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When first diagnosed with fibromyalgia, there are a number of treatment options to consider. One of the most important ones that we often overlook is our diets and how they influence or symptoms. Fibromyalgia is no exception but what foods to choose?

Patients with fibromyalgia experience such troublesome symptoms like pain, fatigue and sleep disturbances [1]. Standard therapies include drugs like Savella and pregabalin as mono-therapies to find fibromyalgia pain reliefThere are many supplements for fibromyalgia on the market that can alleviate these symptoms. I have already discussed a number of them more in-depth in previous articles but to recap, we can use supplements to fight pain like melatonin, SAMe for depression and NADH to boost your energy levels. Pills and preparations are one thing, but there are many non-pharmacological adjustments that you can make to help manage your fibromyalgia. Various exercise routines are essential to make you feel more active with this disease but can the answer also lie in what types of food you are eating? In this article, I will explain how to manage fibromyalgia with diet and present foods you should eat and avoid when you are diagnosed with the disease. 

Foods to Eat if You Have Fibromyalgia

In past articles, I have briefly discussed how important our diets can be when it comes to your health. I covered how it has a key role in how patients deal with their autoimmune disorders. Patients can manage thyroid dysfunction with specific diets and so they can manage fibromyalgia. When you are diagnosed with fibromyalgia, the first adjustment that you should consider is switching to a vegetarian diet. Diets high in meat are linked with numerous autoimmune conditions, and unfortunately, even modern medicine can't explain why [2].  

In one study, 30 participants agreed to follow a strictly vegetarian diet for a period of 4 months. Participants received guidance throughout the trial to ensure they were consuming a sufficient and balanced diet to meet daily health requirements. In a questionnaire at the conclusion of the study, patients reported that their levels of pain had decreased by 46 percent. They also have higher levels of energy, reduced number of pressure points that caused pain and had a higher quality of life

Vegetables are clearly foods that you should eat when you have fibromyalgia. [3]

Another food product that has a controversial past would be alcohol. It is no secret that consuming large amounts of alcohol can be bad for yourself. You introduce the risk of alcohol-dependence, liver cirrhosis and numerous types of cancer if you consume more than 14 drinks a week if you are a male and 7 drinks a week if you are female [4]. 

Mild amounts of spirits like red wine have been known to cause beneficial effects on our cardiovascular systems and help patients manage their cholesterol panel. Where could a disease like fibromyalgia fall on this spectrum? Alcohol is a depressant so if you are already fatigued, drinking something that makes you sleepier does not seem wise. On the other hand, when we drink, we block out pain perception and that could help deal with the chronic pain we feel. 

To put an end to this suspense, alcohol is something you will want to consider when you are determining how to manage fibromyalgia with diet. Studies show that consuming 1-7 drinks a week (a low to moderate level of consumption) lead to the highest differences in pain sensation, tender points and quality of life

Those who abstained from alcohol consumption reported an increased incidence of pain sensations, so this may be one of the only times in your life that you hear a medical profession encourage you to drink if you have fibromyalgia.[5]

Foods to Avoid  

When it comes to foods that you should avoid, a category that stands out above the rest would be gluten. The connection with fibromyalgia comes from the fact that diseases like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are closely associated with fibromyalgia. Conservative measurements estimate that patients with fibromyalgia have IBS in 70 percent of cases [6]. With such a high prevalence of bowel syndromes associated with fibromyalgia, any compound that can exacerbate diarrhea will add insult to injury when you are already diagnosed with fibromyalgia. 

In one study, 20 patients with fibromyalgia were started on a gluten-free diet. This is normally reserved for patients suffering from Celiac disease but as you may remember from our investigation of low thyroid levels, gluten-free diets were also beneficial in those cases [7]. The patients in this study were females who had suffered from fibromyalgia for over 10 years on average. In this investigation, it was determined that when gluten was removed from their diets, widespread pain that had once crippled these women had disappeared. In total, 15 women were able to discontinue their pain medication therapy and all had noticed improvements in their energy levels, gastrointestinal discomfort, and quality of life. Removing gluten from your diet is something that must be considered if you want to take control over fibromyalgia pain. 

These 3 dietary recommendations are just a few of the many adjustments that you can make to find fibromyalgia pain relief. By now, you should realize that we don't just benefit from supplements for fibromyalgia, we also now know how to manage fibromyalgia with diet, too. 

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