There has been much discussion about Fibromyalgia (FM) regarding the symptoms, various medications, exercise, and more, but there is not a lot of discussion about a very important daily activity – eating! It’s such a simple thing… so simple it seems to have been overlooked.
One FM diet suggests a 3:3:4 ratio for fats, carbs, and protein, respectively, and, to eat 6 small meals per day rather than 3 larger meals. The “don’t” list includes chocolate, carbonated beverages and alcohol. The “do” list mandates lots of water consumption – 8 glasses a day, or more.
Another approach called the Paleodiet (also known as the “Paleolithic diet,” “caveman diet,” “hunter-gatherer diet,” “Garden of Eden diet” and more) makes a lot of sense! Grains, beans, and potatoes, though full of energy (calories), are not edible in the raw state due to the many toxins that exist in them. About 10,000 years ago, it was discovered that heating/cooking these otherwise inedible foods (wheat, corn, barley, rice, sorghum, millet and oats) made them edible, thus marking the Neolithic or New Stone Age era. Though these foods are high in calories and can be stored longer, they are limited in their nutritional value, lead to glycemic spikes (high blood sugar), and can result in intestinal related conditions if under cooked or in those whose tolerance is less (immune deficiency).
The Paleodiet is based on our genetic code being limited to grass fed animal products and naturally grown products – fruits and vegetables. The basic “paleodiet” includes consumption of grass fed meat, fowl, fish, and the roots and fruits of many plants, including nuts. This approach eliminates grains (wheat, oats, barley, rye also know as glutens), or anything using flour. This includes breads, pasta, crackers, cookies, and most baked products….a lot of what we frequently consume. Dairy products, sugar, and salt are included in the “don’t” list. The unique feature of the Paleodiet is that all major dietary components are covered – vitamins, fats, protein, fats, carbohydrates, antioxidants, phytosterols, and more. This is the only diet that is coded for our genes – our body utilizes and relies on these substances.
With this approach, there is no need to “detoxify” our systems or take a surplus of vitamins, though certain vitamins “insure” a nutritious environment for our bodies. These include magnesium and Vitamin D, both of which are difficult to obtain from the food we eat and, Co-Q10 (a strong anti-oxidant), and high levels of EPA/DHA (the active ingredients in fish oil).
The bottom line is there is a lot that can benefit FM from strictly a dietary approach and when coupled with exercise, adequate sleep, and stress reduction, FM sufferer’s benefits greatly! As a doctor of chiropractic, we will help guide you in these approaches if you, a family member or friend are struggling with fibromyalgia.