Endometriosis and Nutrition

May 3, 2022 , , ,

The FODMAP approach

The FODMAP diet* was designed to manage irritable bowel (IBS) symptoms. It involves eliminating FODMAP-rich foods for a limited period of time in order to determine which foods trigger digestive symptoms in people who suffer from irritable bowel.
Considering that many women with endometriosis have symptoms that are similar to irritable bowel, the FODMAP approach may be interesting to explore especially in the presence of digestive disorders.

A gluten-free diet

Studies on gluten and endometriosis are limited. However, the results of a study published in 2012 concluded that following a gluten-free diet for 12 months significantly reduced pain associated with endometriosis by 75%. Another study published in 2015, found similar results. Certainly, two studies are not enough to draw conclusions. However, a gluten elimination diet for a month can be tried. A food diary with symptoms will identify if there is a decrease in pain. However, it should be noted that a gluten-free diet involves the elimination of several whole grains and fiber which are beneficial for intestinal flora and hormonal health. To compensate, it is necessary to regularly consume fiber-rich seeds such as quinoa, brown rice, oats, teff, and buckwheat to maintain a healthy microbiota.

In conclusion

To date, there are no specific dietary recommendations for endometriosis and scientific studies on this topic are still limited. However, considering the inflammatory nature of this disease, changes in eating habits are a complementary strategy that plays a significant role in managing the pain and symptoms associated with endometriosis. A varied diet that follows the model of the Mediterranean diet makes it possible to ingest the recommended intake of vegetables, antioxidants, fiber, and omega 3 fatty acids. SOSCuisine’s meal plans, based on the Mediterranean diet and customizable according to the allergies, intolerances and preferences of each, are a simple and effective way to follow a varied and balanced diet with little or no processed foods.

Since the symptoms associated with endometriosis are different from one woman to another, it is recommended to customize dietary strategies to meet the specific needs of each woman, hence the importance of referring to a dietitian who is an expert in the issues related to women’s health.

*FODMAPs are fermentable carbohydrates that are partly responsible for causing symptoms in people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). For more info, read this article.


1- European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. (2010) Trans fats linked to increased endometriosis risk and omega-3-rich food linked to lower risk. ScienceDaily, 25 March 2010.

2- Hansen SO, Knudsen UB. (2013) Endometriosis, dysmenorrhoea and diet. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol.;169(2):162-71.
Calder P. C. (2010). Omega-3 fatty acids and inflammatory processes. Nutrients, 2(3), 355–374. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu2030355

3- Calder P. C. (2010). Omega-3 fatty acids and inflammatory processes. Nutrients, 2(3), 355–374. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu2030355

4- Helbig, M., Vesper, A. S., Beyer, I., & Fehm, T. (2021). Does Nutrition Affect Endometriosis?. Geburtshilfe und Frauenheilkunde, 81(2), 191–199.

5- Annika S, Sajal G. The Role of Antioxidant Supplementation in Endometriosis Therapy. J Gynecol Women’s Health. 2017; 3(1): 555601.

6- Darling, A. M., Chavarro, J. E., Malspeis, S., Harris, H. R., & Missmer, S. A. (2013). A prospective cohort study of Vitamins B, C, E, and multivitamin intake and endometriosis. Journal of endometriosis, 5(1), 17–26.

7- Amini, L., Chekini, R., Nateghi, M. R., Haghani, H., Jamialahmadi, T., Sathyapalan, T., & Sahebkar, A. (2021). The Effect of Combined Vitamin C and Vitamin E Supplementation on Oxidative Stress Markers in Women with Endometriosis: A Randomized, Triple-Blind Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial. Pain research & management, 2021, 5529741.

8- Kamal, D., Salamt, N., Zaid, S., & Mokhtar, M. H. (2021). Beneficial Effects of Green Tea Catechins on Female Reproductive Disorders: A Review. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 26(9), 2675.

9- Dull, A. M., Moga, M. A., Dimienescu, O. G., Sechel, G., Burtea, V., & Anastasiu, C. V. (2019). Therapeutic Approaches of Resveratrol on Endometriosis via Anti-Inflammatory and Anti-Angiogenic Pathways. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 24(4), 667.

10- Varney, J. (2021) Endometriosis and IBS. Monash University FODMAP Blog.

11- Marziali, M., Venza, M., Lazzaro, S., Lazzaro, A., Micossi, C., & Stolfi, V. M. (2012). Gluten-free diet: a new strategy for management of painful endometriosis related symptoms? Minerva chirurgica, 67(6), 499–504.

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Céline Saloumi
Celine Saloumi has been a nutritionist-dietitian for more than 15 years, a member of the Ordre des diététistes-nutritionniste du Québec (ODNQ) and holds a master's degree in human nutrition. She has expertise in women's health and fertility issues. In her practice, she mainly helps women who suffer from gynecological problems such as polycystic ovary syndrome, hormonal imbalance and endometriosis. Additionally, she works with couples to optimize their fertility with nutrition.

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