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The Ultimate Guide to Foods To Avoid With Vulvodynia

We’ve all heard the old saying, “You are what you eat.” it is not only a saying but it’s a fact. Food is the major part of our life because it plays a great role in our health. Vulvodynia is a vulval pain disease. This is the region around a woman’s genitals. Vulvodynia is characterized by intense discomfort, scorching, and stinging of the vulva. If you have vulvodynia, you need to take extra care of everything including food because there may be some foods that can flare up. There are many foods to avoid with vulvodynia because they can worsen the symptoms.

Vulvodynia is a persistent pain disorder that affects the female vulva region. Experts believe the causes include vulvar cells reacts abnormally to trauma or infection, heredity, hormonal shifts or abnormalities, nerve feedback irregularities, allergic responses, yeast infections, pelvic prolapses, and other factors.

A recent functional medicine presentation I attended at the Cleveland Clinic described how chronic pain might be caused by the body’s inability to absorb the nutrients we eat. Patients who do not appear to improve despite our competent intervention make us question whether anything systemic is driving inflammation. Diet has even been proven to link with symptoms of vulvodynia, an idiopathic disorder that affects 4-16 percent of women.

In this article, we are going to address what kind of foods to avoid with vulvodynia and relevant information about vulvodynia.

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Foods to Avoid With Vulvodynia

The discomfort might be persistent or intermittent. Vulvodynia has no recognised etiology. Chronic discomfort is typically disruptive to a patient’s daily life and health, but there are drugs available to assist treat vulvodynia symptoms. Furthermore, some women experience relief through dietary adjustments. Order it now!

Vegetables and fruits

Many green leafy vegetables and berries, in general, are rich in oxalate and should be avoided. Each serving of spinach, Swiss chard, leeks, okra, beet greens, and beetroot has more than 50 mg of oxalate. Collard, dandelion, and mustard greens contain significantly less, but should be avoided by people looking to cure vulvodynia.

Elderberries, gooseberries, figs, and star fruit have the highest oxalate levels, followed by blackberry, raspberry, Concord grapes, and blueberries. Although the oxalate level in meals varies greatly, the following are some examples of high oxalate foods:

  • Spinach
  • okra
  • leek,
  • Swiss chard
  • beans green
  • Beetroot and beet greens
  • Collard greens, dandelion greens, mustard greens
  • Beans wax
  • Eggplant
  • Rutabagas, parsley, and escarole
  • Tomato sauce
  • Decadent apricots
  • Elderberries, blackberries, gooseberries, raspberries, blueberries, and red currants
  • Figs,
  • star fruit
  • Kiwi fruit rhubarb

Nuts and Legumes

Many types of nuts and beans are rich in oxalate. More than 50 mg of oxalate is found in almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, pecans, sesame seeds, lentils, and refried beans per serving. Baked beans, green beans, and kidney beans contain somewhat high levels of oxalate, ranging from 10 to 50 mg per serving. Many nuts and beans have variable but relatively high levels of oxalate:

  • Peanuts
  • Almonds
  • Hazelnuts
  • Pistachios
  • Pecans
  • Sesame seeds (and tahini)
  • Poppy seeds
  • Refried beans
  • Baked beans
  • Kidney beans
  • Dried beans
  • Lentils
  • Wheat bran, wheat germ, and barley
  • Grits and bran cereal
  • White corn flour and buckwheat flour
  • Whole wheat bread

Beverages

The oxalate concentration in brewed beverages varies with the strength of the beverage. Most physicians advise against drinking any brewed instant coffee, tea, or chocolate. Dark draught beer has a lot of oxalate, so choose for milder bottled kinds. To substitute other beverages, drink lots of clear fluids, particularly water. Your drink may be rich in oxalates depending on how strong you make it. The following beverages should be avoided if you have vulvodynia:

  • Brewed or instant coffee
  • Tea
  • Cocoa
  • Dark draft beer
  • Soy milk

If you have vulvodynia, the finest liquid to consume is plain pure water! If you can’t avoid the above beverages, mix them or find a low oxalate equivalent.
Oxalates are organic chemicals present in various plant and animal diets. While most individuals can excrete oxalates through feces and urination, certain persons are sensitive or intolerant to them. Oxalates, in fact, have been related to vulvodynia. It should be mentioned that they do not cause it, but they may contribute to increasing symptoms. Reducing oxalate consumption is therefore advised.

A low-oxalate diet, according to one study of 60 women with vulvodynia, may help ease symptoms. It’s not certain, but it’s worth a go! When participants stopped eating high oxalate foods, more over a quarter of them improved.

Prevention

We don’t know how to prevent vulvar discomfort since we don’t know what causes it. However, there are certain things you may do to assist alleviate your discomfort. As always, consult with your health care practitioner to determine what is best for you and which foods to avoid with vulvodynia.

Check your environment and follow basic vulvar skin care. If your vulvar pain sensations come and go, think about what that area is exposed to. Do you use lube when having sex? Have you lately changed your laundry detergent? Is it worse to wear certain underwear or use a certain sort of sanitary pad? Make one change at a time to see whether it makes a difference. Keeping a symptom calendar might help you identify a pain trend.

Don’t miss your annual exam. Routine pelvic examinations, performed once a year for women aged 18 and older, are critical for ensuring early intervention for disorders such as persistent pelvic and vulvar discomfort. Breast examinations, Pap tests, and other critical preventative screenings, such as cholesterol and thyroid testing, may be included in annual gynecologic checkups. These appointments allow you to speak with your clinician about any gynecological concerns or symptoms.

If you have vulvar discomfort, don’t put it off. Make an appointment with your health care provider to discuss your symptoms. If you believe your discomfort is not being noticed or handled properly, contact a vulvar problem expert in your area.

Lifestyle Tips

A Combination of Therapies Works Best
Pain alleviation may take some time. It might take many weeks before you see an improvement in your discomfort. Physical therapy, biofeedback, sex therapy, and psychiatric counselling, in addition to pharmacological therapy, may help to improve pain control. There is no one effective therapy for vulvodynia in women.

  1. Basic Vulvar Skin Care

Simple methods can be taken to reduce vulvar discomfort. Here are a few pieces of advice:

  • Wear underwear made entirely of cotton.
  • Avoid wearing tight-fitting pants or pantyhose.
  • With any sexual action, use lots of water-soluble lubrication.
  • Avoid scented creams or soaps, pads or tampons, as well as contraceptive creams or spermicides.
  • Use no douches or vaginal wipes.
  • Exercises that are likely to put additional strain on the vulva, such as bicycle and horseback riding, should be avoided.
  1. Exercise. Regular exercise improves circulation and enhances your body’s production of natural pain relievers (endorphins). Staying active can help minimize your chances of experiencing increased discomfort as a result of tight muscles. Talk to your doctor about which workouts are best for you, especially if certain forms of physical activity cause your vulvar pain.

 

  1. Get the Emotional Support You Need
    Chronic vulvar discomfort can be incapacitating, interfering with everyday activities and sexual relationships. Many women suffering from episodic vulvodynia feel apprehensive and fearful about their next pain flare-up. While persistent vulvar discomfort might be an unpleasant subject, it is crucial to attempt to discuss it freely with your spouse. Don’t let your pain consume you. Continue to participate in things that you like, even if you have to cancel or reduce your participation on certain days. You may be depressed if you feel sad for several weeks at a time. Common depression symptoms include:

 

  • Sadness, anxiety, irritation, or boredom that persists
  • lack of interest or pleasure in previously loved activities significant changes in food and sleeping patterns
  • Absence from family, friends, and social activities
  • Difficulties in concentrating, or remembering, as well as an inability to do work while feeling guilty, despondent, or empty
  • Physical problems that do not respond to therapy, such as headaches, stomach disturbances, or discomfort
  • Seek help if you believe you are depressed. Many vulvodynia patients benefit from psychological counselling and sex therapy.

Conclusion

Vulvodynia is a complex condition with no one confirmed etiology; hence, various therapy options exist. Although several prospective studies have revealed eating low oxalate food can be beneficial. Having high oxalate food can exacerbate the symptoms of vulvodynia. if your symptoms are getting worse day by day, note all the foods to avoid with vulvodynia. Though it is probably caused by a number of circumstances, the exact etiology of vulvodynia remains unknown. Damage to the pelvic nerve, pelvic muscle spasms or paralysis, and hereditary components like inflammatory susceptibility are a few things that may play a role.

Foods To Avoid With Vulvodynia

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.

  • Heredity

  • 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.

  • Peanuts,
  • almonds,
  • Hazelnuts,
  •  pistachios,
  • pecans,
  • sesame seeds,
  •  lentils
  • 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.

Beverages

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.

Vegetables

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:

  • Spinach
  • Swiss chard
  • leeks
  • okra
  • 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
  • Eggplant
  • Escarole,
  • parsley,
  • rutabagas
  • Tomato paste

 Fruits

With more than 50mg of oxalate per serving, these fruits and vegetables are high in oxalate.

  • Elderberries
  • gooseberries
  • figs
  • Blackberries,
  • raspberries,
  • Concord grapes
  • blueberries.
  • Dried apricots
  • Red currants,
  • Star fruit
  • Figs
  • Rhubarb
  • Kiwi fruit

Nuts, seeds and beans and grains

Many nuts and beans have variable but relatively high levels of oxalate:

  • Peanuts
  • Almonds
  • Hazelnuts
  • Pistachios
  • Pecans
  • Sesame seeds (and tahini)
  • Poppy seeds
  • Refried beans
  • Baked beans
  • Kidney beans
  • Dried beans
  • Lentils
  • 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:

  •  cheese,
  • butter,
  • yoghurt,
  • milk,
  • eggs. Fruits include
  •  avocado,
  • banana,
  • mango,
  • cherries,
  • grapefruit,
  • grapes,
  • Melon,
  •  green
  • yellow plums,
  •  peaches, nectarines, and raisins.

Vegetables include:

  • Cauliflower
  • endive
  • kohlrabi
  • radishes
  • water chestnuts
  •  cabbage
  • cucumber
  • Mushrooms
  • peas
  • chives

 Meat:

  • pork
  • beef
  • Poultry

Fish:

shellfish

Starches

  • barley
  • corn
  • rice-based cereals
  • egg noodles
  • muffins
  • pasta
  • wild rice
  • white rice

Dressings and condiments

  • fresh or dried basil
  • oregano
  • peppermint or sage
  • corn syrup
  • sugar
  • Honey
  • Jam
  • Dijon mustard
  • Tomato ketchup
  • Mayonnaise
  • 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!