The Basics of a Fibromyalgia Diet
Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain disorder of unknown origin. The condition causes widespread pain and sensitivity, and is often stressful to manage. Due to fibromyalgia not having one distinguishable cause, treatment often takes into account a number of factors from multiple aspects of the affected individual’s life. This includes diet, as the way a person eats can impact many other areas of human functioning. The old adage, you are what you eat, is especially important to consider when dealing with fibromyalgia pain. Those with this disorder should make it a priority to learn the basics of a healthy fibromyalgia diet.
- Cognitive and memory problems (called “fibro fog”)
- Morning stiffness
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Numbness of the hands and feet
- Restless legs syndrome (RLS)
- Sensitivity to temperature, light and sound
Basics of a Fibromyalgia Diet
The Fibromyalgia Network notes that people living with fibromyalgia should try to limit the amount of preservative and processed foods they consume. These foods usually include large amounts of salt, which can exacerbate pain and swelling of the muscles and joints. As well, caffeine should be avoided, as it interrupts normal sleeping patterns. As those with the disorder experience fatigue as a main symptom, it is crucial that they get adequate rest. Additionally, sugar intake should be closely monitored; not only does sugar cause a rapid boost of energy followed by a crash (further affecting energy levels), it can also cause weight gain. An increase in weight can lead to more stress on the joints, and cause a decline in physical activity. In turn, those who are overweight and have fibromyalgia may experience more pain and discomfort than necessary.
To further add to the things that people should include in a fibromyalgia diet, researchers have suggested that people get an adequate amount of omega-3 fatty acids (FA). It has been theorized that these amino acids prompt the body to halt the release of a pain-causing substance from white blood cells. A study assessing the usefulness of omega-3 FA for reducing symptoms of fibromyalgia indicated that supplementation had a positive impact on pain levels and cognition. A daily dose of 2400 mg to 7200 mg for an average duration of one year reduced pain symptoms by up to 50%, and resulted in less fibro fog, says The National Center for Biotechnological Innovation. Omega-3’s can be obtained from fatty fish, walnuts, flaxseeds, and soy.
Medical studies are an important part of scientific research pertaining to disease treatment and prevention. During these studies, researchers evaluate the usefulness of new medical treatments, as well as examine how already existing tools can be used to manage illness. These studies recruit volunteer participants, who act as test subjects for whatever treatment is being assessed. There are plenty of noteworthy reasons why someone would volunteer to be a part of a medical study. In terms of fibromyalgia medical studies, those who are eligible to join will be able to gather accurate information from the professionals supervising the research. Also, they will be surrounded by people who can empathize with them, which may lead to feelings of community and understanding. Of course, the potential that the treatment in question will be successful is another huge benefit of joining a study. As well, participants receive all treatment free of cost, and are often given monetary compensation.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain disorder that impedes the typical flow of day to day activities. People with the condition should be mindful of the type of diet they consume, as poor nutrition can have negative consequences. In terms of a fibromyalgia diet, processed foods, sugar and caffeine should be limited. On top of this, people should keep track of omega-3 FA intake, as these fatty acids have been shown to help reduce physical and cognitive symptoms of fibromyalgia. If obtaining omega-3’s from food is not possible, fish oil supplements can be taken.
To learn more about Los Angeles clinical trials for fibromyalgia or other forms of medical issues, contact the Pacific Institute of Medical Research, which is an independent clinical research site specializing in psychiatry since 1982. Visit us online or call us at (310) 208-7144.