Nutritional Factors Helpful for Fibromyalgia Treatment
My Fibromyalgia Story
I've probably had fibromyalgia to some degree for my whole life, though most of my life I didn't know it. The problem is that when you are born with a condition like that you don't know anything different. You don't know what it is like to feel "normal".
I knew I was always going to see different doctors. I was easily injured. I liked to exercise and enjoyed sports, but I often seemed to get sore or injured from everything I tried. After I was married, I noticed over time that my husband's medical file was paper thin, while mine would always be a couple of inches thick with records from doctor's visits and insurance claims.
When I was in my late thirties, after having two children, my pain and injury problems increased dramatically. This was the first time I was technically diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I'd never heard of the condition before. I also had other problems with:
There was a time when I felt like my body was falling apart. I was in so much pain I had trouble sleeping. I could not work. I could not go to school. I never knew what condition I was going to get diagnosed with next. I always knew when Thanksgiving was coming--not by looking at the calendar--but because I would start to develop signs of pneumonia around that time every year.
It was then that I finally decided to make a full time job out of researching what was wrong with me. Logically, it seemed like there had to be a common denominator to all these health problems. In the end it turned out there was. Partly they were due to genetics, but one major reason I had these problems was my diet.
Thanks to the Internet and a local rheumatologist , I eventually found out I had Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS), a genetic disorder that explained many of my diverse symptoms. A little further research helped me to link many of the EDS symptoms not just to genetic factors, but also to various nutritional deficiencies.
I may have a genetic predisposition to have EDS and fibromyalgia, but genes were not the only cause. My diet also played a big role. Since I changed my diet, I've been much better. I am working again and I can even ride my bike, go hiking and do aerobic videos these days. I've come a long way since it hurt to just chop vegetables or turn my head around when backing my car out of my driveway.
Fibromyalgia seems to be a common condition to people with EDS and other connective tissue disorders, but many people with fibromyalgia do not have EDS. The diet tips below are focused on the things that I did that helped my fibromyalgia and general pain problems.
If you have EDS, or common symptoms related to EDS such as bleeding problems or stretch marks, you may also want to check out my page on Ehlers-Danlos Diet.
My Fibromyalgia Diet Changes
I get email from time to time from my web site readers telling me that one food or another on this list is not good to eat and I should take it off. The important thing to note is that this diet is what works best for me based on trial and error over the years. I've tested it out and, along with yoga and trigger point therapy, it is a big component of what has gotten me out of constant, chronic pain.
Ten years ago my husband and I thought we were going to have to move because I was barely able to get up and down the stairs of our two-story home. These days I am relatively pain free each day. I can work again, ride my bike, go hiking and do gentle exercise videos. I've even taken up archery and golf as hobbies. Therefore, I would not change my diet simply because a health expert has conflicting information on a different web site or in his/her book. There are relatively few natural foods in the world where there is a consensus among health experts as to which ones are the best to eat.
Also keep in mind that what works for me may not be right for everyone due to each person's unique biochemical individuality, allergic reactions and current nutritional status.
Even among my family members, we each benefit by emphasizing different types of food. So please view the diet below as general information in that it works for one person's fibromyalgia, and that the best diet for others may or may not be precisey the same.
The diet changes that helped my fibromyalgia are:
I don't know if this diet will help everyone with fibromyalgia, but it has helped me to lead a more normal, pain free life.
There are two books by Louise Ann Gittelman that I highly recommend for diet changes to help fibromyalgia. They are Super Nutrition for Women: A Food-Wise Guide for Health, Beauty, Energy, and Immunity and Your Body Knows Best. If you've found the information in my site interesting, then you'll like these books. I read a lot of health and nutrition books, but Ms. Gittelman's books are the only ones I've read where I agree with almost everything she says. She is one of the few nutrition authors around who understands that there is no one universal diet that is optimal for everybody. Your Bdy Knows Best is one of the few books I've read that that helps people to determine if a higher fat, higher protein diet might be best for their unique individual needs.
I changed my whole family's diet to eat more fat and red meat after reading the Super Nutrition for Women book. After we changed our diets, we had a lot less colds and much less fibromyalgia aches and pains.
Fibromyalgia Diet - Part II
The Role of Magnesium in Fibromyalgia - if you like the information in my web site, you'll like this page, too. Lots of good references and lots of logic on the role magnesium deficiencies play in fibromyalgia.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME, CFIDS) and Fibromyalgia - some possible helps by Charles Weber, MS. Includes information on the role of potassium.
The Truths and Myths of the use of Guaifenesin for Fibromyalgia - An interesting article by Mark London.
Related sections of interest:
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