Food is an important part of our life as we need nutrition and energy to heal and grow.Because each meal or beverage has its own nutritional profile, it has a direct influence on our physical, mental, and social health. We’ve all heard the saying, “You are what you eat.” In this article, We will discuss foods to avoid with vulvodynia.
Chronic pain might be caused by the body’s inability to metabolise the foods we eat, according to a Cleveland Clinic functional medicine lecture. If you have vulvodynia, keep reading to learn which foods to avoid.
Which Foods To Avoid With Vulvodynia?
Causes Of Vulvodynia
Vulvodynia is a chronic pain condition that affects the female vulva. Experts feel that the following factors contribute to the unpleasant disease:
- Vulvar cell response to injury or infection is abnormal.
- Hormonal imbalances or fluctuations
- Nerve feedback is abnormal.
- Reactions to allergens
- Infections with yeast
- Other reasons include pelvic prolapse.
Vulvodynia is a difficult condition to cure, yet it is quite feasible to get relief from the symptoms. Vulvodynia can be helped with a variety of natural therapies and surgeries, as well as medications, but what if we told you there were dietary changes you could do to minimise or eliminate your symptoms? That is correct. Some foods may aggravate your vulvodynia symptoms, so knowing which foods to avoid with Vulvodynia is vital to your rehabilitation.
Oxalates are organic compounds found in the diets of both animals and plants. These aren’t always necessary in a human diet. Although most people can eliminate oxalates through their faeces and urine, certain people are sensitive or intolerant to them. Oxalates have been linked to vulvodynia in the past. It’s important to note that they don’t cause it, but they might exacerbate the symptoms. As a result, reducing oxalate intake is recommended.
A Case Of 28 Year Old Woman
In a single case study of a 28-year-old female athlete described in Integrative Medicine, an elimination diet was utilised to cure vulvodynia and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) (Drummond et al., 2016). After 7 months of treatment for vulvodynia by a pelvic floor expert, the patient was referred for a diet consultation. Physical therapy was used during the vegetarian elimination diet. After omitting dairy, wheat, maize, soy, pork, sugar/artificial sweeteners, and peanuts from her diet, she no longer had vulvodynia at her 2-week follow-up.
The nutritionist recommended her to add certain meals every two weeks and check her symptoms. Throughout the procedure, her vulvodynia flared up due to soy, goat dairy, and gluten. The patient was symptom-free of both vulvodynia and IBS for 6 months after eliminating those substances and supplementing with magnesium, vitamin D3, probiotics, vitamin B12, and omega-3.
A study of 59 women with vulvodynia found that a low-oxalate diet might help alleviate symptoms. It’s not certain, but it’s worth a go! When they quit consuming high-oxalate meals, about a fifth of the participants improved.
If you have vulvodynia, avoid the following foods:
Legumes and nuts
The oxalate level of many nuts and beans is high.
- sesame seeds,
- Refried beans contain more than 50 mg of oxalate per serving.
- Baked beans,
- green beans
- kidney beans have moderately high amounts of oxalate, in the range of 10 to 50 mg per serving.
The quantity of oxalate in brewed beverages varies depending on the beverage’s strength. The majority of doctors advise against ingesting instant tea, chocolate, or coffee. Dark draught beer is high in oxalate, so go for a milder bottled beer.
NOTE: The best beverage to drink if you have vulvodynia is clean water! If you can’t avoid the above beverages, dilute them or use a low-oxalate alternative.
Many green leafy vegetables and berries, in general, are rich in oxalate and should be avoided. Although the amount of oxalate in meals varies, the following is a broad list of high-oxalate foods:
- Swiss chard
- beet greens
- beet roots have more than 50 mg of oxalate per serving.
- Collard greens
- dandelion green
- mustard greens contain slightly less but should be avoided by those seeking to treat vulvodynia.
- Wax beans
- Tomato paste
With more than 50mg of oxalate per serving, these fruits and vegetables are high in oxalate.
- Concord grapes
- Dried apricots
- Red currants,
- Star fruit
- Kiwi fruit
Nuts, seeds and beans and grains
Many nuts and beans have variable but relatively high levels of oxalate:
- Sesame seeds (and tahini)
- Poppy seeds
- Refried beans
- Baked beans
- Kidney beans
- Dried beans
- Wheat bran, wheat germ, and barley
- Grits and bran cereal
- White corn flour and buckwheat flour
- Whole wheat bread
Other foods to avoid if you have vulvodynia
There are a majority of other foods to avoid with vulvodynia. Avoid soy burgers and other soy products (such as tofu and miso), as well as sweets such as fruitcake, chocolate, carob, and marmalade. You may not need to starve yourself if you discover that eliminating the above-mentioned items has no effect. Keeping a food journal of what you ate and how you felt after eating various foods may be beneficial. If you have vulvodynia, you can figure out which foods to avoid. You might be interested in our article on natural ways to treat vulvodynia, as this ailment usually necessitates a lot of therapies before finding the golden key to pain relief!
Low-Oxalate Diet: Foods That Help Vulvodynia
Vulvodynia is defined as “painful vulva,” and it causes a range of unpleasant feelings in the area of the vaginal entrance, such as burning, stinging, and irritation. Treatment efficacy varies from woman to woman, and finding the right combination can be challenging. Although the cause of vulvodynia is uncertain, experts believe that certain dietary habits may have a role in the evolution of symptoms. On the plus side, certain foods can help with vulvodynia.
Many women have reported considerable relief from vulvodynia symptoms after following a low-oxalate diet, so we’ll go through the foods that help with vulvodynia symptoms in this article so you can have the best chance of defeating the illness.
Why are low-oxalate diets beneficial to vulvodynia?
Oxalates (also known as oxalic acid) are a kind of chemical found in the diets of various plants. They can bind to calcium in the stomach and intestines before going out in the faeces. If the oxalates do not bind to the calcium in your body, they can pass through your circulation and be eliminated through the urine system. Oxalates aren’t harmful to most people, but they can induce kidney stones in certain people and worsen vulvodynia pain in women.
Low-oxalate meals assist to reduce oxalate buildup in the urine, which can harm the vulva. This diet is ideal for decreasing oxalate build-up and balancing the body since oxalate crystal build-up in the vulvar tissues can irritate and inflame them. Several studies have backed this up, although it’s worth noting that none of them found any evidence that a high-oxalate diet raised the risk of vulvodynia in the first place.
Note: We mentioned a list of food to avoid with vulvodynia below.
Which foods contain less oxalate?
If you’re having vulvodynia symptoms, try to eat only foods that help with the condition. Apart from certain fruits and vegetables, the bulk of low-oxalate meals are animal products, which may not be good news for folks who prefer a plant-based diet.
The following foods are low in oxalate, with less than 2mg of oxalate per serving:
Dairy products include:
- eggs. Fruits include
- yellow plums,
- peaches, nectarines, and raisins.
- water chestnuts
- rice-based cereals
- egg noodles
- wild rice
- white rice
Dressings and condiments
- fresh or dried basil
- peppermint or sage
- corn syrup
- Dijon mustard
- Tomato ketchup
- vegetable oils and salad dressings
When following a low-oxalate diet, you should undoubtedly boost your fluid intake (drink at least 8 cups of water per day!), but you also need to make sure you’re drinking the correct liquids for vulvodynia. Herbal and green teas, as well as liquids like apple juice, grapefruit juice, and soda, can be drunk in addition to water. You could also consider taking vulvodynia-relieving vitamins and supplements, which can help a lot. Calcium citrate, for instance, can aid excretion by lowering oxalate levels in the urine and tissues. Many women have found that combining calcium citrate with meals that help with vulvodynia has been beneficial, so it’s certainly worth a go!