Fibromyalgia Affected By What We Eat
Physicians have found that fibromyalgia is affected by what we eat. Its effect can manifest itself differently for each individual, similar to having the same medication effect an individual differently than someone else. Some responding better or worse with the same medication or food. This is partly due to our complex body systems and depending on what each part of our bodies need at any given time. It is a difficult one to explain fully.
Eating Healthy Can Decrease Fibromyalgia Symptoms
Eating healthy foods on a daily basis has been found to help people with fibromyalgia and other disorders like it. Actually, a good nutritious diet serves to help with all things. Fibromyalgia can be quite debilitating and suck the energy right out of you. A lot of energy is used just dealing with the discomfort in movement and the ever present fatigue. It is not even clear what causes the fibromyalgia symptoms of muscle/joint pain and fatigue. At any rate, it can zap the zest for life. (See slide show about fibromyalgia).
Research Shows Some Foods May Increase Fibromyalgia Symptoms
Research is showing that the foods we eat play a role in the fibromyalgia symptoms. There has been many varied and contradicting diet recommendations. I think it always comes back to a basic foundation of healthy eating and sometimes a few tweaks for a particular condition based on sound research.
With fibromyalgia and other disorders like it, a good nutritious diet is a must. According to an article posted on WebMD, they have found a few foods that seem to sometimes cause problems with people suffering from fibromyalgia. Not all of the people in their study had problems with all of these, but it is worth investigating one at a time to see if your symptoms improve. First and foremost, simply start with a good nutritious diet. Do this for at least a couple weeks to get a good, solid foundation, then try eliminating each one of foods below, one at a time. Give it at least a week for each one to be sure it is helping. It may help to keep a written diary as you are doing this.
- Aspartame (NutraSweet)-In my opinion, most artificial sweeteners should be avoided. Many unrelated studies have been done on aspartame and it appears to cause problems for many people with and without fibromyalgia.
- MSG (monosodium glutamate)and nitrates like those in lunch meats and processed meats. MSG is an additive that is found in many processed foods such as many flavored chips, sauces/gravies, pre-packaged foods, some restaurant foods and the like. There are different names for MSG. MSG can cause symptoms for many people with and without fibromyalgia as well. In minuscule amounts, it may not be noticed while others are quite sensitive to MSG and/or nitrates.
- Sugar-Again, sugary foods, especially processed sugars, can affect a person’s health adversely whether you have fibromyalgia or not. High fructose corn syrup has been a major topic in recent years. Sodas, in particular, have a high level of sugar in them, which many people tend to drink a lot of. Relating to sodas, often people with fibromyalgia will drink a soda because they are fatigued. The carbonation and sugar cause an intense increase in the blood sugar levels, which shortly thereafter takes a sharp decline, which further increases symptoms, especially fatigue, then due to the fatigue, they will drink another soda. This imbalance of blood sugar levels can increase symptoms.
- Caffeine-We all think of caffeine giving us a burst of energy, but this energy boost is temporary and when it is over, it can cause even worse fatigue for those with fibromyalgia.
- Yeast and gluten-Often these substances are found together in breads, pastries and a lot of baked foods. There has been a lot of growing research connecting peoples’ digestive absorption type issues with fatigue and muscle/joint pain. There is a growing number of people with gluten intolerance. Removing gluten has helped people with fatigue, musculoskeletal pain, respiratory concerns, skin problems, abdominal discomfort and related issues, weight loss and has helped with just a general boost in a zeal for life. The good news is that there has been an increasing number of gluten free products out there that actually taste good.
- Dairy-Dairy products have many benefits, but can cause problems for some. Some people are just lactose intolerant and trying a lactose free milk product may be worth trying. Others are sensitive to the additives, hormones or pesticides that can be in the milk. Buying an organic type milk can solve that problem. If you feel, milk might be making symptoms worse for you, then either try removing it altogether or trying lactose free or organic first. Remember, if you do remove it completely, be sure you are getting adequate calcium from another source.
- Nightshade Plants-Nightshade vegetables, the most common being tomatoes, sweet and hot bell peppers, potatoes, tobacco and eggplant. These have been found to cause an increase in arthritic type pain for some.
Nutritious Diet Even More Critical For People With Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia can be a challenging disorder, but eating the right foods can make a difference as well as staying away from foods that have been researched to possibly worsen your symptoms. Remember to start with a healthy, nutritious diet which is basically one with low fat, low sugar, low processed foods, healthy proteins and carbohydrates, plenty of fruits and vegetables as well as adequate intake of water.
Interestingly, research has found that people with fibromyalgia have mitochondria dysfunction. This is a section of your cell that produces energy. It is the powerhouse of the cell.
It is necessary that fibromyalgia sufferers have a high level of nutrition to improve mitochondria function in order to assist with the production of energy. This makes it even more clear that people with fibromyalgia are affected by the foods they eat and don’t eat, making a high nutritious diet an absolute must.