Eat more fresh foods
Roughly half of fibro patients also suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Eating a diet of fresh foods, devoid of preservatives and additives, may ease fibro symptoms associated with IBS, says Dr. Arkfeld. “Foods that irritate your bowel will trigger the body to send a message to the brain that signals fibromyalgia symptoms,” he explains.
Whenever possible, it’s also a good idea to buy organic food. “Some patients do better avoiding pesticides and chemicals,” says Dr. Arkfeld.
Don’t OD on caffeine
Fibromyalgia is believed to be linked to an imbalance of brain chemicals that control mood, and it is often accompanied by unrestful sleep and fatigue. Fibro patients may try to ease fatigue with stimulants like caffeine, but they may end up doing more harm than good in the long run.
“Caffeine is a loan shark for energy. We recommend not using a lot,” says Kent Holtorf, MD, founding medical director of the Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Centers, which are located across the country.