Best fibromyalgia diet advice from the experts

Lana Bandoim's picture

Have you considered how your diet can affect fibromyalgia symptoms and pain?

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Medical experts share that making diet changes can help fibromyalgia patients fight pain and reduce their symptoms. Although there is no specific diet that everyone agrees on, there are several common factors among the recommendations from experts. If you are looking for a natural way to help battle fibromyalgia, then you may want to consider the following advice.

The elimination diet

Fibromyalgia is often tied to other health problems such as Crohn's disease and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). This is why many health experts recommend that you try an elimination diet and focus on getting rid of foods or beverages that make you feel worse. In some cases, patients have found that eliminating specific items from their diets can reduce their symptoms.

Kathleen Holton, PhD, MPH, shares that additives such as aspartame are a common problem for fibromyalgia patients. One study found that aspartame was related to chronic pain, but the pain disappeared once the participants removed this artificial sweetener from their diets. You can eliminate other additives such as monosodium glutamate (MSG), hydrolyzed protein and autolyzed yeast to see if their removal improves your symptoms.

The supplementation diet

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Many health experts point out that the average fibromyalgia patient is not getting enough vitamins, minerals or nutrients in their daily diets. Ginevra Liptan, MD, shares that a well-balanced diet that is filled with vegetables, fruits and healthy grains is essential. However, your fatigue can make cutting and preparing salads a difficult task while your headaches can make navigating a health food store a nightmare. This is why a supplementation diet that relies on natural herbs, spices, vitamins and minerals can help.

Vitamin D deficiency is a common issue for fibromyalgia sufferers and is linked to both pain and fatigue. Research shows that vitamin D supplements can help fibromyalgia patients, but this should not be the only vitamin you add to your diet. You may also want to try omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C, melatonin, vitamin A, calcium, zinc, selenium and a multivitamin. Before you start adding new supplements, it is crucial to discuss them with your doctor and check for possible drug interactions.

Spices such as cayenne pepper have pain-fighting properties and can make your meals more interesting. In addition, you may want to explore herbs like chamomile, ginger or lavender for fibromyalgia. Many of these natural treatments promote calmness and can reduce stress that is a trigger for pain.

The no sugar diet

The no sugar diet is one of the most difficult to follow, but there are reports from fibromyalgia patients that show it works. One of the problems with trying to eliminate all sugar from your diet is that it can hide in many food sources. You know that items such as soda or cookies are loaded with sugar, but you may not be aware that regular pasta sauces and instant oatmeal can have a large amount of sugar.

It is crucial to read all the labels on your food if you are trying to remove sugar from your diet. For example, salad dressings can pack 5 or more grams of sugar into two tablespoons. Even ketchup can have 4 grams of sugar in one tablespoon.

If you suffer from fibromyalgia, then adjusting your diet may help. A healthy diet that focuses on nutrient-dense foods is important. You may want to consult your doctor or dietitian before making changes.

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