Fibromyalgia is a chronic disease that affects about hundreds of millions of people worldwide. People with fibromyalgia may experience severe pain, stiffness and tenderness of joints and muscles all over the body. This disease can also cause headache, fatigue, dizziness and depression in some people. Now, diet plays a vital role in the treatment of Fibromyalgia and so patients must take extra care on their diet. It’s very important for them to eat more raw fruits and fresh vegetables since they contain several essential enzymes that aids in digestion. Plus, they are a good source of antioxidants & phytochemicals, which help strengthen the immune system. At the same time, it is equally important to avoid certain foods when you suffer from fibromyalgia as these foods can worsen your symptoms considerably. Given below is a list of “bad” foods for fibromyalgia patients. Take a look here.
It has been found that meats such as chicken, pork and beef can trigger fibromyalgia symptoms including fatigue and muscle pain, in some people. That’s because these foods usually contain a high proportion of saturated fat, which inflames the muscle tissue. Moreover, these saturated fats will put a lot of stress on your digestive and circulatory systems, which in turn might aggravate pain and other symptoms. Hence, it is highly recommended for people suffering from fibromyalgia to have vegetarian diet. Instead of meat, you can use foods like beans, nuts, tofu and vegetables as a source of protein. Having said that, if you cant avoid high-fat meat or poultry products completely then at least make sure to have them in moderate amount and also cut off all visible fat and skin so as to reduce fat intake.
Milk and Dairy Products:
A majority of fibromyalgia patients are also lactose intolerant. People having lactose intolerance are unable to digest lactose, which is a type of natural sugar found in milk and other dairy products. So, if you have fibromyalgia, then it’s always better to avoid milk and dairy products like yogurt, soft & hard cheese, cream, butter, etc. at all cost. No doubt, all dairy products contain some essential nutrients like calcium, protein and vitamin D. Therefore, if you are avoiding milk products then go for some healthy alternatives like almond milk, rice or soy milk to get all those nutrients. Plus, try including lean protein sources like fish, legumes, egg whites and lean poultry in your diet, for additional protein.
Caffeine-Containing Foods and Beverages
If you have fibromyalgia, then avoid all kinds of foods and beverages that contain caffeine. Because having too much of tea, coffee, chocolate and soft drinks can cause sleeping problems, and this in turn will prevent your body from repairing muscles and connective tissue cells. Eventually, it would increase pain and stiffness related to fibromyalgia. Moreover, the consumption of foods and beverages containing caffeine can even increase fatigue and cause severe headache in fibro patients. Now, if you think you can't survive without caffeine, try to consume them only during the first half of the day so as to minimize sleep problems.
People suffering from fibromyalgia should avoid all those foods that contain a chemical compound called Solanine. This particular compound can inhibit the activity of essential enzymes in your muscles that help prevent muscle inflammation and pain. Vegetables like tomatoes, white potatoes, jalapenos, green bell peppers, eggplants, habaneros and tomatillos all contain this dangerous chemical - solanine, and hence they should be avoided at all costs.
Refined Sugars and Flours
According to the University Of Maryland Medical Center, fibromyalgia sufferers must stay away from products that made from refined sugars and flours. These include cakes, pastas, white breads, candy bars, pastries, doughnuts and almost all packaged convenience meals and fast foods. All these foods are actually simple carbohydrates and your body can quickly convert them into glucose. Some medical researchers believe that an overload of glucose may restrict blood circulation, and thus increase muscle pain & stiffness associated with the disease. Plus, rapid elevations in blood glucose levels are followed by energy crashes, which will worsen the effects of fatigue. So, try including whole-grain breads and pastas instead of refined flours in your daily diet.
Artificial Sweeteners - Aspartame
Aspartame is an intense artificial sweetener, which is used worldwide to sweeten certain beverages, frozen desserts, yogurts and other such foods without adding calories. However, many health experts believe that this artificial sweetener can increase muscle pain in fibromyalgia patients by activating NMDA (the pain receptors) in the brain. Experts have found that fibromyalgia sufferers are much more susceptible to these receptors and so when they eat products containing aspartame, it causes increased pain and stiffness in their joints. Hence, it’s better to use natural sugar instead of aspartame. And if you need to use artificial sweeteners, try using sucralose. Unlike aspartame, this one is derived from sugar and also it’s calorie-free.
It has been found that avoiding the edible nightshade plants may indeed help reduce your symptoms of fibromyalgia disease. These vegetables include potatoes, chili, eggplant and bell peppers. They don’t affect everyone badly, but avoiding them will reduce the likelihood of discomfort to a great extent. These veggies contain a special, dangerous substance called alkaloids, which are thought to impair the nervous system function and reduce the joint mobility. Therefore, it is highly recommended for fibromyalgia patients to stop eating edible nightshade plants.