Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Endometriosis Diet

Since January is a time to start and restart new healthier habits in your life I have decided to jump on the bandwagon and improve my health with a special diet designed to control my endometriosis.

I was officially diagnosed with Endometriosis about 5 years ago when we were trying to get pregnant with our mid life crisis. While the doctor who diagnosed me didn't know alot about it (typical), once I did some research on endo my entire life started making sense. I feel certain I have had it since I was about 14. That was the year I started having the pain. At the time it was related more to intestinal issues and I never put together that I was experiencing it on a monthly basis. A few years before my diagnosis we had made some major changes in our diet due to the discovery of a dairy intolerance in Jake. It significantly improved my health as well and so I was feeling pretty good when I got the diagnosis. However, over the past 5 years as we have become more lax with our healthy diet I have noticed an increase in my pain level during the month as well as developing a significant amount of fatigue surrounding my period. I have learned to keep moving when I feel this way and get what needs done done but my mind is in a fog and I lose the joy of my tasks. It is time to make some changes

I am a bit of a natural girl. I have considered taking some prescription drugs or going on the pill to elimnate my periods all together but I am uncomfortable with solving this problem by covering it up or dumping hormones into my already out of whack hormones body. However, the pain is to great to take nothing so Advil is my friend. I take a large dose when I get my period and maintain the level with regular refreshers for 3 days. Several months ago I found an endometriosis diet that attempts to balance hormones and inflamation naturally and finally made the decision to start the diet after my next period which was coincidentally due to come around the first of the year. Well as luck would have it my body decided to have a 3 week cycle this month and my period came on Christmas Eve, Merry Christmas! I was at Walgreen's on Christmas morning buying tampons, thank you Walgreen's employees. The parking lot was full.

You can read the Endo Diet in detail if you wish but the summary is that I will be eliminating: dairy, caffeine, sugar, wheat, processed foods, soy, alcohol, red meat, limiting eggs and fried foods. I have done the dairy free thing in the past and am still mostly dairy free so that doesn't worry me and I haven't had caffeine in years so I am good there. I will miss my glass of wine at Bunco and Margaritas at my sisters in the summer but can probably survive without those. Red meat, fine, I like veggie burgers and we mostly eat chicken anyway. What I am really nervous about is the wheat and sugar. I have never eliminated those successfully. I tried to get rid of sugar one time but I sort of cheated by using a bunch of other sugars besides white sugar. Maple syrup and sucanant were my friend. And one time we considered trying to do a month of wheat free. I think I made it 3 days before deciding I didn't have a wheat allergy.

I have been chatting with friends who have been successful at similar diets in their lives and reading up on it. All seem to agree that planning is the key to this type of diet. I need to be bringing my food places, eating meals before parties so I am not hungry and planning menus and shopping so I am not tempted to pick up something quick. I had hoped to get a weeks worth of menus planned tonight to start the week right but my brain is still a little foggy and so I just planned tomorrows food. I was excited to realize I could do breakfast and lunch with food I already eat regularly. A smoothie for breakfast and a salad for lunch. Today I had a salad with lunch and just put oil and vinegar on it instead of dressing and loved it so already one problem solved. I was looking online and came across a recipe for wild rice salmon patties at Glutton Free Mommy which I am going to try for dinner tomorrow night with some veggies. That means tomorrow I will have to get recipes for the rest of the week done but I know that I can follow the diet for one day.

I know this will be challenging but I am ready for the change. I am ready to have energy to raise my family, care for my home and love my husband. To be able to think clearly all month long and not have to put projects on hold. To not be gripped with fear when I get to work and realize I ran out of the house without taking a second dose of drugs and I feel the pain returning. Not living in fear that I will forget to take an evening dose and will wake up in the middle of the night in gripping pain. I am ready to take control and get my life back.

1 comment:

  1. I hope it provides some relief! I am right with you on making diet changes for our family. We will support each other in the new year.

    We are having a great time in sunny FL! Talk to you soon!