Studies have shown that there’s a direct relationship between sugar intake and endometriosis. If you battle this condition, changing your diet can help.
While consuming too much sugar is bad for anyone’s health, it can actually exacerbate your endometriosis symptoms. You may want to form a diet plan that can help you to eat healthier and better manage your symptoms.
The Fascination with Sugar
Over the last two decades, sugar intake has increased by as much as 31%. This shouldn’t be surprising as sugar is addictive in the same way as nicotine and even illicit drugs like heroin. It has a direct effect on your brain, specifically on the opioid system. It’s long been widely known that too much sugar in your diet can be harmful. Not only can it cause tooth decay and cavities, but it can also cause too much glucose in your blood and exacerbate diabetes.
However, it’s also been discovered that your sugar intake can have a direct effect on endometriosis. With any medical condition, your body needs an adequate supply of white blood cells to boost your immune system. Too much sugar can interfere with those cells and reduce beneficial gut bacteria needed to absorb nutrients from the food you eat. Additionally, sugar can block your body’s ability to produce prostaglandins, anti-inflammatory agents that can worsen your symptoms when you have endometriosis.
Sugar also increases fat, which increases the production of estrogen. Women with the condition have too much estrogen in their bodies. The immune system is put off balance and cannot decrease inflammation in the body, which is why your symptoms can become much worse.
In addition, your body requires certain nutrients, especially B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, zinc, magnesium, iron, methionine and selenium. These are all responsible for the way your immune system functions, and controls and regulates your reproductive system. If you have an inadequate amount of those nutrients, it can throw off your system.
Curbing Sugar Intake with Endometriosis
If you suffer from debilitating symptoms at various times of the month, especially during your period, it might be due to an overconsumption of sugar. It’s too easy to simply grab something that’s packed with sugar and calories while you’re on the go or even when you’re home but don’t have time to think about eating healthy. Your sugar intake may be much higher than it should be, and you can find that you’re in more pain and have less energy than usual.
Sugar affects your insulin levels, which are often associated with diabetes. However, it’s a hormone that can also determine whether your reproductive hormone levels are normal or abnormal. It’s important to keep in mind that sugar doesn’t just include sweets but also carbohydrates, like bread and pasta, which break down into sugar in the body.
When your insulin is elevated, it can result in a higher production of testosterone that’s then converted into additional estrogen. As endometriosis is a reproductive disorder that involves higher estrogen levels, you want to work toward reducing those levels to a more normal number. Cutting down on sugar can help you to achieve that.
How Can You Eat Better and Feel Better?
Although you know that reducing your intake of sugar is beneficial for your health and can help to ease your endometriosis symptoms, it’s easier said than done. However, you can lower your intake of sugar and improve your symptoms and health as a whole by eating the right foods. If you are craving sugar, there are good alternatives. They include the following:
- Low-sugar fruits: Certain types of fruit are lower in sugar and can help to satisfy your cravings and keep you feeling satisfied. They are also rich in vitamins and fiber. Berries, in particular, are excellent choices.
- Sweet fruit with fat: Your body needs sugar and fats. If you need the extra calories, you may want to pair sugar with foods like peanut butter or almond butter. Good fats and protein will lower the impact of the sugar from the fruits.
- Dark chocolate: Dark chocolate is not only delicious but also healthy. Although you may not like 100% dark chocolate, you can find slightly lower percents such as 95 that can give you your sugar fix.
These tips can help you lower your sugar intake and relieve your endometriosis symptoms. You will get some much-needed relief each month.