What Foods can make Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Worse?
Some people with FMS and ME/CFS find that certain foods make their symptoms worse. To see how they effect you, try eliminating them from your diet for several days. Then reintroduce one food at a time (with a few days in between) and see how it makes you feel. The most common symptom triggers are:
Fried foods or those with high saturated fats
Nutrasweet (aspartame) and monosodium glutamate (MSG), which stimulate pain receptors in your spinal cord
Cigarettes and other tobacco products
Other factors can disturb your sleep, which will make you feel worse. You should try to avoid:
A note on caffeine: While many people with these conditions believe caffeine is essential for helping them wake up and have energy, it's important for you to look at it as a possible barrier to better sleep. While you may have withdrawal symptoms and feel more tired for a little while, if eliminating caffeine helps you sleep better it will be well worth it in the long run.
Foods to Avoid A first step is to determine if you've any food sensitivities and, if so, then avoid those foods. A common group of foods that intensify pain, even in people who are otherwise allergy-free, are the nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers and egg plant).
Avoid refined foods as they rob you of energy. These nutritionally impoverished foods are not fully metabolized and so create metabolic debris or toxins in your system. This compromises bodily functions and creates additional burdens that exacerbate existing problems and eventually may manifest as new health problems.
Refined foods include all the foods that contain white flour, salt or sugar. Avoid all refined carbohydrates including cold breakfast cereals and puffed rice cakes. Also avoid stimulants and chemicals in your food and water supply and in your environment.
Use only unrefined oils. Because saturated and hydrogenated fats are transformed into a hormone-like compound, prostaglandin, which promotes inflammation and pain you may need to reduce your meat consumption. But first and foremost, eliminate margarine, shortening and any food containing hydrogenated fat.
Rather than fleeing from our pain, let's address it with awareness and diet. True, a slice of pineapple, a cup of chamomile tea or a pinch of turmeric in your curried vegetables doesn't cure deep-seated damage. But it's lovely to prepare and then sit down to a tasty meal that fills our bellies, deeply satisfies and subtly supports our healing.
I just thought of this one, as I've been on here 'way too long' trying to catch up
I find that my back pain from Fibromyalgia (and neck & shoulders) is much better when I really pace myself on the puter...15 minutes at a time is really best for me...with breaks in the recliner or on heat
EXCITOTOXINS -- Some people find relief for fibromyalgia symptoms by eliminating all excitotoxins from their diet--monosodium glutamate (MSG or Accent), aspartame (NutraSweet or Equal), hydrolyzed protein, etc. Symptoms may worsen initially as the body begins detoxifying, but some people become pain free with this method. Excitotoxins are used in nearly all processed foods. You may want to research the internet to discover the many names excitotoxins masquerade under, and then omit them from your diet for a period of time to see if you notice improvement. This approach takes a lot of discipline, but may well be worth the effort.
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SOFT DRINKS -- Carbonated beverages contain orthophosphoric acid and leach calcium and magnesium from the body. These two minerals are absolutely necessary for healthy muscles and bones. People with FMS don't need to be losing any magnesium, since they are usually deficient already--so avoid soft drinks! Diet soft drinks are even worse because they also contain aspartame. (See #12.) Inadequate levels of calcium and magnesium can lead to muscle cramping. Calcium/Magnesium supplements can help you obtain these two minerals, which are sometimes called "nature's tranquilizers."
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wow thats very interesting, I love accent! I use it at least once ever 2 weeks. is this the same for back pain?
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October 17, 2007 12:07 PM
Great Information. Thanks C. C.
Being also diabetic and having allergies, I read all labels. If I don't recognize the items lists as food, I don't buy that item. We are getting so many chemicals in our food, as additives, coloring, preservatives, and I don't think that this is good for any of us. So I am learning to cook healthy.
Avoid Pro-Inflamatory Foods October 17, 2007 5:41 AM
Pro-inflammatory foods will increase inflammation, increase your pain from the inflammation and may also raise your risk for chronic disease. Loading up on junk foods, high-fat meats, sugar and fast foods will increase inflammation in your body. This is partially due to the unhealthy fats used in preparing and processing these foods, especially trans fats and saturated fats. Processed meats such as lunch meats, hot dogs and sausages contain chemicals such as nitrites that are associated with increased inflammation and chronic disease.
Saturated fats are also found in meats, dairy products and eggs. While all of these foods are important source of minerals and vitamins, you don't need the extra saturated fat. These foods also also contain fatty acids called arachidonic acid. While some arachidonic acid is essential for your health, too much arachidonic acid in the diet may make your inflammation worse. Be sure to choose low fat milk and cheese and lean cuts of meat, which will not promote inflammation.
Diets high in sugar have also been associated with inflammation, obesity and chronic disease such as diabetes. Eliminate high sugar foods such as sodas, soft drinks, pastries, presweetened cereals and candy.
Another possible source of irritation comes from the nightshade family of plants. Whole fruits and vegetables are important to eat for their vitamins, minerals, and natural antioxidants, however some vegetables like potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplant may actually make pain from inflammation worse. These vegetables are part of the nightshade family of plants and contain a chemical alkaloid called solanine. Solanine can trigger pain in some people. While there isn't any formal research findings that back the claim about nightshade plants, you can avoid them for a few weeks to see if your pain and symptoms of inflammation improve.