ENDOMETRIOSIS AND NUTRITION – RECOMMENDING A MEDITERRANEAN DIET DECREASES ENDOMETRIOSIS-ASSOCIATED PAIN: AN EXPERIMENTAL OBSERVATIONAL STUDY
J. Ott, K. Nouri, D. Hrebacka, S. Gutschelhofer, J.C. Huber, R. Wenzl
J Aging Res Clin Practice 2012;1(2):162-166
Objective: Typical treatments for endometriosis are either medical therapy or surgery. Our objective was to test whether a diet that closely followed Mediterranean nutritional recommendations would affect endometriosis-associated pain. Design: Prospective, experimental, observational study. Setting: Academic research institution. Participants: 68 women with laparoscopically diagnosed endometriosis. Interventions: Patients had to adhere to a nutrition regimen which included fresh vegetables and fruit, white meat, fish rich in fat, soy products, wholemeal products, foods rich in magnesium, and cold pressed oils; sugary drinks, red meat, sweets, and animal fats had to be avoided. Measurements: Change in subjective pain sensation, as measured by a Numeric Rating Scale (NRS; 0=“no pain;” 10=“very strong pain”) after five months of diet. Results: Forty-three patients (63.2%) adhered to the nutrition regimen for over five months. The intention-to-treat analysis that included all patients showed a significant improvement of general pain symptoms based on the NRS (4.2±2.5 to 2.5±2.4; p<0.01). The group of patients who adhered to the study protocol (n=43, 63.2%) experienced a mean improvement in pain, with a NRS score from 4.2±3.0 to 2.0±2.3 (p<0.01). For the intention-to-treat group, a mean improvement was found in general condition, with a NRS score from 6.4±1.9 to 8.2±1.8 (p<0.01). For the study protocol group, NRS declined from 6.7±2.2 to 8.5±1.7 (p<0.01). Patients in the study protocol group also experienced significant improvement in dysmenorrhea, dyspareunia, and dyschezia (p<0.01). Conclusion: Endometriosis-associated pain symptoms may be influenced positively by a Mediterranean diet.