The fibro-food connection
Fibromyalgia is notoriously difficult to treat. Medication tends to reduce muscle pain, fatigue, and other symptoms of the chronic condition by just 30% to 50%. As a result, many patients turn to diet and lifestyle changes for added relief.
Learning which foods to avoid is a good place to start, since fibro patients often have food sensitivities that may not show up in food allergy tests. In one survey, 42% reported that certain foods made their pain and stiffness worse.
How does food affect pain?
Experts believe that oversensitive nerve cells in the spinal cord and brain may be involved in the way fibro patients process pain. Certain foods may trigger the release of neurotransmitters that heighten this sensitivity, says Daniel Arkfeld, MD, a rheumatologist at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine.
Although the research on diet and fibromyalgia is limited, experts suggest that the following 10 healthy eating rules can’t hurt, and may help people dealing with chronic pain.