As confusing as fibromyalgia can be, finding the right diet to treat it is equally trying.
While there is no cure-all fibromyalgia diet, tweaking what you eat could help alleviate the symptoms of the syndrome characterized by chronic body-wide pain.
Research has not yet proven the effectiveness of a specific dietary plan. There have been only nine dietary intervention studies in fibromyalgia, eight of which were uncontrolled or nonrandomized. This makes it impossible to know if clinical improvement was due to a specific dietary intervention or due to chance. However, the protocol designs and execution of dietary clinical trials in fibromyalgia have been inferior, making the provision of dietary guidelines in fibromyalgia at best a questionable practice.
Despite mixed evidence, dietary modifications remain a potentially important measure to relieve fibromyalgia symptoms. Dietary changes are often safer and much less expensive than standard drug therapies and are within the patient's own control.
There is anecdotal evidence that diet changes lead to improved control of fibromyalgia symptoms. One reasonable recommendation for individuals with fibromyalgia is to lose weight. It has been shown that weight loss results in a wide range of improvements in depression, pain, and quality of life.
It might take some time to find out whether specific foods make your fibromyalgia pain better or worse. Here are some foods that are best to avoid to control fibromyalgia symptoms:
- Refined sugar
- Aspartame – artificial sweetener most commonly known as NutraSweet
- High fructose corn syrup
- Simple carbohydrates – cake, white bread, potatoes, etc.
- Saturated fats
- Red meat
- Processed foods
- Bell and chili peppers
Other fibromyalgia diet tips include eating smaller meals throughout the day, drinking plenty of water, eating more organic foods, and removing as many artificial ingredients from your food as possible.