The 6 most common mistakes of nutrition in endometriosis

The right diet for endometriosis can relieve symptoms and provide increased well-being. The “wrong” diet, on the other hand, promotes pain and inflammation and negatively affects endometriosis. But what is “wrong” and what is “right”? And is it even possible to always say for sure? Even though there are still big gaps in research and the right diet for endometriosis is always individual – there are some things you should avoid!

We show you the 6 most common mistakes in endometriosis nutrition!

1. Fast Food und industriell hergestellte Lebensmittel essen

It is common knowledge that snacks, industrially produced foods, fast food and convenience foods are unhealthy. But what in them is so harmful to health? It’s the trans fatty acids that increased the risk of endometriosis by 48% in one study! In addition, these fatty acids promote inflammation by up to 40%, negatively affect the immune system, disrupt communication between brain cells and thus promote depression and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as boost the growth of endometriosis lesions.[6]

Trans fatty acids are formed during the industrial production of hydrogenated fats (“hydrogenated fats” or “partially hydrogenated fats” and “vegetable oil, (partially) hydrogenated”), during the industrial processing (deodorization) of vegetable oils to make them taste and smell neutral, and during deep-frying. So also in your kitchen. Trans fatty acids can theoretically be in all industrially produced foods such as ready meals, snacks (cookies, industrial baked goods,…) and fried foods (chips, potato chips,…).

Make snacks, convenience foods, and fast foods rare exceptions and cook for yourself using fresh ingredients with high-quality, plant-based oils.

Currywurst Pommes

Käse als Lieferant von Trans-Fettsäuren in der Ernährung

2. consume foods rich in histamine

Histamine is a natural messenger substance that can be released by the body itself and is formed in foods during ripening processes. Histamine promotes inflammation [9] by stimulating and accelerating inflammatory processes, such as tissue swelling and increased blood flow. In addition, histamine also affects the nerves and promotes the sensation of pain.

Histamine is also involved in the production of the hormone estrogen, which is responsible for the uterus sometimes contracting painfully. Thus, histamine is also involved in increasing pain during menstruation.

It is therefore better to avoid the following foods as far as possible: sausages, smoked and hard cheeses and other “mature” cheeses, smoked fish, alcohol, soy sauce, fish sauce, wine vinegar, yeast extracts and flavor enhancers, and fermented foods.

3. eat red meat

No, you don’t have to eat a vegan diet, but you should know that eating meat increases pain and inflammation. However, not all meats are likely to be equally harmful. A large study of over 100,000 women [2] was able to show that women who ate more than two servings of red meat per day had a 56% higher risk of developing endometriosis than women who ate red meat less frequently than once (!) a week.

The consumption of red meat and sausages also has a bad influence on certain sex hormones with regard to endometriosis. Consumption of red meat increases the growth of the endometrium through increased estrogen levels, increases blood flow to the uterus, promotes inflammation, increases pain, and affects blood clotting. Red meat is anything but useful in endometriosis. There is no evidence that white meat is harmful to the same extent.

Fleisch bei Endometriose

Sardinen aus der Dose

4. give up sea fish

In principle, it makes sense to avoid red meat and many other animal foods in endometriosis, but not sea fish. Because only with fatty sea fish or red algae you can absorb the important omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. And it is precisely these two omega-3 fatty acids that are able to slow down the growth of the growths in endometriosis. Another study showed that increased consumption of these omega-3 fatty acids (in combination with vitamin B) can also reduce pain. Put simply, the more omega-3 fatty acids in the diet, the less inflammation and pain that endometriosis growths cause. So there is every reason to consume fish (or red algae) on a regular basis. [1]

5. omit too many foods

Especially on the Internet, a lot of well-intentioned advice circulates about what all you “must not” eat if you want to relieve the symptoms of endometriosis. The list of “forbidden” foods is quite long if you follow all the advice. Unfortunately, not eating many foods often leads to malnutrition, which leads to further discomfort and negative consequences for your health. It is true that avoiding certain foods (red meat, for example) is helpful, but many of the “tips” lack any scientific basis. For example, there is not a single study that could show that the consumption of animal dairy products accelerates the growth of endometriosis lesions. [3] On the contrary, lean dairy products have even been shown to relieve pain due to the abundant minerals calcium and magnesium they contain. [7] So if you give up foods, only give up foods that make sense from a medical point of view and not because someone on the Internet said so. Another reason to avoid food can be that you do not tolerate it. So first and foremost, always check how you feel after eating it. A food diary can help.



6. take vitamin tablets

Certain vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals actually help to alleviate the symptoms of endometriosis and sometimes also prevent or slow down the development and growth of endometriosis lesions. These include in particular antioxidants such as vitamins A, C and E, but also minerals such as calcium and magnesium or secondary plant compounds, for example phytoestrogens or resveratrol. So it sounds tempting to simply take these in the form of dietary supplements, doesn’t it?

Unfortunately, this is not a good idea, because even with “harmless” preparations from the drugstore, people quickly overdose. And that an overdose of common dietary supplements can be quite harmful is hardly known. Or did you know that too much calcium can lead to cardiac arrhythmias or even a heart attack? [4] That too much vitamin A can be fatal by increasing intracranial pressure [5] and that an overdose of vitamin D can lead to organ damage and death? [8]

Even all institutions such as the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), Stiftung Warentest, the Consumer Center, Öko Test and the German Nutrition Society (DGE) agree that dietary supplements are completely unnecessary.

Anyone who eats a balanced and healthy diet (see point five: do not leave out too many foods) does not need dietary supplements. On the contrary: they can even be harmful to your health! Just make sure you eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, meet your mineral needs from mineral water, for example, and your need for sunshine vitamin D by taking a walk in the fresh air.

If you implement our advice on the subject of nutrition, it is quite possible to achieve noticeable positive effects on your symptoms. In our endometriosis knowledge database you will find a lot of information about possible therapies and, of course, also about nutrition. Of course, eating should still be a pleasure!

We wish you much success and … bon appétit!


  1. (PDF) Endometriosis and dietary habits: Can diet make the difference? [Internet]. ResearchGate. [zitiert 2020 Mai 6]. Available at:
  2. YAMAMOTO A, HARRIS HR, VITONIS AF, CHAVARRO JE, MISSMER SA. Eine prospektive Kohortenstudie über Fleisch- und Fischkonsum und Endometrioserisiko. Am J Obstet Gynecol [Internet]. 2018 Aug [cited 2020 Apr 30];219(2):178.e1-178.e10. Available at:
  3. Snoj T, Majdič G. MECHANISMS IN ENDOCRINOLOGY: Estrogens in consumer milk: is there a risk to human reproductive health? European Journal of Endocrinology [Internet]. 2018 [cited 2020 May 28];R275-86. Available at:
  4. Reid IR, Birstow SM, Bolland MJ. Calcium and Cardiovascular Disease. Endocrinol Metab (Seoul). 2017 Sep;32(3):339-49.
  5. Olson JM, Ameer MA, Goyal A. Vitamin A Toxicity. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 [zitiert 2021 May 24]. Available at:
  6. Missmer SA, Chavarro JE, Malspeis S, Bertone-Johnson ER, Hornstein MD, Spiegelman D, et al. A prospective study of dietary fat consumption and endometriosis risk. Hum Reprod. 2010 Jun;25(6):1528-35.
  7. Harris HR, Chavarro JE, Malspeis S, Willett WC, Missmer SA. Dairy products, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D intake, and endometriosis: a prospective cohort study. Am J Epidemiol [Internet]. 2013 Mar 1 [cited 2020 May 8];177(5):420-30. Available at:
  8. Galior K, Grebe S, Singh R. Development of Vitamin D Toxicity from Overcorrection of Vitamin D Deficiency: A Review of Case Reports. Nutrients [Internet]. 2018 Jul 24 [cited 2021 May 24];10(8). Available at:
  9. Branco ACCC, Yoshikawa FSY, Pietrobon AJ, Sato MN. The role of histamine in modulating immune response and inflammation. Mediators Inflamm [Internet]. 2018 Aug 27 [cited 2020 Jun 1];2018. Available at:
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