Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. My blog and the Fibromyalgia Fridays segment is simply a documentation of my life. My views expressed here are my personal opinion and should not be taken as medical advice. The topics I discuss in this blog are methods that have been helpful for my own struggle with fibromyalgia. Please speak with a medical professional before making any changes to your daily routine.
As I mentioned in my previous post, my doctor diagnosed me with fibromyalgia in 2007 and told me that treatment included a healthy diet, exercise, more sleep, stress management, and pain management. For this segment, I wanted to discuss the healthy diet part.
Healthy Eating & Fibromyalgia:
As any teenager does, I had my fair-share of less than healthy meals. I even did some dieting, which can not be considered healthy or clean eating in the slightest. All of which took a toll on my body.Unfortunately, it wasn’t until years later that I realized that diet is directly correlated to one’s physical well-being, therefore, my fibromyalgia.
Currently, no scientific evidence exists that shows fibromyalgia suffers should avoid or add certain foods to their diet. However, a healthy diet can improve muscle pain and fatigue. A well-balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and protein can be a beneficial to managing a chronic syndrome, such as fibromyalgia.
Here are some tidbits from Prevention.com and some of my own opinions:
Load up on vitamin D-“Vitamin D deficiency can mimic symptoms of fibromyalgia. All patients should be screened for deficiency.” Lack of vitamin D can cause bone or muscle pain. Prevention.com recommends taking a supplement, especially during the wintertime.
Get more omega-3 Omega-3 fatty acids– found in salmon, walnuts, and flaxseed– are known to reduce inflammation and help prevent cardiovascular disease. In addition, omega-3 has a soreness-reducing trait that may help with pain.
Avoid Additives– MSG and Aspartame– These common additives can act as excitotoxin molecules, a chemical group that has the ability to activate neurons that increase sensitivity to pain. Listen to your body– Do you notice that your symptoms worsen after Chinese takeout or too many diet drinks?
Veggies, and more veggies- Some researchers speculate that oxidative stress may be the cause of fibromyalgia symptoms. Oxidate stress occurs when the body doesn’t produce enough antioxidants to battle cell-damaging free radicals in the body. Most fruits and vegetables are packed with important antioxidants, like vitamins A, C, and E, which fight free radicals to keep your body normalized.
No Caffeine- Sleeplessness is often associated with fibromyalgia, and fueling up on coffee may seem like the right fix. However, Prevention warns that this may be a mistake– your “solution” of taking caffeine to stay away may actually be causing you to not sleep at night.
Ashley’s Life Lessons:
Listen to your body. Keeping a food journal will be a vital tool in your journey of healthy eating and fibromyalgia management. Take notes on what you eat and your symptoms. If you start to see a pattern, you can figure out what foods to avoid.
Consistency is key. This lesson goes along with the first one. I find that I feel my best when I am pretty much eating the same foods everyday. No, that doesn’t mean I do not like to mix it up from time to time. I love food, but I have to remind myself that food is fuel– providing nutrients for the body. I would rather not be in pain and eating basically the same things than trying to keep my diet exciting.
Please consult with a physician before you make any dietary changes or have any other questions.