BEATING FYBROMYALGIA THE NATURAL WAY
Fybromyalgia is a chronic inflammatory condition that has muscular and joint pain and fatigue. Three to five percent of the population suffers from this malady with 80% percent of that number being women. It is one of the fastest growing conditions in the United States.
A classic symptom of fybromyalgia is the 11 to 18 specific tender point sites on the body. Other symptoms include chronic fatigue, sleep disorders, normal blood tests, and a history of wide spread pain particularly in the neck and back. Fybromyalgia is believed to be a chronic inflammation of the muscle fascia. Let’s look at the cause of chronic inflammation.
When the body has chronic inflammation, it is a sign of a mal-coordinated hyper-responsive immune system. This is caused by eating foods that inflame the system or eating foods to which the body is allergic. By avoiding inflammatory foods and food allergens and following some general principles, the gut will repair, vitamin D3 levels will optimize, and neurological connections will improve.
Most people with chronic inflammation have what is called a leaky gut that allows large food particles to pass through easily and end up in the blood stream. The body reacts to this process by forming a large inflammatory reaction to destroy these food particles because the body looks at these particles as foreign invaders of the blood stream. This is the allergic reactions that many people experience when they eat certain foods. Some reactions are mild, others are potentially dangerous. The most common food allergens are all processed foods, artificial sweeteners and preservatives, and gluten-containing products. The nightshade vegetables, eggplant, potatoes, and tomatoes can be challenging. Soy, nuts, pasteurized dairy, eggs, and other heavy proteins are often tolerated well.
ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DIETS AND FYBROMYALGIA
There are a number of different approaches to take if considering an anti-inflammatory diet to combat the symptoms of fybromyalgia. Some experts recommend a raw-foods diet while others recommend a similar diet filled with natural foods and added meat protein. You would have to be the judge as to which diet best suits you. I will give you the highlights for both.
RAW FOODS DIET VERSUS FYBROMYALGIA
This raw foods diet is based on a study which was conducted over a seven month duration and investigated the impact of a raw diet on several fronts related to fybromyalgia. The raw foods diet is based on the principle that heat destroys nutrients in the food and therefore the body needs to process more food in order to get the right amount of nutrients. Essentially, the diet consists of a higher concentration of nutrients. The diet was vegetarian to avoid risks involved with the consumption of raw animal products.
Thirty individuals were placed on a controlled diet consisting of raw fruits and vegetables, nuts, salads, and juicing. There were raw food staples contained in the diet to optimize the external validity of the study. During the course of the study, participants continued to take their medications to limit variability.
At the end of the study, the participants were asked to respond to their symptoms of fybromyalgia including sleep issues and other health problems. Improvements were seen in pain levels, both at rest and while active, and improvements in the range of motion and flexibility in the joints and spine. Participants reported less absenteeism from their workplace and many more days in which they felt a better quality of life.
NATURAL FOODS DIET
The natural foods diet uses anti-inflammatory foods to modulate the immune system and reduce inflammatory activity in the body. Great anti-inflammatory foods include coconut products, avocados, olive oil, berries, and phytonutrient vegetables. Healthy meat sources such as grass-fed beef, wild game, wild salmon, organic poultry, and organic eggs are great if the stomach can tolerate them.
It is recommended that people in this diet eat a lot of organic vegetable juices, fermented foods, and functional beverages in their diet. Often times, a probiotic supplement is advisable to help re-establish good bacteria colonies in the intestines. Non-denatured whey products from grass-fed cows are also very good for re-building the gut. Powerful herbs such as oregano, cinnamon, thyme, rosemary, onion, garlic, ginger, turmeric, and others will help improve immune coordination and so should be consumed as much as possible. Healthy vitamin D3 levels should be maintained to provide optimum immune function.
Diet plays a very important part if one desires an alternative program to medicines that helps relieve symptoms of fybromyalgia and produces a better quality lifestyle. Many people are prone to the side effects that come with medications for this condition. Others just want to stay away from medications as much as possible. Combine one of these diets with regular exercise and possible chiropractic manipulation and you will have winning combination that will give you the quality of life you deserve.