Written by Melissa, author of the popular blog Endo Empowered
Truthfully, my diet was always a place where I could hide from my endometriosis pain. It generally involved eating a whole bunch of foods laden with cheese, sugar and fat – though not necessarily all at once! Thing is, I didn’t really believe that food played any role in my endometriosis pain. It was my crutch, the only thing that I believed could make me feel better – emotionally, certainly not physically.
I spent over 15 years suffering with endometriosis. When I say suffering, I mean in every aspect of the word. I would get attacks of pain, be in bed for 3 days during my period and carry a pharmacy of drugs in my purse for all the side-effects I was dealing with. When I had a pain attack, I would stop at a convenience store and stuff myself with chocolate. It somehow made me feel better…
It was only after the 7th operation that I realized I couldn’t carry on like this anymore. I just couldn’t bear to endure another procedure. I had reactions to the antibiotics, my belly was swollen and I was tired. Tired of always being sick and always needing drugs and doctors in my life. I hated the reliance of it all. I hated the disempowerment of it all.
I am naturally a proactive person and I felt trapped in the lack of possibility that was presented to me with endometriosis. There seemed to be no options and no answers. It felt hopeless and depressing!
I just wasn’t getting the answers and so….. I decided to take matters into my own hands and Google became my best friend.
After hours of researching and learning about the body and endometriosis, I discovered that many websites were recommending a healthier diet and cutting out certain foods, including all those foods I so desperately felt I needed. Gluten had to go and so did sugar! Oh boy! Could I really do this?
I decided to give myself a six-month trial. I would try a new way of eating, the recommended way of eating, for 6 months and if nothing changed, I would go for another surgery. I did it all! I cut out gluten, sugar, meat and packaged foods. I focused on healing my body with foods. I learned about foods that could really help me feel better too. I learned what foods could provide energy and which ones increased inflammation in the body. Slowly but surely as the first few months ticked by, I realized that my period was easier to deal with. I no longer needed as many pain-killers to get through the day. I had found some form of power over endo!
I started to add super nutrient foods like Chia seeds, goji berries, buckwheat grouts (to replace the gluten) and quinoa. I focused on foods which were dark in color as they tend to contain more anti-oxidants and nutrients like seaweeds, blueberries, dark leafy greens and wild foods. The common dandelion is an amazing plant!
That was 3 years ago and today I feel like a brand new person. I don’t even keep any pain-killers in the house! I don’t need any form of medication! I am completely empowered about what my body truly needs and how to make myself feel better. I have energy for the first time in my life! I don’t struggle to get up in the morning and I can actually accomplish all the things I have always wanted. It is amazing.
I think so often we dismiss food as a factor when we are looking at healing. Perhaps we assume it is too simple? I understand now that food is like fuel for the body. It is where the body gets all the building blocks it needs to function and do its repair work. It makes sense — if you want to transform your physical health, then diet is a fundamental aspect.
The funny thing is, that when you change what you eat, you automatically also change how you feel mentally. You gain more clarity, calmness and certainty.
I want more women with endometriosis to realize how much food can change their life. Your diet is something you have control over and it can make a tremendous difference. The choice to eat healthy is the most empowering feeling in the world!
Having discovered the cause of her endless pain at the tender age of 19, Melissa has dedicated her life to finding a way to just live a “normal” life with endometriosis. She explored all the recommended options including hormonal treatments and after 7 operations decided that there must be a better way for her body. She was tired of dealing with symptoms and covering up her pain with pain-killers!
After starting her personal blog in 2010, she started to explore natural healing methods including diet and lifestyle changes. Her research to finding a way to heal from endometriosis has turned into a huge passion not just for her body and it’s amazing abilities but to help empower more women with endometriosis, so they too can lead a normal life.