Each person has a unique experience with fibromyalgia from the symptoms she experiences to treatments that work.
It is estimated that between 3 and 6 million people suffer from fibromyalgia, according to Wallace Bishop, Certified Nutrition Consultant.
Bishop has been a certified nutrition consultant for several years and specializes in weight management and weight related health issues.
One treatment that will provide benefits to everyone with fibromyalgia is abiding by a sort of “fibro diet.”
Bishop advises several patients with fibromyalgia on their diets, including his wife.
“My wife had developed fibro and I did a lot of research on how to help her,” Bishop said. “Changing her diet led to her fibro symptoms to be reduced by 80 percent.”
Bishop had her implement a diet high in fiber, vitamins, probiotics and prebiotics; and low in refined and processed foods and sugar.
According to Bishop, certain foods and products can create inflammation within a person’s body.
“Although fibro isn’t an inflammatory syndrome, it responds to inflammation and [certain foods] make it worse, so you want to remove the antagonistic things out of body.”
Bishop’s Top List of Foods to Avoid:
- Refined foods
- Processed foods
- Flour based products
- Dairy products
- Animal products
Looking at the list of foods to avoid makes you think, “What the heck can I eat?”
Before you get discouraged, take a deep breath and take it slow.
Bishop suggests gradually easing into the fibro diet by cutting out things here and there. Once you cut out all of these foods, Bishop said to stick to that diet for two weeks.
After two weeks, add one item you’ve cut out back into one meal.
“Eat something and wait 48 hours and see how you feel. If nothing negative happens, that [item] maybe okay.”
Bishop cautions eager dieters from adding many items back into their diets all at once because it is unclear how they will interact with each other.
“You may be able to handle one, but can’t handle the combination of products.”
The Ideal Diet:
According to Bishop, the ideal fibro diet includes,
- Primarily vegetative
- Rich in vitamins
- Fruits low in sugar
- Some whole grains
- Omega 3 fatty acids
- Vitamin A, B, C
“This is a healthy diet for everybody,” Bishop said. “But it’s especially important for people with fibromyalgia because it reduces inflammatory agents such as sugar. You need to find things that trigger those situations and eliminate them.”
Bishop has seen success in relief from clients with fibromyalgia that he has aided. But the number of people helped by changes in diet is unknown.
“I do not have a clue nor does any Fibro organization or association that I am aware of. If they do, they are not publishing,” he said.
The lack of research into this area is linked to money, Bishop said.
“If a company can make a lot of money it justifies doing research and publishing the data to get new products approved. Doctors are taught to treat symptoms through drugs not foods.”
Bishops recommends that sufferers try the fibro diet because it offers huge benefits to the body both for fibromyalgia and overall health.
A Fibro Sufferer’s Experience with Dieting:
Three years ago, Leana Monnier, 36 of Huntington, California, began suffering from fibromyalgia.
When her fibromyalgia is at its best, she experiences dull aching pains, a headache and three parts of her body that hurt whenever she moves.
Two months ago, Monnier began her own “fibro diet.”
“I started out on raw foods only, but find that so amazingly hard. I do as much as I can raw. I add chicken and fish on good days and sometimes will have a ‘protein burger.’”
Bishop suggested that a fibro diet consist of 70 percent raw vegetables and 30 percent cooked. “Eat every color of the rainbow everyday,” he added.
Monnier has cut out several items from her diet that Bishops suggests fibro sufferers do.
She avoids sugar, white flour, milk, beef, caffeine, alcohol and cheese. One of the major reasons she eliminated these foods is because they contributed to her IBS, which is a common companion of fibromyalgia.
After starting her new diet, Monnier noticed a change.
“My symptoms were greatly reduced when I started this diet. I could concentrate better. I could exercise regularly. I could function.”
As she began to feel better, Monnier said she added more food items back into her diet see how they would affect her body and mind.
Recently, Monnier relapsed from her strict diet, which set her fibromyalgia symptoms off.
“I am in the worst flare I’ve had in over a year. I am a mess right now. I am in pain, the fog is out of control.”
After this experience, Monnier said she is jumping right back on to her diet.
She encourages all fibro sufferers to give the fibro diet a try.
“You have absolutely nothing to lose except some seriously annoying symptoms and maybe a few pounds! It doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult. See if your local Dollar store sells fruits and veggies. Buy a week’s worth at once, chop them all up at once and store in air-tight containers. I know if they aren’t easy to get to when you’re hungry you won’t eat them!”
Wallace Bishop: Courtesy of Wallace Bishop
Photos in slideshow:
- Vegetables Monkeyatlarge
- Whole grains Suavehouse113
- Omega 3s Avlxyz
- Fruit Theseanster93
- Alcohol Brosner
- Coffee Ahmed Rabea
- Candy Yomi955
Leana Monnier: Courtesy of Leana Monnier