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Fighting Fibromyalgia with Proper Nutrition

Avoiding processed foods and using proper nutrition can have a profound effect on Fibromyalgia symptoms when incorporated into a healthy lifestyle.

Fibromyalgia is a medical condition characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, tender joints and chronic fatigue. Fibromyalgia can be mild or severe, sporadic or chronic and has no known cure. Medications are available to reduce the pain of Fibromyalgia, but do not eliminate the pain completely. In addition, these medications often have side effects. One particular side effect being the havoc they wreak on the intestinal tract, causing an overgrowth of Candida which may lead to “leaky gut syndrome.”

Lifestyle changes are key when living with Fibromyalgia in order to identify triggers and control the symptoms. Even those living with the most chronic and debilitating type of Fibromyalgia can alleviate the two most severe symptoms – chronic pain and fatigue – by adopting lifestyle changes with or without the use of medication. Along with adequate sleep, exercise, and stress management, nutritional changes make a huge impact on pain management and quality of life.

Nutrition is an important component to any healthy, balanced lifestyle. For those who live with Fibromyalgia, a healthy diet is even more important. Nutrition is more than just eating your fruits and veggies. Nutrition also refers to the avoidance of highly-processed foods. Scientific research is limited on the relationship between nutrition/diet and Fibromyalgia; many cases show that people experience a decrease in symptoms when highly processed food, caffeine, alcohol, red meat, refined sugar and fried food are removed from their diet.

Several foods should be avoided when trying to reduce Fibromyalgia symptoms, as recommended by experts Mary Moeller and Joe Elrod. These food categories include:

  • High fat dairy food
  • Refined (white) sugars
  • White flour
  • Fried foods
  • Preservatives and additives
  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Junk food High salt foods
  • Red meat Meats preserved by being smoked cured or nitrate cured, such as lunch meats
  • Coffee and caffeine
  • Sodas and carbonated beverages
  • Aspartame and all other artificial sweeteners
  • MSG (monosodium glutamate)

In addition, it is recommended that alcohol and tobacco products (including second-hand smoke) be completely avoided. Simple carbohydrates are linked to the “bad bacteria” found in the large intestines. Therefore, simple carbohydrates should be either eliminated or kept at a minimum.

What can you eat? If you are trying to control your Fibromyalgia, limited studies and anecdotal data suggest that eating foods rich in the following vitamins and minerals relieve Fibromyalgia pain: Vitamins A, C, D, E, magnesium, selenium, zinc and Omega 3 fatty acid. Also include high fiber food and foods rich in antioxidants in your diet. Use a quality nutritional supplement and also be sure to drink plenty of water – approximately 8 ounces a day.

Working with a nutritionist to meet your individual needs is strongly recommended since every case of Fibromyalgia is as individualized as we are.

Fibromyalgia has no known cause or cure, but avoidance of highly-processed food and adopting a nutritionally-sound diet has resulted in less pain, an increased energy level and greater overall quality of life for those living with this condition.

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  • The Fibromyalgia Nutrition Guide by Mary Moeller and Joe Elrod
  • National Fibromyalgia Research Association nfra.net

Photo Credit: flickr.com/photos/free-stock/6827885818/

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