Can Diet Help Fibromyalgia?
I've read a lot of claims on the Internet about different diets that can supposedly rid a person of fibromyalgia symptoms. It seems too good to be true. Can diet actually help fibromyalgia symptoms?
Generally, fibromyalgia is not considered to be a condition that can be cured by diet. While a healthy, well-balanced diet can help anyone (including those with fibromyalgia) feel and function better, there is no single, "miracle" diet that will cure this condition.
There have been a few reports in medical journals of people who appear to have significant improvement in fibromyalgia symptoms as the result of eliminating aspartame (an artificial sweetener), monosodium glutamate (MSG, a flavor enhancer), or both. However, there is not enough evidence to know if this is an isolated occurrence or if such a diet would be helpful for other people with fibromyalgia.
What should you do if you think certain foods are making your symptoms worse? The first thing you should do is keep a food diary. After a month, you may have some idea about which foods could be provoking symptoms. You could then try eliminating those foods from your diet for two weeks to see what happens.
Don't cut out a whole food category, and make sure you are getting the vitamins and minerals that these foods provide from other sources. It is also important to let your healthcare provider know that you are doing this.
Be careful when blaming a particular dietary factor for your fibromyalgia symptoms. It may be tempting to conclude that the pain gets better or worse because of what was added or eliminated from the diet the day or week before. However, the unpredictable ups and downs of fibromyalgia make it hard to establish a relationship between disease and diet. Fibromyalgia research scientists have only recently begun to study nutritional therapy for this disease.