- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
10 Foods to Avoid When Suffering With Fibromyalgia
There are many different chronic medical conditions that someone might suffer from and one of the most common ones is fibromyalgia. For those who don't know, this is a chronic condition that can impact the joints and muscles. Patients may feel stiff or sore with varying degrees of movement. It could even impact their ability to play their favorite sports, walk down the street, or climb a flight of stairs. A patient's diet has the ability to impact the seriousness of fibromyalgia and there are a handful of different foods that people should try to avoid if they suffer from fibromyalgia.
Avoid Artificial Sweeteners like Aspartame
Aspartame is an artificial sweetener that is found in a host of beverages, including almost every diet soda. While this does reduce the amount of sugar and calories in a beverage, there has been research showing that this sweetener can make the symptoms of fibromyalgia worse. Therefore, patients should try to go with a different sweetener or beverage altogether. Exercise is still important to help keep the weight under control.
Lay Off the Caffeine
Caffeine is ubiquitous in numerous foods and beverages. Many people rely on this substance to help them stay awake during the busy workday. Some people have multiple coffees, teas, or sodas throughout the day. On the other hand, caffeine can also keep people awake when they are trying to fall asleep. For those with fibromyalgia, getting a restful sleep is important for keeping those symptoms under control. Try to avoid caffeine if possible and find other ways to wake up, such as getting a full night's sleep or exercising regularly.
Watch Your Sugar
There are many reasons why someone should stay away from sugar, including the risk of cavities and the risk of developing diabetes; however, consuming too much sugar is also bad for people with fibromyalgia. In addition to making it hard for them to fall asleep, it can also lead to a significant amount of weight gain. Obesity can make the pain of fibromyalgia worse because the already stressed joints need to support the extra pounds.
Monitor your MSG
Called monosodium glutamate, this salt substance has taken a significant amount of heat in recent years for its ability to raise the blood pressure of individuals and because it causes headaches in some individuals following its ingestion. It is also bad for patients with fibromyalgia because the extra salt can cause swelling in the tissues. This swelling can increase the stress on the joints and the muscles, making the symptoms of fibromyalgia worse.
Dairy Can Make Symptoms Worse
While dairy may not be bad for every patient with fibromyalgia, there are plenty of patients with fibromyalgia who also suffer from lactose intolerance. Those with lactose intolerance can develop a significant amount of bloating following the ingestion of milk-based products and this swelling can worsen the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Those who are having severe pain following dairy ingestion should think about taking this substance out of their diet for a few days to see what happens. It may make the symptoms improve.
Gluten Free May Be The Way To Go
There are many people who have both Celiac disease and fibromyalgia because the underlying basis of both diseases could be an auto-immune condition. Therefore, if someone has Celiac disease, they need to stay away from foods with gluten in them. For example, bread and pasta often have a significant amount of gluten that could make the symptoms of both diseases worse. These symptoms could include bloating and diarrhea that might make the patient particularly uncomfortable.
Limit Your Salt Intake
Salt is something that patients with fibromyalgia should limit in their diet. While it is impossible to eliminate completely, salt can increase the body's water retention, leading to a significant amount of swelling. If this happens, the joints and muscles become fatigued, making the symptoms of fibromyalgia significantly worse. Make sure to limit the amount of salt in the diet whenever possible.
Processed Foods Should Be Used With Caution
There are many different processed foods with artificial ingredients in them that could increase the amount of inflammation in the body. In someone with fibromyalgia, this response could be particularly severe. Because of the basis of the disease, an inflammatory reaction to food can also spread to the joints, making the symptoms of fibromyalgia worse. Try to find foods that are filled with natural ingredients that the body likes. This will help to keep the inflammatory response at bay and, in turn, the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Alcohol Is Off Limits Due to Medications
There are many different patients with fibromyalgia who have actually report alcohol making their symptoms slightly more bearable; however, this is on the list because patients with fibromyalgia can be placed on a wide variety of different medications. Depending on the type of medication, alcohol and prescription medications should not be mixed. If they are, patients can wind up with significantly worse symptoms, uncontrollable vomiting, or, even, a trip to the hospital. Therefore, anyone taking medications for their symptoms should try and stay away from alcohol.
Fried Foods: Yummy But Causes Inflammation
Specifically, any processed or unnatural oils should be avoided. These are commonly used to fry foods and can cause the body to have an inflammatory response to its ingredients when ingested. Therefore, try and stick to natural oils when trying to fry foods. Even better, try to avoid fried foods altogether. This will even help to keep the weight down, which will ease the pressure and stress on the joints. Try cutting out fried foods to ease the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
These are a few of the different foods that patients should avoid if they are suffering from fibromyalgia. People should remember that even if their disease has the same name, it could vary markedly in severity from one patient to the next. Therefore, patients should also avoid foods if they notice a correlation between a certain dish that they eat and an increase in the severity of their symptoms. Every patient's disease deserves to be taken seriously and also deserves the utmost care, concern, and compassion from everyone on the treatment team.
*Disclaimer: This article provides general information about medicine, health, and related subjects. The words and other content provided in this article, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately-licensed physician or other health care worker.