Diet can be an important factor in preventing new disease and illness, and in mitigating existing ones. Although there has not been a great deal of research conducted on the effects of diet on endometriosis, the research that has been conducted, as well as anecdotal evidence, suggests that a vegetarian, or better yet, vegan diet, can help to prevent the growth and spread of endometriosis.
The Physician’s Council for Responsible Medicine, PCRM, promotes a low-fat vegetarian or vegan diet for those suffering with endometriosis. Read PCRM’s highly informative Endometriosis Fact Sheet here: http://www.pcrm.org/pdfs/health/Nutrition-Fact-Sheets/Endometriosis-fact-sheet.pdf
I have been maintaining a vegan diet for a year and a half, and was vegetarian for two years prior to that. I chose to cut out meat mainly for ethical and environment reasons, but have maintained this lifestyle in large part for health reasons.
Although my endo symptoms became notably worse in the last two years, I think they would be worse still if I had not adopted a vegan lifestyle. The hormones and pesticides found in most commercially farmed meat could potentially exacerbate the spread of endometriosis, since these chemicals contain estrogen and estrogen-mimicking compounds, which studies have shown endometriosis feeds on.
As well, dioxin, a chemical compound that is a bi-product of many industrial processes (but can also be produced naturally through volcanic eruptions and forest fires), has been shown to be directly correlated with the presence and severity of endometriosis in lab studies with rhesus monkies and is dependent on the level of exposure. Dioxin is fat-soluble and can be found in the fatty tissues and secretions of animals, including meat and dairy products.
For more information on how you can healthfully transition to a plant-based diet, please see the links below!
Find out everything you need to know, and get your vegan starter kit.