Broken down into the simplest understanding, fibromyalgia is chronic widespread muscle pain, which often includes insomnia, fatigue, headaches and depression. Although joint pain may accompany fibromyalgia, chronic inflammation is not a caused by fibromyalgia but oxidative damage does occur.
Current research suggests that fibromyalgia is caused by a dysfunction in the part of the cells that produce energy and the part of the brain that controls hormones, and body temperature. (1)
An effective approach to treating the pain and chronic fatigue associated with fibromyalgia is referred to as the SHINE protocol: Sleep support, Hormonal support, Infection treatment, Nutrition support, Exercise as able. (2) Addressing all areas of health can greatly impact our overall wellbeing.
No particular fibromyalgia diet.
It is not only the brain fog commonly associated with fibromyalgia that makes finding the right nutrition support for this syndrome confusing. Depending on which way you look there are research studies boasting either the benefits or drawbacks of vegetarian diets on fibromyalgia. (3)(4) By following a restrictive diet you can develop nutritional deficiencies-that can make things worse.
In an effort to make sure your body has everything it needs to function well it is important to eat a diet with a wide array of nutrients and not to limit any food groups. To ensure you get enough iron and vitamin B-12 focus on protein sources such as fish, meat and poultry. In addition to a plentiful diet, many people find increased health benefits by supplementing with a multivitamin, vitamin D, acetyl L-carnatine, coenzyme Q10 and D-ribose. (5)
Although, there is no particular diet recommended for fibromyalgia it is important to avoid a diet high in processed foods and caffeine. Also to counteract oxidative damage include a wide array of fruits and vegetables because they are packed with antioxidants.
You may also find it helpful to keep a food diary in order to keep track of foods and symptoms so you can rule out any possible food sensitivities contributing to symptoms.
- Cordero, M. D., De, M., Carmona-López, I., Bonal, P., Campa, F., & Moreno-Fernández, A. M. (n.d.). Oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction in fibromyalgia. Retrieved June 13, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20424583
- (n.d.). Retrieved June 13, 2017, from https://secure.endfatigue.com/cfs-fibromyalgia/Effective-Treatment-Of-Severe-Chronic-Fatigue-States
- Azad, K. A., Alam, M. N., Haq, S. A., Nahar, S., Chowdhury, M. A., Ali, S. M., & Ullah, A. K. (2000, August). Vegetarian diet in the treatment of fibromyalgia. Retrieved June 13, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11508070
- Donaldson, M. S., Speight, N., & Loomis, S. (2001). Fibromyalgia syndrome improved using a mostly raw vegetarian diet: An observational study. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 1, 7. http://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6882-1-7
- Mahan, L. K., & Raymond, J. L. (2017). Krauses food & the nutrition care process. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.