Fibromyalgia is a difficult condition to manage, and can be quite debilitating, causing acute pain in different parts of the body, digestive issues, headaches, joint stiffness, and severe fatigue. If you have, or think you may have fibromyalgia, it is crucial that you seek professional diagnosis and treatment from a specialist doctor or treatment center, because every case is unique and finding the best solution for you takes special care. However, there are some things you can do by yourself to help with your fibromyalgia, including nutritional changes you can make to your diet.
Here is some good dietary advice for fibromyalgia patients:
Increase Vitamin D Levels
Adding a vitamin D supplement to your diet is one of the first things you should do if you have developed fibromyalgia. Vitamin D deficiency is on the rise, and as it can cause similar symptoms to fibromyalgia itself, making sure you have adequate year round supply of vitamin D can help greatly. Usually, we create vitamin D ourselves when exposed to sunlight, and it is stored in fat cells so that we can ‘save up’ vitamin D in summer to keep us going through the darker winter months. However, as we strive to prevent sun exposure because we want to avoid skin damage and melanoma, and we tend to work longer hours indoors and see less daylight, more and more people now are deficient in vitamin D.
The health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, which are famously found in oily fish like mackerel and salmon, but also in flax seeds, walnuts and some other sources (which is helpful to know if you are vegetarian or vegan and can’t eat fish), are well documented, and apply to everyone. However, for fibromyalgia sufferers in particular, the fact that these fatty acids reduce and prevent inflammation can mean they can do a lot to help with joint and muscle soreness and pain. Add them to your diet regularly, or supplement with them, to ensure you reap these benefits.
If one of your symptoms is sleeplessness, or you fail to get a good night’s rest because of pain, then it can seem logical to try and fight tiredness with coffee. However, this can result in a vicious cycle where the caffeine promotes further sleeplessness and exacerbates the symptoms. Staying away from caffeine and other stimulants may be hard at first, but can be a better way for your body to fall into more natural sleep patterns. If you enjoy the taste of coffee, try switching to a weaker brew and then decaf. Otherwise, swap all your coffee for decaffeinated green tea, which will also give you the benefits of its high antioxidant content. Switch to decaf versions of any caffeinated soft drinks you like, and give energy drinks a miss altogether.
These small changes can make a big difference to how you feel, and while they alone may not control your fibromyalgia, they may make it more manageable and less debilitating day to day.