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5 lifestyle changes you can make to manage endometriosis

Are you stressed and sleep deprived? Chances are you are worsening your condition.

Written by Sandhya Raghavan |Updated : January 18, 2017 1:58 PM IST

If you happen to be one of the many women in the world suffering from endometriosis, you know how difficult it can be to carry on with your day-to-day activities during periods. The pain associated with the condition can sometimes be crippling. That s not all. The condition is also associated with reduced fertility in women. The reason as to why some women develop endometriosis is unknown. But there seems to a strong correlation between lifestyle choices and the condition according to dietician Geeta Shenoy. In this article, she lists five lifestyle changes you can make to reduce the severity of endometriosis.

Don t skip your beauty sleep: It s called beauty sleep for a reason. We all know how a good night s sleep can make us look fresh and pretty the next day. Disrupting your sleep pattern may not be a wise thing to do according to Ms Shenoy. Acute or chronic sleep deprivation can affect endocrine system, which then leads to the alteration of hormone secretion patterns.[1] So ensure that you catch your forty winks at any cost.

Don t forget to exercise: The role of exercise for reducing excessive oestrogen in the body is well-documented. [2] Although we have our days when we just want to curl up in bed with a book and not do anything strenuous, Ms Shenoy stresses on the importance of making exercise an integral part of your routine.

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Watch your weight: Many women with endometriosis are also overweight. It is recommended that they reduce their weight through proper diet and exercise, states Ms Shenoy. Maintain a food diary to calculate calories in and calories out. You can also download fitness apps to track your calorie consumption throughout the day.

Eat right: Include fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and healthy fats in your diet. Up your intake of fibre and be wary of processed foods, especially if it comes loaded with monosodium glutamate. Remember, even small dietary changes can sometimes make a world of difference to your condition.

Ditch your addictions: Stay away from booze and reduce dependence on caffeine. Liver is responsible for eliminating excessive oestrogen from your system. Alcohol burdens the liver affecting its ability to function properly. Caffeine may increase oestrogen levels, causing endometriosis or worsening its symptoms.

Reduce stress and relax: There could be a correlation between stress and endometriosis. Geeta Shenoy notes that a lot of women who experience stress in their lives suffer from endometriosis. Find ways to unwind, either by engaging in de-stressing activities such as yoga, meditation or talking to friends. If stress is getting to you, probably now is a good time to take up a hobby like singing or gardening.

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References: [1]Krueger, J.M., Szentirmai, ., & Kap s, L. Sleep and Hormones.

[2]Ennour-Idrissi, K., Maunsell, E., & Diorio, C. (2015). Effect of physical activity on sex hormones in women: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Breast Cancer Research : BCR, 17, 139. Image source: Shutterstock

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