Diet quality and perceived effects of dietary changes in Dutch endometriosis patients: an observational study
SourceReproductive Biomedicine Online, 43, 5, (2021), pp. 952-961
Article / Letter to editor
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Reproductive Biomedicine Online
SubjectRadboudumc 0: Other Research RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
RESEARCH QUESTION: What is the current diet of women with endometriosis, in terms of adherence to dietary guidelines and use of diets, and what are the perceived effects of dietary modifications? DESIGN: In this online explorative observational study, the Dutch Healthy Diet 2015 index (DHD-15) and quality of life (QoL) with the Endometriosis Health Profile-30 questionnaire (EHP-30) were used to assess diet quality. RESULTS: The questionnaires were completed by 157 participants. Many participants made one or more dietary adaptations for their endometriosis, in the form of a specific diet (46.5%), with the use of dietary supplements (56.1%), with other dietary adjustments (64.3%), or all. Endometriosis patients had a significantly lower DHD-15 score, indicating a lower diet quality than a healthy reference group (P = 0.004). In the endometriosis group, diet users had a significantly higher total DHD-15 score than non-diet users (P < 0.0001). Diet quality was not correlated with QoL (Pearson's r = -0.010, P = 0.904). Many specific dietary adjustments (71.3%), however, were reported to reduce endometriosis pain-related symptoms. The removal of gluten, dairy or soy, as well as the addition of vegetables, showed the greatest perceived reductions of symptoms in participants. CONCLUSIONS: Although no specific dietary adjustment was found to increase QoL, endometriosis patients do feel that dietary adjustments have a beneficial effect on their symptoms. Therefore, more research is needed to gain evidence about the specific effects of nutrients on endometriosis symptoms.
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