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Food and Fibromyalgia

Updated on March 19, 2012
Moderation in all things
Moderation in all things


This is a question that has plagued many a doctor and scientist, as well as patients who have had fibromyalgia (fibro) for years. There are mixed conclusions, so I am going to give you my take, as a fibromite, on whether or not food affects this disease.

It most definitely does! Of course, since this is a disease of many mysteries and many symptoms and we all differ in those some what…it all depends. It depends on your physical and chemical makeup. So with each of us it is different to an extent.

Yet, there is one common denominator, sugar. Those foods that have sugar or create sugar (carbs) play a definite role in the activity of your strength and sometimes your pain level.

Magicians or folks who want to sell you something concerning balance will have you hold your hands out, test your strength and then put sugar on your tongue and test it again. You will be much weaker.

It is no trick, unless it is a trick of Mother Nature. You can take a strong muscular man/woman and a small weak one and will find the absolutely same reaction from sugar on the tongue. Sugar is no discerner of persons.

Am I for banning all sugar? Absolutely not.

Balance is the key, as well as moderation. If you know that sugar is a big problem for you, wisdom would dictate avoiding it as much as possible.

However, if you cannot resist, say, chocolate cake…imbibe in a small amount. Remember you ate it and rest accordingly. Pick your battles; it’s much more fun that way.

I have denied fervently that sugar, chocolate, bananas cause me to become weak or cause migraines. I was addicted. Never mind my denial, when I indulge in these things, I wind up hurting. I can no longer deny the affect these things have on my body.

I realize the huge impact that eliminating or even cutting sugar down in your diet will cause. It is a challenge that should be in the Olympics, in my humble opinion. You must train for it and then constantly exercise those brain vibes to be consistent.

It is really difficult; especially when no one else understands the impact of sugar and other foods have on your body? Difficult, but not impossible.

You are not alone. New diabetics are going through the same thing as you. Only for them, it is life threatening to continue on with the sugar.

For you, as a fibromite, it is life altering and once you have altered your way of thinking about how you eat, you will only improve.

It is very important to keep a balanced diet; vitamins are good, and often necessary, but so is eating real food. I learned this the hard way, naturally!

Just because we hear good advice does not mean we know it is true. Especially when whatever is hurting us is our emotional crutch.

Food has more benefit than just taste and satisfaction. It is truly the honest fuel for human bodies.

Knowing what is good for your particular body is important and a mystery until you become a detective and find out.

Do not, I repeat, do not approach this challenge as I did.

When I discovered the bit about sugar, I simply quit eating. Everything had sugar in it and I wanted to feel good again.

This approach had the opposite effect. I did not feel good at all. I felt worse. My head swam; I was constantly tired and too weak to lift even a gallon of milk or a two liter of soda.

So I started with simple foods, like oatmeal, with artificial sweetener (S&L). I added tart dried cherries and sometimes raisins, although I must only eat a few raisins at a time.

I started with two bowls of oatmeal a day. I now eat twice a day and have a decent snack somewhere in between. I never eat after 6:00 pm.

Many foods, like raisins, are full of natural sugar. So beware how your body handles this, and eat accordingly. (Personally bananas and raisins affect me.)

I drink at least 7 glasses of liquid a day (sugar free, of course). Cleaning out the system is essential to good health.

Also, I began taking very short walks until I was doing it with ease. Then I lengthened my walks. With time I will be able to go back to the YMCA and join the water aerobics class. I look forward to that.

A bonus: I have lost over 46 pounds and am still losing, without trying. I am simply improving my health.

Most of what I have said is applicable to any disease or wellness program. However, it is vital, as a fibromite that you take it seriously.

Keep a positive outlook and remember that it takes more muscles to create a frown than it does a smile. Stay young longer. And, yes, you will feel so much younger once you start feeling better.

I wish you healthy days!!


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    • Pixienot profile image

      Pixienot 6 years ago from Clarksville, Indiana

      Dear Shelly,

      I know little about gluten, but now will study and discover. I am a huge milk drinker, and as I am low in calcium, the doctors seem to think this is good. I will also research this.

      It is important to realize, however, that with Fibromyalgia our joints are not really inflamed. They just hurt like they are. A conundrum I know!

      Thank you so much for the advice. I truly appreciate it.

      Dear RTalloni,

      I do find that stevia works great for me. I do not know about agave. I do not consciously use sugar, so stevia is my main sweetener.

      For those who do not know, Stevia is a natural sweetener. Safe for everyone.

      What a good question!

      Thank you both for your insightful comments. Much appreciated.

    • Shelly McRae profile image

      Shelly McRae 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Have you considered cutting gluten and casein from your diet as well? I'm not sure why, but it seems to reduce inflammation, resulting in less muscle and joint pain. From what I hear from those whom I know that suffer from fibromyalgia, eliminating gluten, reducing or eliminating dairy and of course, eliminating sugar seems to make a difference. Thanks for sharing your experience here.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

      So glad you shared your personal experience with food and fibromyalgia here, This should be a benefit to everyone! Do you find that natural sweeteners like agave or stevia (sweet leaf) work better in your body than white sugar?

    • Naomi Jayne profile image

      Naomi Jayne 6 years ago from Australia

      No worries Pixienot, Thats what we are all here for to help and share, all for the greater love Xo

    • Pixienot profile image

      Pixienot 6 years ago from Clarksville, Indiana

      Naomi Jayne,

      Thank you so much for your encouragement and for stopping by. I really appreciate it.

    • Pixienot profile image

      Pixienot 6 years ago from Clarksville, Indiana

      Dear MBWatz, Deborah, and Naomi,

      It is nice to know when you are sabotaging yourself. Food is a great actor. Looks good, tastes good and pow! Gets you every time. (I, of course do not mean all food, only that which adversely affects one's body.

      Caregivers are so important that is is refreshing to find one that understands. And yes, being positive is a great dose of healthy medicine.

      I shall keep going and hope you all will continue to share in my journey.

      Thank you for sharing your comments. It helps so much to see that others are dealing with the same problems.

      I appreciate you stopping by. I wish you well.

    • Naomi Jayne profile image

      Naomi Jayne 6 years ago from Australia

      Fantastic Hub!

      I have treated clients with Fibro before and it is hard at times...i really admire your positive attitude it's the only way to success in health issues.

      Keep going dont stop i say!!

      Naomi Jayne XO

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 6 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      wow great hub. I have fibro too.. and it hurts. I have found if I drink caffeine and prepackage foods plus sugar I hurt so bad. I stay off these foods and try to eat all fresh foods and walking is so important. I love your hub. voted up and useful and awesome and interesting

      Blessing to you


    • mbwalz profile image

      MaryBeth Walz 6 years ago from Maine

      I agree!! I have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrom which has no cure (and often gets misdiagnosed as Fibro), but when I lower my sugar intake a feel better and have less pain.

      The foods we eat always make a difference in our health, no matter what we might have. It's too bad that the media and "studies" have made eating healthy so incredibly complicated and joyless.

      Great hub!