There is no known cure for fibromyalgia, however, certain types of foods are said to help reduce the severity of symptoms caused by the condition. Find out more in this blog.
Fibromyalgia is a long-term condition that causes widespread pain all over the body, as well as a host of other life-changing symptoms, such as extreme fatigue and irritable bowel syndrome. No specific diet is known to cure fibromyalgia, however, past studies have suggested that there are certain foods and additives that may exacerbate the condition. These foods are thought to alter brain chemistry and increase the amount of pain perceived by the body. Contrastingly, there are also foods and additives that are said to help reduce the pain caused by the condition, as they help to reduce inflammation and contain enough nutrients to battle cell damaging free radicals in the body.
There is a noticeable link between diet and fibromyalgia. Many sufferers of the chronic condition find that the food they eat can have an impact on the symptoms they experience. Certain food products that may normally trigger a mild reaction can often have a more adverse effect for fibromyalgia sufferers. These include:
- Refined sugar
- Fried foods
- Red meat
- Highly processed foods
Research has also shown that cutting out certain additives, such as monosodium glutamate (MSG) and aspartame can help to reduce fibromyalgia symptoms.
This being said, however, there is no definitive dietary programme that has been shown to consistently improve the symptoms of fibromyalgia. This is not surprising when you consider that every fibromyalgia sufferer experiences their own unique set of symptoms. However, there does tend to be a pattern between certain foods and symptoms. For example:
- Wheat-based foods can account for bowel sensitivity
- Cheese can often cause headaches, as it contains the known trigger, L-tyramine
- Chinese food commonly contains MSG, a known excitotoxin to the nervous system, which causes insomnia
- Excitotoxins, which also include aspartame, are also known to increase pain perception
As well as foods to avoid, there are a few golden dietary rules to follow to help manage symptoms of fibromyalgia. These include:
- Eat plenty of oily fish, such as sardines and mackerel, as these contain anti-inflammatory properties
- Linseeds – also known as flax seeds – are a valuable source of Omega 3 fatty acids, which can help ease irritable bowel syndrome
- Eat as many ‘colourful’ foods as possible (carrots, beetroot, red grapes, green peppers etc.) to combat the oxidative stress of this inflammatory condition
- Avoid tea, coffee and nicotine as they are all anti-nutrients and stimulants
- Watch out for common allergens, such as dairy, wheat, citrus and eggs
- Cut down or eliminate sugar and salt entirely, as they are also anti-nutrients – salt can cause calcium retention and lead to tight muscles, whereas sugar lowers immunity and causes fatigue and bloating
- Drink plenty of water; dehydration causes headaches, mental fog, backache and fatigue
- Make every effort to eat slowly, get some sunshine and improve your sleep quality – these three simple measures will help you to slow down, improve mood, reduce stress, aid cell repair and boost energy levels
At Brian Barr Solicitors, we have vast experience in handling fibromyalgia compensation claims for a wide range of sufferers who have developed the condition as a result of an accident or injury that was not their fault. However, it is important to remember that we are not medical experts, therefore, would always advise that you meet with your doctor or local GP to discuss your symptoms before making any drastic changes to your diet. If you believe you could be entitled to compensation and want to talk to one of our solicitors to start your claim, call us for free on 0161 737 9248 or click here to fill in our online contact form.