DIET AND FITNESS:

Fibromyalgia--Ideal Diet to Reduce
Symptoms
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January 13, 2010, last updated June 12, 2014
By Susan M. Callahan, Associate Editor
and Featured Columnist



Fibromyalgia is a poorly understood condition characterized
by general pain throughout the body and, in many cases,
extremely painful, tender joints. Those suffering from
fibromyalgia also often experience headaches, fatigue,
sleeplessness,
irritable bowel syndrome, stiffness in the
joints in the morning, anxiety and paresthesia (tingling and
numbness in your limbs, such as when your legs "fall
asleep"). Current estimates from the Centers for Disease
Control  are that between 3 and 6 million Americans now
suffer from fibromyalgia.

Women are 3 times more likely than men to have the
condition.  Up to 8% of all women over the age of 50 will
experience fibromyalgia.

What should you eat if you have fibromyalgia? Are there
foods which can help to reduce the pain and other symptoms
of fibromyalgia?

Research studies on fibromyalgia have reached differing and
sometimes inconsistent conclusions about the effectiveness
of various foods to fight fibromyalgia.  That's the bad news.
The good news is that the foods which studies have singled
out as beneficial for fibromyalgia symptoms have no known
toxicity, and have all been listed as "Generally Recommended
as Safe" by the US Food and Drug Administration.

This means, as  practical matter, that there is little to no
downside to trying these foods, especially if you are now
suffering from fibromyalgia symptoms.

Here are the foods that research studies have found helpful
in reducing fibromyalgia symptoms for a significant number
of people with the condition:



























1.
Vegan Diets Reduce Fibromyalgia Symptoms.   Strict
vegan,
low-salt diets appear to relieve many of the
symptoms of fibromyalgia in the short term. A 2000 study by
researchers from the University of Kuopio in Finland studied
2 groups of people with fibromyalgia for 3 months. The first
group of 15 people ate their usual diet including meat. The
second group followed a strict vegan diet, meaning no
animal foods or foods from animal sources, including eggs,
dairy and animal oils, were consumed.

At the end of 3 months, the researchers found that the
vegan group showed significant reductions in joint pain,
joint stiffness, body weight, sleeplessness and salt in their
urine. Total blood cholesterol also dropped by 33%.

As the report concluded, the " that vegan diet had beneficial
effects on fibromyalgia symptoms at least in the short run."

But not all researchers agree. In fact, other studies on the
effectiveness of vegetarian diets  for reducing fibromyalgia
symptoms have reached opposite conclusions.

In 2001, a research group from Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib
Medical University in Dhaka studied two groups of patients.  
The first group followed their normal diets but were given a
medically-prescribed anti-depressant called "amitriptyline".   
A second group was put on a vegetarian diet.

After 6 weeks of study, the group on the anti-depressant
diet showed significant reductions in pain, fatigue, insomnia
and non-restorative sleep. In fact, before the amitriptyline
diet, 41 out of the 41 people in the amitriptyline group had
reported fatigue as symptom. After 6 weeks, only 3 still
experienced fatigue.  Before the amitriptyline diet, 26 of the
subjects had reported fatigue and 32 had reported non-
restorative sleep. After 6 weeks on the amitriptyline diet,
none of the subjects experienced  these symptoms.

The vegetarian diet did not fare as well. After 6 weeks on the
vegetarian diet, the second group of 37 people still reported
fibromyalgia symptoms of non-restorative sleep, fatigue and
insomnia.

There was one bit of good news from the vegetarian study
group. That group did report a small but significant drop in
the amount of  pain in their joints.  And although this
reduction in pain was downplayed in the research
conclusions, the improvement in pain is a tremendous benefit
to those actually suffering from this condition.

Why was the amitriptyline diet successful? The researchers
believe that the amitriptyline diet was successful because of
its role in elevating levels of trytophan. Trytophan is an
amino acid which present in very low levels on the blood
streams of people who suffer from fibromyalgia.

Update:

Trytophan Links Chronic Fatigue and Fibromylagia

Scientists are beginning to notice significant similarities
between the symptoms of
chronic fatigue syndrome and
fibromyalgia.  In fact, a 2012 study from Dr. Adele Blankfield
of Australia went even further, speculating that  chronic
fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia are in fact a single
syndrome. Among sufferers, often the two syndromes are
mashed together and referred to as “myalgic
encephalomyelitis”.

What both chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia have
in common is that both conditions are sensitive to the levels
of tryptophan in your body.

Those who suffer from both these conditions have lower
levels of tryptophan in their blood. Now, this could be
caused by either a failure to eat enough foods containing
tryptophan or by an impairment in the digestive tract that
prevents these sufferers from absorbing as much tryptophan
as other people.


2.
Pumpkin Seeds, Sesame Seeds, Sunflower Seeds Help
Fibromyalgia.
 Drawing on the research results from the
Dhaka study, increasing the amount of trytophan in your diet
may improve fibromyalgia symptoms.

Trytophan-rich foods include powdered egg whites,  
sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, chickpeas, pumpkin seeds,
chocolate, oat grains, milk, yogurt, soybeans, cheddar
cheese,fish ,
turkey and poultry in general.   

3.
Spirulina Fights Fibromyalgia. Spirulina is an algae which
has been used as food for hundreds of years. Its use dates
as far back to the Aztecs of Central and South America.
Spirulina is rich in a number of anti-oxidative compounds, is
almost 70% protein, and has no known significant side-
effects.

In addition to being rich in trytophan, spirulina is high iron
and trace minerals, Vitamin B-12, pro provitamin A (β-
carotenes),  phenolic acids, tocopherols and  linolenic acid.

4.
Soy Reduces Fibromyalgia Pain. Soy products may help to
relieve the pain of fibromyalgia, according to a 2011 study
from doctors at the Mayo Clinic. In the study, led by Dr.
Dietlind Wahner-Roedler, a soy supplemented diet reduced
fibromyalgia pain by 16%. Moreover, a diet supplemented by
casein, the main protein found in milk and cheese, reduced
pain by 18%.





























































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