Ruling Out Trigger Foods
Fibromyalgia symptoms run the gamut from pain and sleep disturbances to fatigue. But the syndrome doesn’t stop with symptoms alone. Fibromyalgia also tends to be accompanied by other conditions, for instance: rheumatoid arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, and migraines. Some fibromyalgia patients have found a correlation between eating certain foods and a worsening of symptoms. These fibromyalgia sufferers have found that eliminating these foods from their diets brings about a reduction in their symptoms.
Other fibromyalgia patients may not know whether or not their diets have an impact on their condition but may be willing to experiment a bit to see whether eliminating certain foods might not help them feel better. Determining which foods may be triggering symptoms is a process of elimination for these patients. Here are some common elimination diets you can try.
*Food Intolerance Diet-There is a school of thought that those fibro patients who don’t respond to drug treatment may be allergic or intolerant to specific foods. It is believed that these food sensitivities worsen specific symptoms in these patients. Common food allergies include: dairy products, corn, sugar, barley, eggs, rye, chocolate, soy, peanuts, and wheat. Things to try: Exchange cow’s milk for rice milk, switch to rice syrup solids instead of sugar or corn syrup, and eat bread made from grains other than wheat.
*Gluten Intolerance-Those fibromyalgia patients with rheumatic symptoms may benefit from the elimination of gluten in their diets. A wheat allergy is different than gluten intolerance, though someone with gluten intolerance should avoid wheat products. In order to eliminate gluten from your diet, you will have to avoid foods that contain wheat, spelt, rye, barley, triticale, kamut, and sometimes oats. Substitute food products made from potato, soy, rice, and bean flours. There are several non-gluten breads, pastas, and other products available in today’s better health food stores.
*General Elimination Diet-Some fibromyalgia treatment specialists advocate eliminating certain foods they believe have an impact on symptoms like pain and fatigue. Here’s the list of the top ten culprits in this category:
1. Dairy foods, especially those products high in fat
2. Highly processed white sugar and white flour
3. Artificial sweeteners
5. Fried foods
6. Foods containing preservatives, highly salted food, junk food
7. Red meat, in particular meats which are salt-cured, smoked, or contain nitrates
8. Caffeinated beverages like coffee, tea, and cola
9. Carbonated beverages
10. Alcoholic beverages
While fried foods and foods high in sodium may increase pain and swelling, high acid foods may aggravate fatigue and arthritic pain. For this reason, some practitioners add such foods as tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers to the above list. Many health care providers feel that while fibromyalgia patients should, like everyone else, drink at least 8 glasses of water every day, they should not accompany meals with beverages of any kind.