Endometriosis: Key to Healthy Healing Through Nutrition

September 2, 2006

OBGYN.net Conference CoverageFrom the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, Orlando, Florida, October 22-24, 2001

Click here for Audio/Video Version  *requires RealPlayer - free download

Roberta Speyer: "Hi, this is Roberta Speyer, and I'm reporting from the ASRM meeting in Orlando in 2001. I have the pleasure to be talking to Dian Mills, who is the author of the book, 'Endometriosis: Key to Healing Through Nutrition.' You are a clinical nutritionist, tell us about your practice in London."

Dian Mills, Cert. Ed., BA, Dip. ION, MA: "I am; I have practice at the Institute for Optimum Nutrition in Putney in London. I work with women with endometriosis and fertility problems looking at diet and nutrition and trying to correct the body by chemistry."

Roberta Speyer:"But this isn't actually a new book, it's a revision of a book. How long has the book been out?"

Dian Mills, Cert. Ed., BA, Dip. ION, MA: "The book came out somewhere around eighteen months ago in April, and the book publisher has gone into receivership."

Roberta Speyer: "Ah, we're getting the real story so you're switching publishers."

Dian Mills, Cert. Ed., BA, Dip. ION, MA: "We're getting another publisher."

Roberta Speyer: "And doing some revisions for this new release."

Dian Mills, Cert. Ed., BA, Dip. ION, MA: "And we're putting three new chapters in the book."

Roberta Speyer: "What are the three new chapters going to be covering that weren't covered in the original release?"

Dian Mills, Cert. Ed., BA, Dip. ION, MA: "We have one chapter which covers the ovary and the way the ovary works which we'd only mentioned briefly. We have another chapter, which covers the nervous system. I'd done a small piece on stress that many of the women have asked me why…"

Roberta Speyer: "She'd have done a larger piece but she got stressed out."

Dian Mills, Cert. Ed., BA, Dip. ION, MA: "Yes, truth be known we didn't have time but when I was in Sweden in April a lot of the women were saying why do we feel so low because it's not clinical depression, it's more what we all call despair depression. So I've done a chapter on how the hormones impact on the nervous system and why we begin to sort of feel very low." 

Roberta Speyer: "Plus the whole trial of going through the pain, trying to get a definitive diagnosis, and trying to get a good treatment plan certainly would be enough to get anyone depressed, don't you think? What's the third chapter you've added?"

Dian Mills, Cert. Ed., BA, Dip. ION, MA: "Because we put a lot of technical nutrition detail in the book, the third chapter is going to pick out the nitty gritty of what you should do if you're ill to get yourself well. There's a little bit in each chapter so I'm going to put it all in one chapter at the end such as how to deal with digestion if the digestion's not working and how to deal with pain."

Roberta Speyer:: "We have so many women who use the Endometriosis Zone and Pavilion for information and this whole concept of looking at the total person from a nutritional as well as a surgical or medical treatment aspect is kind of new and evolving, I'd say, maybe in the last five years?"

Dian Mills, Cert. Ed., BA, Dip. ION, MA: "That's right."

Roberta Speyer: "Is that why there was a need for this book?'

Dian Mills, Cert. Ed., BA, Dip. ION, MA: "I think so, there wasn't a lot on it. When I first started looking there was a little bit on rabbits with endometriotic implants being given fish oil and the implant shrank. That was about the only thing I could find other than looking at symptoms of pain, PMS, period pain, headaches, digestion problems - everything else. So I thought I'd bring it all together in the book so that you can address all the problems that you're getting - the bloating which people find extreme, and the pain because every woman's endometriosis pain is different. Some people have pain on the right hand side, some people on the left, some people all over, some people have pain with the period, other people it's with ovulation, and some people like me were ill everyday."

Roberta Speyer: "You have endometriosis yourself."

Dian Mills, Cert. Ed., BA, Dip. ION, MA: "I have endometriosis. I was diagnosed in 1987 but it was in my notes from when I was in in 1981. In 1981, I couldn't walk for nine months, and I got better with homeopathy. In 1987, I was so ill I couldn't even move; I was literally crawling around the floor."

Roberta Speyer: "From the pain?"

Dian Mills, Cert. Ed., BA, Dip. ION, MA: "Oh, yes."

Roberta Speyer: "We're here at ASRM which is a very clinical setting with a lot of reproductive endocrinologists and physicians. How is the medical community of physicians responding to looking at nutrition and changes in diet for endometriosis treatment? Are they behind this, is there a schism within the community - some are and some aren't? What's your take on it?"

Dian Mills, Cert. Ed., BA, Dip. ION, MA: "I find more and more that a lot of the gynecologists and doctors are telling people to look at their diet. I've had lots of gynecologists telling people to try not eating wheat or not eating dairy so they are coming around more and more today."

Roberta Speyer: "I want everyone to go out and get Dian's book if they want to know what's in it, but is there some real no-no's that stand out in your mind from a dietary point of view for people that suffer from endometriosis?"

Dian Mills, Cert. Ed., BA, Dip. ION, MA: "I think what we have to look at is the fat and the quality of the fats and oils that are in the diet, because the steroid hormones and the prostaglandins are based on the fats and oils. If you're eating poor quality trans fatty acids, the ones that have all been chemicalized by industry…"

Roberta Speyer: "Where would you find those - in potato chips?"

Dian Mills, Cert. Ed., BA, Dip. ION, MA: "Yes, and in cooked foods if they've been hydrogenated, whereas if you try and eat more nuts, seeds, and oily fish where you've got natural fish oils as they occur in the environment, the body can make better quality hormones from those oils so I think that's one of the keys. The other key is the way that the digestive system deals with estrogens, and one of the things we know is that green leaves or vegetables contain chemicals called 'indoles' and they help to dampen down the estrogen, and as we know estrogen feeds the endometriosis. Grandmother was right in telling us to eat our greens because it does have an effect on the way the body can deal with estrogen and also correcting digestion because many of the women I see have been to doctors, they've been diagnosed with cystitis and pelvic inflammatory disease, they've had lots of antibiotics, their gut flora has been disrupted, they're bloating a lot, and if you correct digestion, particularly the gut flora, I mean we've go four pounds of gut flora inside…"

Roberta Speyer: "What is gut flora?"

Dian Mills, Cert. Ed., BA, Dip. ION, MA: "It's bacteria, the oxytoxin live happily inside us on the - you scratch my back I'll scratch your back basis." 

Roberta Speyer: "Is this the same type we hear about like a yeast infection is when certain types of vaginal flora gets screwed up or thrown off and then it develops a yeast infection?"

Dian Mills, Cert. Ed., BA, Dip. ION, MA: "If you've had lots of antibiotics it can knock down the good gut flora. You've got like four pounds or two bags of sugar of gut flora in the small intestine and they produce B vitamins, which work on the gut wall to help the body produce immune cells. So 80% of the body's immunoglobulins - the white blood cells - that help the body deal with endometriosis is produced from the gut. But if you are bloating a lot it can be that your gut flora has an imbalance."

Roberta Speyer: "It can be corrected with the diet?"

Dian Mills, Cert. Ed., BA, Dip. ION, MA: "It can be corrected through diet."

Roberta Speyer: "Is the book in straight language, and is it something women can understand and utilize in their day to day life without much difficulty? Of course, it's always difficult to change for all of us, but it is something that is an easy read, isn't it, and something that gives you a lot of information?"

Dian Mills, Cert. Ed., BA, Dip. ION, MA: "Most of it is an easy read."

Roberta Speyer: "Or is it more for professionals?"

Dian Mills, Cert. Ed., BA, Dip. ION, MA: "We did write it for women but we did put a little bit of nutrition and science in it because I can't be everywhere and I need other nutritionists to understand what to do so this is why I'm doing the extra chapter which tells you what to do."

Roberta Speyer: "The book actually helps the sufferers themselves but it also helps someone who works with these people to understand what the whole philosophy is behind using dietary methods to help with endometriosis."

Dian Mills, Cert. Ed., BA, Dip. ION, MA: "I often have women coming back in and saying they're feeling so much better. A lot of the symptoms can be relieved if you're eating well because you're getting nutrients."

Roberta Speyer: "And if you're feeling better you're not curing but your quality of life..."

Dian Mills, Cert. Ed., BA, Dip. ION, MA: "Your quality of life is restored. I always say - touch wood - I haven't had endometriosis pain since 1989. I'm just very careful so it's looking at what's happening. With some of people I work with we'll take dairy foods out of the diet and with some it's wheat. I just work with each person as a unique being until we find what works for them and nutrition works for a lot of people. Obviously it won't for everybody but it does seem to help the vast majority."

Roberta Speyer: "So tell our viewers the name of the book, when it's going to be out, and the publisher again so they can make sure they look for it and we'll be making it available on OBGYN.net."

Dian Mills, Cert. Ed., BA, Dip. ION, MA: "If I can reach it I can hold it up."

Roberta Speyer: "We have the book?"

Dian Mills, Cert. Ed., BA, Dip. ION, MA: "Yes, we do."

Roberta Speyer: "We have the book. Oh my god, we've been hiding the book. Here's the book!"

Dian Mills, Cert. Ed., BA, Dip. ION, MA: "The new cover is going to have berries across the front - blueberries and raspberries."

Roberta Speyer: "No wheat."

Dian Mills, Cert. Ed., BA, Dip. ION, MA: "No wheat."

Roberta Speyer: "No bad active fat. It's 'Key to Healing through Nutrition' by Dian Shepperson Mills. Thank you very much for coming by and sharing this with us, and good luck with the book."

Dian Mills, Cert. Ed., BA, Dip. ION, MA: "I hope it helps a lot of people reduce their pain and helps them get pregnant."

Roberta Speyer: "Thank you."

Dian Mills, Cert. Ed., BA, Dip. ION, MA: "Thank you."