Do you suffer from widespread body discomfort, aches, or tenderness? Are you fatigued or tired, even after a full night’s sleep? Wake up sluggish and groggy? Suffer from “brain fog” that makes it hard to focus and concentrate?
You can help yourself simply by following these nine easy steps with the food you put in your body.
What to Avoid When You Have Fibromyalgia
As a fibromyalgia sufferer, you are probably wondering whether you should be eating certain foods while avoiding others altogether. There is some evidence that food can play a big part of controlling the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Many people are sensitive to food additives, eggs, gluten, dairy, and other common food allergens that can exacerbate fibromyalgia symptoms, such as muscle achiness and fatigue. There has been a study published in the journal Clinical Rheumatology which found that 42 percent of fibromyalgia patients stated certain foods did make their symptoms worse.
So are there foods to avoid with fibromyalgia? There are certainly some that are linked to an increase in symptoms.
Foods to Avoid With Fibromyalgia
Here’s a short fibromyalgia food list of some of the things to avoid while trying to eat healthy:
Foods with added vegetable oil (olive oil is OK)
High glycemic index foods (these will increase inflammation)
The key is to eat foods that are going to make you feel better, not worse. If you choose incorrectly and feel worse after eating, it’s too easy for your brain to begin associating eating as something that makes you feel badly — and that’s not worth the risk.
Try these suggestions on modifying your diet so you don’t experience as much pain, fatigue and other symptoms that make your fibromyalgia worse. The tips below will help you adopt more healthy foods for your fibromyalgia.
Keep a Food Journal
You will want to list all the foods you consume over a two-week period and have a column where you can write in how you feel. So if you eat a donut for breakfast and you start feeling sluggish an hour or so later, then you will want to note that.
What you are going to attempt to do is identify the foods that trigger your fibromyalgia symptoms. Anything like headaches, indigestion, fatigue, diarrhea and other symptoms can be noted.
Try Eliminating Certain Foods
For about six to eight weeks, remove a suspect food that you think is the culprit. If you go without symptoms for the length of time, try adding the eliminated food item back into your fibro-friendly diet. Then, see how you feel.
Many fibromyalgia patients will try removing dairy or foods with gluten first since they are the most common problem foods. You will know which food is giving you trouble with this process. You should notice a reduction in fatigue and less bloating and constipation associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Food sensitivities and allergies are something to consider as well. Talk to your doctor if you think you may have a food allergy — you can be tested for this.
Eat Less Processed Food
MSG, artificial sweeteners, and other chemicals that are put in processed foods may trigger a release of neurotransmitters that increase pain sensitivity. You will have to be diligent and read food labels to ensure you stay away from food additives.
Go with organic food products if at all possible. You will consume less pesticides and chemicals this way as well.
White sugar and high fructose corn syrup is in every type of processed food in some form. If it ends with “ose,” like fructose, glucose, lactose, maltose and sucrose, it is a sugar. If too much sugar is consumed, increased levels result.
This will cause worsened pain in a person with fibromyalgia. Stay away from fruit juices but eat fresh fruit instead. Fruit has fiber that keeps blood sugar levels stable. Extra fiber is good for IBS as well.
Be Suspicious of Wheat and Gluten Grains
Wheat metabolizes similarly to sugars so you will need to limit or eliminate wheat products if they give you problems with your fibromyalgia. Overuse of yeast can contribute to pain as well, so limit the consumption of this.
Stay Away From Caffeine
Stimulants like caffeine can cause an imbalance of brain chemicals. Sleep becomes adversely affected and fatigue worsens rather than improves with taking in caffeine. So while you may drink that cup of Joe to stay awake during the day, it can disrupt your sleep at night.
It is better to avoid it so you get the sleep you need. Getting proper sleep will decrease fatigue and the pain that accompanies fibromyalgia.
Avoid Nightshade Vegetables
Nightshade vegetables can trigger pain in some people with fibromyalgia and arthritis. These foods include tomatoes, eggplant and potatoes.
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Eat the Right Kinds of Fats
You will want to eliminate all trans-fats from your diet, as well as fried foods. These are all linked to inflammatory issues in the body. Omega-3 fats are fats that address this problem and reduce pain caused by inflammation.
Get Rid of Dairy
Some fibromyalgia patients don’t tolerate dairy products well. You may need to see if eliminating dairy like milk and yogurt helps your symptoms.
By the process of elimination, you will find out which foods are causing your fibromyalgia symptoms to worsen. Once you remove the food culprits, you may not need to rely on as much medication to control those symptoms. You will feel better and enjoy life much more.
Featured Image: depositphoto/pingvin121674