For me, food has always seemed to control my life in some way or another, let it be my endometriosis, eating disorder, IBS-C or food intolerances. I have grown accustomed to obsessing over food.
As a child I had reflux and can only assume it was from the pablum or baby formula. When I was a teenager, I began having migraines. The doctors told me to stop eating nuts, cheese and chocolate.
For 15 years, I didn’t know that there were some foods I should or shouldn’t eat, because I didn’t know that I had endometriosis until I was 27.
When I was finally diagnosed, I was still struggling with bulimia but in recent years, I have learned to eat better.
Sometimes I sit back and think that I am too obsessive about food, but every time the endo pain strikes, I am brought back to reality. Food matters. Some foods make me feel better, others make me feel worse. Here is what I have learned so far.
The Zone Diet. I lost 5lbs and it really taught me the meaning of healthier foods and portion control. I wasn’t able to stay on it. As a single mom, my focus was on keeping sane while getting everything done by myself.
The Endometriosis Diet. There are many versions of this, but most suggest no red meat (unless it’s organic), no sugar, no wheat, no dairy and no processed foods. I struggle on and off with this diet to this day. I don’t really like meat at all, so avoiding meat is not a problem, but, I have a hard time digesting vegetables especially raw vegetables. In fact, unless the vegetables are juiced or in a soup, my stomach cannot handle eating vegetables; I get severe bowel pain, indigestion, and bloating.
The Brown Rice Diet. I tried the brown rice diet that was suggested by my dietician. It lasted all of one day because I just couldn’t stomach plain rice for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I would gag at the sight of it.
Detox. I tried a lemon juice, cayenne pepper and maple syrup detox that was supposed to help heal and clear the bowels. It helped, but there are only so many days that someone can drink that concoction without feeling nauseated.
Yeast Busters. I was told by a naturopathic doctor that I candida, so I tried a yeast busters diet. It meant I couldn’t eat anything that contained yeast, sugar or gluten. Goodbye condiments and just about every other processed food. This diet was okay. I did feel it helped a bit but when the detox period of about 3 weeks was over. Then, I continued on with my life and same old pain returned.
Enemas. In 2010, I was at a crossroad. I just couldn’t handle the pain from my bowels any longer. I began using enemas weekly. After a year it turned into twice sometimes three times a week. I met a Naturopath that did some tests on me and said I had a wheat, dairy and spelt intolerance and that no nutrients were absorbing into my body. She said that was why I wasn’t feeling well. She prescribed about $300+ worth of supplements as well as some yeast herbs called Candicin. She said that I had candida in my large and small bowels. I was yeast and sugar free for one month along with gluten and dairy free for three months. I really felt a change for the better. The bowel pain was still there, so she suggested water enemas instead of what I was presently doing. The pain never left.
Paleo Diet. November 2012 I decided that I was going back on a gluten and dairy free diet because despite the pain in the stomach, my overall health was so much better. I did have a relapse over Christmas. It’s difficult for relatives and other people to understand that I just can’t eat the same foods they eat. Over the holidays, I gave in and ate what was served. I am now back on the diet and don’t plan to go off of it. A couple things I noticed. All that meat in the Paleo Diet was making me feel sick and the thought of eating anymore meat almost turned me off Paleo completely. However I did feel better with no stomach pain. In addition to removing gluten and dairy from my diet, I have also removed sugar, beans and grains. I found that not having beans and grains at all is what helped the most. Since there is no sugar allowed and I am prone to yeast infections, I can’t juice anymore which really upsets me as I really enjoy it.
After the first week, I the stomach pain stopped completely and I felt really good all over. I am not sure how many more diets
I have to try but I feel that I am getting closer to my optimum diet. I think that everyone reacts differently to different foods. My body just seems to not like anything other than soup and protein shakes.
What are some of your endometriosis diet wins and losses? Do certain foods trigger your pain?