Dieting with Obstacles - Fibromyalgia and nutrition connection?

08-22-2013, 02:48 PM

I am curious regarding a possible connection with Fibromyalgia and nutrition? I called a local massage therapist who a friend referred me to, she said on my voice mail that there is a definite connection between the two. I haven't heard of many foods that are yay or nay with Fibromyalgia, I am interested in others' experiences.

I would think that the foods that avoid or cause flares with Fibromyalgia would differ from person to person, but please post away and share. Perhaps we can use this as a support thread for those with Fibromyalgia and those who have loved ones and friends with it.

Take care. ;)


08-22-2013, 04:06 PM
Most of the fibro/diet research regarding flare trigger foods is more consistent than you might think. Sugars, grains, and other high glycemic carbs (which the body converts to sugar) are the most common dietary flare triggers, especially when the carbs are concentrated, such as junk food and other highly processed foods.

Not everyone with fibro has to eliminate all sugars and starches, but some form of reduced-carb, low-carb, slow-carb, or good-carb diet is usually helpful.

The Low Carb Bible by Elizabeth M. Ward is a handy guide to the most popular reduced carb diets. There are recipes too, most aren't super low carb, so aren't compatible with all low-carb diets.

The book doesn't address fibromyalgia, but it provides an overview of the most commonly recommended diets for fibromyalgia (listed from least to most carb restricted) The Zone, South Beach, Neanderthin (Paleo) and Atkins (5 other plans are also covered: Carbohydrate Addict's, Protein Power LifePlan, Scwarzbein Principle, Sugar Busters, and Suzanne Somers).

Personally, I've found that low-but-not-too-low carb Paleo works best for me (some fruit, but not too much, and no honey or maple syrup, although when I eat Paleo, I do eat some fermented dairy).

08-22-2013, 04:20 PM
Hi Kaplods!

Thank you for replying, I thought you may reply. :)

I greatly appreciate your words of wisdom, I find what you wrote is quite interesting and helpful. I am about to restart Medifast, my first shipment arrived today. I have heard from a few rheumatologists that losing weight can help the Fibromyalgia a lot, possibly putting the Fibromyalgia into remission.

Do you have any experiences with massage? I used to get a lot more massages before I developed Fibromyalgia. This massage therapist says she has experience with patients who have Fibromyalgia.

Thanks again, Kaplods.

Take care.


08-22-2013, 05:50 PM
I've not had a professional massage mostly due to the expense. From what I've read and heard, it's vital to have a massage therapist who is not just experienced with fibro, but who is also open and willing to learn about your fibro. You have to communicate and learn together what is comfortable and what is not.

I have experimented with massage back mats and handheld percussion massagers. Hubby and I bought the Homemedic PA-1 percussion massager before my fibro diagnosis, and it felt awesome on a sore back. It's far too intense for me now though.

I bought a cheap heat and massage mat, and use that periodically, and find it quite helpful at times (and very annoying and uncomfortable at others).

Hubby and I have experimented, and even gentle massage is usually unpleasant during a flare. I often have sore skin, which feels like sunburn or road rash or that skin-hurting sensation you sometimes get with a really bad flu.

What often does help is to run my fingertips very lightly across my skin, with no pressure and barely touching the skin. I'll use this technique on my face and arms or will have hubby use it on my shoulders and back.

Hubby has neuropathy in his hands and feet, and has trouble feeling and controlling the pressure he uses, so that can be a problem.

When the pressure isn't exactly right, or if the massage is too slow or too fast, or sometimes for no discernable reason, I find the experience very unpleasant, which is another reason I've been reluctant to make an appointment with a massage therapist. I'd hate to schedule a massage only to have a skin flare day where any touch is unpleasant.

08-22-2013, 06:08 PM
I cannot speak to this disease, but I can say from personal experience that eating a high carb diet in conjunction with subclinical hypothyroidism and several other factors led to the hyperactivation of my immune system a couple of years ago to the extent that my symptoms quite accurately mimicked lupus. I would therefore not be surprised if a low carb diet would help. In addition, addressing any deficiency (vit D, B12, selenium, iodine, iron, magnesium) that might affect/be affected by thyroid function may be beneficial. I had no autoimmune response in the end, so I do not know how strong the influence of nutrition would be, but it may reduce the severity of flares.

Going very low carbs killed my thyroid levels in no time and brought back some of the earlier symptoms, i.e somewhat hyperactivated immune system. This may go into the direction of Kaplod's experience.