Fibromyalgia is a rheumatoid condition recognised by muscular pain, stiffness and tender parts of the body. Alongside the aforementioned are a host of other symptoms such as chronic fatigue, sleep problems, depression and allergen sensitivities.
From a doctors perceptive, this condition can be difficult to diagnose. Sometimes unexplainable complaints and a host of blood tests may lead to a conclusion that the patient has Fibromyalgia. Others may argue that it’s a syndrome concluded, once certain symptoms are described to a particular severity. Either way, it is a recognised, common disorder and is often treated with anti-depressants and muscle relaxants.
Given that chronic pain is a key symptom of this condition, it’s important to recognise the link with diet and stress. Many report huge improvements when avoiding certain foods/drinks and following a program that helps lower stress levels.
Some of the following steps will help not only with Fibromyalgia, but many other conditions associated with chronic aches and pains:
Lower sugar intake High insulin levels have been linked to increased pain, so that in itself is a reason to cut or dramatically lower it. A low sugar diet also promotes an anti-inflammatory response in the body and better stress response.
Avoid Caffeine Those with fibromyalgia already struggle with sleep and night time waking, any substances designed to wake you up are not recommended, or should be abstained after midday.
Eliminate Wheat Many people with autoimmune conditions benefit from a diet free of wheat. We still don’t know enough about it’s negative effects, but it has been proven that the proteins found in Wheat lead to inflammation.
Eat fresh, organic produce where possible Eating a diet of fresh foods, devoid of preservatives and additives, may ease symptoms triggered by coexisting conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome. The fibre and nutrients in these foods help support Liver function and in turn detoxify the body.
Cut down on carbohydrates Roughly 90 percent of fibromyalgia patients have low adrenal functioning, which affects metabolism of carbohydrates and may lead to hypoglycaemia. Carbohydrates, in particular added sugars and high glycemic, are responsible for drops in blood sugar resulting in increased stress, fatigue and needing ‘another pick me up.’
Be fat smart If you’re not already supplementing with omega 3 fish oil, it’s worth looking into. A closer ratio of heart healthy omega 3 fats (Nuts, Fish, Eggs, Flaxseed) to omega 6 fats (corn, vegetable oils, soybean) can lower inflammatory markers in the body. Unless the diet is altered toward better health, it’s very likely the ratio of omega 3-6 fats is quite out of range, which could contribute to increased pain and soreness.
Get regular exercise Exercise along with all it’s health and weight loss benefits can restore the body’s neurochemical balance and boosts a positive emotional state. With this, endorphins are released to help counteract anxiety, depression and stress. These symptoms can be higher in those suffering chronic reoccurring pain.
For some, Fibromyalgia can be debilitating, and taking strong, potentially addictive drugs is not always the answer. Food is medicine and although popping a pill is the quicker option, it may only be masking the symptoms of a cause you could address yourself with better nutrition and exercise.