FOOD AND FYBROMYALGIA
Fybromyalgia is a painful syndrome with many and varied symptoms. Some of the most prominent are pain, fatigue, depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders. While there are many medications and other treatment options you can take to combat symptoms, a cure has not been discovered.
Many experts have seen correlations between diet and fybromyalgia. Personally, I believe you are what you eat and that if a person continues eating a poor, unbalanced diet full of artificial ingredients, then it stands to reason they will be more susceptible to many diseases and health conditions. With that in mind, diet may play an integral part in preventing fybromyalgia and reducing symptoms for those who have it.
There are several diets that are available for you to try. Some are quite extreme and others are a bit easier to integrate into your existing lifestyle.
- Caveman Diet: This is actually a totally raw diet. You would eat raw foods (fruits and veggies). The kicker is in the way you eat them. It is called Anopsology or eating instinctively. In other words, you forage for what smells and tastes the best from the variety of fruits, vegetables, sprouts, nuts, protein and honey that you find in your fridge and on your table (tropical fruits do not need to be refrigerated-they’re used to being warm). These foods have to be in their original state without pesticides, heat, freezing or genetic engineering. You then eat the food that smells the best until the taste changes. When the food no longer tastes good, this is your body signaling that you’ve had enough. You may eat one orange or ten oranges in a row. You trust your body to tell you what you should eat, not social customs engrained in your brain.
- Balanced Diet: This diet is basically eating a balanced food ratio between high quality proteins, lots of fruits and veggies, limited carbs, and good oils. This diet recommends eating fish which is high in omega 3s and using olive or flaxseed oils. The balanced diet promotes good protein sources for patients of fybromyalgia because they repair damaged muscles resulting in fibromyalgia pain relief. Some theories on a fibromyalgia cure focus on the fact that fibromyalgia sufferers have weak and damaged muscle tissues and fibers. As a general guide line, try to consume your body weight in grams of protein. For example if you weigh 150 pounds you should try to have between 100 and 150 grams of protein per day. You should be eating protein with every meal. A diet for fibromyalgia high in protein can be extremely powerful. That is not to say you should only eat protein. Please include fruits and veggies with your meals to achieve balance. Also, what works for one may not work for another. If some foods don’t sit well with you, mix and match your foods to find the best combination for you. The main thing to remember: a diet for fibromyalgia which is all natural is the key.
- Vegan or Vegetarian Diet: This is similar to the raw food diet but can include cooked foods as well. Research has shown that people with fibromyalgia can experience significant improvement in quality of life with this diet. According to one study, participants saw benefits from four months of a diet involving mostly raw fruits and vegetables, limited grains, flax oil, and carrot juice. But as you see, it takes time for the body to heal. It may take several weeks before you really see significant change so patience is required.
- Gluten-free Diet: Building your diet around gluten-free meals may alleviate one potential source of food sensitivity. Gluten is found in wheat products but also in more unexpected sources like barley, rye, and oats. According to some authorities, people with fibromyalgia may be more likely to have food sensitivities than their counterparts. If you feel better on this diet, go for it, but it’s not mandatory for improving fibromyalgia symptoms.
- Low-glycemic Diet: Reducing the refined carbohydrates in your diet can help alleviate the cycling between sugar highs and lows that might worsen the fatigue associated with fibromyalgia. Try to consume foods with a low glycemic index. There are many sites where you can get a list of all kinds of common foods that are low glycemic. Also, incorporate exercise into your lifestyle. One thing that’s definitely been shown to be helpful with fibromyalgia is moderate activity and good overall conditioning.
These are just some of the diets out there. But one thing is for certain; your diet will play an important part in your healing process. With a good diet, you can and will see your fybromyalgia symptoms reduce. It takes time and effort on your part but the results will be worth the effort.