I had a request recently to blog about the effect of Paleo eating on endometriosis. First off, what is endometriosis? According to PubMed:
Endometriosis is a female health disorder that occurs when cells from the lining of the womb (uterus) grow in other areas of the body. This can lead to pain, irregular bleeding, and problems getting pregnant.
Read the PubMed article for all the details, but I'll summarize here. The cells lining the womb are called endometrial cells. Menstruation is when the body removes endometrial cells from your womb. Endometriosis is when these cells implant themselves somewhere other than you uterus, such as the ovaries, bowel, rectum, bladder, and on the lining of the pelvic area.
These implanted cells continue to swell with the correctly implanted cells in your uterus throughout your menstruation cycle. This swelling can lead to discomfort and pain, but not in all cases.
After doing some research, I came across an article that did a great job of summarizing everything I'd read about endometriosis, it's causes, and how a Paleo Diet can help mitigate symptoms. I can't say it better than Stefani Ruper over at Paleo For Women, so I'll just quote her:
Endometriosis probably – at least according to the majority of medical research and speculation – would not affect women’s health if they did not have compromised immune systems. In endometriosis, it is unclear whether the women suffer autoimmunity, or if they just have the problem because their immune systems are functioning at a sub-optimal level. In either case, a paleo diet mitigates the problem.
Stefani comes to the conclusion that endometriosis is a particular manifestation of immune system problems. A Paleo Diet mitigates the problem by reducing overall inflammation in the body, thereby decreasing the total workload asked of the immune system on a daily basis. It's really a great, in-depth article, so go read it.
Have you seen a change in endometriosis symptoms since going Paleo? Tell us about it in the comments!
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