Are there foods I should avoid if I suffer from painful fibromyalgia?

If you are suffering from painful symptoms of fibromyalgia, you may be willing to try anything to ease the pain. Could what you eat be making your symptoms worse?

While no comprehensive studies have been done on the effects of diet on fibromyalgia symptoms like fatigue and muscle pain, Dr. Ginevera Liptan, the medical director of the Frida Center for Fibromyalgia, says that there is a lot of anecdotal evidence that certain foods may help ease symptoms.

People with fibromyalgia have more food sensitivities than those without. A survey published in the journal Clinical Rheumatology reported that an estimated 42 percent of fibromyalgia patients found that their symptoms worsened after eating certain foods. According to Dr. Liptan these are often common allergens such as:

  • MSG
  • Certain preservatives
  • Gluten
  • Eggs
  • Dairy

Do You Suspect You Have A Food Sensitivity?

The best place to start is keeping a food journal. This journal should contain every food you eat and everything you drink. Along with this list you’ll need to jot down how you feel throughout the day. Pay special attention to symptoms like fatigue, indigestion, or headaches.

Keep this journal for at least two weeks. When you look back (feel free to look over your journal with your doctor to get her opinion) you may start to see trends such as that eating a lot of bread seemed to worsen your muscle and joint pain.

Next, Eliminate One of the Suspects From Your Diet

It’s important that you just eliminate one food from your diet at a time. The challenge can be that for you to notice a difference in your health, you’ll need to eliminate the food for between six and eight weeks. But don’t let the length of the elimination scare you; the results are often worth the inconvenience of going without.

“When you discover you’re sensitive to a food and then eliminate it from your diet, it can make a huge difference,” stated Dr. Liptan. “Some people get a lot of benefit in terms of reduction of pain, but more often we see a reduction in fatigue and an improvement in irritable bowel symptoms like bloating and constipation.”

Have You Tried an Elimination Diet for Your Fibromyalgia?

If you’ve tried a diet to help manage your symptoms—with either success or failure—please comment below. We want to know what your experiences have been like and to have you share what you’ve found with others with fibromyalgia. You may have the key to helping someone reduce his pain and boost his energy levels.

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John L. Keefe
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