GMOs and Fibromyalgia
Neither space nor time permit us the indulgence of detail in explaining exactly what GMO (genetically modified organism) foods are. However, we do know one thing for certain: they have had a profound effect upon the health and wellbeing of people the world over.
GMO Equals GE
In brief, GMO – or genetically modified organisms, usually refers to foods that have been genetically engineered for reasons that are not related to their value as nourishment or their value to health. Another term that is often used in connection with foods that are modified in this way is “GE foods”, which stands for “genetically engineered foods.” Whenever you see the terms “genetically altered”, “genetically modified” or “genetically improved,” the bottom line is the same – GMO.
Seventy Percent of American Stores Carry Products With GE Ingredients
The process of genetically engineering or modifying the genetic structure of foods is relatively new, appearing after 1994 in the US. Prior to that time, genetically modified foods were a relative unknown. However, today, there are more than 165 million acres of such foods planted each year. According to The Center for Food Safety, a non-profit public interest and environmental advocacy group with its head office in Washington, DC, the estimates are that between 70 to 75 percent of all grocery store products in the US contain at least one genetically modified ingredient. The bare fact is that whether you had intentionally eaten it or not, you have almost certainly already consumed many GMOs or GE foods.
The meteoric rise of GE foods within the food supply has given little time for the study of potential health risks that could be associated with them. Yet, there are some studies available that prove the danger of GMO foods to the public and provide information that is important for people with fibromyalgia and other inflammatory illnesses to know.
GMOs Cause Allergic Reactions
Genes are the blueprint for making proteins, and proteins are often the basis for an allergic food reaction. It is a scientific deduction that since GE foods, by definition, contain novel proteins not present in foods before their modification, they can easily and often are the cause of allergic reactions in people. Our immune system will, in our defense, make antibodies to help neutralize proteins that are interpreted as being potentially dangerous to our health, thus triggering allergic reactions more frequently. In fact, some scientists believe that the genetic and protein composition of genetically modified foods may present problems for various regulatory systems in the body, including the immune and inflammatory system, and could cause disruption in cell signaling or in digestive tract function. This is important information for people with fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia is considered to be an auto-immune disease and can often be triggered by allergic responses to foods and environment that create an inflammatory reaction. Inflammation of joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments cause constant and nagging pain and fatigue. These are classic symptoms of FMS (fibromyalgia syndrome).
It’s no secret that the foods we consume can cause an allergic reaction, especially in people with a compromised system. That is why it is particularly important for those dealing with FMS and other auto-immune diseases to choose their foods wisely.
Wheat Gluten and FMS
Those who suffer with FMS already know that wheat and wheat gluten are implicated in fibromyalgia and other disorders that often accompany the syndrome, such as IBS, celiac disease, Crohn’s disease and certain types of arthritis. When highly processed, white flour has all of its nutrients stripped from the grain and, if eaten by someone who is already compromised, it can cause an inflammatory response. Thus, eating a gluten-free diet is helpful in reducing some of the joint pain that is experienced by many FMS sufferers.
When it comes to genetically modified foods, those who deal with FMS are profoundly affected. Rapeseed oil is commonly used in GMOs and, as it turns out, is poisonous to humans and animals. Certain foods and chemical additives disguised as food can aggravate or cause muscle and joint pain associated with fibromyalgia (as well as with gout and arthritis). By avoiding these foods, a person can effectively reduce inflammation, stiffness and pain, and pave the way for relief in an ongoing fashion. Having a better mental attitude along with increased mobility are the rewards for abstaining from these foods.
It can be challenging to avoid GMO products but the rewards for doing so far outweigh the inconvenience of reading labels and seeking out “heritage food,”
or foods that haven’t been altered. Reading labels, choosing foods that are whole and not tampered with and buying certified organic foods is a start on the pathway to relief from some of the symptoms of FMS.