March is Endometriosis Awareness Month. Discover what endometriosis is and enjoy my other endo-related posts!
Sometimes the healing answer is so obvious it seems too good to be true. We’ve all heard the old adage that vitamin C is good for us, and is great for helping our colds and flus. This is very true, and then some! Fancy hard-to-pronounce and hard-to-swallow supplements aren’t always necessary. This is especially true for endometriosis.
Vitamin C for Endometriosis
In fact- vitamin C has shown superb promise in the area of helping with endo pain and the amount of endometrial tissue in your body.
Women with endometriosis are often estrogen dominant- meaning they have more estrogen compared to progesterone than they should. A great way to increase progesterone is to add more vitamin C into your life. You can see my supplement and food recommendations below. If you find the second half of your cycle (after ovulation) is short, painful or really PMS-y, you could even increase your vitamin C during that phase as compared to the first half of your cycle (when progesterone is naturally lower).
Reduced Endo Tissue
In one study, the more vitamin C given to rats with endometriosis, the more significantly reduced their volume and weight of endometrial cysts were at the end of the study.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant, meaning that it reduces oxidation from free radicals and reduces inflammation in your body. Sweet! Endometriosis has a huge inflammation (read: PAIN) component to it, and Vitamin C is a great idea here.
Vitamin C is probably the most well known immune system helper out there. We all know to take it when we’re sick. But what about the fucking horrible pain of endometriosis? Endometriosis is thought to have an autoimmune component, meaning the immune system is overreacting and ends up attacking itself. Not a good thing at all! Vitamin C in its many actions can help to regulate this response.
Vitamin C Foods
Vitamin C is super abundant in nature- so by eating the rainbow of fruits and veggies, you’ll get a good amount. One thing to note is that vitamin C is heat, air and light intolerable. So if you cook your fruits/veg, you’re losing most of the C. Enjoy a variety of lightly steamed and raw vegetables and fruits for your vitamin C. Below are the top foods to include in your nutrition regularly.
- Bell peppers
- Oranges and other citrus
- Lemon Juice
- Romaine lettuce
- Brussels sprouts
- Swiss chard
Vitamin C Supplements
Dr Tori Husdon, author of the Women’s Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine recommends up to 6-10g (6000mg – 10,000mg) of vitamin C per day, starting at 1g and working up 1g per day until experiencing loose stools, then back off 1g per day until your poops go back to a normal consistency. That is your vitamin C maintenance dose.
There are many different types of vitamin C supplements out there, so I will outline my recommendations based on those.
These are medicinal plants or herbs that are naturally high in vitamin C. You can purchase and use these as powders, capsules or even as a tea. Note that you won’t find standardized vitamin C levels in this type of supplement, so enjoying an abundance of it is recommended, even though you might not know the amount of vitamin C milligrams per serving.
- Camu Camu
These are your typical vitamin C supplements, usually taken as powder or capsules. If you find your stomach or bladder is sensitive to vitamin C, look for a buffered type.
Magnesium or Calcium Ascorbate
- Bio-C by Vita-Aid
- Buffered Vitamin C Powder by Thorne
- Vitamin C 1000mg Powder by Natural Factors
- C + Bioflavonoids by AOR
- C 1000 by Genestra
- Stellar C by Designs for Health
Other things to consider:
- Natural Remedies for Endometriosis
- 6 Yoga Exercises for Endometriosis
- What to Expect at a Laparoscopy