Navigating the World of Supplements with Endometriosis (Part 1)

Navigating the World of Supplements with Endometriosis (Part 1)
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supplements

Dachshunds & Duvets – a column by Jessie Madrigal-Fletcher

First in a series.

Soon after being diagnosed with endometriosis, I began researching how to manage the disease. I changed my diet, reviewed my fitness habits, and found an acupuncturist. All of this was pretty much straightforward. The trickier part was choosing the right supplements to complement the new diet, and perhaps finding something that could help with the hormonal crazy-fest that comes with my type of endometriosis. 

Going down the supplement route is a personal choice and a long-term process. It’s important to talk to doctors, nutritionists, and fellow endometriosis sufferers. It’s also essential to research every ingredient and ensure that whatever you take will agree with your body. 

This is the first part of my own journey, which involves finding natural ways to energize myself and lessen my stomach troubles. Following are some of the supplements I’m currently taking:

For increased calcium, iron, and vitamins: sea kelp

I started taking it after suffering a small breakdown in a health shop worrying about my hair loss. I didn’t know if it was hormone-related or maybe a result of stress. A random, yet helpful, man came up to me and recommended sea kelp. I looked into it and saw it’s packed with calcium, iron, and vitamins A, B1, B2, C, D, and E. It’s supposed to help with hormonal imbalances while also improving skin and hair condition. My hair and skin have both gotten increasingly better, but it could also have something to do with switching to a plant-based diet around the same time. (Note: Do not take more than the recommended dose.)

Dog and supplements
Nero, ensuring I have a big glass of water to swallow my pills. (Photo by Jessie M. Fletcher)

Because my gut is a war zone: probiotics

My gut is a party almost every day. It ruins my plans to be the carefree chick I’d like to be. No camping for me, no music festivals rushing from tent to stage, no wild living in the outdoors wearing flowers in my hair. My general practitioner, my sister (a nurse), and my partner all told me to give probiotics a go, so I did. The theory is that probiotics help to restore the natural balance of bacteria in our guts. I began taking probiotics a couple of months ago and, paired with watching what I eat, the result is a much happier gut. Word of warning: They are not cheap. 

For low energy and to answer ‘yes’ when asked for the trillionth time whether I take it: maca 

Maca has become one of those ingredients present in almost every smoothie recipe on Pinterest. It is the latest addition to my pill regimen to counteract the bouts of chronic fatigue that turn me into something resembling a slobbery sloth. Maca, a Peruvian root, is said to increase energy levels. (*Whispering*: Some even claim it has libido-boosting properties.) I’ve only been taking it for two months but the slumps in energy are less dramatic and I generally feel more energized.

Maca and probiotics are the two things that seem to have made a massive difference for me. Where the other supplements are concerned, it’s not that I haven’t noticed any improvements, rather, it’s that it’s difficult to say whether they are working by themselves or in tandem with other factors. 

It’s important to remember that not every supplement will work for everyone. Some can even be harmful if you are pregnant or thinking of having a baby. Knowledge and careful research are the keys. Always talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.

I’ll be back next week to write about dietary changes and the supplements I take to tackle my “zombie face.”

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Note: Endometriosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Endometriosis News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to endometriosis.

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Chris Comish serves as the Publisher of the website, and is responsible for directing the editorial focus as well as putting the finishing touches on many featured articles.