Fibromyalgia is one of the most common chronic pain conditions. It is a disorder that causes musculoskeletal pain throughout the body. The pain causes tender joints in addition to fatigue and sleep, medical memory and mood abnormalities. For many, symptoms overlap and can become quite overwhelming.
According to the National Fibromyalgia Association symptoms are found to occur in women more than in men, as 75-90% of those who have the condition are women. Symptoms can be the result of a physical trauma, surgery, and infection or are due to severe psychological stress. In many cases however, malady symptoms gradually accumulate over time without a main trigger. Additional conditions include tension headaches, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), anxiety and depression. Disturbances to light, sound and touch are also prevalent.
Currently there is no cure for the disease. There are, however, many ways to live comfortably in an effort to strive for a pain free life. Exercise, and relaxation, meditation and proper sleep can play a role in reducing symptoms. Proper nutrition is also very essential, as it can be used as daily support.
The National Fibromyalgia Association suggests a diet plentiful in fruits and vegetables can be beneficial due to their phytonutrients that help reduce inflammation and ultimately pain. Consuming a raw diet rich in antioxidants, with uncooked fresh fruits and vegetables only increases the benefits as it may enhance the immune systems ability to protect the body. Berries, peppers, plums, kiwi and pineapple are all plentiful fruit sources. Dark leafy greens such as kale and spinach, cabbage, potatoes and broccoli are also nature’s best vegetables for this condition.
Lean proteins from beans and nuts can be helpful because they may reduce the symptom of chronic fatigue. Kidney, pinto and black beans are the richest in antioxidants. As for nuts, almonds, pistachios and walnuts, they are the best choices in regards to antioxidant content. Reducing carbohydrate intake from breads, cereals and grains also keeps blood sugar levels more constant. This reduces the risk of becoming tired more often.
In addition, healthy fats from avocado, olive oil and seeds are also essential. Omega 3-fatty acids can help reduce symptoms of pain specifically in the joints. Source of this natural joint lubricant are from salmon, mackerel and herring in addition to walnuts and flaxseed.
In an effort to maximize your body’s ability to be pure and work properly without pain there are some foods to stay clear of. High fat foods such as red meat, cheese, whole milk, fried foods and butter will all require more work from your body when broken down. Foods high in sugar like candy, cakes, breakfast cereals and cookies also play the same role. Better choices include: low fat dairy products like skim milk and non-fat yogurt, lean meats like turkey and chicken. Try sorbet instead of ice cream or simple popcorn instead of potato chips.
Drinks with additives and chemicals also have a negative effect on your body with this condition. Staying away from coffee, soda and alcohol would be wise. Seltzer water with lemon, frozen strawberries and mint seems much more exciting anyways! The essential 8 glasses of water will also assist your joints in proper movement and alleviate pain.
The goal is always to reduce pain in the most painless way. Maybe eliminating your coffee every morning is not the answer. Possibly a steak twice a week is non-negotiable. It is however about finding a happy medium. If you take a step back and think about the affects of what you eat and how you could use this valuable source of food as a medication for your pain… you might think again. Choose a change to make and commit to it for two weeks. See how you feel and respect your body’s wishes.
More information on Fibromyalgia
The Mayo Clinic http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/fibromyalgia/DS00079
Several articles on nutrition tips
The National Fibromyalgia Association