It took 13 long and painful months before I was officially diagnosed with endometriosis. Suddenly everything made sense, the bouts of irritable bowel syndrome that I suffered throughout my twenties, the discovery and diagnosis of polycystic ovary syndrome when we tried to conceive and the years of difficulty that followed, the painful periods that I believed were a normal part of life, the food intolerance to fructose and other foods, all related back to an underlining condition endometriosis.
I went through a line up of doctors and surgeons, I was prescribed heavy pain killers whilst the medical fraternity scratched their heads trying to work out why I was experiencing serve pelvic and abdominal pain on one side coupled with a constant need to frequently pee. By the time it was identified I had endometriosis, I had to undergo a partial hysterectomy on my left side.
So you could image my shock and horror to find after 4 months my symptoms had returned with vengeance. I could not understand ‘why’ after major surgery, “how could the endometriosis return?” Unknowingly my body was happily still feeding the disease.
On top of this, I have since learned 80 – 90 % of abdominal surgeries result in adhesions – this was the case with me, my original surgery to eliminate the endometriosis resulted in adhesions, which are cob web like membranes that glue internal organs together and provide a great habitat for endometriosis to implant and grow.
Endometriosis took my last ovary in July 2015, and I entered into menopause at the baby age of 42. You might think my battle with endometriosis ends here, sadly it doesn’t. Assigned to HRT patches to make up for the years I would be missing vital hormones, that would have been produced by the right ovary, that would ensured against osteoporosis and heart disease, I still run the risk of endometriosis. The HRT patches contain one main active ingredient, oestrogen. I run the real risk of feeding my endometriosis and growing further implants and adhesions as the years roll on.
In October 2015 it was apparent the HRT had feed the endometriosis, I had grown more implants and another operation was undertaken to remove the endometriosis. Stopping the HRT and going into full blown menopause was the only answer for me. I have nodules of endometriosis in areas where the surgeon deemed it was too dangerous to operate.
My quest to do everything I can to stop the re-occurrence of this horrible disease has led me to medical research and studies on the relationship between diet and endometriosis. A foodie at heart, it makes absolute sense to me that ‘we are what we eat’. I understand and accept my diet has had to significantly change if I am going to beat this disease. So I have binned the can a day coke habit, cut down on my sugars and increased my fibre intake ….
In short some foods will feed the radical hormones that circulate and cause endometriosis to flare and some foods can fight the bad hormones and help better manage the inflammation of endometriosis. Together with the guidance of Naturopath, Martin Williams (ND, Medical Herbalist and Homeopath), and my background in catering and hospitality, I have come up with recipes that incorporate these food groups in the world’s first endometriosis diet app. Managing your diet won’t cure endometriosis, its incurable, but it may just help you to reduce the recurrence and flare ups, that risk the need for surgery and medical treatment.
I should also mention, my intentions are also motivated by the love of my daughter. In some cases endometriosis is hereditary. It is my quest to ensure my teenage daughter never has to endure this extremely debilitating condition as I have done. I do not want to see her go through the torment and torture of trying years on end to fall pregnant. Ensuring her diet is stripped of any food groups that could cause any possible inflammation in her maturing body from growing into full blown endometriosis has also motivated me change the family diet altogether.
I hope you enjoy the recipes as much as I have creating them. It is important to remember changing my diet has worked for me, its my own personal experience and by no means do I believe in getting on my soap box to preach the change of diet in the management of your endometriosis or to anyone diagnosed with this condition. I simply believe in spreading the word on something that has worked for me and may work for you too, lord knows sufferers of endometriosis have enough to put up with, the last thing we need is to be preached too!
Power to you endometriosis suffers!!! I wish you all positive thoughts in your journey to control and over come this horrible debilitating disease ….
Oh there was one silver lining … 2 years of sheer hell was rewarded with the trip we never would have taken to the US, Disney !!!
XO Endometriosis Foodie
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