Tips for Living with Endometriosis
This Endometriosis Awareness Month, we want to provide hope and support to the millions of people living with endometriosis around the world. To do so, we have researched some of the top tips to help those living with the condition. As those who suffer from endo know, it can affect not only your physical health, but your mental health, social life, and sex life. As difficult as it may be, learning to live with it is crucial. Keep reading to discover five tips on how to cope with endometriosis.
Living with Endometriosis:
- Adjust Your Diet: The effects of diet on endometriosis are still being studied, but preliminary research suggests that diets high in animal products (red meat and dairy) can negatively affect people with endometriosis, whereas plant-based products (nuts, seeds, whole grains, fruit, and vegetables) can help minimize pain and inflammation. So next time the pain kicks in, try opting for a nutritious, vegan snack (our go-to? An apple with natural peanut butter and chia seeds).
- Minimize Stress: Research has shown that many people living with endometriosis experience mild to high levels of stress. Thus, finding ways to alleviate stress is critical. The solution will be different for anyone, but common stress relievers include exercise (especially yoga), going for a walk outside, reading a book, meditating, taking a hot bath, or engaging in a hobby you enjoy, such as knitting, baking, or listening to music.
- Manage the Pain: Everyone’s pain threshold is different, as is the severity of their symptoms. For this reason, it’s important to find a pain management system that works for you. OTC pain relievers like ibuprofen might be enough for some, whereas others have stated that the use of heat, such as heating pads, to combat endo pain has worked wonders. If the pain is severe, we recommend consulting your doctor about a prescription medication that can offer greater relief.
- Exercise Regularly: Exercise is proven to increase the circulation of blood in the body and release endorphins. Reduce stress and physical pain by engaging in a mix of high-intensity and low-intensity exercises, ranging from running and spinning to yoga and pilates.
- Seek Support: Living with endometriosis can be isolating, which is why it’s so important to develop a strong support system. Reach out to friends and family, research endometriosis support groups online, or consider speaking with a mental health professional, such as a therapist.
At the end of the day, the most important thing to remember is that you are not alone. In fact, roughly 10% of women and girls globally are estimated to have endometriosis, and we’re willing to bet this number is much higher when you take into account the undiagnosed cases. Heck - even celebrities have endometriosis. Amy Schumer, Halsey, and Alexa Chung, to name a few, have all been open about their struggles with the condition.
So if you’ve recently been diagnosed, know that there are others out there going through what you’re going through. And to gain more insight into what it’s like to live with the condition, we recommend the following books:
Know Your Endo: An Empowering Guide to Health and Hope With Endometriosis by Jessica Murnane
How to Endo: A Guide to Surviving and Thriving With Endometriosis by Bridget Hustwaite