Fibromyalgia pain triggered by nightshade vegetables

Lana Bandoim's picture

Patients and medical professionals continue to report that fibromyalgia symptoms can become worse after eating nightshade vegetables. The Solanaceae family, also known as the potato or nightshade family, has been linked by patients and doctors to an increase in pain and fatigue. Although some people do not react to these plants, others report that they are a serious problem and feel better after eliminating them from the diet.

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Understanding the nightshade family

The Solanaceae family includes tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, peppers and other plants. Both hot and sweet peppers are part of this family. In addition, goji berries and paprika are part of the nightshade group. Some members of the Solanaceae family, such as belladonna and jimsonweed, are poisonous and cannot be eaten. There are more than 2,000 different species included in this family, and it is important to note that tobacco is also part of it. This is why smoking is a serious concern for fibromyalgia patients.

Importance of solanine

Solanine is a poison that is found in the nightshade family and can cause serious problems in large amounts. Most people are able to eat nightshades such as potatoes because they do not contain enormous amounts of solanine. However, some people are more sensitive to this glycoalkaloid, so they react to smaller amounts. Plants make solanine to defend themselves from predators such as humans. Therefore, it is not surprising that the toxin exists. If you have seen green potatoes, then you know that you should not eat them. Solanine is responsible for the green color, and it serves as a warning that the potato is not safe to eat.

It is possible to suffer from solanine poisoning, and some medical professionals believe that people with fibromyalgia are more sensitive to it. Solanine poisoning can cause headaches, diarrhea, nausea, dizziness, cramps, hallucinations and fever. Death is possible if large amounts of solanine are ingested.

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Solanine and inflammation

Patients and doctors report that solanine can increase inflammation in the human body. The toxin can also increase chronic pain and fatigue. Patients have noticed an increase in spasms, joint pain, tenderness, muscle pain, aches and stiffness after consuming nightshade vegetables. In some cases, patients felt worse immediately after eating a potato or tomato. In other cases, it took several hours or an entire day for the symptoms to appear. A study published in the Journal of Neurological and Orthopedic Medical Surgery found that patients with arthritis who typically suffer from severe inflammation also reacted to nightshade vegetables.

Nightshade vegetables and fibromyalgia

Some medical professionals recommend that fibromyalgia patients eliminate nightshades from their diet. It has helped patients reduce their pain and fatigue symptoms. There appears to be a link between the inflammation, chronic pain and nightshade vegetables. In one study, more than 50 percent of the patients with fibromyalgia reacted to nightshades negatively.

Researchers suggest that digestive health problems such as leaky gut can also play a role. They believe that patients who have fibromyalgia and leaky gut are more likely to be sensitive to nightshades because the toxins are able to move. In addition, it is possible that fibromyalgia patients may have more food sensitivities and allergies.

Eliminating nightshade vegetables

It is not difficult to eliminate nightshade vegetables from the diet, but many patients find that they miss potatoes or tomatoes. Medical experts recommend doing an elimination diet first and removing all nightshades for a period of several weeks or a month. Then, they can be reintroduced one at a time while the patient carefully monitors for reactions. If you notice that your fibromyalgia symptoms become worse after eating nightshades, then you want to avoid them. In some cases, patients report that nightshade vegetables trigger their pain.

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