Many symptoms of fibromyalgia, such as pain, fatigue and nausea, are linked to food allergies. Here are the best foods for fibromyalgia patients, and the foods to avoid.
Fibromyalgia is a rheumatic condition often accompanied by joint and muscle pain, digestive disorders, fatigue, and depression or anxiety disorders. Many fibromyalgia patients also suffer from rheumatoid arthritis or other conditions such as TMJ disorder.
Because fibromyalgia can occur together with other illnesses, and because the exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, treatment of fibromyalgia often depends on the individual. What works for one person may not always work for another, and it’s up the patient to decide what works best for her.
Food allergies, especially delayed pattern food allergies, can affect the severity of fibromyalgia symptoms. Certain foods have been shown to influence the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia and Antioxidants
According to a study at the University of Kuopio, Finland, fibromyalgic patients who ate a strict vegan diet of uncooked fruit, raw vegetables, roots, nuts, berries, seeds and sprouts had “a decrease of their joint stiffness and pain as well as an improvement of their self-experienced health”.
The fibromyalgia patients on the vegan diet, compared to patients on an omnivorous diet, had a higher level of antioxidants, fiber and other essential nutrients in their bodies. The increase in fiber and antioxidants corresponded to a significant reduction in the severity of fibromyalgia symptoms. Rheumatoid arthritis patients on the diet also experienced a noticeable reduction in symptoms.
For fibromyalgia patients, nutritionists recommend a varied diet high in antioxidants.
Fibromyalgia and Food Allergies
Food allergies in fibromyalgia patients are varied, and fibromyalgia sufferers may have to experiment with different food groups to find out which foods affect which symptoms. For instance some people can eat tomatoes, which are an excellent source of antioxidants, while others may experience a range of symptoms from skin reactions to pain and inflammation.
Although everyone is individual, there are certain food allergies or food reactions that are widespread in fibromyalgia patients. People with fibromyalgia are advised to avoid processed foods, especially foods high in additives such as monosodium glutamate or artificial flavors and colors.
Common food allergies in fibromyalgia patients include:
- caffeine (coffee, tea, soft drinks, chocolate, some natural herbs such as guarana)
- refined sugar
- gluten (in wheat and wheat products)
- seafood, especially shellfish
- dairy products
- foods of the nightshade family – tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant
- saturated fats