Reducing Fibromyalgia Symptoms with Dietary Changes
With no medical cure yet in view, people that suffer from fibromyalgia can, however, learn to decrease their daily, relentless pain by modifying their diet. Fibromyalgia is often characterized by deep muscular pain, frequent headaches, chronic fatigue, and difficulty sleeping, among other symptoms. Drugs and lifestyle changes such as exercise, sleep patterns, and diet are all treatments used to help manage fibromyalgia. Diet can positively or negatively affect how the body functions and therefore can affect the day to day severity of the disease.
Types of food that are best avoided are:
- Caffeine – For patients that are not sleeping well, it can be tempting to load up on caffeine. You do get the boost of energy, but it is followed by a brutal crash, which is often exacerbated in fibromyalgia sufferers. Caffeine is also notorious for messing with natural rhythms and sleep patterns.
- Sugar and simple carbs – Blood sugar highs and lows are not beneficial for the healthy, much less those who have hypersensitivity. Such swings in blood sugar can trigger fibro symptoms.
- Food additives – Pretty much any sort of packaged food contains common additives such as MSG. Monosodium glutamate, which can also be called hydrolyzed vegetable protein, textured vegetable protein, or yeast extract on labels, is made up of chemical compounds that can activate neurons that make a person more sensitive to pain.
Types of food that may help relieve fibromyalgia symptoms are:
- Antioxidants – There is some evidence from current research that fibromyalgia symptoms may be caused or exacerbated by oxidative stress. Without enough antioxidents, the body is ill equipped to fight free radicals, which attack cells. Foods rich in antioxidents include most varieties of fruits and vegetables. Look for fresh produce that is rich in vitamin A, C, and E.
- Anti-inflammatory food – Fibromyalgia patients often have issues with the GI tract such as digestive problems and IBS. A diet rich in food with natural anti-inflammatory properties such as fish, walnuts, ginger, and turmeric, will potentially help relieve symptoms.
- Lean meats – Replacing empty carbs with protein can help keep blood sugar levels stable as well as providing a filling meal.
Ultimately, fibromyalgia is an individual disease and so no one-size-fits-all treatment will work for everyone. Following these general guidelines will likely produce some improvement and is a great place to start, but the individual will likely be able to find a specific diet regimen that works best for them. To this end, fibromyalgia patients might consider keeping a food journal to record their eating habits. They might subsequently see a correlation between certain foods and an increase or decrease in symptoms and be able to modify their eating habits accordingly.