Fibromyalgia And Diet: A Beginner’s Guide To Natural Treatment

Do you experience long-term muscle tenderness or joint pain that affects your everyday life?

Are you worried it will only get worse?

Fibromyalgia is an unusual medical condition thought to affect up to 6 percent of the population, particularly middle-aged women (1).

While it cannot be completely cured, it can be treated… and what you eat appears to be a fundamental piece of the puzzle.

This is a beginner’s guide on what dietary changes you should consider.
What You’ll Learn:

  • The potential causes of fibromyalgia
  • Which nutrition supplements are scientifically shown to help (especially with fatigue)
  • The best method for preventing and managing symptoms through diet
  • Weight management and fibromyalgia

Definition and causes of fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a health condition characterized by long-term and widespread pain (not specific to one particular area).

fibromyalgia chartOther symptoms can include a heightened pain-response to physical pressure, abnormal pain or function in the bowel or bladder, excessive tiredness, stiff joints, poor sleep and even neurological problems to do with memory and anxiety (2, 3, 4, 5).

For a long time there was some debate about the validity of the condition, but it is now a recognized disorder by the US National Institutes of Health and the American College of Rheumatology.

So what causes fibromyalgia?
The cause has not yet been proven, but there are probably numerous factors involved.

One theory is that it fibromyalgia is the consequence of early life stress or prolonged or severe stress. In genetically susceptible individuals, this could alter how neurons in the brain fire and function, influencing how we interpret pain and emotion (6).

These biological abnormalities may not only affect the nervous system, but cause physical differences in the brain. Studies of brain anatomy show structural differences between the brains of fibromyalgia patients and healthy individuals, which could also be the underlying cause for the physical and psychological symptoms (6).

The only widely acknowledged forms of treatment are pharmaceutical drugs – particularly antidepressant medications – and physical exercise, including things like physical therapy and yoga (7). Diet, food intolerance and nutrition supplements are still being investigated for their role either in prevention or treatment.

Summary: Fibromyalgia is a recognized health condition characterized by widespread, non-specific pain and sensitivity that remains long-term. It is thought to be triggered by prolonged stress and likely has a strong genetic component. The link between fibromyalgia and diet is emerging but remains a new area of research.

Are there natural remedies or treatments for fibromyalgia?
diagnosis fibromyalgiaUnless we consider nutrition supplements as “natural,” there are currently no proven natural remedies or treatments for fibromyalgia, from a dietary aspect.

However, there are a few steps you can take yourself that may help prevent symptoms from escalating in the first place, so that they are much more tolerable.

Keep a daily food diary for at least 2 weeks
Many fibromyalgia sufferers report that certain foods trigger more severe symptoms than others.

In fact, one study found that 42 percent of fibromyalgia patients reported their symptoms worsened after eating certain foods (21). Discovering your own food sensitivities and then cutting down or abstaining completely from those trigger foods may be the most important thing you can do.

In order to do this, you must keep a daily food diary of what you eat and when, as well as if you had any bad reactions or symptoms. Doing this consistently for several weeks allows you to visually identify trends between what you eat and the symptoms.

Here is an example of a daily food diary from Healthy Food Guide NZ:food and symtpom diary

Food sensitivities that can cause symptoms will vary greatly between individuals, but the most common are dairy, gluten and FODMAPs. This brings us to the next step…

Try an elimination challenge diet
leftover bread gluten carbsOnce you have kept a food diary for at least 2 weeks, you can begin what is known as an elimination challenge diet.

As the name suggests, you eliminate certain foods for a period of time, usually three or four weeks. Then you slowly reintroduce specific foods and monitor your symptoms for possible reactions. This is the only way to determine what type of food may be causing your symptoms to get worse.

Elimination diets are best done under the supervision of a dietitian and is what I strongly recommend, but to give you an example of what to expect:

  • Based on your 2-week food diary, if (for example) you notice that symptoms are worse the day after you eat a large amount of pasta, gluten may be the culprit.
  • You would then eliminate all sources of gluten from your diet for at least 3 weeks (another reason why expert supervision is recommended) and observe the results. This allows all gluten to be cleared from your system, so you have a “clean slate” so to speak.
  • This is followed by a slow re-introduction of gluten-containing foods. At this point you will be able to see if gluten was causing you any problems or not.

Alternatively, you can eliminate numerous food groups all at the same time—which takes a lot more work (and supervision)—but has a much greater payoff down the track. Then you would reintroduce food groups one at a time.

Summary: Certain foods and food groups are often reported as triggers for fibromyalgia. By first identifying what foods give you problems, and then eliminating them in a systematic way, you can prevent or greatly minimize symptoms. This can be done with a daily food diary followed by an elimination challenge diet.

Maintaining a healthy weight is fundamental
man is unable to close his pants because of gaining weightThere is no doubt that being overweight increases the pain in your joints.

The more weight on our skeleton, the more pressure that is applied to the bones and joints. Accordingly then, losing excess weight helps to relieve this pain.

But it appears that those who are overweight, and have fibromyalgia, experience increased muscle pain on top of the joint pain. A study of 179 diagnosed women, aged 20-75 years, found that being overweight was significantly associated with increased pain severity, reduced physical mobility, and poorer quality of life overall (22).

FIBROMYALGIA obesity graphIn other words, maintaining a healthy weight is fundamental to effectively treating fibromyalgia.

Now it’s unrealistic to expect that weight-loss exercise programs will be effective long-term when you consider how extreme fibromyalgia-related fatigue can be. Fortunately it’s well-established that what you eat is far more important than exercise when it comes to weight loss… so it all circles back to your diet.

Your priority should be finding a healthy eating pattern that you can sustain long-term, and that factors in your food sensitivities (if any).

Summary: Studies show that if you are overweight, fibromyalgia symptoms become much worse and much more difficult to treat. It is well-established that when it comes to weight loss, what you eat is far more important than exercise, which is why following a healthy diet should be your main priority.

Fibromyalgia and nutrition supplements
The link between fibromyalgia and diet is still a murky area of research.

To be honest, the scientific evidence available so far is quite inconclusive. But there have been some notable results with nutrition supplements, and several are worth consideration if you continue to struggle with symptoms:

CoQ10
coenzymeQ on board coq10Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), also known as ubiquinone, is a vitamin-like substance in our cells.

It functions as an antioxidant and the majority of CoQ10 is made by the body itself.
Those with fibromyalgia appear to have much lower concentrations of CoQ10 in the blood. This is linked with higher levels of cell damage, which is thought to be a big part in why it develops in the first place (8, 9).
In a small study of 35 patients, 20 of which had fibromyalgia, 300 mg of CoQ10 (ubiquinone) supplementation daily for three months was shown to increase CoQ10 levels back to normal (10).
Two other clinical trials also found improvements with doses of either 100 mg or 300 mg per day for at least 40 days. The higher dose especially was linked with less pain, fatigue, and joint soreness/stiffness (11, 12).

Based on these early studies, supplementation of at least 100 mg per day of COQ10 is recommended to anyone suffering from fibromyalgia. It is also worth ensuring you include some CoQ10-rich foods into your regular diet, such as herring, broccoli and cauliflower.

D-Ribose
white powder protein spoonD-Ribose is an organic compound produced by the body.

It has a central role in metabolism, and is involved with energy production (ATP).

Those with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome are thought to have reduced ATP levels (of which D-ribose is a component), so it’s been speculated that additional D-ribose may improve energy-related symptoms (13).

A case study of one woman with fibromyalgia observed that 10 grams of D-ribose per day, taken alongside other medication, greatly reduced symptoms. Those symptoms were said to have returned one week after the supplement was stopped (14).

The only study so far found that 15 grams of D-ribose per day for just under three weeks was associated with improvements in energy, sleep and well-being with an increased pain threshold—as reported by the study participants themselves. However, know that the study was not well-designed and was carried out by a D-ribose supplement manufacturer (15).

D-ribose can be bought as an over the counter supplement, but I’d try CoQ10 first.

S-Adenosyl Methionine
S-Adenosyl Methionine (best known as SAMe) is a compound produced by the body that is involved in many chemical processes.

Low SAMe levels are associated with depressive symptoms, and supplementation may aid a partial deficiency.

Small studies that trialed SAMe injections on patients with fibromyalgia noted improvements in ratings of mood and muscle tenderness (16, 17).

This has been followed up with one clinical trial using oral SAMe supplementation.

The study included 44 subjects with fibromyalgia that were supplemented with 800 mg of SAMe per day for six weeks. Compared with those taking the placebo supplement, a dramatic improvement was observed for muscle tenderness, a minor benefit to morning stiffness and no apparent benefit for muscular strength. Self-rated soreness and fatigue was also much greater in the SAMe group (18).

It certainly seems promising, but there has been no similar studies conducted since, which is generally required before we can draw any concrete conclusions.

Chlorella
Chlorella is a freshwater algae that is very similar to Spirulina.

One study on 18 subjects with fibromyalgia found that 10 grams of chlorella supplementation for two months was linked with a 22 percent reduction in pain (self-reported). Two people actually reported greater than 50 percent improvement (19).

The mechanism by which it would help with pain relief is not understood as it is typically used to supplement nutrient deficiencies more than anything else. Study authors concluded that larger, more well-controlled studies are required before we make any sweeping statements about its effectiveness for fibromyalgia.

L-Carnitine
L-Carnitine is a compound made by the body that is involved in energy metabolism and cell protection.

It has been suggested that fibromyalgia may be associated with metabolic alterations including a deficiency in carnitine. Naturally then, supplementing a form of carnitine might help.

Similarly to chlorella, however, evidence it can benefit fibromyalgia patients is based entirely on one small study.

Researchers found that 1 gram of Acetyl-L-Carnitine (known as ALCAR) per day was associated with significant improvements in symptoms of fibromyalgia compared to placebo. Although note that this benefit was only experienced after 6 weeks of treatment (20).

Summary: A handful of nutrition supplements have been studied for treating symptoms of fibromyalgia. There is strong evidence that 100-300 mg per day of COQ10 supplementation can help, and D-ribose may be beneficial as well. But the evidence for SAMe, chlorella and L-carnitine is weak at this stage and should not be your first choice.

Fibromyalgia and diet: Final thoughts
Fibromyalgia is a complex condition to treat, but your diet appears to be a fundamental piece of the puzzle.

Aside from pharmaceutical drugs (which are proven to help), there is some good evidence that certain nutrition supplements, such as CoQ10, can help manage symptoms and relieve pain.

Almost half of all fibromyalgia patients also report that certain foods trigger their symptoms. Actively keeping a food diary, followed by an elimination diet challenge, is the only way to learn if any foods or nutrients are driving your symptoms.

Being overweight is also thought to exacerbate symptoms, so following an eating pattern that will help you maintain a healthy weight long-term is critical as well.

When you consider all these different elements, it’s evident that fibromyalgia is not in your head, it’s on your plate.

 

This post originally appeared on Diet vs Disease.

109 comments

Allen S
Allen S2 months ago

I am Allen Swift i was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I have from moderate to severe pain in most parts of my body, been tested for a lot of things and all came back ok. I have had a lot of stomach pain, there was a day i received a message from my old time friend who has been away for many years he told me he heard about my illness and he directed me to Standard Herbs Home and i contacted them and purchased their herbal medicine and followed the instructions after 4 weeks i was cure from fibromyalgia. Thanks to STANDARD HERBS HOME. Contact info @ standardherbshome . com or www . standardherbshome . com

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Gudrun K.
Gudrun K.6 months ago

A year ago, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. After years of going to see the doctor, I finally got some answers. The pain I feel seems to never go away-hurting in my lower back, legs, neck, even sometimes radiates to the very tip of my toes,I couldn't move my right arm with out getting a lot of pain. I was 32 years old and I didn't know if I want to see how I feel at 40 because the pain was very intense. I was taking Lyrica, it helps but I still have to be careful not to over do things. I was trying to have a child-don't know if I'll be able to do it! i searched for alternative treatment online and In November, 2016 I started on Health Herbal Clinic fibromyalgia disease natural herbal remedy, my fibromyalgia symptoms including Severe fatigue , Insomnia, nausea and vomiting, deteriorated over the first 6 weeks of the Fibromalgia herbal formula usage, i am now 34 with no trace of Fibromyalgia, visit the clinic website www. healthherbalclinic. net or email info @ healthherbalclinic. net The Fibro herbal formula helped me in a way i just didn’t imagine, this is a breakthrough for all fibromyalgia disease patients.

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Dorita D.
Dorita D.8 months ago

My mother have been suffering from fibromyalgia disease for the last 3 years and had constant pain, especially in her neck,During the first year,she had faith in God that she will be healed someday by the Almighty. This disease started circulate all over my moms body and she have been taking treatment from her doctor, few weeks ago i came on search on the internet if i could get any information concerning the prevention of this disease, on my search i saw a testimony of someone who has been healed from (fibromyalgia) by this man DR Abumere and she also gave the email address of this man and advise we should contact him for any sickness that he would be of help, so i wrote to DR Abumere telling him about my mothers fibromyalgia disease he told me not to worry that my mom is gonna be okay with his herbal remedies!! actually i never believed it,, well after all the procedures and remedy given to me by this man i went to discuss it with my mom and explain everything to her on what she is about to take in,because Dr Abumere told me my mother must stop other medication just to make sure his own work properly,she agreed because this great doctor gave me assurance about his good work.
Weeks later after my mother start using this herbal medicine she started experiencing changes all over her as the DR assured me that she will cured,after some time i went to her doctor to confirmed if she has finally healed behold it was TRUE, So dear viewers my advise is if

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Emily P.
Emily P.9 months ago

I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia around 6 years ago although I'm certain I have had it much longer than that. I have suffered from sleeplessness, joint stiffness, severe pains, depression and fatigue. My neurologist prescribed duloxetin 40mg daily (Given as 20mg twice daily), although it did relieve some of the pain, I still suffered from joint stiffness and extreme fatigue. Finally, i started on Fibromyalgia herbal formula i ordered from NewLife Herbal Clinic, this herbal formula did the magic! almost immediately i started usage, i started noticing a general reduction of symptoms including the very severe pains and fatigue. 9 weeks into usage, the disease has totally succumbed to this herbal treatment. The whole pains and terrible fatigue has seized and i am now able to function fully well again. (Visit www .newlifeherbalclinic . com or email info@ newlifeherbalclinic . com) I'm able to get out of bed in the morning and have more energy to go about my daily activities.

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 .
.11 months ago

I am a 79-year-old lady. My FIBROMYALGIA disease appeared at the age of 74, with no hope of a cure from the hospital i looked further for an alternative treatments, a friend of mine told me about Health Herbal Clinic in Johannesburg South Africa who sell herbal treatments for diseases including FIBROMYALGIA disease, I contacted the herbal clinic via their website and purchased the fibromyalgia herbal remedy. I received the herbal remedy through DHL couriers within 8 days and i immediately commenced usage as prescribed, i used the herbal remedy for about a month and 1 week, my condition has greatly improved, all my symptoms including Chronic muscle pain, Abdominal pain, nausea, I am fibromyalgia free! contact Health Herbal Clinic via their email healthherbalclinic@gmail.com or visit www.healthherbalclinic.weebly.com.. PLS fibromyalgia is not a death sentence, there is a cure!

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 .
.11 months ago

I am a 79-year-old lady. My FIBROMYALGIA disease appeared at the age of 74, with no hope of a cure from the hospital i looked further for an alternative treatments, a friend of mine told me about Health Herbal Clinic in Johannesburg South Africa who sell herbal treatments for diseases including FIBROMYALGIA disease, I contacted the herbal clinic via their website and purchased the fibromyalgia herbal remedy. I received the herbal remedy through DHL couriers within 8 days and i immediately commenced usage as prescribed, i used the herbal remedy for about a month and 1 week, my condition has greatly improved, all my symptoms including Chronic muscle pain, Abdominal pain, nausea, I am fibromyalgia free! contact Health Herbal Clinic via their email healthherbalclinic@gmail.com or visit www.healthherbalclinic.weebly.com.. PLS fibromyalgia is not a death sentence, there is a cure!

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Rossy K
Rossy K11 months ago

Eka herbal medication has worked wonders on my ovarian cyst condition. I was so intimidated because of the surgery that I had to find a solution for my huge (3.24 inches) cyst of my left ovary (I also had multiple smaller cysts on my right ovary) so I ordered for his Herbal Medication (Even when I was in doubt) and immediately I got the Herbs, I started taking the Herbs as instructed. I was never a firm believer in the alternative approach to healing but it works!. I have taken 2 ultrasound tests in the last six months and both clearly showed that I am ovarian cyst free! I cannot simply thank ekaherbhome enough for their help. I feel so relaxed and vibrant. Other health issues I suffered from had also diminished. Just order for his herbal medication (dreka14demons@gmail.com)..

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 .
.about a year ago

Hello to everyone in here My name is ALICE FEDD , i am from LONDON(UK) , i quickly want to use this medium of opportunity to testify how the great herbal DR IMONAH cured me from my long suffered Fibromyalgia in just 4 weeks , it all started some years ago i was having Cognitive and memory problems, Trouble sleeping, Morning stiffness, Headaches. Irritable bowel syndrome, Painful menstrual periods, Numbness or tingling of hands and feet Restless legs syndrome. which i went for a test and my doctor told me that i am diagnosed of Fibromyalgia which he said also cannot be cured . So i suffered from this Illness for some time, and each day i was praying for God to change my situation because my health was becoming dilapidated by the day. i tried so many kind of medication, but no one came to light. i surf the internet several times and did not see any one who gave me a better alternative to what my doctor said. So one day i came across some testimonies of some people claiming they were cured of a disease by a Herbal doctor whose name was DR IMONAH with his herbs. So i begin to wonder and think because sometimes ago my doctor once told me that there is power in herbal medicine. So i looked for a way to contact this said herbal doctor as to see if he can palliate the pains i was going through. i contacted him explained to him my problems , and behold he gave me some good hope which was that he have the herbs that cures it very fast. so i begin to wonder if he can really help. But i

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Cynthia D.
Past Member 1 years ago

,.I am so much happy for this my friend for what God did for him. This is his story

'My dear brothers and sisters, I am about to tell you how God
through the help of an herbal doctor saved the life of my only brother.
Fredrick Machel is my name I live in Boston, USA. My brother's name is John
Machel. My only brother four years ago fell ill, and at first was diagnosed of
high fever which resulted into him having critical health issues. Two years
ago, he was diagnosed of FIBROMYALGIA he was having chronic muscle pain,
fatigue, sleep problems, and painful tender points or trigger points, we tried
so many medications but none worked for him. I search the internet for possible
cure but none was found until i came across a note of testimony made by a man
named James Watt on the internet where he claimed that a herbal doctor by name
Doctor Uwadia Amenifo cured his cousin of a chronic disease that is worst than
FIBROMYALGIA. So I tried to reach the testifier James Watt to ask if there
could be any hope from this herbal man towards assisting my brother to finding
cure to his ailment. So he emailed me after two days and gave me the contact
details of the said doctor. So I emailed the doctor and explained to him what
my only brother is going through. And he said no problem that my brother will
be healthy again. At first I doubted him because he said it so easily, and at
this stage I was so curious and I asked him what he meant by my brother will be
healthy again. So

SEND
Cynthia D.
Past Member 1 years ago

I am so much happy for this my friend for what God did for him. This is his story

'My dear brothers and sisters, I am about to tell you how God
through the help of an herbal doctor saved the life of my only brother.
Fredrick Machel is my name I live in Boston, USA. My brother's name is John
Machel. My only brother four years ago fell ill, and at first was diagnosed of
high fever which resulted into him having critical health issues. Two years
ago, he was diagnosed of FIBROMYALGIA he was having chronic muscle pain,
fatigue, sleep problems, and painful tender points or trigger points, we tried
so many medications but none worked for him. I search the internet for possible
cure but none was found until i came across a note of testimony made by a man
named James Watt on the internet where he claimed that a herbal doctor by name
Doctor Uwadia Amenifo cured his cousin of a chronic disease that is worst than
FIBROMYALGIA. So I tried to reach the testifier James Watt to ask if there
could be any hope from this herbal man towards assisting my brother to finding
cure to his ailment. So he emailed me after two days and gave me the contact
details of the said doctor. So I emailed the doctor and explained to him what
my only brother is going through. And he said no problem that my brother will
be healthy again. At first I doubted him because he said it so easily, and at
this stage I was so curious and I asked him what he meant by my brother will be
healthy again. So t

SEND