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Can the Food You Eat Affect Your Fibromyalgia

Can the Food You Eat Affect Your Fibromyalgia

Stress, lack of sleep, or a change in the weather are all factors that may aggravate the symptoms of fibromyalgia. When you have fibromyalgia, it may take some time for you to recognize what sets off your symptoms. For some people, food and nutrition are factors that can both worsen or improve fibromyalgia symptoms.

Read on to learn about how diet may affect fibromyalgia.

Foods That Trigger Inflammation

Many foods are known to trigger an inflammatory response, which can make fibro symptoms worse.

Foods that trigger inflammation include:

  • Sugar (this includes high-fructose corn syrup, which is found in many foods and soft drinks)
  • Salt/sodium (in excess amounts)
  • Processed meat (bacon, beef jerky, etc.)
  • Refined carbohydrates (in bread, pasta, and foods that contain added flour and/or sugar)
  • Alcohol (in excess amounts)

A diet that’s free of all inflammatory foods may be impractical, but limiting the intake of these foods could help lessen the intensity and frequency of fibromyalgia flare-ups and is better for overall health.

Anti-inflammatory Foods

Foods that have anti-inflammatory properties may help alleviate the pain and fatigue of fibromyalgia and offer protection against health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis.

Generally, an anti-inflammatory diet consists of:

  • Green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, romaine, etc.)
  • Fruits (berries, oranges, etc.)
  • Nuts (unsalted, ideally)
  • Olive oil
  • Tomatoes
  • Fatty fish (tuna and mackerel, for example)

Tips for Eating Well

Foods prepared in restaurants (and especially fast food) can be loaded with preservatives and other ingredients that trigger inflammation. Convenience foods – microwave burritos, and “grab-and-go” meals, for example – are also usually high in sodium and other unhealthy ingredients.

Adopting a healthier diet doesn’t mean you need to make radical changes. Taking small, incremental steps tends to create eating habits that – after a while – are easy to maintain.

Try these tips:

  • Cook more meals at home
  • Cook in bulk, so you can freeze leftovers for convenient thaw-and-reheat meals
  • Include a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables in your meals
  • Read product packaging (avoid items that contain high fructose corn syrup and/or excess sodium)
  • Limit salt intake (no more than one teaspoon – or 2,300 mg – per day)
  • Limit soft drink consumption and sugar intake (a 12 oz. soft drink contains about 39 grams of sugar, which is far more than the average adult should consume in a day)

Get Help for Fibromyalgia

For some people, dietary changes can be quite helpful in managing their symptoms of fibromyalgia. Still, it’s important to seek professional medical care if you’re experiencing worsening pain, fatigue, confusion, or other symptoms.

Integrated Pain Solutions uses a holistic approach to fibromyalgia management. We may recommend dietary supplements or lifestyle changes, prescribe exercises, or use treatments such as PrialtⓇ, a non-narcotic infusion therapy for people with chronic pain. Please call us if you need help with fibromyalgia: 614-383-6450.