Fibromyalgia is an unpleasant disorder that causes muscle pain and fatigue, and sufferers may also experience trouble sleeping, morning stiffness, headaches, tingling or numbness in their hands and feet and problems with a ‘foggy’ memory.
While no one magic food will prevent a persons flare-ups, a number of dietary improvements can make a world of difference and may alleviate even the most daunting symptoms. One of the most important things I can advise is to improve your overall health and well-being by putting time and effort into your diet, because we really are ‘what we eat’.
I Know, I know! Its always about the fruits and vegetables! Why? Because they are typically low in calories, high in fibre, and rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals. That’s good news for those who are, respectively battling obesity, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or autoimmune disorders. These are all common among fibromyalgia patients.
Preservatives and colouring tend to have a negative effect on a person with Fibromyalgia and enhance painful symptoms. Eating more natural foods is key.
The "good fat" found in cold-water fish, nuts and seeds, avocados, home made salad dressing oils such as olive oil, flax seed oils, sesame seed oils etc. is believed to offer pain relief because of their anti inflammatory properties. Plus they are a worthy addition to any diet and amazing for heart health and allergy prevention.
Reducing your carb intake and packing more protein into your diet can keep blood glucose levels from fluctuating, which can trigger fatigue. The classic Mediterranean diet is perfect for this condition because it helps people avoid those sugar rushes.
Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of fibromyalgia, so you may be tempted to reach for the coffee? Be aware that Caffeine intake can trigger headaches and interfere with sleep patterns, which can further perpetuate fatigue. Like caffeine, sugar and white-flour carbohydrates, can provide a temporary surge in energy followed by a big low slump. Fibromyalgia patients often experience general hypersensitivity leading to increased sensitivity with blood-sugar highs and lows.
While reducing sugar intake can be beneficial, you may also want to steer clear of sweet snacks that use aspartame or saccharine as a sweetener. Anything that has a chemical basis should be avoided.
Basically including very alkalising foods into your diet, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, and removing the processed artificial foods, will help reduce inflammation. It’s the inflammation that causes the pain and discomfort. Herbs can also be extremely beneficial when it comes to treating Fibromyalgia, such as:
- Grape seed extract. The oil in the seeds of wine grapes contains powerful antioxidants and natural anti-inflammatory compounds called procyanidins. They may help to inhibit the inflammatory response, which is responsible for muscle pain and soreness in some people.
- St. John's Wort tincture. This liquid tonic form of St. John's Wort (not capsules or tea) is a common alternative to prescription muscle relaxers. Patients taking prescription antidepressant medication, however, should not use this herb without their doctor's approval.
- Valerian Taken as a dietary supplement, Valerian may help regulate sleep patterns as well as ease insomnia and anxiety, all common symptoms of Fibromyalgia.