This March, in support of Endometriosis Awareness Month, I’ll be sharing tips and tricks to help those living with endometriosis as a way to raise awareness and support the community. Endometriosis currently affects 1 in 10 people with female reproductive organs in the UK, and as a nutritionist and person living with endometriosis, I both see and experience the difficulties that come with the disease – how lonely, painful and often helpless this condition can feel. If you’re suffering from endometriosis and are experiencing any of these feelings, you’re not alone.
Honouring our bodies can be difficult, but whether you’re newly diagnosed or have been living with endometriosis for a while, doing so can be a game-changer. The reality of endometriosis can be exhausting, and listening to our bodies needs can often feel like a form of betrayal – especially when our body is shouting at us in pain. Allowing ourselves rest, downtime and nourishment however this looks for you is vital to supporting our quality of life. Below are a few tips to help implement these things into your life, supporting you through all stages of your endometriosis.
Four Tips To Support Yourself When Diagnosed With Endometriosis
1. Find Your People:
It can be isolating living with a chronic illness and can often feel like you’re the only one going through this pain and discomfort. Whether it’s reaching out to friends and family or finding an endometriosis support group, connecting with people to share your emotions, both good and bad, can help you feel less alone and provide an often needed distraction from the pain and discomfort.
Check the resources below to help find a support group near you.
2. Prepare For The Bad Days…
Let’s face it, bad days can be horrid. Especially the bed-ridden, constantly nauseous, sleep-all-day bad days where our reality feels like a nightmare. We definitely won’t feel our best or do as much, but we can come prepared so that the week or two of horror is eased a bit. My go-to supplies are my supplements, strong painkillers, a heating pad and peppermint tea (plus some chocolate and stretchy pants, of course) – although I’m not pain-free with this, it definitely helps me feel more comfortable, which is the least we can do for ourselves when in pain and discomfort.
3. …And Be Kind To Yourself
Accepting that we’re not going to be our best selves on our bad days can help reduce the annoyance, frustration and sometimes shame that comes with needing rest. We wouldn’t expect our bodies to run a marathon with a broken leg, so let’s not place unrealistic pressure on ourselves to be the athlete, hero or goddess we often see in period product adverts. Give yourself time and try to reduce the pressure you may be putting on yourself.
4. Use Shortcuts To Nourish Yourself
Energy levels are ever-changing with endometriosis and fatigue is often the forgotten yet exhausting symptom of the disease. When combined with ever-changing menstrual cravings, our nutrient intake might be lower than we’d like. Getting some extra nutrients into our diet in an easy, low-effort way is key to help diversify our diet and stocking up on frozen veggies, pre-chopped foods, nutritious ready meals and pre-cooked items can be a life-saver when our energy has dropped.
A diagnosis can be both scary and eye-opening and no matter where you’re at in your diagnosis journey, you deserve to be heard and supported. You deserve proper care and help, and advocating for yourself can be huge in getting these things, and so worth it when you finally get the care you need.
So, let’s celebrate Endometriosis Awareness Month by talking. We can help those awaiting a diagnosis feel less alone, support those post-diagnosis and shed light on the reality of the disease. We still have a long way to go with endometriosis support, diagnosis and care, but self-advocating and supporting one another can help one another more than we know.
Support Group Resources: