Every now and then life with fibromyalgia seems like navigating throughout a minefield. There is a seemingly endless number of “mines” out there that can aggravate your symptoms, causing your fibromyalgia to flare-up. As even one misstep can have an impact on you for days as you try to recover from the pain or damage caused so one must proceed with caution.
Many fibromyalgia patients reported that some foods tend to aggravate their symptoms. And so it can be tough for those suffering from this disease to choose and follow nutritional advice on how they should eat. Unfortunately, both the causes and the symptoms of this syndrome are not very clear and to most of the people out there (including medical professionals), there is no 100% certainty over what leads to its development and how are the symptoms related to the causes.
Mysterious enough, Fibromyalgia continues to baffle researchers and up to the moment, there has not been a general agreement on most of the factors that influence the development of this particular chronic pain syndrome. The pain that is felt by the patient for extended periods of time is the main symptom of fibromyalgia and that does not appear to have a very clear reason.
There is another thing on which most of the researchers will agree as well: the fact that Fibromyalgia is not a mental disorder and that it rather falls into the category of neurobiological disorders.
Bad habits that can cause your fibromyalgia symptoms to flare up
MSG is a flavor enhancer found in many of the processed foods we buy at the grocery stores as well as in some fruits and vegetables. MSG and other food additives make active neurons that boost the sensitivity to pain in fibromyalgia victims. In a study of fibromyalgia patients conducted by researchers at the Malcolm Randall Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Florida, they found that, after eliminating monosodium glutamate (MSG) or MSG plus aspartame from their food all had complete, or nearly complete, eradication of their symptoms within months.
The study concluded that, “The elimination of MSG and other excitotoxins from the diets of patients with fibromyalgia offers a benign treatment option that has the potential for dramatic results in a subset of patients. Living stressful lives is something that most of the people out there do (especially nowadays), but not so many of them know that stress can affect more than just their state of mind, but also their actual physical health.
Sooner or later, the repercussions of stress will be felt and developing Fibromyalgia is strictly connected to these effects. It is difficult to live a life that is protected from all kinds of stressful situations, but there are things one can do to improve it. Exercising, practicing relaxation methods and simply disconnecting from time to time from all sources of stress and anxiety will help.
Most of the people out there love a good, warm, cup of coffee or tea for breakfast. Some of them love it all day long. And patients with Fibromyalgia may feel that caffeine is a fast way of coping with the bad sleeping patterns. The fact is however that caffeine will only direct to creating a dreadful cycle in which patients feel more keyed up on the surface, but they will not be able to sleep fine at night. Thus, avoid coffee and tea as much as possible, and also avoid chocolate and alcohol (also considered to be “false” energizers).
Weather has an effect on the symptoms of fibromyalgia sufferers. The most common weather phenomena associated with flare-ups of fibromyalgia symptoms are extremes in temperature (too hot or too cold), changes in barometric pressure and rapid changes in weather. While study on the real effects of weather is inadequate, it is obvious by the devastating reports from real victims that weather can play a role.
For some, taking extra precautions to combat the effects of weather (i.e. staying hydrated in extreme heat) can help minimize its impact on their fibromyalgia. In extreme cases, moving to different climates may help. For many people out there, eating is a way of comforting themselves and of dealing with pain (both physical and psychological). However, high-saturated fats, sweets and, generally speaking, unhealthy food will only worsen your condition, especially if you also suffer from the Irritable Bowel Syndrome (but not only).
Certain foods can make your pain stronger (especially additives), while certain foods will make you feel better, more energized and healthier. Choose the latter over the first. Choose fatty fish, fruits, beef, vegetables, nuts and the foods that are usually recommended as “healthy” by most of the nutritionists. Giving way is not a “proper” bad habit, but it is one of the things that can make patients with Fibromyalgia feel bad about their symptoms. Basically, surrendering to the pain means that you stop trying to ameliorate it, which in its turn means that not only your physical condition will not improve, but also that your mental state of mind will get bad and feeling miserable will be much more probable to occur in much more situations.
Simple carbs, by definition, are carbohydrates made up of one or two sugars. They are a fast supply of energy, but this momentary boost is typically followed by a collapse in energy levels. Since fibromyalgia patients are also more sensitive to changes in blood sugar, simple carbs should be limited or eliminated from our diet. The over-consumption of sugar can escort to other negative health consequences such as nerve damage apart from upsetting energy levels. The over-consumption of sugar causes our nerves to swell as water is drawn into them.
At the same time, the sugar makes the external layer of the nerve cells less elastic, causing them to break and rip. Ultimately, this process can lead to nerve damage, often resulting in pain, numbness or tingling in the extremities.