Fibromyalgia (FM) – latest pain institute research shows eating certain foods can relieve pain.
FM is a long-term condition characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and mood disorders. Focusing the lens on food,
medical research has started exploring the impact of nutrition on chronic pain conditions like fibromyalgia, yielding several interesting and optimistic reports.
An increasing number of scientific studies are showing that dietary choices can reduce both the intensity of pain and the likelihood of flare-ups. Some evidence has shown that “dietary habits in women with FM can fundamentally affect the clinical course of the disease” and that patients who consume a plant-based diet rich in antioxidants show clinical improvement in their symptoms.
Fast Facts for People with FM
- Patients show lower levels of magnesium.
- B12 supplementation can help lessen symptoms. (check your levels with a health provider).
- Tomatoes or citrus foods are reported to exacerbate pain.
- A plant-based diet can reduce pain.
- Magnesium supplementation can alleviate neuropathic pain.
- Vitamin D deficiency is associated with anxiety and depression.
- Sleep impairment is common.
- Magnesium deficiency can impair sleep and supplementation has improved it.
- Selenium deficiency has been linked to skeletal muscle disorders. Selenium soil levels are low in Aotearoa NZ.
- Use Sankalpa’s joint and muscle oil on sore muscles to boost extra vitamins through your largest organ: the skin. Sankalpa’s botanical, organic ingredients are rich in magnesium, copper, manganese, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, zinc, selenium, vitamin E, and vitamin B1. Additionally, the black sesame base oil has high levels of potent antioxidants, namely sesamol and sesamin.
See this link for more information: https://www.sankalpa.co.nz/product/sankalpa-muscle-joint-oil/
There are predominantly five dietary deficiencies in people with FM.
1- Vitamin D
A strong association between FM symptoms and hypovitaminosis D has been made, with some studies reporting a deficiency in up to 40% of people with FM. One of the primary reasons vitamin D is so important is the role it plays in the absorption of magnesium (the relevance of which is noted below). Vitamin D deficiency has also been correlated with depression and anxiety, which are common mood disorders among people with fibromyalgia.
Tip: Get some sun every day! Consume fatty fish, mushrooms, egg yolks.
Magnesium is a nutrient that is critical to the metabolism of carbohydrates and glucose, muscle function and growth, the transmission of nerve impulses, and hundreds of other vital enzymatic roles within the body. This is especially relevant to People with FM, as subjects have shown impaired glucose metabolism (often leading to obesity). Magnesium deficiency has been said to accompany low-grade chronic systemic inflammation, leading to elevated pain levels.
Tip: Eat raw or cooked greens such as baby spinach, collard greens, kale, or Swiss chard.
3- Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3s are “good” fats. Omega-3 supplementation has been shown effective for treating migraines, low back and joint pain, rheumatoid arthritis, and other autoimmune conditions.
Tip: Eat cold water fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel, and herring, walnuts and avocados.
Musculoskeletal disorders characterized by FB-like symptoms, including fatigue and muscle pain, have also been recognized in patients with Selenium deficiency. A selenium deficiency has been cited as a possible cause for the muscle pain associated with FM.
Tip: Eat Brazil nuts, fish, brown rice.
5 – Vitamin B12
Low levels of B12 found in the brains of patients with fibromyalgia have been associated with musculoskeletal pain and patients have reported that their symptoms were “much improved” following B12 supplementation.
Tip: Vitamin B12 is naturally found in animal products, including fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk, and milk products. Vitamin B12 is generally not present in plant foods, but fortified breakfast cereals are a readily available source of vitamin B12 with high bioavailability for vegetarians
But…One Size Won’t Fit All..
This is hardly an exhaustive list of associations between food and the chronic pain experienced by patients with fibromyalgia. The complexity of the condition means that a “one-size-fits-all” approach is not likely to yield reliable results and that the best treatment approach would be an individualized and holistic one. An Ayurveda Health practitioner or other holistic practitioner could provide you with an individualised plan.