Fibromyalgia is a common condition characterized by long-term, body-wide pain and tender points in joints, muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues. Fibromyalgia has also been linked to fatigue, morning stiffness, sleep problems, headaches, numbness in hands and feet, depression, and anxiety.

Monday, February 1, 2010

I have been researching what a diet might look like for someone suffering from fibromyalgia if they were to eat all the right foods. Unfortunately there are more lists of what not to eat than what you should be eating and I list many of them here. I am sure this will not be at all surprising to you as just about anyone who has ever looked into healthier eating can tell you this.

I will say there is a surprising amount of information regarding high acidity in the body and the roll it plays in how you feel. People with fibromyalgia generally have too much acid and not enough alkaline in their system so I will post a list of the foods for each at a later time. You will be surprised to find what's on the lists.

One thing you can do for yourself is to get some of those ph tester strips to find out whether you have too much acid in your system. This might be what is contributing to your symptoms.

Foods and Substance to Eliminate :

Alcohol and Tobacco

The Chinese believe these substances are very hot and drying. The significance of this is that most fibromyalgia patients have too much heat (yang) and not enough fluids (yin). These two substances are considered very drying to the body which can make you stiff and sore. Moisture is needed in the body especially in the muscle tissues and joints to work properly.

Some other foods that are considered taboo, not only for fibromyalgia suffers, are chocolate, carbonated beverages, and coffee.
There will always be contradictions to this so I would say to either eliminate them or try to cut down on your consumption.

I won't even pretend that I am not going to eat chocolate again, but I do not keep it readily available in my home. I will by one candy bar or something like that, eat it, and be done with it.

When you make a batch of cookies or brownies or buy a bag of chocolate kisses you will be pulled toward them if you don't have a lot of willpower. People who are already fatigued and worn out have a harder time with willpower than someone who is fit and healthy.

Generally fibromyalgia sufferers already have a depleted digestive and immune system so anything you can change for the better is a good idea.

Foods to avoid when possible:

High fat dairy foods
White sugar and white flour
Fried foods
Preservatives, junk food, and salt
Red meat (especially salt cured, cured bacon, smoked)
Coffee and caffeinated teas
Colas, soda pop, and carbonated beverages
Liquid with your meals
Nutrasweet and saccharine

If you subject your body to highly refined, over-processed foods, sugar, caffeine, pork, junk food, highly processed starches, additives and preservatives, and highly acid foods, it is possible that your body will suffer because of an already compromised immune system that may be found in many Fibromyalgia sufferers.

When you live a high stressed life and/or are battling symptoms of chronic illness you can deplete your adrenal glands. Here are some signs to look for:

Reliance on stimulants like caffeine
Cravings for carbohydrates or sugars
Cravings for salt
Poor immune function/lots of colds, flu, sickness
Intolerance to cold
serious weight gain around stomach area

I will be posting more on the acidic and alkaline foods as well as some good substitutes for the foods we crave.

Each person is different so it is up to you to determine if some of the above mentioned foods are creating havoc on your system. I would suggest writing down what you eat for one week (that means even the stick of gum you chew). Keep track of how you feel each day and cross reference it with your food list and maybe you can find out which foods trigger your symptoms.
Fibromyalgia does not have a cure but we can help to control it with good wholesome food, exercise, a positive attitude, medications (if needed), and lots of support.


Michele Emrath said...

I am so excited to read this post, but I'm in a hurry at the moment. Just wanted to tell you there is an award for you at my blog!


Christine Burgess said...

Thanks so much, Michele!!

lisianblue said...

chris - I really like that you have started this - I just had a thought - what do you think about us starting a forum? There may be other forums around, I'm not sure, to tell you the truth I've pretty much quit googling anything to do with fibro because I get irritated with all the "cures" that are pitched out there!
While, I'm not always so good about it, I do agree that elminating as many processed foods is helpful, I still have my "demons"! I try to stay with fresh fruits & veggies and very little red meat, mostly chicken. I've pretty much gotten rid of most cleaning products and stick to mostly vinegar and occasional use of stronger stuff. I did myself in the other night with soldering - the fumes are really toxic - I use an air cleaner next to me - but didn't keep the item close enough to it at times - wow did I hurt the next day.
os wow I just googled fibromyalgia forum - there are a zillion of them - some seem to be spin offs of professional sites and others are more individuals -

Christine Burgess said...

lisianblue-You are so right. The information on the net is astounding. I pretty much research what I already know has either worked for me or others. I believe that processed foods are just not the thing to eat for anyone, especially those of us with immediate consequences from it.
I am highly sensitve to smells also. I can't even go into a candle/porpouri store without feeling ill. Sometimes I feel like that Felix Unger character on the "Odd Couple" with all my allergies, sensitivites, ailments,
Even if something might work for one doesn't necessarily mean it will work for another.
I do believe we should do all we can to keep the balance of the right foods and exercise. That can be a tall order when you don't feel well or you are just too tired to cook much.
I didn't have this problem while I was raising my children so I can't even imagine how it would be to do that.
I am getting ready to list the alkaline and acidic foods for those who might be interested. I did my ph test and still on the upper acidic side.