Diet Helps Fibromyalgia

People with fibromyalgia may experience reductions in their symptoms if they eliminate one or more foods from their diet.

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition, often accompanied by depression and fatigue, in which a person feels pain in the muscles and tissues surrounding the joints.

Nine in 10 fibromyalgia patients are female.

While the cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, researchers have found pain-processing abnormalities in the spines and brain stems of some people with fibromyalgia.

In the study, investigators reviewed medical charts of 17 fibromyalgia patients who agreed to eliminate common foods from their diet such as corn, wheat, dairy, citrus, soy and nuts.

After 2 weeks without eating any of the potential food allergens, nearly half of the patients reported “significant reduction of pain,” and 76% reported a reduction in other symptoms such as headache, fatigue, bloating, heartburn, and breathing difficulties.

After the food elimination phase of the study, the patients were then instructed to reintroduce a particular food every 2 or 3 days and monitor their reaction to the food.

Some of the reactions to foods were pain, headache, and gastrointestinal distress. The most common problem-causing foods or ingredients for the patients in this study were corn, wheat, dairy, citrus and sugar.

Annual Meeting of the American College of Nutrition in Orlando, Florida October 2001