DOES DIET AFFECT FYBROMYALGIA?
Fybromyalgia is a very frustrating, debilitating syndrome and anyone coping with this condition may be greatly appreciative of any treatment that would help relieve symptoms. Could diet perhaps play a role in controlling and relieving symptoms? Although research has not been done to see the effects of diet on fybromyalgia, there are certain foods that can improve overall health. There is anecdotal evidence from patients and we know that there are certain foods to avoid to improve health. Here are some ways doctors say that food can play a role in fybromyalgia and tips on how to tweak your diet to improve your overall health.
OBSERVE HOW FOODS MAKE YOU FEEL
Many patients with fybromyalgia are sensitive to certain foods. Some of these foods are MSG, artificial preservatives, eggs, gluten, dairy, and other common allergens. In fact, 42% of fybromyalgia patients reported that their symptoms worsened when they consumed certain foods.
A good way to keep track of what foods affect you is to keep a daily food journal. Some patients have kept this type of journal for two weeks or more and wrote down everything they ate for the day and then noted any symptoms like digestive problems, headache, and fatigue. This was particularly useful as the doctor was able to associate certain foods with symptoms of fybromyalgia.
ELIMINATE CERTAIN FOODS
If you are a patient with fybromyalgia and experience irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), performing a step by step food elimination process may help resolve the issue of what food is causing your IBS. In the process, the patient eliminates one particular food that they suspect is giving them the problem for about six to eight weeks. Then they add it back into their diet and see how they feel. When you discover you are sensitive to a particular food and eliminate it from your diet, you will feel the difference. Most patients find help with fatigue, IBS, bloating, and constipation.
If you think you have food sensitivities, consult your doctor. He may refer you to a food allergist for food allergy testing. You may also want to talk to a dietician to make sure that you are not depriving yourself of necessary nutrients by food elimination.
MAKE EATING HEALTHY EASIER
It makes good sense to eat healthier if you have fybromyalgia. A balanced diet of fruits and vegetables, along with whole grains and lean protein will provide the energy and nutrients to live a good life. However, if you are fighting fatigue, pain, and depression, you may find it difficult to want to cook nutritious meals. To help with this, try to find nutritious foods that require little preparation. Buy vegetables that are pre-washed. There are also a lot of natural, prepared meals ready to cook. You can find these at a health food store. The use of cooking bags and slow cookers can also may delicious meals without all the fuss. They cook themselves. Many health food stores also have a deli where you can purchase small portions of prepared foods like beet salad and quinoa to vary your diet.
USE FOOD TO FIGHT FATIGUE
Food can either make you tired or make you energetic. If it is the right food choice, it should increase your energy levels. Choosing the right foods will keep your energy levels consistent and prevent fatigue. Many patients report that eating small meals throughout the day helps keep energy levels constant. For example, if it is three in the afternoon, a snack with some lean protein can provide a great pick me up.
Breakfast is another important point. You need a good breakfast that includes protein and whole grains. A good example is a boiled egg and oatmeal. This breakfast choice will prevent the blood sugar from spiking and give enough energy to make it through the morning, even if you have pain and your feeling tired. I agree with this because this is the type of breakfast I eat. It is delicious, nutritious, and energy-packed. A meal like this will usually carry me until afternoon before I feel hungry again.
Of course, diet is not the only aspect of a healthy lifestyle. Staying active and getting enough sleep is also important. In addition, always consult your doctor before trying any new foods or supplements. Most vitamins and natural supplements are good choices but there are some that could interact with certain medications you may be using. Therefore, always talk to your doctor before adding supplements to your diet.
As you make changes to your diet and lifestyle, remember that those with fybromyalgia tend to use several treatments and therapies to combat symptoms. Consult with your doctor about medications and treatment options along with diet and lifestyle changes. Together, you can make winning choices that will ease your symptoms and promote a healthy quality of life.