If you search online for supplements for endometriosis, you’ll find a lot of big promises.
There’s no magical pain and symptom relief, trick, remedy, or hack capable of healing endometriosis.
But if you want to feel human again without spending tons of money when you are at the store getting supplements, a few surprisingly easy tips and tricks (combined with a healthy diet) can help make it happen.
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Find Your Unique Vitamins and Supplements for Endometriosis
How many meds do you take every morning?
And how many do you take every evening?
The trap many women with endometriosis fall into is they believe if they take as much as possible supplements and vitamins, they’ll stay pain-free forever.
You need to support your body through vitamins and supplements, but it’s a no-win proposition.
Healing endometriosis naturally is a long process.
There’s only one of you. You have a unique body. Your endometriosis symptoms are unique.
I have turned to herbs and supplements in hopes of experiencing additional relief from my endometriosis and its related symptoms.
It is important to note, however, that utilizing herbs and supplements should not be a replacement for traditional, prescribed treatment options.
Herbs and supplements for endometriosis may be incorporated into a woman’s treatment plan in addition to the therapies she has been instructed to use by her healthcare provider.
Whether you are new to the diagnosis or a longtime sufferer, you are likely here to learn a little more about how you can get some relief with the right supplements for endometriosis.
Living with that disease means that your immune system feels pretty weak. Endometriosis is rooted in both an autoimmune reaction within the body and a hormonal imbalance of estrogen excess.
While I always, always have a “food first” mindset when addressing the symptoms of endometriosis, I have found supplements for endometriosis can supercharge the work of food in the body and speed up the process of symptom management and recovery.
I haven’t talked as openly about which supplements I take because we are all different, and I’m not a nutritionist. Recently I’ve experienced such a noticeable difference and many of you asked me about it, I am going to share more about what I am taking.
How Can I Reverse Endometriosis Naturally
Endometriosis is a chronic condition.
The causes of endometriosis vary and are poorly understood. Doctors still don’t know everything about what triggers this condition.
Causes may be the combination of multiple factors including genetics and immune dysfunction. Endometriosis has not yet been classified as an autoimmune disease but it may increase the risk for autoimmune diseases.
The inflammatory nature of endometriosis seems to trigger an imbalance in the immune system.
Using natural remedies for endometriosis has many benefits as they are safe and non-toxic and support the body to assist natural healing.
Natural treatments for endometriosis start with treating leaky gut, supporting the immune system, and balancing hormones. Everything is connected. Treating your endometriosis with drugs and hormones does not have to be your only option.
There are many safe endometriosis natural treatments and simple self-help measures you can use to help with your symptoms and help to reduce your pain. As well as diet changes, there are also many supplements that can help with specific symptoms.
In a previous blog post, I’ve detailed the right dietary approach to endometriosis including the foods you should avoid, as well as diving deeply into why quitting coffee is one of the main suggestions of the endometriosis diet. Once you have these elements of the protocol underway, it’s time to look at the best supplements for endometriosis to add to your daily routine.
The Hidden Supplements Benefits Nobody Tells You About
The question is inherently complicated, as we are not a one-size-fits-all body or disease. But, there are some vitamins and supplements for endometriosis I take that help restore balance to my life by improving my overall health and providing support for a healthy inflammatory response, stress, and pain.
As we know, the gold standard treatment for endometriosis is excision surgery with an expert endometriosis surgeon. And, supplements or herbs do not replace that, but rather are a tool to help you live your best life.
I’ve tried different supplements and different brands. Below you can see which ones work for me.
I still have some bad days when I feel weak and tired. But I’ve been exceptionally lucky.
Herbs and supplements can impact different individuals in different ways, and some may experience relief from symptoms when using certain herbs or supplements in a healthy and safe manner.
What Supplements are Good for Endometriosis
Herbal and nutritional supplements can help with pain, and are safer than using ibuprofen, which can wreck your gut; and even taking ibuprofen for just one week may increase the risk of a heart attack.
You don’t need to buy all of the supplements below. You need to define your problems (like pain and other symptoms) and then choose the right supplements and vitamins for your body.
The best anti-inflammatories include:
Curcumin (an extract from turmeric, also a great antioxidant)—1200-2400 mg/day
Bromelain (an enzyme from pineapple)—200-800 mg/day
Quercetin (an extract from apples, onions, and omega 3 fats from fish oil)—250 mg three times/day
Omega 3 fats from fish oil (a DHA and EPA combination)
Bromelain has been a real Godsend for me. I suffer from debilitating cramps and used to manage the pain with prescription-strength pain killers. A friend introduced me to this option a couple of months ago and it’s definitely changed my life. It’s taken my pain level from completely unbearable to totally manageable. I’m talking about deep abdominal pain, pain in the uterus, and terrible cramps (not only during my period). I’d highly recommend anyone who’s looking for relief without turning to narcotics. It’s been a genuine blessing.
A combination of these antioxidants to help prevent and reverse local tissue damage from inflammation:
N-acetylcysteine (NAC)—600 mg three times/day
Pine bark (pycnogenol)—30 mg twice/day
Green tea (ECGC)—up to 300 mg three times/day
NAC is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. NAC helps boost the production of glutathione; an important antioxidant your body produces naturally that helps reduce free radical damage. NAC plays a role in your body detoxification of heavy metals and other harmful substances. The most important quality of NAC for women with endometriosis is that research shows that NAC effectively treats ovarian endometriosis.
It can help in the reduction in cysts sizes, has no side effects compared to currently adopted hormonal treatments, and it is not as invasive as other hormonal treatments; therefore, NAC preserves fertility. Most importantly, NAC helps to relieve the pain of endometriosis and it significantly improves the ovulation rate, which in turn increased the chances of getting pregnant (improves fertility).
NAC has been well-researched in relation to Endometriosis and here are a few interesting results:
In one study of 92 women, treatment for 3 months with NAC caused endometriomas to reduce but the group that didn’t get the treatment had their endometriomas grow significantly. The same study also saw pain reduction as well as eight pregnancies.
In a study of 398 women treated with a NAC in combination with 2 other nutrients, pelvic pain reduced significantly after 3 months, and even more after 6 months of treatment.
The ability of NAC to reduce the size of endometriomas is particularly interesting when we look at infertility: endometriomas are cysts within the ovaries, and they often don’t respond well to medical treatment. They make it more difficult to retrieve eggs and if you are undergoing ovarian stimulation during IVF they can cause severe (additional) pain. They also interfere with ovulation and even damage ovarian tissue.
If you are trying to fall pregnant, I highly recommend taking NAC as a supplement in addition to following an anti-inflammatory diet, especially if you have a history of endometriomas.
Another herbal antioxidant, pycnogenol (from pine bark), also led to promising results in a study. Women who took 30 mg twice daily for forty-eight weeks showed a 33 percent reduction in pain, including severe pain. While the pain reduction was not as strong as in the group receiving hormonal therapy (a gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist, Gn-RHa), it persisted without relapse. Five women in the pycnogenol group became pregnant—an important result as endometriosis is a common cause of fertility problems.
My go-tos for pain include:
Ginger root: 500 mg, 2-4 times/day has been shown to reduce pain equal to the effects of ibuprofen, with none of the risks
Melatonin: 10 mg of melatonin per day significantly reduces chronic pelvic pain (including pain with sex) due to endometriosis. (One study found that women taking melatonin had an overall 80 percent reduction in the need for pain medication). In animal studies, melatonin led to regression and shrinkage of endometriosis tissue. I recommend starting at 1-3 mg/day, and building up. Preferably take it in the evening, as it can make you feel drowsy.
Curcumin: 1200 mg/day, for its pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory effects.
Curcumin is especially useful if your Endometriosis because it also helps to reduce gut inflammation and gut permeability (Leaky Gut). It does this by increasing the amount of mucus in the gut wall and improving the gut microbiome.
One of the problems with curcumin is that it is processed so quickly in our digestive system, that not much gets absorbed. But here’s a neat little trick: when it is combined with black pepper, you can increase absorption by 2000%.
There are two ways you can increase the amount of (or start adding) turmeric to your diet:
Add it to your food. Make sure that when you are adding curcumin to your dishes that you also add black pepper to increase the amount you’re absorbing.
Take a supplement. A turmeric or curcumin supplement can be a good option to help your body reduce its chronic inflammation and start to heal your gut.
Most of us are deficient in magnesium. When your body does not have enough Magnesium then systemic inflammation occurs. This can result in fatigue, headaches/migraines, aches, and pains. Magnesium helps keep adrenal stress hormones under control too. This is a big deal, as stress hormones throw everything off whack! In fact, I find it so helpful for pain management that I also use it as salt in baths and as a spray on my abdomen to reduce cramping.
3 Ways to Use Magnesium for Endometriosis (you don’t need all of them, just find out which way works best for you)
For those of us with endometriosis, it’s important to be aware that magnesium can help us battle fatigue and balance our hormones. I take tablets when I remember.
I also rub in the oil when I’m in pain or know I’m due on. Magnesium spray, my absolute go-to endometriosis pain-relief tool. As mentioned previously, magnesium is a muscle relaxant and can help reduce cramps in our bodies. Magnesium spray is also a great way to get more magnesium into your system if supplements aren’t quite the route for you.
Just like with magnesium spray, our skin is absorbing the mineral, and it’s reaching the areas where we need it most more quickly than if we took a supplement.
My daily routine:
- 1 teacup of green tea before breakfast.
- Bromelain – once per day
- Magnesium – 3×1
- NAC – 3×1 3 days per week
- Curcumin – 1200 mg/day
- Omega 3 fats from fish oil (a DHA and EPA combination)
Again I want to make it clear that we are all different. I’ve spent years reducing my inflammation levels and working with my body to reduce my pain. These supplements for me, seem to be the cherry on the top to make my periods feel normal.
Let me know how you experience it!