Fibromyalgia is one of those physical difficulties that still baffles the professional community. Medical science does not have a lot of answers yet, and current drug interventions are only effective about 30% of the time. For this reason, many people are taking their care into their own hands and are venturing out into various alternative treatments. It is important to get a medical diagnosis to be sure FM is truly the cause of your issues, because some other conditions can exhibit the same symptoms. But if you are looking for solutions, these are some places to start.
Dietary changes can make a big difference in Fibromyalgia
Some studies have been done showing that patients who ate a raw, vegan diet saw a substantial reduction in their FM symptoms. For those who don’t want to be that restrictive, it is still important to eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein such as chicken and fish. Eating a breakfast that is high in protein and whole grains may help to jump start the day as well.
According to Ann Vincent of Mayo Clinic’s Fibromyalgia Clinic1 “We know anecdotally that certain dietary choices—like eating small meals frequently throughout the day—can help energy levels.” Staying hydrated is also important. Keep the water intake up.
What you don’t eat is just as important as what you do eat. Foods to avoid include any processed foods and those fried or high in saturated fats. Limiting salt and sugar intake has also been found to be helpful in avoiding flare-ups. You may find it helpful to keep a food diary so when your symptoms worsen, you can look for trends in your eating habits.
Sometimes just preparing the food is taxing if you have FM. Finding foods that are easy to prepare can be a big help. Choosing vegetables that are pre-washed and cut up will save a lot of prep time. The deli section of your health food store can provide you with several options such as quinoa or beet salad to give you variety without the extra work.
Other Alternative Health Options
Many people with FM have seen good results with other alternative health measures. Christine Gerbstadt, MD, RD, MPH2, suggests “trying things like yoga, massage, and deep breathing exercises…Each individual with FM has different symptoms and will need different solutions to get the best possible quality of life.”
Supplementing with good quality vitamins and Omega 3’s has shown to have an impact on inflammation as well. Whole food supplements such as those made by Standard Process are an excellent choice. If you would like to try this option to improve your health and well-being, we offer Nutrition Response Testing as a way to find exactly what your body needs. Give us a call at 864-963-9304 for a free consultation to see if this is right for you.
1Ann Vincent, MD, assistant professor of medicine; medical director, Mayo Clinic’s Fibromyalgia Clinic, Rochester, Minn.
2Christine Gerbstadt, MD, RD, MPH, spokeswoman, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; registered dietician; practicing physician, Sarasota, Fla.