This EndoLife podcast

Endometriosis and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome - Is There a Connection?

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Okay today I want to now talk about something a little more unusual, and that’s Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and its possible connection to endometriosis.

 Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome is a group of 13 conditions which all affect connective tissue (collagen) in the body. Most are rare, but one type called hypermobility EDS is common.

 Because the intestines are made from soft tissue, EDS affects digestion and often causes IBS symptoms. It is a major risk factor for developing SIBO, because it slows down motility. If you have EDS and SIBO, you will be chronic - but you can still live well! And we’ll get to that in the bonus lesson with Dr Allison Siebecker.

 And just to hammer this point home about the connection between EDS and IBS, one study of 228 IBS patients found 48% also had EDS.

Now the reason why I want to bring EDS to your attention is because I am seeing it more and more in my clients with both endometriosis and SIBO.

Despite these statistics, to my knowledge, most experts do not consider EDS and endometriosis to be significantly connected. At present, it is thought that most of the period pain and menstrual problems of those with EDS is not caused by endometriosis, but EDS itself. 

However, I have spoken to multiple health care practitioners who do see a connection and see the two conditions together in patients, and because EDS can cause gut problems and SIBO, I think it’s worth raising here.  

So, here’s an overview of what we know so far…

  •  Current estimation is 6-23% of patients with EDS also have endometriosis. More research is being done into the connection at present.

  • 32-77% of those with EDS have vulvodynia and or pain with sex.

  • 33-75% have heavy menstrual bleeding. 

  • 73-93% have painful periods.

And here are some of the main symptoms of EDS, though there are many and they are often far reaching. You do` not have to have them all to have EDS:

  • ·Joint pain/full body pain

  • Hypermobility (can be very subtle)

  • Stretchy skin

  • Soft, velvety skin

  • Bruise easily

  • Dislocations of joints

  • Chronic fatigue

  • Dental crowding 

And I wanted to include some signs or clues of EDS as well…

  • Unusual symptoms that seem random, so people with EDS often feel like they have lots of symptoms and never really feel well.

  • Family has hypermobility - again, this can be very subtle. They might have no idea.

  • Tight muscles and stiffness - because your joints are unstable, the muscles overcompensate and are often stiff and tight to try and create some stability in the body.

  • Allergies - and this is because MCAS is now being identified as a co-condition of EDS. MCAS is when the mast cells which release histamine are overly sensitive and easily triggered, resulting in a higher amount of histamine being released on a daily basis. Mast Cell Activation Syndrome still isn’t widely acknowledged by conventional medicine, but many functional and naturopathic doctors are leading the way with this. MCAS is now showing up in the research as being a likely co-condition of EDS, as part of a trio with another condition call PoTS, which stands for Postural Tachycardia syndrome.

  • Low blood pressure and/or dizziness - because EDS often comes with something called dysautonomia

  • Racing heart or palpitations - due to a type of dysautonomia which I mentioned earlier, called PoTs

  • IBS - because of how EDS affects the gut

So, following on from that, I just wanted to provide a bit more education around dysautonomia in case you have the signs.  Dysautonomia is a group of conditions that affect the autonomic nervous system, which control involuntary functions of the body.

 Postural Tachycardia syndrome or PoTs is one of these conditions and is part of a trio of EDS-MCAS-PoTs I mentioned earlier, and it affects blood flow and blood pressure in the body, so that too little blood is getting to the heart and the heart rate increases when going from sitting/lying down to standing.

Some of the symptoms of dysautonomia are… 

  • Blood sugar dysregulation

  • Low blood pressure/fainting

  • Chest pain/breathing issues/palpitations/racing heart

  • Gut problems and bladder problems

  • Dizziness/balance difficulties/vertigo

  • Struggle to regulate temperature

 I’ll take you through some ways to get tested in the next lesson.

Now I know this might sound scary, but if you do get a diagnosis, you can manage these symptoms long-term, and your quality of life will dramatically improve!

And just because I found this personally quite helpful, because there’s a lot of symptoms floating around with this, EDS specialist Dr Alena Guggenehim sees loose joints, joint pain and dysautonomia as the main signs/symptoms of hEDS.

Diagnosis for EDS is best done through a rheumatologist, but reportedly this is more frequently being performed by GPs these days. If you can’t get a referral on the NHS (if you’re based in the UK), then I think the best route would be to buy health insurance and get referred to an EDS specialist. I think that would be safest, because not all GPs are fully versed in diagnosing EDS.

For hypermobility EDS, diagnosis is based on a physical test called Beighton score, which looks at the range of mobility in your joints, as well as issues like teeth overcrowding. Family and patient history should also be taken into account, and signs of co-conditions, like allergies and dizziness. It’s worth noting here that you can still have hEDS if you don’t score highly on the Beighton score. There is a link to it in the slides, but it does have some confusing terminology and is not to be used as a tool for diagnosis without a doctor.

Genetic testing will also be carried out to rule out the rarer forms of EDS.

PoTs is tested for by testing heart rate and blood pressure when going from sitting to standing and lying down (on a tilted table) to upright. You’ll need to speak to your GP to get a referral. If you test positive for EDS and you have signs of dysautonmia, even if it’s just fatigue, it’s worth looking into this. 

Other tests may be run to look for other types of dysautonomia

 

Listen and subscribe on your favourite player or listen directly/download MP3 here or just listen below!

Let's get social! Come say hello on Instagram or sign up to my newsletter.

Sign up to the wait list for my course, Live and Thrive with Endo here.

My cookbook This EndoLife, It Starts with Breakfast is out now! Get 28 anti-inflammatory, hormone friendly recipes for living and thriving with endometriosis. Order your copy here.

If you feel like you need more support with managing endometriosis, you can join Your EndoLife Coaching Programme. A 1-to-1 three month health and life coaching programme to help you thrive with endometriosis. To find out more about the programme and to discuss whether it could be right for you, email me at [email protected] or visit my website.

This episode is sponsored by The Pod Farm. Learn all about how to start your own podcast with the complete course from The Pod Farm. Aimed at beginners, this course takes a simple and straightforward approach to planning, equipment buying, setting up, recording, editing and hosting your own podcast. With hours of audio and video materials, and downloadable guides and useful links, this multimedia approach aims to have something for every kind of learner. From now until April 15, newsletter subscribers get 20% off the course price. Visit www.thepodfarm.com to enroll or find out more

This episode is sponsored by BeYou. Soothe period cramps the natural way with these 100% natural and discreet menthol and eucalyptus oil stick on patches and CBD range. Click here to find out more and to shop: https://beyouonline.co.uk

Show Notes

Stats references

https://www.rcgp.org.uk/clinical-and-research/resources/toolkits/ehlers-danlos-syndromes-toolkit.aspx

https://www.siboinfo.com/associated-diseases.html

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29687534/

https://www.ehlers-danlos.com/pdf/2018-annual-conference/N-Blagowidow-2018Baltimore-OB-GYN-and-EDS-HSD-S.pdf

Symptoms

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/ehlers-danlos-syndromes/

https://www.rcgp.org.uk/clinical-and-research/resources/toolkits/ehlers-danlos-syndromes-toolkit.aspx

https://ehlers-danlos.com/wp-content/uploads/hEDS-Dx-Criteria-checklist-1.pdf

https://www.rcgp.org.uk/clinical-and-research/resources/toolkits/ehlers-danlos-syndromes-toolkit.aspx

Dysautonomia

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31267471/

https://drbeckycampbell.com/mast-cell-activation-syndrome-postural-orthostatic-tachycardia-syndrome-and-ehlers-danlos-syndrome-what-is-the-connection/

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/postural-tachycardia-syndrome/

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/6004-dysautonomia

https://join.sibosos.com/page/94124

Testing references

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/ehlers-danlos-syndromes/

https://ehlers-danlos.com/wp-content/uploads/hEDS-Dx-Criteria-checklist-1.pdf

https://www.rcgp.org.uk/clinical-and-research/resources/toolkits/ehlers-danlos-syndromes-toolkit.aspx

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/postural-tachycardia-syndrome/

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    So, following on from last week, where I shared the most effective strategies, I’ve tried from the past seven years of managing endo, today I want to share what I do on my period to avoid a pain flare. Essentially, what I do on my period that allows me to experience either low pain levels or no pain at all, and if for some reason my levels do start to creep up, how I get them back down quickly and prevent them from getting worse.  Go back to last week’s episode if you haven’t listened to it already, but for context, before I started managing my endometriosis, my periods were excruciating. I would take pain killers upon pain killers with little to no relief at all. I couldn’t stand, sleep, walk, eat – pretty much anything.  Over the years, as I’ve come to train and to experiment, I have been able to pull together essentially a toolbox of strategies that I always go to on my period. 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So, I drink that, and at the same time as we’re already boiling the kettle, I may also get a hot water bottle, which I’ll use for about 30 minutes, as any longer can actually worsening cramping because the blood vessels begin to restrict. I don’t love using hot water bottles, so I only really use them if I feel I need the comfort or if I feel like I need an extra tool to keep the cramping from increasing. As I mentioned earlier, usually I am pain free or very low pain, and there are numerous factors that allow me to live with endo in this way, and I know from experience, that if I didn’t use these strategies, my pain would usually increase or will last longer.  Next up is movement and posture. I have noticed that if I am in that point where I’m bleeding freely, that point I mentioned earlier when if I’m going to be pain, it’ll be then, if I’m lying down, then the cramps can sometimes worsen. 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And I get that, for many years I was an employee working with vulnerable homeless young people, who I couldn’t let down. I would drag myself to work in whatever state I was in. These days, it’s a bit different, but I still have commitments. I see clients every week, so if my period falls on a day when I have one or two clients, I will see them and rest afterwards or beforehand, and I’ll push everything else to the next day. If I know ahead that I have a really busy day of clients, I will move some around in advance – it’s worth stating here that the only way I am able to do this is by tracking my period and ensuring I know which day I’m due on, or as close to. Back when I wasn’t tracking my period, I’d be taken by surprise every single time. Anyway – back to the point, strangely, I don’t have to do rearrange my days too often as the universe seems to organise it that my clients ask to swap a day, or my period falls on an admin day or a day when I don’t have too many sessions. Like I said, if I do have a day with a few clients and I haven’t moved them, I’ll rest up as much as possible between calls or afterwards, and I’ll also try to take some time out the next day, so I can squeeze in a full day’s rest. If that fails and for some reason, I’m unable to take any time out, say when I’m in a course launch, then I’ll take a weekend day out to rest.  For those of you who work for a company, perhaps you can talk to your managers about arranging it so you can work from home on Day 1 of your cycle, having endometriosis means you’re legally entitled to reasonable adjustments at work, even though it’s not classified as a disability. So, for example, when I worked at Centrepoint, I could work from home on Day 1 of my cycle and the other days of my period I could come in later and leave earlier, and I would make up the time at other points in my cycle – though honestly, they didn’t even expect me to do that. If you’re not sure what you’re legally entitled to, have a listen to my episode with Clare from See Her Thrive, which is all about this topic. It’s episode number xxx.  Now of course, if you have children, I understand this may be totally unrealistic and I’m not sharing this info about what I do for you guys to replicate it all. Instead, I hope it inspires you to carve out some kind of rest or time out that works for you and your lifestyle on Day 1. It could be having five minutes to yourself before the children wake up, or it could be that your partner takes the baby for half an hour whilst you lie down, or if you’re a single parent, maybe this is a day when your friend or your own parent might be able to give you a helping hand, so you don’t have to juggle everything alone.  I don’t know what will work for you, but I’m sharing what works for me, and I hope that perhaps it’ll help you discover what works for you! So, my next strategy is an Epsom salt bath! Yes, I rave about these and with good reason. Research shows that having a bath two to three times a week with 500 g to 600 g of Epsom salts, for 10 to 30 minutes, reverses magnesium deficiency. Now here’s the thing, most of us are deficient in magnesium, especially people who menstruate or who experience frequent stress (which let’s be honest, living with chronic illness can be stressful) as these both deplete magnesium. And as I mentioned earlier, Magnesium is not only anti-inflammatory, but reduces muscle cramping, has been shown to reduce period pain and PMS, is essential for healthy hormone balance, energy production and helps to stabilise blood sugar. All important for managing endo and for aiding in energy and pain relief on our period.  So, on my period, I try my best to make time for a bath, even if it’s just 10 minutes, to soak up that magnesium, and help to relieve the tension from my muscles and uterus and restore my energy levels.  I also always have a couple of baths in the lead up to my period to help prevent my cramps being bad on my actual period.  If you don’t have a bath, you can do this with a foot soak or you can actually get inflatable baths, fold out baths and plastic bathtubs online, that you can just store away! So, you could always try that. The benefit of soaking in bath on your period as well, is that the heat actually works as a pain therapy too.  Next is how I eat on my period. As you learned last week, once upon a time I used to fast on Day 1 of my period. I would now never do that, given how much energy we need for Day 1 of our cycle! Then when I started being able to eat on my period, I moved to more keto based meals on Day 1, to avoid a blood sugar spike, which would lead to a pain flare on my period. Now I seem to have better stability with my blood sugar, I can eat meals with a normal amount of carbs, but I ensure that meal is blood sugar balancing as much as possible – so fat, fibre, protein, and complex carbs. I do actually still ease up a bit of the fibre, so I tend to have more low FODMAP veggies on day 1, just because we are already prone to having loose stools or diarrhoea on our periods  because the prostaglandins also cause the colon to cramp and contract, and as I have SIBO, if I also aggravate that, the situation just gets worse and I can get intestinal inflammation and further cramping, causing me more pain and more IBS trouble.  I also add in a few extra blood sugar hacks now that I’m eating more carbs on my period, just to avoid any spikes. I have a tablespoon of vinegar in water before I eat, which has been shown to reduce blood sugar spikes and I eat my veggies first or try to have a side salad first, and eat my starches last in a meal, which again, has been shown to reduce blood sugar spikes because the fibre from the veggies delays the glucose release. And just to credit her, this info is from the incredible biochemist Glucose Goddess. I also walk around the house for 10 minutes after a meal, or just move gently on the spot, which helps to use up any excess glucose, preventing a spike. I have found that using these hacks on Day 1 of my period, really allow me to eat more comfort food like a pasta or something carby, without having a pain flare.  If you want to understand this process in more detail, have a listen to last week’s episode and episode xx, and it’s definitely worth checking out the Glucose Goddess!  So that’s it! That’s everything I do on my period to prevent a pain flare or to reduce pain if I have any. Usually, these practices keep me pain free or at a low level of pain, but if for some reason it creeps up, I double down on these and repeat some of the processes, like spraying magnesium, drinking tea, applying a new patch, or taking some more supplements, and if I really need to, I take a paracetamol. Usually, I just need one and that’s enough to nip it in the bud.  Now of course, what works for me may not work for you because we’re all different. This period protocol has been created after years of experimenting and training as an endo health coach, and I’ve adapted it over the years as my endo has changed. If you’d like to create your own protocol, I really recommend going over some previous podcasts and articles for further research and information, and of course, I have the masterclasses and my course Live and Thrive with Endo. Please do consult your doctor before taking any supplements or making any dietary changes!   Let's get social! Come say hello on Instagram or sign up to my newsletter. Sign up to my free Ease Endo Tea Challenge here. Sign up to the wait list for my course, Live and Thrive with Endo here. My new Nutrition for Endo Masterclasses are out now and are on special offer for Black Friday. Get one masterclass for £29.99 (full price £40) or both for £50. Find out more here. My cookbook This EndoLife, It Starts with Breakfast is out now! Get 28 anti-inflammatory, hormone friendly recipes for living and thriving with endometriosis. Order your copy here. If you feel like you need more support with managing endometriosis, you can join Your EndoLife Coaching Programme. A 1-to-1 three month health and life coaching programme to help you thrive with endometriosis. To find out more about the programme and to discuss whether it could be right for you, email me at [email protected] or visit my website. This episode is sponsored by The Pod Farm. Learn all about how to start your own podcast with the complete course from The Pod Farm. Aimed at beginners, this course takes a simple and straightforward approach to planning, equipment buying, setting up, recording, editing and hosting your own podcast. With hours of audio and video materials, and downloadable guides and useful links, this multimedia approach aims to have something for every kind of learner. From now until April 15, newsletter subscribers get 20% off the course price. Visit www.thepodfarm.com to enroll or find out more This episode is sponsored by BeYou. Soothe period cramps the natural way with these 100% natural and discreet menthol and eucalyptus oil stick on patches and CBD range. Click here to find out more and to shop: https://beyouonline.co.uk This episode is sponsored by Semaine. Try their supplement for period pain and daily supplement for hormonal balance and PMS prevention with code ENDOLIFE to get 20% off your first order.  Show Notes  Super Turmeric Latte Anti-inflammatory Living for Endometriosis (pain signals) Christie Uipi episode (pain signals) Curcumin https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4533742/ https://www.karger.com/Article/FullText/491886 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0753332217346838?via%3Dihub https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1756464615000092 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5407015/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24672232/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25277322/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3476912/ Quercetin https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19462895/ https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/781684/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4808895/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19297429/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6273625/ https://avivaromm.com/remedies-seasonal-allergies/ Omega 3 Fatty Acids https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16531187/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2832216/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3614254/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11687013/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17434511/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22261128/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3257651/ Magnesium https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/5/10/3910 https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/dme.12250 https://drbrighten.com/boost-low-progesterone/ https://www.composednutrition.com/blog/increase-progesterone-naturally https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2675496/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25023192/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5112180/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30880352/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4847116/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17229895/ Ginger https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23865123/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26177393/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25912592/ https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ptr.6730 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7171779/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23657930/ Cinnamon https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4443385/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30396627/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5220230/ https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/89/3/815/4596714 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30396627/ https://examine.com/supplements/cinnamon/ https://jandonline.org/article/S2212-2672(16)30899-1/fulltext Essential oils https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4979258/ https://www.hindawi.com/journals/prt/2016/8158693/ https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2221169115001033?via%3Dihub
  • This EndoLife podcast

    My Most Effective Strategies After Seven Years of Managing Endo

    48:51

    Okay so as it’s the start of a new year I thought I’d do a reflective type episode.  I’ve been doing this podcast for a couple of years and many of you have been with me on this journey of transformation with my endometriosis, but I realised I’ve not really done an episode where I’ve shared my biggest needle movers in terms of endo strategies. I recently did a live on my key go-to daily strategies and this is a bit similar, but this is all about the things I am certain have made the biggest changes to my symptoms.  Now, they’re not the only changes – supporting my liver, improving my gut health, adhesion work, physiotherapy and many more strategies have made a big difference too, but if for some crazy reason my life depended on it and I had to give just four strategies that I think made the biggest difference, it would be these. The reason why I’m sharing this is because I’ve seen many people and clients go down rabbit holes with very niche changes. They start researching alkaline water and focusing on only drinking that, or drinking celery juice every day, or drinking apple cider vinegar every day or doing a fast or a juice cleanse. And sure, I’m not saying there aren’t benefits to some of these more nuanced additions (some of them however do more harm than good!), but if your diet is still full of processed foods or you’re drinking alcohol every day, or you’re not getting enough sleep or you have an underlying condition like SIBO, these smaller changes are only going to do so much. So, I’m trying to save you time by giving you an insight as to what really worked for me.  Now of course, this is my personal experience so you may respond differently, but I will say as an endo health coach, that a healthy anti-inflammatory diet and balanced blood sugar are essential to managing endometriosis. That’s why I talk about them so much and why they are at the core of my work with endometriosis clients. How that fits into each client’s life, if at all, is down to the individual, but all of us can benefit from a healthy diet and balanced blood sugar, even if we don’t have endometriosis!  So again, before we get started, the following is my personal experience, not a protocol for you to follow, but I hope that my experience might inspire you with where to start or how to continue on your own journey of healing your endo symptoms. If you do want a more step-by-step protocol based on the science and research, then I have countless articles, podcasts and then of course my classes, courses and coaching that you can use to create your own plan for beating endo.  So let’s get started… 1.      Number 1 is anti-inflammatory nutrition. This was the first thing I tried for endometriosis, way back in the beginning when I was waiting for my second operation, about seven years ago. At that time, my life was miserable. I lived in fear of my endometriosis flares, and my period was excruciating. I would have pain that would start before I was bleeding, sometimes a full 24 hours beforehand, at a level 10 on the pain scale – and then, I’d start bleeding and it would be even worse. The worst of the pain would be for about 48 hours to maybe three days, and by the third day it would start to clear and would be manageable again and would fade away.  Nothing seemed to help for the pain, I would take way too many painkillers and then spend the next couple of days recovering from the number of painkillers I had taken, feeling sick and experiencing migraines and drowsiness.   Feeling desperate, I went down a rabbit hole learning about nutrition for endo and inflammation, and I had so long to wait until my surgery that I decided to give it a go. Now, to caveat, how I did this is not how I would recommend my client’s do it having now qualified as an endometriosis health coach. So, please don’t take this initial bit as advice, I’m just sharing what I did for context… So, unfortunately, I didn’t change my diet very strategically. I didn’t do an elimination diet, where you remove certain common inflammatory foods and allergens and then add them back in one by one to see which ones you respond to. Instead, I just removed a handful and pretty much kept them out for the most part, which is not what I would recommend doing now, unless it was a food that you know, for health reasons it’s generally best to keep to minimal amounts, like alcohol and added sugar. But for the most part, I wouldn’t advise clients to just cut out a bunch of foods and never try them again or to stay strictly away from them forever. I guess the difference with me in this scenario is that I had just done a food intolerance test and it showed I was really intolerant to gluten and diary, and when I removed them I felt so much better, the difference in my IBS symptoms and period was so dramatic, that I think that test had been pretty accurate, though generally they’re quite unreliable (an elimination diet is the most effective way to test if you have a food intolerance).  So anyway, I removed gluten, dairy, added sugar and caffeine specifically – I already wasn’t drinking alcohol and so I continued with that, and I was already vegetarian so I went fully vegan at this point and decided to remove eggs too. Back then I wasn’t a health coach and I was confused about the health verdict of eggs at the time (which has changed over the years), so as I wanted to go vegan anyway, I just removed them too. I don’t think I was eating them much anyway, except in baked goods.  And just a side note, if you’re happy to eat animal protein and it fits with your lifestyle and values (because we’re all different and have to do what’s right for us as individuals!), eggs are nutrient dense, great for hormones and healthy, providing that they’re organic, free-range and from hens fed a diet mostly based on grass and foraging. Lean, unprocessed meat can have a role in a healthy anti-inflammatory diet for endometriosis, providing it is grass-fed, organic and free range or wild, to avoid the added hormones and inflammatory chemicals. That’s a big topic for another discussion, but in short, most anti-inflammatory diets in the research show a greater intake of plant foods over meat. The link between red meat and endo is more complex and requires an entire episode itself, the bottom line is that if you do eat red meat, it’s all about quality and quantity. If you want to learn more, I do cover it in my Nutrition for Endo Masterclasses and in the Live and Thrive with Endo course and this will be covered in another episode later in the year, it’s just a guest episode and we haven’t been able to pin a date down yet. But back to the main point, I did this elimination diet for one month, and had a pain free period. My first pain free period in years. This was the start of my managing endo naturally and holistically.  I then went onto experiment, unfortunately not very strategically as I already shared, and I would add things in here and there, and make changes, and sometimes I would have good periods and sometimes I would have bad, and because I wasn’t being very strategic, I didn’t always know what the cause was. But what I did know is that if I ate a diet low in inflammatory foods, and for me, what I worked out from my experiments is that my biggest inflammatory triggers were sugar, dairy, gluten, caffeine and alcohol, then I had dramatically better periods. I had some hiccups, as I’ll come to explain later, but this change meant that I got my life back.  Now I didn’t just swap these foods for a bunch of processed replacements like soy meat products and gluten free bread, because let’s not forget, processed foods whether veggie, vegan or meat based, are still processed foods – and we know a diet high in processed food is generally inflammatory. Instead, I ensured my diet was rich in whole plant foods that were full of antioxidants, which fight inflammation. Since then, I’ve come to learn the science behind anti-inflammatory nutrition and a more sustainable approach to changing our diet as part of my training as an endo health coach.  In short, I focus on what we call ‘crowding out’ the inflammatory or processed foods with more nutrient dense whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, healthy fats including olive oil, avocados, fatty fish if applicable, and nuts and seeds; lean protein like beans and legumes, fish and grass-fed organic meat in moderation, and whole grains, gluten free if necessary. These foods are the key foods that come up time and time again in the research as being the basis of an anti-inflammatory diet, the biggest difference is that some diets include a little meat, some not at all and some quite a bit, like the paleo diet – however, as I said before, the key takeaway is that plants outweigh meat and are the star players of an anti-inflammatory diet.  Now of course, every single body is different, so what is generally anti-inflammatory in the research may not be anti-inflammatory to you, so for example, tomatoes are very anti-inflammatory in general and according to the research, but for me, because I have histamine intolerance, they’re inflammatory. So just keep that in mind, there’s no one size fits all for anti-inflammatory nutrition and it also comes down to your personal lifestyle and values.  Then, if or when my client’s feel ready, we go through a short 4-week elimination phase where we remove a small list of common inflammatory foods or allergens, and then we retest them one by one to see which ones are worsening inflammation and endo symptoms.  These days, I personally adopt the 80/20 rule. For the most part, I eat an anti-inflammatory diet, rich in those food groups I mentioned above. Then, occasionally, usually at the weekends, I allow myself to have some foods that aren’t normally in my personal anti-inflammatory diet, like a takeaway (or take out for my American listeners) or added sugar or caffeine.  Now, this is a very short discussion on anti-inflammatory eating, and more so from my personal perspective, so please don’t base any changes on what I’ve shared here. Instead, do further research and listen to my other episodes on anti-inflammatory nutrition for endo or read my articles, or if you want a step-by-step outline on how to make changes safely and realistically, there’s of course my Nutrition for Endo Masterclasses, my course Live and Thrive with Endo or you can work with me one to one. As always, consult your doctor before making any dietary changes! And if you have a history of an eating disorder or currently have one, please work with a nutritionist or dietician and a mental health practitioner before making changes. But personally, for me, this was the first change I ever made to manage my endo and it will forever be the biggest game changer. This was the pillar that the following changes were built on.   2.   Number 2 was adding in anti-inflammatory supplements, specifically curcumin, ginger and magnesium. When I first started managing endo with nutrition, I would say that my endo was still unpredictable. I was still learning and as you’ll come to see in strategy 3, I didn’t really understand the science behind what my body was and wasn’t responding to. To have a pain free period I felt like I had to eat “perfect” all the time, and that I could never eat any of the foods that I had cut out in the beginning - as soon as I strayed, I would end up having a really bad period that month. I felt like I was just too sensitive, and I had to work really hard to control it. It was incredible that I could even have a pain free period after years of suffering, but trying to maintain that every month was difficult. I was then offered a curcumin and ginger supplement to trial, both have been shown in studies to be effective pain relievers, and just as effective as NSAIDS, and curcumin has been shown in rat models to directly target endo and reduce lesion size and growth rate, whilst ginger has been shown time and time again to reduce period pain. I wasn’t offered the supplement to test for endo, but actually for immunity, but that month was December and I had already been more relaxed with my eating so I was worried I would have a flare around my period. But then my period arrived and I felt absolutely fine, I still remember my shock and confusion trying to understand what I had done differently. For me, this was the start of consistently low pain or pain free periods. Adding supplements on top took the edge off and allowed me to be more flexible with my diet and lifestyle. This is when I really moved into the 80/20 rule I shared earlier, because I had more freedom to. Since that first encounter, I have experimented with lots of supplements and there are some great, incredibly effective ones out there which I share in episodes 130 and 131. For me, I like curcumin because there’s promising research on its effects on endo, when taken consistently it’s just as effective as ibuprofen so has pain relieving benefits daily, it helps to heal leaky gut which is important for keeping inflammation down, it’s a powerful anti-inflammatory and we know inflammation drives pain and it can also help with brain fog. I haven’t actually taken curcumin for a long time because I’ve had to focus on supplements for SIBO and there’s only so many I can take or afford, but for several years this was my go-to and I believe played a huge role in my healing. I still take ginger to this day, just before and on my period. I would take it daily but unfortunately it burns my bladder because of my interstitial cystitis. However, I use ginger to prevent and reduce any mild cramping that may come with my period, just so I can be sure I can keep to the pain free or low pain levels that I’m used to.  What I love about ginger as well, is that if I find I have higher pain levels than usual, it really pretty much stops them in their tracks. So, for example, if there’s been a birthday or event near my period and I’ve eaten lot of sugar or something I know flares me that I wouldn’t normally eat, I find the ginger means I don’t suffer severely for it, it gets the pain under control quickly. A handful of times I may add a single paracetamol in there if I find it’s not strong enough, but that’s rare! If you’re interested in the dosing etc. of ginger, have a listen to my supplements episode, episode 131. Finally, a later addition was magnesium. Magnesium is not only anti-inflammatory, but reduces muscle cramping, has been shown to reduce period pain and PMS, is essential for healthy hormone balance, energy production and helps to stabilise blood sugar, which you’ll learn about in my next strategy. The difference I experience in my energy, my hormones, my moods, my sleep and my period pain with magnesium is extraordinary.  I use both magnesium spray on my body daily and directly on my abdomen during my period, and I use magnesium baths throughout the month. If I feel any cramping during my period, I spray a couple of times on my pelvis, and the cramps literally melt away in minutes, so in that way, I use it for in the moment pain relief as and when needed. But when I use magnesium spray and baths consistently, the need for spray during my period is greatly reduced, I just find my body’s tolerance and resilience is so much higher, I can be more flexible and have less consequences, and it takes a lot more to cause me pain. That doesn’t mean I can eat junk food and sugar every day as long as I use magnesium, I want to be clear that you can’t out supplement a bad diet and eating healthy isn’t just about endo, but all of the other chronic diseases we are at greater risk of with an unhealthy diet, like heart disease, cancer and diabetes. So yes, I still focus on my 80/20 approach, but it means that I can eat out more and have some treats without such severe reactions as I used to.  You know I am all about foundations, so for me, it’s about laying the foundations of good health and then adding in some extra endo support, because we tend to need a little more than the average person. And I feel like these supplements do that for me. They’re the cherry on the top that have really enhanced my endo management and freed up my life.  3.  Number 3 is balancing my blood sugar, which came many years later when I started my training as a health coach. Something I had noticed was despite my endo pain being better, I was always exhausted. I had severe dips during the day which would leave me slumped in my chair and so tired I literally would hold my eyes open whilst staring at my computer. It’s a wonder that no one on my management team pulled me up on it! I additionally had severe brain fog and low moods. I also felt hungry quickly after big meals, would have trouble sleeping, would wake up tired and starving, and would often feel faint, dizzy, shaky and irritable.   I put this all down to having endometriosis and the chronic fatigue and brain fog that can come with it. I now don’t think it’s as simple as endo causes brain fog and fatigue, I actually think -well, know - there are multiple factors that contribute to these symptoms, and I explore them in episode 119 for those of you who would like to learn more. I was really interested in understanding why I had managed to clear my endo pain, but not my fatigue and brain fog. The other issue was that I had noticed that I couldn’t eat heavy carbs on my period without causing a pain flare. I could be pain free, had a great month, but if I ate some fruit, a bowl or oats, rice, grains, pasta or potato, I would be in agony within 30 minutes or so. I started noticing that I was better off sticking to fasting on Day 1 of my period, or eating a small amount of protein, fats and low starchy vegetables for the first 24 hours to two days. I was also depressed, anxious and had awful PMS and mood swings and spent a good portion of each month feeling suicidal. I do have my suspicions about whether I suffered with PMDD and that it’s now largely under control, but I wasn’t tracking my period and I didn’t even know when my period would start, so I can’t really say whether these feelings were cyclical, but I feel like they were. Regardless, all of that has gone away since balancing my hormones and learning about blood sugar. And when I finally did learn about blood sugar, it all made sense!  So, let’s do a recap of what blood sugar is and means for the body.  Blood sugar is the measurement of glucose a.ka. sugar, in the blood stream. We get glucose from carbohydrates, after they break down in the gut through digestion. Glucose is the body’s main source of fuel, but it needs to be in the right amount to benefit us. Too much and we’ll have problems, too little and we’ll have problems too.  Complex carbohydrates like vegetables, contain fibre and are broken down over time, so you get a steady drip of glucose to the blood stream over a sustained period, which creates even energy levels.  However, simple carbohydrates like processed carbs such as white bread, white pasta and simple sugars like honey, maple syrup and white sugar, contain very little fibre and are made up of only very short chains of glucose. It doesn’t take the body much time at all to break down those chains into single glucose molecules that get absorbed into the blood stream. So, this creates a large spike in blood sugar, in a very short amount of time. Our body actually finds this spike a stressor, as we’re not designed to have that much glucose in our blood at one time. The body wants to clean up all this glucose quickly, so it releases lots of insulin from our pancreas. Insulin is a hormone that delivers glucose to cells for fuel, but when we have too much glucose, it quickly shoves it away in storage in our fat cells and liver. Because the body has released so much insulin in a panic to sort our blood sugar levels out, our glucose levels end up dropping dramatically and our levels get too low. As a result, our brain and body are now starved of glucose, because all of it has been put into storage and none has been left for actual fuel. It’s this dip that I was experiencing during my sleep, when I was waking in the morning, when I felt exhausted mid-morning and afternoon, it’s why I would eat a huge meal and feel starving shortly after. It’s why I felt dizzy, shaky, depressed, anxious. It’s also why my moods fluctuated and it’s also why I had severe PMS and oestrogen dominance symptoms, because blood sugar dysregulation drives up oestrogen levels and can lower progesterone levels, creating hormonal imbalances.  Now the other issue is that high blood sugar levels raise inflammatory chemicals called prostaglandins, and we know that inflammation is a driver of pain in endometriosis. This would explain why I would have surges in pain when eating a carb heavy meal during my period, especially when I hadn’t created these meals to be blood sugar balancing. I can now eat a blood sugar balanced meal on my period and not experience any pain at all, which to me is still revolutionary. At the time, when I was experiencing all of these problems, I was eating a wonderful anti-inflammatory diet rich in an antioxidant rich foods, but I was mainly eating carbs, and wasn’t paying enough attention to protein or healthy fats. I would pile my plate with hummus, potatoes, rice, falafel and vegetables. These aren’t unhealthy foods. Carbs are not the enemy here – as I’ve already explained, the glucose from carbs is essential fuel for us. But it’s about how we eat carbs. There are a few steps to balancing your blood sugar and I dive into those in more details in other episodes, articles, my course Live and Thrive with Endo and my nutrition masterclasses, but in short, the first step is having a balanced plate. That means having fat, fibre, protein and complex carbs with every meal.  Fat, fibre and protein are not only nutrient dense and provide essential nutrients for managing endo and balancing hormones, but they slow down the release of glucose from carbohydrates because they take longer to digest.  At the IWHI where I trained, we’re taught to balance a plate with 50% of the plate being low starch vegetables like cruciferous veg, peppers, cucumbers, etc., 25% of your plate is protein, whether that’s animal or plant based, and the final 25% is split between healthy fats and extra carbs, usually starchier ones or more veggies, depending on what your body needs. So, for example, it might look like having some root vegetables which are starchier and higher in carbs, or whole grains which again are starchier and higher in carbs, and tend to break down more quickly than low starch veg. For fat, we’re looking at about two tablespoons or two golf ball sized portions.  Now this will need tweaking for each individual, as someone who is very active will probably need more starchy carbs than someone who has a desk job, but regardless, it’s about focusing on those four pillars and their rough portion sizes, adjusting to what feels right to you. Once I made this change, I felt such a huge difference, I almost think about my health in the sense of before and after blood sugar balancing! My moods are much more stable, my energy is consistent in the sense that I don’t often have those swings anymore or those crashes unless my blood sugar is unstable for some reason, I rarely ever have oestrogen dominance symptoms unless I haven’t taken care of my blood sugar, I don’t have PMS again unless I haven’t taken care of my blood sugar, my brain fog is minimal and I’m much more focused, and I don’t have these surges of pain when I eat on my period anymore. Of course, if you have an eating disorder or a history of an eating disorder and this feels triggering for you, I don’t recommend you make any changes without the support of a dietician or nutritionist versed in eating disorders and a mental health practitioner. If you’d like to learn more about blood sugar in-depth, I listed earlier the resources where I provide more step-by-step actions. 4.     My last biggest needle mover has been surprising for me and that’s clearing my SIBO, despite having relapsed shortly afterwards. I haven’t spoken about this much because I wanted to be sure, but even though I am quite certain I have relapsed with my SIBO, since I got a negative test result, I’ve experienced yet again, a new level of resilience in my period, similar to how I felt with adding in those supplements.  Just after I got the all clear we spent six weeks in Greece, where my options for endo friendly foods were limited. I ended up incredibly sick with gut health issues, because I am intolerant to gluten and dairy and having to eat those a few times a week ended up causing a lot of IBS issues, but in the past I would have been in cripplingly agony on my period if I was eating these foods regularly, but instead, whilst I did have an increase in pain, it wasn’t anywhere near how it was previously.  I will say, during treatment my period was up and down because there was a lot of inflammation going on in my body, so it was more coming out on the other side that I’ve seen the difference. And since treating, I’ve introduced gluten for a coeliac disease test, but again, despite it being worse than normal and I’ve needed to take some time out of work for it, the pain with my periods wasn’t anywhere to the level it would have been in the past.  Secondly, my blood sugar levels have dramatically improved. Prior to treating my SIBO, I would have to work very hard to control my blood sugar levels and I was incredibly sensitive to any increases or dips, now they are much less sensitive and more stable. And even though I could eat more on my period learning how to balance my blood sugar, I still had to eat a low level of carbohydrates to prevent a blood sugar spike, which would normally lead to a pain flare. So, in terms of what I could eat on my period, I had gone from pretty much needing to fast or eating minimal amounts of fat and protein, to then being able to eat low carb meals once I learnt how to balance my blood sugar. However, now the difference is remarkable. My period was on New Year’s Eve and I truly cannot believe what I ate. I had already noticed over the past months that I was becoming more and more resilient with what I could eat, so we decided to have noodles on New Year’s Eve. Usually, I would stay away from anything with a high carb content on my period because it would just shoot my pain up, but because I had been dipping my toes in over the past few months and as it was New Year’s Eve, I decided to try something I would never normally even consider eating on my period. I’m pretty sure I also ate some of my gluten free bread that day too and probably some other Christmassy carbs. And whilst I got slightly more pain than my usual low pain or pain free periods, with some extra ginger and magnesium, it went away quickly (as in, within half an hour). So again, just to be clear, I’m not about to fill my diet with foods I know make me sick, like dairy, gluten, caffeine and sugar, and I’m certainly not going to start swapping my veggies for more processed food. But it’s nice to know I don’t have to panic if I eat a slice of birthday cake near my period or if I want a bowl of pasta on my period.  Now you’re probably wondering why treating the SIBO would make a difference. Without offering my body up for research, I can only hypothesize as to what’s happened, but I think I can reasonably believe this is correct.  Firstly, SIBO, especially methane type SIBO, can cause blood sugar imbalances, as can other forms of bacterial imbalances in the gut. I believe that whatever bacteria I specifically had that was behind my SIBO, was driving some of my blood sugar issues. You’ve heard me talk about this for a long time, that even when I ate for blood sugar, I would still notice how sensitive I was to blood sugar changes or a meal that wasn’t perfectly balanced. Now there are numerous bacteria responsible for SIBO, so for example, two people could have methane type SIBO, but the bacteria causing their methane SIBO could be different. I think that the bacteria causing my blood sugar issues has either been cleared entirely and it’s a different bacteria that’s causing my current relapse, or it’s returned but is in low levels so I’m not so affected by it.  Secondly, bacteria from SIBO can release a toxin called endotoxins or lipopolysaccharides. These cause a huge inflammatory reaction in the body and have been found in the pelvic cavity of people with endo and have been shown to contribute to the inflammation and growth of endometriosis. Having cleared SIBO, it’s possible that I may have reduced the level of endotoxins in my blood and pelvic cavity, reducing the inflammation in that area. And as a result, my body is more resilient to changes that can increase inflammation because it’s not already being inflamed by SIBO. Clearly, I need to get back on top of my SIBO to keep reaping the benefits because I don’t want the endo toxins or bacteria to build up to high levels again. It’s not something I’m doing just yet because I’m working on my root causes, to prevent relapsing again, and as you know, I’ve been exploring candida overgrowth and mould too, which can cause relapse, but all of these things take time. If I notice any negative changes, I’ll try to do the treatment quicker, but for now, I’m enjoying the benefits!  So that’s it. Those are my top four changes that I feel made the biggest difference to my endo symptoms in the past seven years. I hope you’ve found this episode inspiring, motivating and hopeful!  See you next week. Let's get social! Come say hello on Instagram or sign up to my newsletter. Sign up to my free Ease Endo Tea Challenge here. Sign up to the wait list for my course, Live and Thrive with Endo here. My new Nutrition for Endo Masterclasses are out now and are on special offer for Black Friday. Get one masterclass for £29.99 (full price £40) or both for £50. Find out more here. My cookbook This EndoLife, It Starts with Breakfast is out now! Get 28 anti-inflammatory, hormone friendly recipes for living and thriving with endometriosis. Order your copy here. If you feel like you need more support with managing endometriosis, you can join Your EndoLife Coaching Programme. A 1-to-1 three month health and life coaching programme to help you thrive with endometriosis. To find out more about the programme and to discuss whether it could be right for you, email me at [email protected] or visit my website. This episode is sponsored by The Pod Farm. Learn all about how to start your own podcast with the complete course from The Pod Farm. Aimed at beginners, this course takes a simple and straightforward approach to planning, equipment buying, setting up, recording, editing and hosting your own podcast. With hours of audio and video materials, and downloadable guides and useful links, this multimedia approach aims to have something for every kind of learner. From now until April 15, newsletter subscribers get 20% off the course price. Visit www.thepodfarm.com to enroll or find out more This episode is sponsored by BeYou. Soothe period cramps the natural way with these 100% natural and discreet menthol and eucalyptus oil stick on patches and CBD range. Click here to find out more and to shop: https://beyouonline.co.uk This episode is sponsored by Semaine. Try their supplement for period pain and daily supplement for hormonal balance and PMS prevention with code ENDOLIFE to get 20% off your first order. Show Notes Anti-inflammatory nutrition https://www.integrativepainscienceinstitute.com/diet-works-best-pain/  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4684110/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4359818/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11093597/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11093597/ https://gut.bmj.com/content/65/11/1812.long https://gut.bmj.com/content/70/7/1287#article-bottom https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23419794/ https://academic.oup.com/endo/article/149/3/1190/2455150 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15051604/  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2693127/  https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17434511/  https://journals.asm.org/doi/10.1128/msystems.00031-18?permanently=true    Magnesium https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/5/10/3910 https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/dme.12250  https://drbrighten.com/boost-low-progesterone/ https://www.composednutrition.com/blog/increase-progesterone-naturally https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2675496/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25023192/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5112180/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30880352/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4847116/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17229895/   Ginger https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23865123/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26177393/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25912592/ https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ptr.6730 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7171779/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23657930/    SIBO https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7375730/ 
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  • This EndoLife podcast

    Festive Special Series - Five Natural Tips to Reduce Oestrogen Dominance and Balance Hormones with Endometriosis

    42:35

    Today’s episode is part of an end of year special series. I am resharing some of my most actionable episodes to help you reduce pain on your period and pain flares in general, and to balance your hormones for better periods, less PMS and healthier cycles. I am sharing these episodes because this time of year is often when some of our endo management strategies can go out of the window (and understandably so!). We might have more sugar, less sleep, more alcohol and more blood sugar dysregulation, and as a result, these can all raise inflammation and give our bodies a hard time when it comes to clearing old and excess hormones. So come January or maybe sooner, we tend to have more PMS, worse periods and more pain. So these episodes are designed to provide you with some tips you can quickly implement if you’re worried about your upcoming period, or you’re feeling rough and need some tips to improve your symptoms. Now of course, it’s natural that we want to indulge a bit over Christmas, and so these episodes are not about telling you to be a saint. Instead, they’re about practices you can throw in that can just help lessen some of the impact. I am releasing a couple so you can choose strategies you think will help you most and so you have options, but you certainly don’t have to try them all! And whilst I’m here, if you find that you want to learn more about how to eat for endo and for hormone balance, or you get to the end of the festive period and you really just want to improve your systems, I now have my Nutrition for Endo Masterclasses, which are available to buy all year round, unlike my courses. Lucky for you, they’re still discounted because I haven’t had time to change the prices, so you can still get each masterclass for £29.99 or you can buy the bundle for £50. You could also ask for them as a Christmas present! Finally, thank you for listening to this podcast this year, and for sticking with me even with my sporadic release dates as I navigate all of these new courses and offerings with recording my free content. I am wishing you a wonderful festive break (if you celebrate) and a very happy New Year. So, without further ado, let’s get to today’s episode. I really hope it helps you manage some of your symptoms over this festive period. Seven Foods To Alleviate PMS with Endometriosis In episode 107 I took you through what oestrogen dominance is, the causes and the symptoms, alongside seven foods to help alleviate the hormonal imbalance. If you haven’t listened to that episode yet, go ahead and check it out, then come back to this one! But why is oestrogen dominance even a problem? Oestrogen has been shown in multiple studies to play a pivotal role in the development and growth of endometriosis, it’s why many doctors use progestin only hormonal birth control methods to possibly help lower symptoms (though not everyone responds well to this option). If we have too much oestrogen in our body, we may be further fuelling our endo and additionally, the symptoms of oestrogen dominance look a lot like endometriosis and we for sure don't want to be worsening those! So today, I’m taking you through five natural lifestyle and nutrition tips to reduce oestrogen dominance and balance hormones with endometriosis. Stress management - The body responds to stress by releasing cortisol and adrenaline. In acute moments of genuine threat and danger, this is helpful and normal but long-term chronic stress, whether it’s a low lying level of stress or severe, can cause hormonal disruption, lowering progesterone and creating an oestrogen dominant scenario. Stressors don’t just have to be emotional or mental (like 2020!), they can also be physiological, like over-exercising, heavy caffeine consumption, underlying infections or conditions like SIBO, chronic inflammation, lack of sleep, dysregulated blood sugar, etc. Strategies that have been shown to lower cortisol include meditation, mindfulness, breath work, yoga and walking in nature. Blood sugar balance - Blood sugar balance is absolutely key to healthy hormones and imbalanced blood sugar can lead to oestrogen dominance, as well as inflammation (worsening pain). There are numerous ways that dysregulated blood sugar causes imbalanced hormones, but for the purpose of today’s conversation, I’ll focus on two areas… High insulin levels (caused by a spike in blood sugar) raises aromatase, an enzyme that coverts testosterone into oestrogen, creating excess oestrogen in the body. Additionally, blood sugar imbalance can also cause sporadic ovulation or a lack of ovulation entirely, lowering progesterone and further exacerbating the oestrogen dominance scenario. Three key ways to balance blood sugar are making sure your meals include fat, fibre, protein and complex carbohydrates. Eating regularly and not allowing yourself to get really hungry, hangry, shaky or faint before meals and reducing refined carbohydrates like pastries and sugary snacks. Daily bowel movements - You should be having at least one bowel movement a day, as this not only allows waste to leave the body but any old oestrogen too. Constipation can lead to oestrogen dominance because oestrogen is reabsorbed if it’s not eliminated quickly enough - and I see this often with my clients who suffer with constipation from SIBO! Ensure you’re drinking enough water (at least half your body weight in lbs, in oz) and you’re eating 8-10 servings of fruits and veggies a day for adequate fibre. Foods like chia seeds can also really help, but would be best avoided if you have SIBO as chia seeds can aggravate symptoms. If your bowel movements are fine, your gut may still need some attention. The gut microbiome contains a group of bacteria called the estrobolome which is responsible for eliminating oestrogen from the gut, if you have an imbalance and not enough of this bacteria, you may not be able to properly remove oestrogen. Additionally, an enzyme in the gut called beta-glucuronidase can actually take old and used up oestrogen and convert it back into the usable form, causing an excess of oestrogen in the body. You can test your gut microbiome using a test called the GI Map. If you think something is up with your gut microbiome, I encourage you to go back to my episodes on the endo belly and try some of the strategies listed there. Removing xenooestrogens - Xenooestrogens are chemicals that are in the environment, pesticides, beauty products, cleaning products and more, which mimic oestrogen and have been linked in numerous studies to hormonal disruption, endometriosis and fertility problems. They additionally over-burden the liver and so old oestrogen is put on the back burner whilst the liver works hard to clear out these toxins in our body. Both the xenooestrogens themselves plus our own waste oestrogen building up leads to oestrogen dominance. Strategies to reduce our exposure include drinking filtered water, going organic as much as possible, swapping our beauty, body and cleaning products for non-toxic versions and replacing our non-stick cookware and Tupperware with stainless steel, cast iron, ceramic, glass, silicone and non-toxic non-stick products. Yes, this is a lot to do, so start slowly! Even if it takes you a year to work through, that’s fine! We can also support our liver further with lowering our exposure to drugs, alcohol, caffeine, sugar, drinking plenty of water and eating a nutritious diet. Good nutrition - You knew it was coming! 8-10 servings of fruits and vegetables a day fill us with fibre to help daily bowel movements, feed our gut bacteria and also provide essential nutrients for healthy hormones. Additionally, cruciferous veg play a key role in helping to clear out our waste oestrogen. Healthy fats, protein and complex carbohydrates also aid in keeping our blood sugar levels balanced and supporting our body to make healthy, happy hormones. For more tips on nutrition, head to episode 107. Listen and subscribe on your favourite player or listen directly/download MP3 here or just listen below! Let's get social! Come say hello on Instagram or sign up to my newsletter. Sign up to the wait list for my course, Live and Thrive with Endo here. My new Nutrition for Endo Masterclasses are out now and are on special offer for Black Friday. Get one masterclass for £29.99 (full price £40) or both for £50. Find out more here. My cookbook This EndoLife, It Starts with Breakfast is out now! Get 28 anti-inflammatory, hormone friendly recipes for living and thriving with endometriosis. Order your copy here. If you feel like you need more support with managing endometriosis, you can join Your EndoLife Coaching Programme. A 1-to-1 three month health and life coaching programme to help you thrive with endometriosis. To find out more about the programme and to discuss whether it could be right for you, email me at [email protected] or visit my website. This episode is sponsored by The Pod Farm. Learn all about how to start your own podcast with the complete course from The Pod Farm. Aimed at beginners, this course takes a simple and straightforward approach to planning, equipment buying, setting up, recording, editing and hosting your own podcast. With hours of audio and video materials, and downloadable guides and useful links, this multimedia approach aims to have something for every kind of learner. From now until April 15, newsletter subscribers get 20% off the course price. Visit www.thepodfarm.com to enroll or find out more This episode is sponsored by BeYou. Soothe period cramps the natural way with these 100% natural and discreet menthol and eucalyptus oil stick on patches and CBD range. Click here to find out more and to shop: https://beyouonline.co.uk This episode is sponsored by Semaine. Try their supplement for period pain and daily supplement for hormonal balance and PMS prevention with code ENDOLIFE to get 20% off your first order. Show Notes Hormone balance with Nicole Jardim My blood sugar episode Understanding the Endo Belly Part 1 Understanding the Endo Belly Part 2  
  • This EndoLife podcast

    Festive Special Series - Seven Foods To Alleviate PMS with Endometriosis

    27:03

    Today’s episode is part of an end of year special series. I am resharing some of my most actionable episodes to help you reduce pain on your period and pain flares in general, and to balance your hormones for better periods, less PMS and healthier cycles. I am sharing these episodes because this time of year is often when some of our endo management strategies can go out of the window (and understandably so!). We might have more sugar, less sleep, more alcohol and more blood sugar dysregulation, and as a result, these can all raise inflammation and give our bodies a hard time when it comes to clearing old and excess hormones. So come January or maybe sooner, we tend to have more PMS, worse periods and more pain. So these episodes are designed to provide you with some tips you can quickly implement if you’re worried about your upcoming period, or you’re feeling rough and need some tips to improve your symptoms. Now of course, it’s natural that we want to indulge a bit over Christmas, and so these episodes are not about telling you to be a saint. Instead, they’re about practices you can throw in that can just help lessen some of the impact. I am releasing a couple so you can choose strategies you think will help you most and so you have options, but you certainly don’t have to try them all! And whilst I’m here, if you find that you want to learn more about how to eat for endo and for hormone balance, or you get to the end of the festive period and you really just want to improve your systems, I now have my Nutrition for Endo Masterclasses, which are available to buy all year round, unlike my courses. Lucky for you, they’re still discounted because I haven’t had time to change the prices, so you can still get each masterclass for £29.99 or you can buy the bundle for £50. You could also ask for them as a Christmas present! Finally, thank you for listening to this podcast this year, and for sticking with me even with my sporadic release dates as I navigate all of these new courses and offerings with recording my free content. I am wishing you a wonderful festive break (if you celebrate) and a very happy New Year. So, without further ado, let’s get to today’s episode. I really hope it helps you manage some of your symptoms over this festive period. Seven Foods To Alleviate PMS with Endometriosis Bloating? Anxiety? Tearfulness? Painful breasts? If you experience any of these symptoms, you likely experience PMS in the lead up to your period. Even though PMS is very common, it doesn’t mean it’s just something we have to live with - especially when we’re dealing with endometriosis as well. In fact, PMS is caused by hormonal imbalances, often oestrogen dominance or excess oestrogen and sometimes low progesterone - and when we get these into balance, a lot of our endo symptoms ease too! So this week, I wanted to share with your seven foods that you can add in during your luteal phase (the phase after ovulation, before your period) that contain wonderful nutrients that have been shown to alleviate PMS and support healthy hormone balance… Leafy greens for magnesium, calcium and potassium. You guys must know by now how much I love magnesium! It helps to alleviate cramps, aids in oestrogen detoxification but also progesterone production and reduces bloating. Potassium additionally supports bloating, which is another bonus considering so many of you reach out to tell me this is one of your worse symptoms. Finally, in research calcium has been shown to help with PMS symptoms too! Add to smoothies, salads and whatever you’re having for dinner - think leafy greens with each meal. Nuts and seeds, particularly sunflower seeds, sesame (tahini is best here as sesame seeds are often too small to chew and pass through undigested) and pumpkin seeds. Nuts and seeds and these three in particular are rich in magnesium, and zinc which supports healthy progesterone levels and good levels of vitamin E, which has been shown to help alleviate period pain and PMS. Add nut butter to your porridge, overnight oats and smoothies and drizzle tahini over your veggies. Protein for B6, including organic free range and pasture raised chicken and turkey, organic grass-fed beef, fish, lentils and chickpeas. B6 helps to keep blood sugar levels stable (in turn, keeping hormones balanced and anxiety and fatigue at bay) and has actually been shown to reduce PMS and depressive symptoms, and is truly a crucial vitamin for healthy hormonal balance! Try a chickpea curry for dinner and perhaps wild caught fish or another animal protein at lunch with lots of veggies and some healthy complex carbs and fat. Sweet potatoes, squash and beetroot (and all other root veggies) actually help to raise serotonin levels in our brain thanks to their complex carbohydrate content. Our feel-good neurotransmitter, serotonin works closely with oestrogen during the first half of our cycle, and when oestrogen lowers in our second half our mood can take a bit of a hit - especially if our progesterone levels aren’t high enough. Eating root veggies with a good serving of protein and fat improve our mood, boost our energy and keep our blood sugar levels stable. Root vegetables also contain hormone loving B vitamins, calcium and magnesium - all great for balancing hormones and alleviating PMS. Try steaming and freezing root vegetables for smoothies or making up a lentil and beetroot salad. Peppers and other vitamin C rich foods like berries and broccoli can actually help to increase progesterone levels. Low progesterone levels can lead to PMS, anxiety, low moods, short cycles and pre-menstrual spotting. Try a salad of leafy greens, broccoli, peppers and lentils for a hit of vitamin C, magnesium and B6! Kidney beans, black beans, adzuki beans and other beans for B vitamins. B vitamins are some of the foundational nutrients behind healthy hormones - they ensure you’re making healthy amounts, keep oestrogen in check, support progesterone if it’s low and so much more that I’ll have to do a whole podcast on them. In short, they can help alleviate PMS symptoms by making sure any excess or old oestrogen is cleared out and that you have a healthy level of progesterone in your luteal phase. Try an Italian bean salad with rocket, pumpkin seed pesto, adzuki beans, borlotti beans, olives, red onion, tomatoes, pepper, artichokes and olive oil! Broccoli sprouts, broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables for healthy oestrogen elimination. Broccoli and broccoli sprouts contain DIM and sulforaphane which support the liver to break down oestrogen in a healthy way and therefore lowers any chance of PMS symptoms. Throw a big handful or half a cup of broccoli sprouts in your smoothies or on salads, and try adding cauliflower rice to your chickpea curry. Even just adding one or two of these foods in on a daily basis could make a difference! Try making a meal plan or some meal ideas with any of the above suggestions and track how your PMS symptoms over a few cycles to see if things change. Let's get social! Come say hello on Instagram or sign up to my newsletter. Sign up to the wait list for my course, Live and Thrive with Endo here. My new Nutrition for Endo Masterclasses are out now and are on special offer for Black Friday. Get one masterclass for £29.99 (full price £40) or both for £50. Find out more here. My cookbook This EndoLife, It Starts with Breakfast is out now! Get 28 anti-inflammatory, hormone friendly recipes for living and thriving with endometriosis. Order your copy here. If you feel like you need more support with managing endometriosis, you can join Your EndoLife Coaching Programme. A 1-to-1 three month health and life coaching programme to help you thrive with endometriosis. To find out more about the programme and to discuss whether it could be right for you, email me at [email protected] or visit my website. This episode is sponsored by The Pod Farm. Learn all about how to start your own podcast with the complete course from The Pod Farm. Aimed at beginners, this course takes a simple and straightforward approach to planning, equipment buying, setting up, recording, editing and hosting your own podcast. With hours of audio and video materials, and downloadable guides and useful links, this multimedia approach aims to have something for every kind of learner. From now until April 15, newsletter subscribers get 20% off the course price. Visit www.thepodfarm.com to enroll or find out more This episode is sponsored by BeYou. Soothe period cramps the natural way with these 100% natural and discreet menthol and eucalyptus oil stick on patches and CBD range. Click here to find out more and to shop: https://beyouonline.co.uk This episode is sponsored by Semaine. Try their supplement for period pain and daily supplement for hormonal balance and PMS prevention with code ENDOLIFE to get 20% off your first order. Show Notes Hormone balance with Nicole Jardim My blood sugar episode Lisa Hendrickson-Jack Fertility Awareness Method My FLO app Magnesium: Magnesium for oestrogen clearance The Association Between Serum Magnesium and Premenstrual Syndrome: a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies Magnesium--a new therapeutic alternative in primary dysmenorrhea Potassium: Potassium foods for bloating Calcium: A systematic review of the role of vitamin D and calcium in premenstrual syndrome Zinc: Zinc induced changes in the progesterone binding properties of the human endometrium Vitamin E: Evaluating the effects of vitamin D and vitamin E supplement on premenstrual syndrome: A randomized, double-blind, controlled trial B6: The Interactions between Vitamin B6 and Hormones Nutritional factors in the etiology of the premenstrual tension syndromes Dr Jolene Brighten B6 Vitamin C: Serum Antioxidants Are Associated with Serum Reproductive Hormones and Ovulation among Healthy Women Low progesterone B vitamins: Dr Joelene Brighten Broccoli sprouts:  Magdalena Wszelaki broccoli sprouts Changes in levels of urinary estrogen metabolites after oral indole-3-carbinol treatment in humans Indole-3-Carbinol (I3C) and its Major Derivatives: Their Pharmacokinetics and Important Roles in Hepatic Protection
  • This EndoLife podcast

    Festive Special Series - Six Foods To Eat Before Your Period To Reduce Pain with Endometriosis

    34:16

    Today’s episode is part of an end of year special series. I am resharing some of my most actionable episodes to help you reduce pain on your period and pain flares in general, and to balance your hormones for better periods, less PMS and healthier cycles. I am sharing these episodes because this time of year is often when some of our endo management strategies can go out of the window (and understandably so!). We might have more sugar, less sleep, more alcohol and more blood sugar dysregulation, and as a result, these can all raise inflammation and give our bodies a hard time when it comes to clearing old and excess hormones. So come January or maybe sooner, we tend to have more PMS, worse periods and more pain. So these episodes are designed to provide you with some tips you can quickly implement if you’re worried about your upcoming period, or you’re feeling rough and need some tips to improve your symptoms. Now of course, it’s natural that we want to indulge a bit over Christmas, and so these episodes are not about telling you to be a saint. Instead, they’re about practices you can throw in that can just help lessen some of the impact. I am releasing a couple so you can choose strategies you think will help you most and so you have options, but you certainly don’t have to try them all! And whilst I’m here, if you find that you want to learn more about how to eat for endo and for hormone balance, or you get to the end of the festive period and you really just want to improve your systems, I now have my Nutrition for Endo Masterclasses, which are available to buy all year round, unlike my courses. Lucky for you, they’re still discounted because I haven’t had time to change the prices, so you can still get each masterclass for £29.99 or you can buy the bundle for £50. You could also ask for them as a Christmas present! Finally, thank you for listening to this podcast this year, and for sticking with me even with my sporadic release dates as I navigate all of these new courses and offerings with recording my free content. I am wishing you a wonderful festive break (if you celebrate) and a very happy New Year. So, without further ado, let’s get to today’s episode. I really hope it helps you manage some of your symptoms over this festive period. Six Foods To Eat Before Your Period To Reduce Pain with Endometriosis Today I wanted to follow up on last week’s episode Six Tips for Reducing Endometriosis Pain in The Week Before Your Period, with something a little more focused around nutrition. As most of you will know by now, I lean towards making healthy choices to support us with endo all month long, but that doesn’t mean that focusing on foods to add in just before our period can’t be useful. In fact, if you’re struggling with where to get started with endometriosis management, I would start here and with my last episode. As always, these are just options - you don’t have to do them all nor do you have to do them exactly as suggested, tweak and tailor to your lifestyle and preferences. If you’re triggered by any of this, seek the support of a therapist and dietician/health coach/nutritionist before making further dietary changes. So, here are any foods to to eat before your period to reduce pain with endometriosis: Spinach and other leafy greens such as kale, boy chow, lettuce, rocket, chard and other greens. Add these in for anti-inflammatory nutrients, magnesium iron and fibre. Leafy greens can help to reduce period pain, fatigue, PMS symptoms like bloating and can aid reducing any excess oestrogen. You can throw some spinach in your morning smoothie and a big handful or two of lettuce to your lunch. Olive oil and other Vitamin E containing foods such as almonds, olives, avocados, greens and sunflower seeds. Vitamin E has been shown to reduce inflammation in numerous studies, as well as reduce pain with endometriosis and painful periods. Try drizzling two tablespoons of olive oil or sunflower seed butter over your lunch time salad, and snacking on almonds! Broccoli and other cruciferous veg like kale, cauliflower, asparagus, broccoli sprouts, sprouts and cabbage. These help to reduce oestrogen dominance by supporting the body to remove old oestrogen that needs clearing out and can cause symptoms like clots periods, heavy periods and period pain. You could try roasting wedges of red cabbage and mixing into a salad, grating red cabbage over a tex-mea meal or adding broccoli sprouts to salads and smoothies. Salmon and other sources of omega 3 fats such as mackerel, anchovies, sardines, herring, walnuts and chia seeds. Omega 3 fats help to lower inflammation and have been shown to reduce period pain and in studies on rats, reduce the size of endometriosis lesions. Add no more than two portions of fatty fish a week in addition to walnuts and chia seeds, and be cautious of large fatty fish as these can have a higher mercury content. If you don’t eat fish, it’s worth noting that most of us can’t convert plant-based sources of omega. fats into the usable form, so you’ll need to supplement with a vegan DHA and EPA supplement. One way to get in extra fish is to pair it with a Mediterranean salad and whole grains like quinoa for dinner, and try adding in some chia with a chia pot snack mixed with blueberries, walnuts and some almond milk. Tomatoes and other colourful vegetables such as berries, red cabbage, parsnips, peppers, squashed carrots. Studies have shown that people with endometriosis have higher levels of oxidation (which leads to higher levels of inflammation and therefore pain) and that when participants added in a high anti-oxidant diet in the form of extra fruits and vegetables, their oxidation levels lowered. When it comes to fruit and veggies, the more colour, the more anti-oxidants - so eat the rainbow! Try snacking on red and yellow peppers and cucumber dipped in hummus, and make a dinner that has a delicious roasted veg salad with it such as roasted carrots, beetroot and fennel - delicious with some puy lentils, fresh herbs and rocket! Turmeric and other herbs and spices like cinnamon and ginger. Many herbs and spices are anti-inflammatory, yet turmeric, ginger and cinnamon are particular stand-out stars, with curcumin (the active compound in turmeric) showing promise with endometriosis lesion suppression and ruction in mice, and ginger being an effective pain reliever in people with primary dysmenorrhea. How about making up a daily turmeric latte and a carrot and ginger soup to enjoy for the week? Bonus food! Raw cacao and sugar free dark chocolate. Rich in magnesium, iron and anti-oxidants, raw cacao can help lower inflammation and support energy production, whilst helping us with those sugar cravings! Just be mindful of how much you have as cacao does have a little caffeine. My superfood hot chocolate recipe is a lovely way to get this delicious food into your diet before your period. So which one are you going to start with? Dm me over on Instagram and let me know which food you try this cycle! Let's get social! Come say hello on Instagram or sign up to my newsletter. Sign up to the wait list for my course, Live and Thrive with Endo here. My new Nutrition for Endo Masterclasses are out now and are on special offer for Black Friday. Get one masterclass for £29.99 (full price £40) or both for £50. Find out more here. My cookbook This EndoLife, It Starts with Breakfast is out now! Get 28 anti-inflammatory, hormone friendly recipes for living and thriving with endometriosis. Order your copy here. If you feel like you need more support with managing endometriosis, you can join Your EndoLife Coaching Programme. A 1-to-1 three month health and life coaching programme to help you thrive with endometriosis. To find out more about the programme and to discuss whether it could be right for you, email me at [email protected] or visit my website. This episode is sponsored by The Pod Farm. Learn all about how to start your own podcast with the complete course from The Pod Farm. Aimed at beginners, this course takes a simple and straightforward approach to planning, equipment buying, setting up, recording, editing and hosting your own podcast. With hours of audio and video materials, and downloadable guides and useful links, this multimedia approach aims to have something for every kind of learner. From now until April 15, newsletter subscribers get 20% off the course price. Visit www.thepodfarm.com to enroll or find out more This episode is sponsored by BeYou. Soothe period cramps the natural way with these 100% natural and discreet menthol and eucalyptus oil stick on patches and CBD range. Click here to find out more and to shop: https://beyouonline.co.uk This episode is sponsored by Semaine. Try their supplement for period pain and daily supplement for hormonal balance and PMS prevention with code ENDOLIFE to get 20% off your first order.   Show Notes My FLO How to track your period   Magnesium Study Magnesium baths for pain article Magnesium--a new therapeutic alternative in primary dysmenorrhea   Vitamin E Vitamin E, oxidative stress, and inflammation Antioxidant supplementation reduces endometriosis-related pelvic pain in humans Evaluation of the effect of vitamin E on pelvic pain reduction in women suffering from primary dysmenorrhea   Omega 3 Fatty Acids NHS fish guidance Dietary fish oil supplementation inhibits formation of endometriosis-associated adhesions in a chimeric mouse model Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) as an anti-inflammatory: an alternative to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for discogenic pain Effect of omega-3 fatty acids on intensity of primary dysmenorrhea Anti-inflammatory Effects Of Omega 3 Fatty Acid In Fish Oil Linked To Lowering Of Prostaglandin Outsmart Endometriosis by Dr Jessica Drummond   Eat the rainbow Foods That Fight Inflammation - Harvard Health Oxidative Stress and Endometriosis: A Systematic Review of the Literature Women with endometriosis improved their peripheral antioxidant markers after the application of a high antioxidant diet   Curcumin  Curcumin inhibits endometriosis endometrial cells by reducing estradiol production   Ginger Dr. Aviva Romm ginger recommendations The effect of ginger for relieving of primary dysmenorrhoea Comparison of Effects of Ginger, Mefenamic Acid, and Ibuprofen on Pain in Women with Primary Dysmenorrhea   Cacao 100% black sugar free peanut butter mini eggs Hazelnut truffles Absolute Black (can find the bar in Sainsburys) Hotel Chocolat buttons (these are AMAZING, but I don’t love their other 100% chocolate products) So Free sweet dark chocolate Raw cacao (you can find this in Sainsburys, but generally you can get raw cacao everywhere and online) My brownie recipe
  • This EndoLife podcast

    Festive Special Series - Seven Foods to Alleviate Oestrogen Dominance with Endometriosis

    44:54

    Today’s episode is part of an end of year special series. I am resharing some of my most actionable episodes to help you reduce pain on your period and pain flares in general, and to balance your hormones for better periods, less PMS and healthier cycles. I am sharing these episodes because this time of year is often when some of our endo management strategies can go out of the window (and understandably so!). We might have more sugar, less sleep, more alcohol and more blood sugar dysregulation, and as a result, these can all raise inflammation and give our bodies a hard time when it comes to clearing old and excess hormones. So come January or maybe sooner, we tend to have more PMS, worse periods and more pain. So these episodes are designed to provide you with some tips you can quickly implement if you’re worried about your upcoming period, or you’re feeling rough and need some tips to improve your symptoms. Now of course, it’s natural that we want to indulge a bit over Christmas, and so these episodes are not about telling you to be a saint. Instead, they’re about practices you can throw in that can just help lessen some of the impact. I am releasing a couple so you can choose strategies you think will help you most and so you have options, but you certainly don’t have to try them all! And whilst I’m here, if you find that you want to learn more about how to eat for endo and for hormone balance, or you get to the end of the festive period and you really just want to improve your systems, I now have my Nutrition for Endo Masterclasses, which are available to buy all year round, unlike my courses. Lucky for you, they’re still discounted because I haven’t had time to change the prices, so you can still get each masterclass for £29.99 or you can buy the bundle for £50. You could also ask for them as a Christmas present! Finally, thank you for listening to this podcast this year, and for sticking with me even with my sporadic release dates as I navigate all of these new courses and offerings with recording my free content. I am wishing you a wonderful festive break (if you celebrate) and a very happy New Year. So, without further ado, let’s get to today’s episode. I really hope it helps you manage some of your symptoms over this festive period. Seven Foods to Alleviate Oestrogen Dominance with Endometriosis If you’ve listened to my podcast recently, you’ve likely heard a lot about oestrogen dominance or excess oestrogen and the problems these two imbalances can bring. Oestrogen in itself isn’t a ‘bad’ hormone - it’s a wonderful hormone that plays a crucial role in our menstrual cycle and our overall health. But too much or too high in relation to progesterone is where the problems arise, and these problems can make our experience of endo worse. So what is oestrogen dominance? Oestrogen dominance occurs when the ratio of oestrogen to progesterone is too high, this can happen when progesterone is low, oestrogen is high or both! Excess oestrogen is when there is too much oestrogen circulating the body, and this would be likely cause oestrogen dominance, providing of course that progesterone isn’t also too high (which in my experience with clients at least, is generally less common). Why does oestrogen dominance occur? We deep dive into this topic in other interviews and episodes (so check the links below), but to give you an overview, here are some of the common causes: Stress Imbalanced blood sugar Gut health issues Deficiencies, such as zinc Heavy alcohol consumption Overburdened liver Xenoestrogens Whilst taking a holistic approach looking at all of these areas is advisable, eating certain foods can help your body to remove any old or excess oestrogen and adding these foods in can be a great way to get started with healing any imbalances. Here are seven of my favourite foods for alleviating oestrogen dominance with endometriosis: Dandelion root tea or coffee to help support the liver with clearing out old and excess oestrogen. Be careful that you’re not buying a caffeinated dandelion and coffee blend - we’re looking for dandelion alone. You can drink it as a herbal tea or buy it roasted, then grind and have as coffee! It makes a lovely black coffee or latte. Broccoli sprouts provide a big, concentrated dose of SGS (sulforaphane glucosinolate) , a plant compound that also helps the liver to detoxify oestrogen and break it down in a healthy way Cruciferous vegetables such as kale, broccoli, cabbage and Brussel sprouts aid oestrogen detoxification. The active compound in cruciferous veggies is a nutrient called I3C (indole-3-cabinol), which further breaks down into SGS (sulforaphane glucosinolate) and DIM (diindolymethane) and both play a big role in supporting the liver with oestrogen detoxification. In fact, these nutrients are so powerful that you may recognise them - they’re often found in oestrogen clearance supplements! Probiotic foods such as kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi and yoghurt help create a healthy gut microbiome and ensure that the bacteria which helps to eliminate oestrogen, the estrobolome, is well supported and that beta-glucuronidase, the enzyme that reactivates oestrogen (causing it to be reabsorbed into the blood stream), is prevented from getting too high. A caveat here is that if you have SIBO you may find probiotic foods aggravating. I would start slowly with one tablespoon and increase to tolerance over time. B6 foods such turkey, fish, seeds, nuts like pistachios, lentils, eggs, and a moderate amount of organic pasture-raised red meat helps to detoxify old and excess oestrogen and raise progesterone levels. Lignans from nuts and seeds, particularly pumpkin, sunflower, sesame and potentially flax (if you respond well to it) help bind and remove oestrogen. Flax can have weak oestrogenic effects, and is often recommended to help lower oestrogen dominance symptoms . However, I recommend being mindful here as I am not the only practitioner to have witnessed endo symptoms and oestrogen dominance symptoms worsening from flax, so I would just see how you personally respond. Having said that, lots of doctors, nutritionists and health coaches see an improvement, but just have an awareness when you try and if you try flax. Hopefully it works well for you!   Let's get social! Come say hello on Instagram or sign up to my newsletter. Sign up to the wait list for my course, Live and Thrive with Endo here. My new Nutrition for Endo Masterclasses are out now and are on special offer for Black Friday. Get one masterclass for £29.99 (full price £40) or both for £50. Find out more here. My cookbook This EndoLife, It Starts with Breakfast is out now! Get 28 anti-inflammatory, hormone friendly recipes for living and thriving with endometriosis. Order your copy here. If you feel like you need more support with managing endometriosis, you can join Your EndoLife Coaching Programme. A 1-to-1 three month health and life coaching programme to help you thrive with endometriosis. To find out more about the programme and to discuss whether it could be right for you, email me at [email protected] or visit my website. This episode is sponsored by The Pod Farm. Learn all about how to start your own podcast with the complete course from The Pod Farm. Aimed at beginners, this course takes a simple and straightforward approach to planning, equipment buying, setting up, recording, editing and hosting your own podcast. With hours of audio and video materials, and downloadable guides and useful links, this multimedia approach aims to have something for every kind of learner. From now until April 15, newsletter subscribers get 20% off the course price. Visit www.thepodfarm.com to enroll or find out more This episode is sponsored by BeYou. Soothe period cramps the natural way with these 100% natural and discreet menthol and eucalyptus oil stick on patches and CBD range. Click here to find out more and to shop: https://beyouonline.co.uk This episode is sponsored by Semaine. Try their supplement for period pain and daily supplement for hormonal balance and PMS prevention with code ENDOLIFE to get 20% off your first order. Show Notes SIBO episodes Ep 99 with Dr Allison Siebecker Ep 97 My SIBO treatment plan Oestrogen dominance episodes Ep 104 Blood Sugar episodes Ep 88 Ep 81 Ep 66 Ep 55 Broccoli sprouts and cruciferous veg  Magdalena Wszelaki broccoli sprouts Changes in levels of urinary estrogen metabolites after oral indole-3-carbinol treatment in humans Indole-3-Carbinol (I3C) and its Major Derivatives: Their Pharmacokinetics and Important Roles in Hepatic Protection Estrobolome Alisa Vitti Histamine The 4-Phase Histamine Reset Plan B6 The Interactions between Vitamin B6 and Hormones Nutritional factors in the etiology of the premenstrual tension syndromes Dr Jolene Brighten B6 Lignans Dr Joelene Brighten on seed cycling and flax Lara Briden explains phytoestrogens
  • This EndoLife podcast

    Festive Special Series - Six Tips for Reducing Endometriosis Pain in The Week Before Your Period

    36:52

    Today’s episode is part of an end of year special series. I am resharing some of my most actionable episodes to help you reduce pain on your period and pain flares in general, and to balance your hormones for better periods, less PMS and healthier cycles. I am sharing these episodes because this time of year is often when some of our endo management strategies can go out of the window (and understandably so!). We might have more sugar, less sleep, more alcohol and more blood sugar dysregulation, and as a result, these can all raise inflammation and give our bodies a hard time when it comes to clearing old and excess hormones. So come January or maybe sooner, we tend to have more PMS, worse periods and more pain. So these episodes are designed to provide you with some tips you can quickly implement if you’re worried about your upcoming period, or you’re feeling rough and need some tips to improve your symptoms. Now of course, it’s natural that we want to indulge a bit over Christmas, and so these episodes are not about telling you to be a saint. Instead, they’re about practices you can throw in that can just help lessen some of the impact. I am releasing a couple so you can choose strategies you think will help you most and so you have options, but you certainly don’t have to try them all! And whilst I’m here, if you find that you want to learn more about how to eat for endo and for hormone balance, or you get to the end of the festive period and you really just want to improve your systems, I now have my Nutrition for Endo Masterclasses, which are available to buy all year round, unlike my courses. Lucky for you, they’re still discounted because I haven’t had time to change the prices, so you can still get each masterclass for £29.99 or you can buy the bundle for £50. You could also ask for them as a Christmas present! Finally, thank you for listening to this podcast this year, and for sticking with me even with my sporadic release dates as I navigate all of these new courses and offerings with recording my free content. I am wishing you a wonderful festive break (if you celebrate) and a very happy New Year. So, without further ado, let’s get to today’s episode. I really hope it helps you manage some of your symptoms over this festive period. Six Tips for Reducing Endometriosis Pain in The Week Before Your Period Most of us with endometriosis have experienced debilitating periods that stop us in our tracks and derail our day or week completely. Perhaps we get through with a mix of pain killers or maybe nothing helps at all - whatever is going on for you, today I want to offer you six simple pain relieving strategies that can help alleviate your endometriosis pain when your period arrives. These methods are best begun seven days before your period so the effects build up and compound and I do totally recommend continuing them into your period too, for extra benefits! As always, these are just options - you don’t have to do them all nor do you have to do them exactly as suggested, tweak and tailor to your lifestyle and preferences. Consult your GP before adding in supplements. Here are my six tips for reducing your endometriosis pain for when your period starts: Magnesium rich baths, 2 - 3 times the week before your period, with 500g - 600g Epsom salt baths, soaking for at least 10 minutes each times. Two portions of low mercury, fatty fish (sardines, mackerel, anchovies salmon, herring) in addition to 1000mg - 3000mg good quality omega 3 fatty acid supplementation. Turmeric lattes with 1/2 teaspoon turmeric (1g) and 1/4-1/2 teaspoon ginger root powder (350mg-700mg) in addition to ginger tea (made with ginger root powder), raspberry leaf tea and dandelion tea. Always add some fat into your latte to aid absorption of the turmeric - coconut oil, coconut butter, cacao butter or nut butter all would work well. Daily yoga or stretches for endometriosis and pelvic pain. Reduce or eliminate sugar, utilising stevia, inulin root syrup, berries and 100% dark chocolate as alternatives. Eat the rainbow! Get in 5 to 10 servings of fruit and veg a day, focusing more on vegetables (think 80% vs 20%). I hope this episode helps you prepare for your period! Please do let me know if it changes your experience of your next period - I would love to hear from you! Scroll down to the show notes for links to studies, brand recommendations, recipes, etc. Let's get social! Come say hello on Instagram or sign up to my newsletter. Sign up to the wait list for my course, Live and Thrive with Endo here. My new Nutrition for Endo Masterclasses are out now and are on special offer for Black Friday. Get one masterclass for £29.99 (full price £40) or both for £50. Find out more here. My cookbook This EndoLife, It Starts with Breakfast is out now! Get 28 anti-inflammatory, hormone friendly recipes for living and thriving with endometriosis. Order your copy here. If you feel like you need more support with managing endometriosis, you can join Your EndoLife Coaching Programme. A 1-to-1 three month health and life coaching programme to help you thrive with endometriosis. To find out more about the programme and to discuss whether it could be right for you, email me at [email protected] or visit my website. This episode is sponsored by The Pod Farm. Learn all about how to start your own podcast with the complete course from The Pod Farm. Aimed at beginners, this course takes a simple and straightforward approach to planning, equipment buying, setting up, recording, editing and hosting your own podcast. With hours of audio and video materials, and downloadable guides and useful links, this multimedia approach aims to have something for every kind of learner. From now until April 15, newsletter subscribers get 20% off the course price. Visit www.thepodfarm.com to enroll or find out more This episode is sponsored by BeYou. Soothe period cramps the natural way with these 100% natural and discreet menthol and eucalyptus oil stick on patches and CBD range. Click here to find out more and to shop: https://beyouonline.co.uk This episode is sponsored by Semaine. Try their supplement for period pain and daily supplement for hormonal balance and PMS prevention with code ENDOLIFE to get 20% off your first order. Show Notes Magnesium Study Magnesium baths for pain article Magnesium--a new therapeutic alternative in primary dysmenorrhea   Omega 3 Fatty Acids NHS fish guidance Dietary fish oil supplementation inhibits formation of endometriosis-associated adhesions in a chimeric mouse model Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) as an anti-inflammatory: an alternative to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for discogenic pain Effect of omega-3 fatty acids on intensity of primary dysmenorrhea Anti-inflammatory Effects Of Omega 3 Fatty Acid In Fish Oil Linked To Lowering Of Prostaglandin Outsmart Endometriosis by Dr Jessica Drummond Lion Heart Aqua Biome Fish Oil   Lattes and teas Super Turmeric Latte recipe  Curcumin inhibits endometriosis endometrial cells by reducing estradiol production Nicole Jardim Fix Your Period book Dr. Aviva Romm ginger recommendations The effect of ginger for relieving of primary dysmenorrhoea Comparison of Effects of Ginger, Mefenamic Acid, and Ibuprofen on Pain in Women with Primary Dysmenorrhea   Yoga and stretches for pelvic pain Yoga for endometriosis Stretches for endometriosis Pelvic floor and fascia release exercises by Dr. Nicole Cozean   Sugar Inflammatory cytokine concentrations are acutely increased by hyperglycemia in humans: role of oxidative stress Proinflammatory effects of glucose and anti-inflammatory effect of insulin: relevance to cardiovascular disease 100% black sugar free peanut butter mini eggs Hazelnut truffles Absolute Black (can find the bar in Sainsburys) Hotel Chocolat buttons (these are AMAZING, but I don’t love their other 100% chocolate products) So Free sweet dark chocolate Raw cacao (you can find this in Sainsburys, but generally you can get raw cacao everywhere and online) Stevia drops  Troo syrup Stevia powder Perfect World ice cream My brownie recipe Sweet Laurel’s Bakery blog Endometriosis and dairy episode Endometriosis and caffeine episode Endometriosis and sugar episode Endometriosis and gluten episode Molly Roberson interview   Eat the rainbow Oxidative Stress and Endometriosis: A Systematic Review of the Literature Women with endometriosis improved their peripheral antioxidant markers after the application of a high antioxidant diet
  • This EndoLife podcast

    Festive Special Series - Endo and PMS: The Key to Reducing Mood Swings, Anxiety and Low Moods in Your Luteal Phase

    25:13

    Today’s episode is part of an end of year special series. I am resharing some of my most actionable episodes to help you reduce pain on your period and pain flares in general, and to balance your hormones for better periods, less PMS and healthier cycles. I am sharing these episodes because this time of year is often when some of our endo management strategies can go out of the window (and understandably so!). We might have more sugar, less sleep, more alcohol and more blood sugar dysregulation, and as a result, these can all raise inflammation and give our bodies a hard time when it comes to clearing old and excess hormones. So come January or maybe sooner, we tend to have more PMS, worse periods and more pain. So these episodes are designed to provide you with some tips you can quickly implement if you’re worried about your upcoming period, or you’re feeling rough and need some tips to improve your symptoms. Now of course, it’s natural that we want to indulge a bit over Christmas, and so these episodes are not about telling you to be a saint. Instead, they’re about practices you can throw in that can just help lessen some of the impact. I am releasing a couple so you can choose strategies you think will help you most and so you have options, but you certainly don’t have to try them all! And whilst I’m here, if you find that you want to learn more about how to eat for endo and for hormone balance, or you get to the end of the festive period and you really just want to improve your systems, I now have my Nutrition for Endo Masterclasses, which are available to buy all year round, unlike my courses. Lucky for you, they’re still discounted because I haven’t had time to change the prices, so you can still get each masterclass for £29.99 or you can buy the bundle for £50. You could also ask for them as a Christmas present! Finally, thank you for listening to this podcast this year, and for sticking with me even with my sporadic release dates as I navigate all of these new courses and offerings with recording my free content. I am wishing you a wonderful festive break (if you celebrate) and a very happy New Year. So, without further ado, let’s get to today’s episode. I really hope it helps you manage some of your symptoms over this festive period. Endo and PMS: The Key to Reducing Mood Swings, Anxiety and Low Moods in Your Luteal Phase Okay so a while ago I ran a poll about PMS and endo, and I wanted to know what symptoms you struggle with. Turns out, the majority of you get low moods during your luteal phase. In fact, out of the hundreds of you who entered the poll, 93% of you said you struggle with low moods and mood swings during your luteal phase. So today’s episode is the first in a two part series. Today I’m going to take you through one of the key causes of PMS mood swings and I’m going to provide you with my go-to strategy for starting to tackle it, and then in the second episode, I’ll be taking you through the secondary causes and strategies.   So number one, where we’re starting, is to balance your blood sugar, and truly, this is one of the most important things you can do if you want to improve your moods during this time, lower inflammation and balance your hormones. This is really key and this is why I’m starting here. If you’ve got your blood sugar sorted, then clearly this isn’t your main cause and the next two causes in the future episode will be more relevant, and they are low progesterone and low neurostransmitter levels. But we’re starting with blood sugar because this is foundational to hormone health and plays a really big role in PMS, and could be the reason why you have low progesterone anyway! So let’s look at what blood sugar has to do with moods specifically. Blood sugar is the measurement of glucose in our blood. Glucose comes from complex carbohydrates like fruit, vegetables, beans, whole grains, etc. and it is our body’s and brain’s primary fuel. For us to feel energised and have stable energy levels all day long, we need to have a steady drip of glucose filtering into our blood. When we’re eating a diet that consists of complex carbohydrates, that also includes healthy fats, proteins and lots of fibre, this ensures good blood sugar levels.  But glucose also comes from refined carbohydrates, such as sugars like honey, maple syrup and standard white sugar, and baked processed products like bread, cake and pizza. These foods contain a lot of carbohydrate and little fibre, they are made of simple carbohydrates, meaning that they break down very, very quickly in the gut. Complex carbohydrates are called complex carbohydrates because their chemical structure is made of long chains of glucose linked together, which takes the body longer to break down. In contrast, simple carbs are made up of very short chains of glucose that are easy for the body to break down. This creates a huge surge of glucose that’s pumped quickly into your blood stream. What then happens is that your body panics. It’s a stressor to the body to have this much glucose in the blood at any one time, so it releases a hormone called insulin. Insulin usually delivers glucose to our cells for fuel, but when we have too much glucose, it’s released in really high amounts and pushes it into the liver and fat cells for storage. This equally happens quickly, in fact, a little too quickly and the insulin accidentally takes too much glucose out of the blood in its rush to clean things up, and our blood sugar levels plummet. This leaves us hungry soon afterwards, and we end up on a blood sugar rollercoaster, needing more refined carbs and sugar to fuel us and get our blood sugar levels back up to a healthy level. Of course, eating more sugar or processed carbs won’t take us to healthy levels, but will spike our blood sugar levels once more – so we’ll temporarily feel good, only to crash again, so the cycle continues. The result is that we spend our days going through highs and lows, and this blood sugar rollercoaster feels like: ·      Hanger ·      Irritability ·      Anger ·      Moodiness ·      Tearfulness ·      Anxiety ·      Shakiness ·      Feeling sleepy after meals ·      Having mid-morning and mid-afternoon energy slumps ·      Cravings for caffeine, sugar or refined carbohydrates ·      Trouble falling asleep, waking up in the night or struggling to wake in the morning ·      Feeling thirsty a lot You don’t have to have all of these symptoms, but if you have a few of them, it’s likely your blood sugar levels need improving. So what’s this got to do with PMS? Well, in the first half of our cycle, from menstruation to ovulation, as oestrogen rises, we’re actually more insulin sensitive because oestrogen actually boosts the effectiveness of insulin. This means we respond well to insulin so we’re getting in glucose and making energy effectively, we’re satisfied more easily and we feel satiated for longer. Basically, we’re more responsive to insulin and that in turns helps us to have balanced blood sugar levels and stops us from craving all the sugar. But in contrast, in the second half of our cycle, when progesterone rises, we actually become less insulin sensitive because progesterone can dampen the effectiveness of insulin. That means the same meal you ate the week before, may no longer satisfy you because your body is not taking in the glucose from insulin in the same way. It also means, as a result, you may be more susceptible to blood sugar highs and lows and you might end up eating more refined carbs, sugar, etc. because you still feel hungry or less energised, so your body is telling you to eat foods with a quick energy fix. This is likely why 84% of you say you get cravings during this time! This of course can create those blood sugar crashes that leave you feeling anxious, tearful, irritable, or moody. This is one of the key reasons we can feel low during the luteal phase, which is why we start here. In the follow up episode I’m going to take you through the other causes, but by working on your blood sugar levels, you’ll actually be preventing the other causes from happening in the first place in many cases, so this is the foundation we really want to have in place. Once this is in place, we can clearly and accurately see whether there’s any other issues left over affecting your moods in this part of your cycle. So there are a few key strategies for balancing blood sugar, but let’s start with the main strategy to get you going. Ideally, we want to practice this all month long because it’s going to lower inflammation and regulate your hormones so your PMS will be better and your pain will be better too, but at the minimum, it will be helpful to bring this strategy in from ovulation onwards until your period so we can manage those blood sugar levels.   So, the strategy is to eat healthy fats, fibre, complex carbohydrates, and protein with every single meal. And so this looks like: ·      50% of your plate (or half your plate) should be covered with low starchy veggies. This is where your complex carbs and fibre will come from. This is important because the carbs give you energy and the fibre slows down the release of glucose, because it takes longer to digest foods with fibre. So think asparagus, broccoli, kale, tomatoes, peppers, cucumber, aubergine, cauliflower, etc. ·      25% of your plate should be protein (or a quarter of your plate). And that should be equal to the size and thickness of your palm. We need about 20g of protein per meal on average, so that’s not 20g of beans or chicken, but how much protein is actually in the food itself. Don’t worry, you don’t need to be weighing things up, just start with the ratios first, the portion sizes. If you’re still getting hungry after meals, check how much protein you’re actually eating and up it if need be. For meat, it works out at about 3-4 oz of animal protein. If you’re eating beans or a protein rich grain like quinoa or brown rice, you’re probably going to need to up your levels with say a dressing made of nut butter, or an egg, or maybe a tablespoon or two of seeds. Also, remember that beans and grains also count as complex carbs, so keep that in mind for when I get to the complex carbs bit!  ·      Next up, we want the final 25% to be split between more starchier complex carbs and healthy fats. For healthy fats, we’re looking at a two golf ball sized serving, or two heaped tablespoons and that could be equal to half an avocado, two tablespoons of olive oil, two tablespoons of nut butter, etc. Fat helps to slow the blood sugar release down, and is actually essential for hormone production by the way!  The starchier carbs would consist of a small handful of something like root veggies such as sweet potato or parsnips, or maybe some quinoa or beans if you haven’t had them already as your protein source. And so this is where it has to be very individual as if you already have beans or grains, you might not need that extra starch boost and instead, you could just add some extra veggies so your plate is around 60-65% veg. But if you have say beans on your plate for your protein source and you tend to burn a lot of energy during the day because you’re a very active person, you might need a little sweet potato too or some grains. And if you’ve got meat as your protein source and you’re very active, that serving of starchier carbs might need to be a bit bigger than someone who isn’t very active. It has to be tailored to you and what your body needs.  For example, my blood sugar cannot tolerate beans and grains in the same meal, I crash and burn hard! But I have a job where for the most part, other than using a standing desk a few times throughout the day and my usual exercise routine, I don’t have a physically demanding lifestyle. But if you’re say a nurse in a busy hospital, a dance teacher or an athlete, you’ll probably feel like you do better with that extra fuel. In fact, one of my clients who’s a dance teacher always needs some kind of grain with her meals or her blood sugar would get too low, because she was always burning it off! Another thing I want to mention here is how our blood sugar responds to grains is very personal too. Some people find that grains give them a steady release of fuel, others find they spike their blood sugar levels quickly and then crash. That’s me! Especially after oatmeal, I can have a big, filling bowl but find myself starving and shaky an hour later, if not sooner. So if you do respond like that to grains but you want to eat them regularly, you might need to up you fat and protein to really slow down that glucose release. So, this is where we get started. It might sound a little fiddly, but over time, you’ll gradually grow accustomed to it and notice when one of these food groups is missing! In the show notes, I’ve linked to a great diagram of how this looks on a plate, so you can always print that off and have it on your fridge.  Now there other steps to balancing your blood sugar, but it can take some time to adjust to this one, so this is where I’d suggest for you to start and then you can revisit my past blood sugar episodes to learn more, or I think I’m probably going to release a standalone workshop on this in the future so you can always sign up to that if you’d like a deep dive and a step by step process.  But start here, give it at least one cycle and see how you’re doing. Of course, if you’re constantly spiking your levels with chocolate and sweets, then balancing your meals won’t cancel that out, so just be mindful of that! And I just want to leave you with one last tip, to really get off on the right track, make sure your breakfast is fat and protein rich, don’t skip these two! If you’re just having oatmeal, you’re going to need to add a lot of nut butter, some protein powder or have two eggs on the side to balance out the carb content. Keep that in mind when you start the day and you’ll find balancing your blood sugar levels much easier as go through the rest of your day. Let's get social! Come say hello on Instagram or sign up to my newsletter. Sign up to the wait list for my course, Live and Thrive with Endo here. My new Nutrition for Endo Masterclasses are out now and are on special offer for Black Friday. Get one masterclass for £29.99 (full price £40) or both for £50. Find out more here. My cookbook This EndoLife, It Starts with Breakfast is out now! Get 28 anti-inflammatory, hormone friendly recipes for living and thriving with endometriosis. Order your copy here. If you feel like you need more support with managing endometriosis, you can join Your EndoLife Coaching Programme. A 1-to-1 three month health and life coaching programme to help you thrive with endometriosis. To find out more about the programme and to discuss whether it could be right for you, email me at [email protected] or visit my website. This episode is sponsored by The Pod Farm. Learn all about how to start your own podcast with the complete course from The Pod Farm. Aimed at beginners, this course takes a simple and straightforward approach to planning, equipment buying, setting up, recording, editing and hosting your own podcast. With hours of audio and video materials, and downloadable guides and useful links, this multimedia approach aims to have something for every kind of learner. From now until April 15, newsletter subscribers get 20% off the course price. Visit www.thepodfarm.com to enroll or find out more This episode is sponsored by BeYou. Soothe period cramps the natural way with these 100% natural and discreet menthol and eucalyptus oil stick on patches and CBD range. Click here to find out more and to shop: https://beyouonline.co.uk This episode is sponsored by Semaine. Try their supplement for period pain and daily supplement for hormonal balance and PMS prevention with code ENDOLIFE to get 20% off your first order. Show Notes  How to Build a Healthy Plate Diagram by Amelia Freer
  • This EndoLife podcast

    How to Live Well with Endometriosis and Ehlers-Danlos with Natalia Kasnakidis

    1:26:19

    Do you get full body pain? Does it affect your muscles, nerves or joints? Do you find that you need to rest after walking or find you tired more easily than others? It might not just be endometriosis. Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome is a group of 13 conditions which all affect connective tissue (collagen) in the body. Most are rare, but one type called hypermobility EDS is common - and out of those with this type of EDS, 6-23% have endometriosis. But that’s not where the connection ends… 32-77% of those with EDS have vulvodynia and or pain with sex. 33-75% have heavy menstrual bleeding.  73-93% have painful periods. Additionally, histamine intolerance caused by Mast Cell Activation Syndrome is a co-condition of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, and we also know that overactive mast cells play a role in endometriosis. Not only can this cause more painful periods, but it can also create problems like allergies and eczema to name a few. Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome is also a huge risk factor for SIBO, and as you may now know, at present SIBO is estimated as affecting 80% of the endo population. I could go on with the overlapping symptoms and connections, but instead, I’ll let you hear it first hand from Natalia Kasnakidis who is not only an endometriosis warrior, but is also living with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, histamine intolerance and potentially postural tachycardia syndrome. In this episode we talk about: What the Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes are and how common they are. The signs and symptoms to look out for and Natalia’s own experience with her symptoms. The journey she tool to diagnosis and her tips for getting diagnosed. The co-conditions of EDS and their symptoms. Her key strategies for living well with endometriosis and EDS. Get my free Christmas endo recipe ebook here. With five delicious endo-friendly recipes, This Endolife, At Christmas, is a mini cookbook to help you live and thrive with endometriosis at Christmas. These recipes are anti-inflammatory, plant-based, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free and contain no added sugar! Featuring... Sausage, Pecan and Chestnut Stuffing Carrot Bacon Pigs in Blankets Salted Caramel Cheesecake This Isn't Just Custard, This Is Endo-Friendly Very Vanilla Custard Christmas Spiced Plum and Blackberry Crumble   Let's get social! Come say hello on Instagram or sign up to my newsletter. Sign up to the wait list for my course, Live and Thrive with Endo here. My new Nutrition for Endo Masterclasses are out now and are on special offer for Black Friday. Get one masterclass for £29.99 (full price £40) or both for £50. Find out more here. My cookbook This EndoLife, It Starts with Breakfast is out now! Get 28 anti-inflammatory, hormone friendly recipes for living and thriving with endometriosis. Order your copy here. If you feel like you need more support with managing endometriosis, you can join Your EndoLife Coaching Programme. A 1-to-1 three month health and life coaching programme to help you thrive with endometriosis. To find out more about the programme and to discuss whether it could be right for you, email me at [email protected] or visit my website. This episode is sponsored by The Pod Farm. Learn all about how to start your own podcast with the complete course from The Pod Farm. Aimed at beginners, this course takes a simple and straightforward approach to planning, equipment buying, setting up, recording, editing and hosting your own podcast. With hours of audio and video materials, and downloadable guides and useful links, this multimedia approach aims to have something for every kind of learner. From now until April 15, newsletter subscribers get 20% off the course price. Visit www.thepodfarm.com to enroll or find out more This episode is sponsored by BeYou. Soothe period cramps the natural way with these 100% natural and discreet menthol and eucalyptus oil stick on patches and CBD range. Click here to find out more and to shop: https://beyouonline.co.uk
  • This EndoLife podcast

    Symptom Management Supplements for the Endo Belly

    24:04

    Do you suffer with the endo belly? Is it accompanied by bloating, diarrhea, constipation or abdominal cramping? Whilst I’m all about getting to the root cause and find out WHY you’re suffering with the endo belly (not to mention, healing the root cause) I also understand the need for short-term symptom relief whilst we’re on that journey. Today’s podcast episode offers just that. I am sharing the most effective supplement options that help to relieve endo belly flares in the moment. These are the tools and strategies we use in our SIBO training with Dr. Siebecker, but are safe if you don’t have SIBO but do suffer with IBS symptoms. You will find all the dose references in the show notes, but remember - as a health coach I cannot prescribe you a treatment protocol, this is education only and the aim is for you to take this information away to discuss your options with your doctor. Full credit to my tutor Dr. Allison Siebecker for teaching and providing us with these strategy relief tools!   Activated Charcoal So first up we’re starting with activated charcoal, which is great for:  Diarrhea Abdominal pain (not pelvic pain)  Gas Acid reflux It works by absorbing gases, which reduces pressure in the gut that can lead to cramping and of course, reduces bloating. It’s also absorbs fluid, so reduces diarrhea too.  The doses are: Up to 1000mg, every 1-3 hours for diarrhea. Up to 1000mg, every 2-6 hours for bloating/gas/abdominal pain.  Up to 1000mg 30 mins before a meal and one hour after for endo belly ‘trigger’ foods. Now what I mean by this, is if you have to eat something that you know is probably going to make you bloat or gassy, or swell you up, but you’re a bit stuck for choices, say you’re at a family thing or wedding, or you’re on holiday, then you could use charcoal. I don’t advise you just use it for every meal so you can eat whatever you want, because you’ll end up very constipated because it absorbs fluid, but I have found it very helpful on holiday and at weddings. Up to 500mg every 2-3 hours for acid reflux. So, some things to consider when taking charcoal: Do not consume more than 4000mg per day.  It can cause constipation, so reduce the dose if constipation occurs or use with magnesium citrate (which you’ll learn about shortly) or stool softeners, and I’ve listed some natural stool softeners in the handout. If you do use magnesium citrate to avoid any constipation, take it an hour after the charcoal or before bed. Your bowel movements may look dark after charcoal - don’t worry, it just stains everything!  Absorbs everything, so take it 30 minutes before meals/supplements/meds and/or one hour after. Some research has showed that in it can cause vomiting if accidentally inhaled, so if you struggle with small airways or swallowing, be cautious with this. I also personally prefer using capsules, as I have tried using the powder stirred in water and have accidentally inhaled it myself one or two times!   Ginger Next up is my absolute favourite, and that’s ginger.  Ginger is effective for: Nausea/vomiting Gas Bloating Fullness/food won’t go down Abdominal pain  Ginger is a prokinetic, which means it stimulates the MMC and gut motility, so it moves gas down and out of the small intestine. This therefore helps with gas, bloating, pressure, and abdominal pain, and it helps food to go down as well if you’re feeling like you’re not digesting your food properly. And I’ve mentioned, it’s a great tool for nausea and vomiting.  The doses are: 1000mg an 1-2 hours after meals or at bedtime for nausea/bloating/gas/vomiting/ab. pain.  1000mg 30 mins before meals to aid with appetite if nauseas.   So, some things to consider when taking ginger are: Do not consume more than 2000 mg per day.  It can cause something called ginger burn, which feels like heat or acid reflux is the oesophagus or stomach. If that occurs, take less, stand up and move around so it starts to go down (as ginger burn often happens when lying down or reclining in many of my clients) and sip on lots of water. In people with interstitial cystitis, as it’s a spice, it might cause some irritation, but this tends to vary from person to person. Finally, fresh ginger root is usually not as effective as dried ginger root powder, so we’re going for a 1000 mg in the form of capsules.   Peppermint Peppermint can be used for: Abdominal pain Bloating General IBS symptoms (there’s LOTS of research on peppermint for IBS) Indigestion Pain with bowel movements (which I know many of you suffer with)  Peppermint relaxes the smooth muscle of the intestines, so helps significantly with cramping and abdominal pain, and helps to ease the transition of gas. It’s also been shown to be 67% effective for reducing severe IBS symptoms, pretty impressive stuff! So, the doses are: Use peppermint tea/or tincture (follow label dose) for pain or sensations higher up in the abdomen (this is because peppermint generally works locally, so if you feel symptoms around the stomach area, the peppermint tea or tincture will be able to affect that area because it’s not sealed up in a pill, whereas the pills are coated and are designed to not be released until they exit the stomach). Label dose of triple coated tablets for mid to lower abdominal symptoms, as needed or daily. Research has shown that pain and symptoms improve significantly with long-term use with peppermint oil. Can also apply peppermint essential oil to abdomen. Follow label instructions as some oils require diluting in a base oil. A quick tip here, is you can use Be You patches, which I share on my podcast, over the abdomen, to ease spasms. You can keep those on for 12 hours and you can wear them daily. So, some things to consider when taking peppermint are: It can cause acid reflux in some people because it relaxes the muscles, it can open up the sphincter connecting the stomach and the oesophagus, so stomach acid can travel up. If this happens to you, try a pill that’s triple coated and designed to bypass the stomach. For some people, peppermint can also cause nausea.   Magnesium Magnesium citrate or oxide can be used for:  Constipation These types of magnesium draw water into the colon, helping to create a bowel movement. The dose is:  Up to 2000 mg at bedtime (two hours after food), daily or as needed until you have a bowel movement. However, 1000 mg is normally effective for many, but see what works for you. So, some things to consider when taking magnesium citrate or oxide are: You need to start slowly, beginning at 500 mg and building up until you find the dose that works for you. Generally, increasing your dose slightly each night should be a good pace, but keep in mind it can take a few nights to get to work, so don’t be too hasty.   Too much will cause abdominal cramping, bloating and diarrhea. If that occurs, reduce the dose back down until you get to a dose that creates a healthy bowel movement without watery stools or discomfort. Food will reduce the effects, so keep in mind you need to take it two hours away from food. And finally, you have to use either magnesium oxide or citrate, other forms of magnesium are not laxatives and will be absorbed in the body, rather than making their way down into the colon.   Partially Hydrolysed Guar Gum PHGG be used for: All IBS symptoms (multiple studies/reviews confirm this) Constipation Improving stool consistency Diarrhea Bloating/gas Increasing beneficial bacteria PHGG is a type of soluble, low FODMAP fibre, which is generally safe and well tolerated by even SIBO patients! It’s a longer term symptom management tool, whereas the others bring relief same day, this tends to need about a month to build up to the benefits. It helps to bulk up stools, making it effective for both constipation and diarrhea. So, the dose is: 5-6 g daily, ideally dissolved in hot water on an empty stomach, for at least one month and likely ongoing for maintenance. Some people do put it with tea, coffee, smoothies or even porridge, but many of the labels suggest on an empty stomach.  Increase to full dose across one to two weeks, especially if SIBO positive, so start out lower, with say one gram, and then increase by a gram or half a gram a day.   So, some things to consider when taking partially hydrolysed guar gum are: Ironically, in some people, likely people who have SIBO or extensive gut issues, it might cause bloating. So, give yourself a month or so on it and see how you respond. If it’s noticeably bad, reduce back down to a level you can tolerate or discontinue. Generally, it is thought to be SIBO safe, but we’re all different and SIBO is so individual, that we can’t guarantee it’ll be well tolerated by everyone. And alongside that, it may cause some GI distress, so basically an irritation of your IBS symptoms and if you have SIBO and don’t respond well to it, it could worsen those. However, as I’ve mentioned, on the whole, it’s well tolerated.   Most Important Takeaway: So, that wraps up this module, and I wanted to also let you know, there are multiple other options to help with symptoms, including more supplements and some at home remedies. I’ve linked to a handout in this slide by my tutor Dr. Allison Siebecker, which provides all of them. You don’t need to use them all, but I would recommend you have a read of it, so you know your options, and I also recommend trying some of the simple home remedies before buying expensive supplements!  But before we do any of that, remember, getting our foundations in place can make a huge difference to gut health - so start off with the first line therapies, before you start spot treating with lots of different supplements. Let's get social! Come say hello on Instagram or sign up to my newsletter. Sign up to the wait list for my course, Live and Thrive with Endo here. My new Nutrition for Endo Masterclasses are out now and are on special offer for Black Friday. Get one masterclass for £29.99 (full price £40) or both for £50. Find out more here. My cookbook This EndoLife, It Starts with Breakfast is out now! Get 28 anti-inflammatory, hormone friendly recipes for living and thriving with endometriosis. Order your copy here. If you feel like you need more support with managing endometriosis, you can join Your EndoLife Coaching Programme. A 1-to-1 three month health and life coaching programme to help you thrive with endometriosis. To find out more about the programme and to discuss whether it could be right for you, email me at [email protected] or visit my website. This episode is sponsored by The Pod Farm. Learn all about how to start your own podcast with the complete course from The Pod Farm. Aimed at beginners, this course takes a simple and straightforward approach to planning, equipment buying, setting up, recording, editing and hosting your own podcast. With hours of audio and video materials, and downloadable guides and useful links, this multimedia approach aims to have something for every kind of learner. From now until April 15, newsletter subscribers get 20% off the course price. Visit www.thepodfarm.com to enroll or find out more This episode is sponsored by BeYou. Soothe period cramps the natural way with these 100% natural and discreet menthol and eucalyptus oil stick on patches and CBD range. Click here to find out more and to shop: https://beyouonline.co.uk This episode is sponsored by Semaine. Try their supplement for period pain and daily supplement for hormonal balance and PMS prevention with code ENDOLIFE to get 20% off your first order. Show Notes Charcoal https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3717809/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3521259/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7015846/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3717809/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7949514/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12516788 https://www.siboinfo.com/uploads/5/4/8/4/5484269/sibo_symptomatic_relief_suggestions_jan_2020.pdf   Ginger https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10442508/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16865831/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24390893/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17545109/ https://www.europeanreview.org/article/10145 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3958926/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18403946/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25912592/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23612703/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30423929/ https://www.siboinfo.com/uploads/5/4/8/4/5484269/sibo_symptomatic_relief_suggestions_jan_2020.pdf   Peppermint https://bmccomplementmedtherapies.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12906-018-2409-0 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11207510/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24100754/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26319955/ https://www.siboinfo.com/uploads/5/4/8/4/5484269/sibo_symptomatic_relief_suggestions_jan_2020.pdf   Magnesium https://www.siboinfo.com/uploads/5/4/8/4/5484269/sibo_symptomatic_relief_suggestions_jan_2020.pdf   PHGG https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25843197/ http://ecite.utas.edu.au/121479 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16413751 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25519526/ https://www.siboinfo.com/uploads/5/4/8/4/5484269/sibo_symptomatic_relief_suggestions_jan_2020.pdf

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