Diet and Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia: What to Eat After Your Diagnosis
If you're suffering from fibromyalgia, you know how difficult it can be to gauge whether a certain food, beverage or cosmetic will affect you negatively. And if you've recently been diagnosed with the condition, you may still be wondering "what is fibromyalgia?" While doctors still aren't sure what causes fibromyalgia, there are a few things you can do to minimize the symptoms. Food sensitivities are often a part of fibromyalgia, so it may be helpful to steer clear of these foods (even some that may be deemed healthy by the general public) so you can feel your best throughout the day.
Get Acceptable Forms of Vitamin D
A vitamin D deficiency can present some of the same symptoms associated with your fibromyalgia. However, a number of people with fibromyalgia also exhibit food sensitivities to dairy, due to the casein (protein) in milk, which can cause inflammation in the muscles. Other foods that are high in vitamin D include cod liver oil (which should be taken as a supplement) and a mushroom omelet a few times a week for breakfast, as both eggs and mushrooms are high in vitamin D.
Kathleen Holton, PhD, MPH and lead author of Potential Dietary Links in Central Sensitization in Fibromyalgia, suggests taking a vitamin D supplement, especially during the fall and winter months when the sun isn't shining as often, as the most natural form of vitamin D comes from sunshine.
Foods that are low in salicylates can also help to alleviate the pain and fatigue that you may experience due to fibromyalgia. You may experience fibromyalgia symptoms like swelling in various areas of the body and headaches, along with stomach pain, changes in your complexion color, and skin rashes. You may find that if you eliminate foods like peppermint, grapefruit, raspberries, broccoli and cauliflower from your diet, you may experience relief from some symptoms. While these whole fruits and vegetables are healthy for most people, you may find that your fibromyalgia is getting increasingly worse as you consume more and more of these foods.
Low-salicylate foods like lentils, cabbage, rice and most breads and cereal are generally safe for you to consume. However, it's best to monitor the way that your body reacts to these foods to come up with a customized treatment plan for yourself.
Foods that are laden with preservatives are not the best for anyone, but they can cause significant problems for people with fibromyalgia. Ingredients like aspartame and MSG are particular triggers that can make your body more sensitive to pain. So, it's best to shop organic as much as possible.
To further ensure that you avoid the headaches, body aches and fatigue associated with fibromyalgia, consider keeping a food journal. Write down the things you eat each day, so you can make the connection between what you're consuming and how you're feeling.