Endometriosis: Holistic Holiday Coping Tips

Endometriosis: Holistic Holiday Coping Tips

Endometriosis (en·doh·me·tree·o·sis) is a chronic condition that affects 1 in 10 menstruating people.

This condition occurs when the tissue that normally lines the uterus, called the endometrium, grows outside of the uterus. These growths, known as endometrial implants, can be found on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, bowel and other organs in the pelvic region.

One of the main symptoms of endometriosis is severe pelvic pain, especially during menstruation. Other common symptoms include heavy or irregular periods, pain during intercourse, and infertility. Endometriosis can significantly impact a person's quality of life, causing physical discomfort, emotional distress, and difficulty in daily activities which as a result can lead to mental health concerns.

With the holiday season approaching, we wanted to share some valuable tips to help manage your endometriosis during this time.

Holistic Holiday Coping Tips

Here are ten helpful tips, to help you navigate the holiday season with endo—from Looni’s functional medical adviser Dr Colantonio:

  1. Eat nutrient-dense, warm anti-inflammatory foods by eating a rainbow of fresh fruits and veggies and including quality protein and fat sources.

  2. Increase essential fatty acid intake to support anti-inflammation with cold water fatty fish (salmon), ground flax seeds, flax seed oil, and walnuts.

  3. Be mindful of inflammatory beverages and foods like alcohol and refined sugar. Try to keep them to a minimum, while enjoying some treats—depriving ourselves can often lead to more stress. Mocktails or drinks made with Kava can be a nice alternative to alcohol.

  4. Keep a heating pad or hot water bottle on your lower belly and back—especially a few days leading up to your bleed before cramps start. Heat improves circulation for optimal blood flow.

  5. Try to stick with a mindfulness practice as holidays can be triggering and stressful. It can be helpful to write a daily practice time on your calendar—even 10 minutes makes a difference.

  1. Consider working with a daily herbal infusion. A herbalist can help choose a blend that  addresses your unique needs. Herbal actions we focus on for endo include immune support, anti-inflammation, antispasmodic (soothe cramps), liver support (hormone metabolism), and emmenagogic (menstrual flow). One of my favorite plants to soothe cramps is St. John's Wort—this is a potent anti-spasmodic that studies show may also help bind excess estrogen. It interacts with a number of medications, so check with your doctor or herbalist!

  2. Sleep at least 8-9 hours nightly—new mamas we know this is probably impossible right now. Our social calendars fill up with gatherings during the holidays, but be sure to make time for quality sleep and rest.

  3. Move your body daily—even if it is a 30 minute walk outside.

  4. Bundle up and commit to sunshine each day. The sun regulates our circadian rhythm and increases our vitamin D—even if it's chilly out!

  5. Find time for joy, pleasure, and awe—in whatever unique way you do it. Research shows they support anti-inflammation.

Wishing you a healthy holiday season from the Looni team!