FYBROMYALGIA AND DIET
Those who suffer with fybromyalgia know the frustration, discouragement, and disability that this condition can bring with it. However, could diet help bring back some of the normality that was lost when the syndrome came? The possibilities are there. Although there haven’t been a lot of studies on the effects of diet and fybromyalgia, a good diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants will no doubt be good for any person. If it also helps with fybro pain, fatigue, and other symptoms, that would really be a bonus. The following are some foods that may help with these symptoms and, in the process, also help strengthen the body as a whole and provide better health.
EAT YOUR VEGGIES
There is a process that is common among most patients with fybromyalgia. It is called Oxidative Stress. This is basically a cell-damaging process that is found to be higher in the bodies of those with fybromyalgia and is thought to play a role in the development of the condition. Therefore, adding lots of antioxidant produce to the diet may reduce this process and help with fybro pain and other symptoms. In fact, in a handful of studies, a high-in-produce, raw vegetarian, or vegan diet showed reduction of fybro pain and stiffness in study participants.
Omega-3 fatty acids are a must for anyone to maintain optimum health. In a preliminary study involving patients with nerve impingement, burn injuries, and fybromyalgia, the omega-3 fatty acids from fish appeared to reduce pain. Although more studies are necessary to confirm these results, it would be worth the effort to include fish like salmon, tuna, or sardines into the diet. There are other sources for these beneficial fatty acids as well. Nuts, certain vegetables and herbs, and oils are rich in them. Confer with your doctor to see which avenues would be best for you. Of course, it is better to include the actual foods into your diet than to take alternate supplements. Research has shown that in certain situations as in fish oil, the supplements do not return the antioxidant effect that the actual food gives.
CAUTION WITH CAFFIENE
There is no evidence that caffeine causes fybromyalgia. However, overdoing it with caffeine can cause dips and spikes in energy during the day, nervousness, aggravate tummy troubles, and make it difficult to sleep. In light of this, you may want to confine java to a morning ritual or try mixing it with decaf to lesson effects. If you find you are sensitive to caffeine, try to wean yourself off the habit over time and keep track of symptoms in a journal.
SKIP THE SUGAR
Sugar consumption may play a big role for fybromyalgia patients. Some studies suggest that those with fybromyalgia have an impaired ability to produce hormones that keep blood sugar stable. Although cutting back on sugary sweets may not help with fybro pain, the discipline may keep you from developing a more serious adversary – hypoglycemia. This condition is a fatigue-inducing dip in blood sugar that can occur when people overindulge in foods high on the glycemic index. Sugary treats, candy, fructose-sweetened beverages, or even simple carbohydrates (white rice, refined pastas and breads) can cause hypoglycemia. In simple language, if you cut out the sweets, you are likely to sidestep this energy-zapping condition and help lessen the fatigue that accompanies your fybromyalgia.
AVOID ARTIFICIAL ADDITIVES
Little research has been done to see the effects of artificial sweeteners on fybromyalgia. However, in some individual cases, abstaining from aspartame actually improved fybromyalgia pain and fatigue. In addition, additives like MSG and nitrates in processed meats can make living with fybromyalgia more difficult as they may trigger sensitivities. The best thing to do is to try an elimination diet where you stop consuming foods with a certain additive and keep a journal on any effects it may have with your FMS (Fybromyalgia Syndrome).
Some people are allergic to certain foods like gluten (wheat products) and lactose (dairy products). Side effects from these allergens can be stomach problems, fatigue, and depression. Even though there are no studies proving that allergies affect fybromyalgia, it is important to know whether or not you have them since food sensitivities can make your fybromyalgia symptoms worse. Ask your doctor about elimination diets or sensitivity tests.
A good multivitamin supplement is beneficial for anyone but especially for patients with fybromyalgia. Be sure your supplement is high in vitamins C, E, and D. C and E appear to reduce the oxidative process and pain in a small study of fybromyalgia patients. Other studies have found that fybromyalgia patients were deficient in vitamin D, causing the anxiety and depression, so adding this vitamin to your diet may help boost your mood and lower pain. Other substances to consider are amino acids. Some studies show that certain amino acids help with everything from mood to pain. You need to consult with your doctor for advice and dosing instructions.
IBS AND FYBROMYALGIA
Many people with fybromyalgia also have irritable bowel syndrome. If you experience troubles with your tummy, there are certain foods that are usually the culprits: caffeine, high-fat foods, and alcohol. Eliminate these from your diet and not only will you help your IBS but you may find that your symptoms of fybromyalgia are less.
Of course, everything does not work for everybody. You need to listen to your body and mark those diet suggestions that work for you. As always, consult your doctor before you make any changes to your diet. Together with you doctor’s advice, you can work as a team to help you overcome the symptoms of fybromyalgia.