Over five million people in the United States suffer from fibromyalgia. If the numbers alone aren’t enough to show how serious of a health concern it is, the fact that fibromyalgia is hard to diagnose and treat should. Only 30% of fibromyalgia symptoms are “amenable to current pharmaceutical strategies” notes an article at Prevention.com. Any method for treating and relieving symptoms then can be a powerful tool for fighting fibromyalgia.

Honing in on diet is an easy lifestyle change that may help reduce some of the pain associated with fibromyalgia. 

Since the symptoms, severity, and triggers for fibromyalgia can be so different person to person, it is important to first identify the foods that are causing you pain. Keeping a food diary and tracking your food alongside pain symptoms day by day can begin to show you which foods may be creating problems for you. Some people who suffer from fibromyalgia find that gluten triggers pain for them, while others may be more affected by caffeine. Mobile apps, like My Pain Diary, or even paper journals are both excellent ways to track food and symptoms. Once you determine which foods are causing you pain, find ways to reduce them in your diet.

Foods that are most often implicated in fibromyalgia pain include any artificially created chemicals or food additives. These chemicals can trigger or exacerbate pain symptoms. Try to stay away from food additives, like MSG or aspartame, artificial food coloring, and artificial sweeteners. Likewise, you should avoid caffeine. Those who have fibromyalgia also often suffer from fatigue, which they then combat with caffeine. However, this can create a disrupted sleep schedule that will then lead to more pain on following days.

When eating for fibromyalgia, focus on core health advice–eat fresh, whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. 

Fresh fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants and important vitamins that help your body feel better overall. Omega-3 fatty acids that are most often found in cold water fish can reduce inflammation that causes pain. Diet plans like the Mediterranean diet or a vegetarian diet may help you structure your eating around these healthier foods, however, find what works best for you.

If you’re still not sure of the best foods to eat for your pain symptoms, get advice from your doctor. He or she can help you find fibromyalgia friendly foods that can help you reduce pain and have a better overall quality of life.

Do you suffer from fibromyalgia? Have you figured out which types of foods trigger your symptoms? 

Image by Robert S. Donovan via Flicker

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