What eating has to do with Fibro

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First and foremost…. before changing your diet…consult your doctor. It may seem like a silly thing or something you would shrug off. It can be a big thing. SO, talk to your doctor first!

I know a lot of people probably expect this to be about night shades and to stay away from them. I really don’t have any problems with them. Some people do.  It is something to look into for each person individually.

Fibromyalgia made me even more sensitive to additives, preservatives and such than I already was. I was diagnosed with artificial coloring allergies when I was five. Am I great at avoiding these? Nope, not even close. There are some things I won’t give up.  My snickers and Mountain Dew are non-negotiable for me. They are also not things I indulge in everyday. Honest. I don’t drink Mountain Dew every day.

When I am flaring or thinking I am starting a flare, I turn to more and more fresh fruit and veggies as snack. The one thing I have found to be true no matter what is that most people with Fibromyalgia have a distinct lack of magnesium. So break out the almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds and pine nuts for snacking in between meals. In the meals I tend to stick to dark leafy greens, Plain no fat yogurt sliced bananas and I might even top it with some flaxseed and honey, or my other stand by….lentils.  Fish and brown rice is a good meal as well that is rich in magnesium. Sometimes that is enough. Sometimes I end up mixing some Natural calm which is an easily absorbed form of Magnesium.

The other thing that is essential for anyone but even more for fibro people is hydration. Drink water. Drink more water. When you think you have drank enough water….drink another glass.  Constantly throughout the day. I often joke that the first thought on my mind when I wake up is coffee. I actually take my pills with about six oz of water.  I try to stick to the rule of anything I drink that is not water, I drink twice as much water afterwords. If I have a 12 oz soda, I drink 24 oz of water.  Not to get too gross but pay attention to your urine. It is a good indicator of where you stand hydration wise. The darker it is, the more water you need to drink. I am really a stickler for just plain water. Occasionally I will use Mio or something similar. I know some people don’t like the taste. Truthfully I didn’t either. I just told myself there was no other choice. For months I would gulp 8oz down as fast as possible. Now I wouldn’t say it was a love affair but water is good.

The best way for you and your DOCTOR to tailor your diet to help you is to keep a food journal.  Keep one for at least six weeks minimum. It needs to list any and all symptoms along with the foods and drinks you are having.  This was how I found I have  a pretty severe intolerance to corn. You will start to see some consistencies in what you eat and symptoms you have. Don’t discount symptoms that start two to three days after eating a food either. You are looking for patterns here. It is not always an immediate response. Explore what happens when you cut out gluten, or lactose..Or both. I can handle lactose and gluten . I tend to do better when I don’t drink real milk which is okay for us since my daughter is lactose intolerant. It can be hard when others don’t have the same dietary restrictions. Ideally also incorporating anti inflammatory diet aspects in during your food journal time is a worth while investigation.

Do I cheat on this? ABSOLUTELY. There are days that sugar and caffeine and sweets are what keep me going. Is it good? Nope. Is it necessary? I guess that is specific to each person. For me it is.  Are there days that I stop at whole foods or our other market for a nutrient rich smoothie…. Absolutely. You do what you can when you can.

Start small. Start with the food journal. Discuss things with your doctor. A tip is to ask to be scheduled for a longer visit so you don’t feel rushed.

The only other tip I can think of is… this ..and this kinda rocked my world a bit… Morning is not always the most ideal time to take a multivitamin. For me, most of the time ten or eleven thirty is a good time to take it . There are mornings I wake up and know that it needs to be in my morning meds. I could get on my soap box about multivitamins. I will only say….quality counts. Also finding one that is a MultiVITAMIN and a MultiMINERAL is superb…It is always a good investment in my opinion. ALWAYS.

So that is all well and good. Then we look at what doesn’t help, often its the things us mothers use to survive.

Sugar is a big for me.  A really big. I have this little thing called yeast. It likes to grow out of control. It corrupts my brain into believing we NEED IT.  A good substitute for sugar craving….grapes. They have a lot of sugar in them. It works for me most of the time. When I am trying. Let’s face it.There are certain times of the month that grapes are not going to cut it. Unless they are fermented. Then they might have a chance.When I do indulge I like to eat some yogurt and extra water to flush.

The biggest thing I have heard is that , its too expensive to buy fresh fruit and veggies.

If you feel that then you need to look at what you are buying, and when you are hungry.

Buying veggies that are more filling like root veggies helps. Carrots are a great snack. They are also surprisingly filling. Celery with peanut butter. Filling fruits would be apples and pears. We also like to snack on Cucumbers and cherry tomatoes. Sometimes we mix them all together for some variety. Look up serving sizes and seperate it out into ziplock bags. It surprised me how long it lasted. We were still at the store every three to four days for fruits and veggies. Save your peaches, berries, kiwi, and other citrus fruits for balance in meals and desserts.

Pay attention to how you feel after processed foods. Chips, pretzels, snack cakes, and such. Your body is talking to you.  There have been times I have known within minutes of trying something that there was no way I was going to tolerate that. No matter how much my brain tried to tell me how good it is.

The less packaged processed foods I eat the less often I need Tums or Rolaids to come to my rescue.

The best eye opener for me was that first week of my food journal. My body was screaming at me. Telling me what was and was not working. I wasn’t listening.

I can’t say I always listen. I can however say when I don’t listen I pay for it. It is all about balance.

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3 responses »

  1. Hi, I just discovered your blog and would like to open up a dialogue about your dealings with FM. Please email me when you can. Thank you so much!

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  2. Great advice! Eating the proper foods is so important..I even notice a difference in my kids behavior when they’ve had a day eating a lot of junky type foods.

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    • oh yes.. I can tell immediately upon picking up the kid from somewhere what kind of diet she has had. She is super super sensitive to sugar…she will be bouncing off the walls and then twenty minutes later have a stomach ache. Thanks for the comment

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