty passing stools; pain while urinating; and sometimes, infertility. Since menstruation is typically heavy, iron-deficiency anemia is common.

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA.1999; 282: 2347-2354), an estimated 5 to 7 million American women have endometriosis. No one knows what causes endometriosis, one theory is that menstrual fluid backs up into the fallopian tubes and drops into the peritoneal cavity, where endometrial cells implant themselves and grow. Research has shown that exposure to two types of hazardous waste materials, PCBs and dioxin, can cause spontaneous endometriosis. These environmental pollutants: polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)- still present in many pre-1979 products, older fluorescent lights and by eating contaminated fish, meat, and dairy products. Catfish, buffalo fish, and carp usually have the highest PCB levels and dioxin, may account for the rising incidence of endometriosis in the last few decades. Because dioxins accumulate in fish fat, you can reduce your intake of dioxins by: removing the skin and fatty areas from fish filets, rather than fry fish, barbecue, broil, or bake fish on an elevated rack that allows fat to drip away. Throw away the drippings. You can also poach fish as long as you throw away the broth. Other ways to avoid exposure to dioxins: wash fruits and vegetables before eating and not breathing smoke and vapors given off from burning household waste.

Nutritional Recommendations for helping to keep endometriosis under control if diagnosed in the early stages:

Supplementation: Order at

* Vitamin E: 200 IU daily (order: E-Complex 1:1™) -aids hormonal balance.

*Vitamin K or alfalfa: 200 micrograms daily- essential for normal blood clotting.

*Omega-3 fatty acids: 1,500 mg daily-EPA-DHA Extra Strength® Enteric-Coated (provides essential fatty acids that aids in hormonal balance.

*Iron: As directed by your MD- to prevent iron-deficiency anemia.

*Vitamin C with bioflavonoids:Ultra Potent-C® 500

*Zinc: 50 mg daily. Zinc A.G.™ -for tissue repair and immune function.

Calcium and Magnesium: Cal Apatite® Forte Capsules-To supply needed minerals.

*Juice Plus: Order at (great to use as your whole food multi-vitamin and mineral complex, great source of B-vitamins)

* Probiotics: Ultra Flora Plus® Capsules- helps with overall nutrient absorption and immunity.


Eat predominately a high fiber diet, rich in whole soy foods, stay clear from soy protein concentrate or isolated soy protein or soy protein isolate, stick with: edamame, unsweetened soy milk, organic tofu, and soy yogurt. Focus on eating raw vegetables and fruits, whole grains and raw nuts and seeds. Also, eat Kelp (try wakame seaweed)- rehydrate in water and great to add in a soup or eat sushi with seaweed. Include "green drinks" made from dark green leafy vegetables.

Stay clear from: alcohol, caffeine, saturated (animal) fat, butter, whole milk dairy products (non fat or low fat dairy is ok, e.g., 0% greek yogurt and low fat ricotta cheese), fried foods, foods that contain additives, all hardened fats, junk foods or fast foods, red meats, poultry (except for organic, no hormones, skinless chicken/turkey breast), refined and processed foods, salt, shellfish, and sugar (except for raw agave nectar).

Keep yourself hydrated: Drink filtered water throughout the day, keep sipping-keep your urine clear like water.

Use a heating pad, hot water bottle or a hot bath with Epsom salts, to help relieve pain. The warmth relaxes your muscles.

Move daily- walk, take aerobic classes, stretch, do yoga, dance, swim- Aim for 45 minutes to an hour per day of moving, can spread it out by doing intervals of 15 minutes a few times per day. Schedule moving in your calendar, it's a health appointment, no one or nothing can get in the way. (According to research from the: (Am J Epidemiol 2003; 158:156-164)- strenuous exercise lowers the level of estrogen in the body, which may help suppress the symptoms of endometriosis).

See your OB-GYN regularly.

Enjoy Liviting! May all of you who want to get pregnant, get pregnant soon and L'chaim to a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby! :)

Your Livitician Coach,

Deborah A. Klein, MS, RD


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