10/05/2023 / Gynecology and Motherhood

Endometriosis: Diet and Exercises for endometriosis patients

Discover how diet and exercise can help manage endometriosis symptoms. Learn about the best foods and workouts to improve overall well-being. Expert advice and practical tips.

Endometriosis Diet and exercises for endometriosis patients
Dr. Mrinalinee RoyDr. Mrinalinee Roy
Dr. Mrinalinee Roy
Clinical Research, Laser & Medical Journalism
Medically Cited
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When tissue resembling uterine lining grows on the outside of the uterus, it is known as endometriosis and it is a painful condition. The fallopian tubes, pelvis, and ovaries are just a few of the sites that this tissue may have an impact on.

Heavy menstrual cycles and between-period bleeding can be a result of endometriosis. Symptoms like discomfort, constipation, low energy, and restless sleep are also experienced by some women.

Symptoms might be improved with exercise. Despite the paucity of studies on the subject, some endometriosis sufferers have reportedly reported feeling better when they stay active. Read further to know more about what exercises you can try and which ones should be avoided if you suffer from endometriosis. 

What is endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a gynecological condition where tissue that resembles the endometrium develops outside of the uterus, it is known as endometriosis. Endometrial tissue and the tissue that develops outside the uterus in endometriosis are not the same thing, but they do share several characteristics.

Despite the fact that the tissue can grow anywhere on the body, it typically affects the pelvic region, including:

  • The ovaries

  • The fallopian tubes

  • Tissues that support the uterus

  • The outside of the uterus

Other locations where endometrial tissue can grow include the lungs, the heart, and the digestive tract.

When endometriosis develops, the body may retain this type of tissue, which can cause inflammation. Normally, the body expels this type of tissue during menstruation. Scar tissue may occur during the breakdown of tissue.

The quality of a person's life can be substantially impacted by endometriosis. Additionally to the pain, people could feel tensions related to:

  • Chronic pain

  • Work

  • Medical expenses and care

  • Relationships

  • Difficulty maintaining a social life

  • Concerns about infertility 

  • Stress

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

Symptoms of Endometriosis

The main symptom of endometriosis is pelvic pain, which is frequently related to menstruation. Although many women suffer cramps throughout their periods, individuals who have endometriosis frequently have significantly more severe menstrual pain than usual. Over time, pain may potentially get worse.

Symptoms of Endometriosis

The following are typical endometriosis symptoms and signs:

  • Painful periods (dysmenorrhea) - Before and for a few days after a period, pelvic pain and cramps are common. Additionally, lower back and stomach ache are possible.

  • Painful intercourse - Endometriosis often causes pain during or after sex.

  • Discomfort when urinating or using the restroom - These symptoms are most likely to occur during a menstrual period.

  • Excessive bleeding - Occasionally , you might have heavy bleeding during periods or bleed between periods (intermenstrual bleeding).

  • Infertility - When a lady seeks therapy for infertility, endometriosis is occasionally discovered for the first time. Infact, endometriosis is one of the leading causes of infertility these days.

  • Other symptoms -  Especially during menstrual periods, you can have lethargy, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, or nausea.

Your condition's severity may not always be accurately predicted by how much pain you are in. Endometriosis can be moderate and cause considerable pain, or it can be advanced and cause little to no pain.

Endometriosis is commonly mistaken for other medical disorders, such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) or ovarian cysts, that can also cause pelvic pain.

Why is endometriosis so painful?

When a woman with endometriosis gets her period, she bleeds from both the uterine lining and the endometrial tissues that are external to the uterus. Due to the inability of the bleeding from the uterus' exterior to leave, inflammation, scar tissue, and adhesions develop, which are extremely painful.

Exercise is a potential conservative approach that can aid with symptom relief and quality of life enhancement. Depending on the ailment and its severity, medication and surgery are the two most frequent treatments for endometriosis.

Natural remedies you can try for endometriosis

Natural remedies you can try for endometriosis

The best endometriosis therapy is medication, which you should discuss with your gynecologist. Following are some alternative and complementary therapies as well as lifestyle recommendations that may help control endometriosis symptoms.

  • Acupuncture

  • Healthy diet

  • Herbal medicine like chamomile, curcumin and aswagandha

  • Avoid caffeine

  • Counseling

  • Regular exercise

Diet for endometriosis patients

Increased estrogen levels and inflammation can exacerbate endometriosis symptoms. And these things may be influenced by your diet.

Among the dietary elements that may be advantageous are:

1. Eliminating gluten and dairy from the diet

2. Increasing your fruit and vegetable consumption

3. Avoiding processed food

4. Having meals with organic ingredients

5. Abstaining from alcohol and caffeine

6. Eating a diet low in FODMAPs

7. Consuming bladderwrack, a type of seaweed

Benefits of exercises for endometriosis patients

Benefits of exercises for endometriosis patients

The primary negative effect of endometriosis is inflammation. According to a study in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 20 minutes of moderate exercise can boost the immune system, resulting in an anti-inflammatory cellular response. In order to properly manage this illness, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant markers should be improved.

Estrogen secretion is decreased by exercise. Another name for endometriosis is benign estrogen-dependent illness. The reduction in estrogen hormone may aid in reducing the development of endometriotic tissue, which lessens pain.

Exercise enhances cardiovascular health, maintains strong bones and muscles, and has a preventative effect against chronic diseases.

Endorphins are known as feel-good hormones, and exercise helps to stimulate their synthesis. They alleviate pain and help with depression, stress, and mood disorders.

Increased flexibility, endurance, and confidence come from regular exercise. Constipation, bloating in the abdomen, and bowel health are all alleviated by exercise.

1. Relieve pain

2. Boost mood

3. Improve sleep

4. Strengthen pelvic floor

5. Reduce constipation 

6. Regain energy 

Exercises for endometriosis patients

It might be challenging to begin an exercise programme when you have endometriosis because chronic discomfort is frequently present. However, choosing the right workout is crucial since if you choose improper exercises, symptoms could worsen.

Low- to moderate-impact workouts are the best for endometriosis. Depending on the extent of your symptoms, different workout intensities are advised for different people.

Exercises with low to moderate impact include cycling, brisk walking, and swimming.

Stretching, relaxation, and strengthening activities should all be a part of your routine. This can involve weight training every other day of the week, as well as yoga, pilates, and tai chi.

1. Posture correction

Chronic inflammation can result in scarring in locations like the abdominal cavity and pelvic region since endometriosis is linked to inflammation. As a result of the excruciating pain, a guarding mechanism develops, resulting in poor posture, weakness, and tightening of the muscles. Improved alignment and muscle balance are benefits of good posture.

2. Pilates

With its emphasis on posture, controlled movement, and breathing, pilates is a great kind of exercise. The transverse, multi fundus, and pelvic floor muscles are the ones that pilates emphasizes. Adhesions in the abdomen and pelvic region are lessened as a result. Along with reducing pain, this exercise serves to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor.

Strength, stamina, flexibility, and cardiorespiratory stamina are all increased via Pilates. Simple and low-impact exercises to start with include Pilates moves like the clamshell, hip release, hip rolls, and spinal rotation.

3. Yoga

Women with endometriosis can benefit from yoga in a variety of ways. It promotes relaxation and eases symptoms' pain. A randomised control research found that yoga improves quality of life and reduces chronic pelvic discomfort brought on by endometriosis.

4. Swimming 

The best workout to begin with is swimming. Less of the joints and lower abdomen are affected by the characteristics of water. Swimming is a relaxing exercise that will help you build muscle, strengthen your heart and lungs, and become more active.

5. Walking 

Another low-impact exercise that improves overall health is walking. Walking is a great substitute for other activities on days when you don't feel like doing them. It develops your muscles and enhances your cardiorespiratory system. Walking increases energy levels and serotonin production, which is the hormone that makes you feel good. Your mood is lifted, and anxiety and despair are reduced.

What exercises must be avoided by patients of endometriosis? 

Avoid doing any exercises that cause strain on your lower back and abdomen:

  • Avoid high-intensity exercises like skipping, weight lifting, and high-intensity circuit training. 

  • Exercises like crunches, planks, scissors, burpees, reverse crunches, etc.

  • When practicing yoga, stay away from positions that strain your pelvic floor muscles and place too much pressure on your abdomen.

  • Avoid Pilates movements that add to the pelvic floor muscle strain, such as hundreds, chest lifts, and rollups

Take-Home Points

It can be challenging to manage endometriosis symptoms and to maintain an active lifestyle. However, regular exercise can assist with a variety of issues, including pain, mood, sleep, and more.

Finding the best workout programme for you may need some trial and error. Start with a low-impact workout, then as your body allows, progressively increase the intensity and frequency.


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