Fibromyalgia is a common and pervasive form of pain that can be quite distressing. Some of the common symptoms include fatigue, sleep disturbances, depression and the mother of them all muscle and tissue pain.
Recent research has shown that central sensitization is linked to fibromyalgia patients process pain. To make matters even worse, some foods have been shown to trigger excess release of neurotransmitters heightening central sensitization.
Although limited studies have been conducted in trying to link spicy diet and fibromyalgia, this article will come in handy in trying to manage chronic pain.
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What is fibromyalgia?
But before we do that, let’s have a look at the nuts and bolts of fibromyalgia.
Although there’s no specific diet for fibromyalgia treatment, poor food choices can obliquely affect fibromyalgia. People suffering from this pain tend to depend mostly on comfort foods given the fact that fatigue doesn’t allow them to exercise regularly. In return, this leads to gaining weight escalating the symptoms further.
Most fibromyalgia patients are inherently alive to the fact that they need to take things easy when the pain flares up. However, there’s one less well-known fact that specific food items may worsen their pain or fibromyalgia symptoms. A recent dietary survey on fibromyalgia patients published showed that 7 percent of the patients had food intolerances while 30 percent had altered their diet to help improve their condition.
Can Eating Spicy Food Affect My Fibromyalgia Diagnosis?
Although there are many spicy foods out there that we can mention, for purposes of clarity, we will use cayenne peppers as our study subject. The reason for this is because almost every family around the world uses them and they are readily available in the grocery stores.
Cayenne peppers are a great herbal remedy for muscle pain treatment. They are like the proverbial jump start to a cold lorry engine on a frosty Siberian countryside. It injects a welcome life into the sore muscles. Additionally, it gets your heart running a relay, which increases blood flow to all the vital body organs.
How is that even possible? You may ask…cayenne peppers significantly decrease the concentration of P substance which is the chemical used by your body nervous system to transmit pain signals.
It is also a loadstone of salicylates, which is a natural aspirin like compound with analgesic attributes. As an added bonus, Cayenne pepper oils, creams, and balms, oils are rubefacients, meaning they instantaneously warm the body by dilating small capillaries which is the hallmark of cayenne’s positive effect on the body.
Incorporating cayenne and other spicy foods to your meals is a no-brainer. Together with other spicy peppers, cayenne helps in digestion and getting rid of bacterial infections emanating from unsanitary food and even water.
They also help reduce bloating as a result of eating greasy foods or even excessive eating..they also come in handy when you are looking to boost metabolism by inducing your body to burn hamful body fats.
All in all, eating more spicy foods increases satiety and decrease appetite. So as a Fibromyalgia patient, you are inclined to eat less averting all the problems that come with excessive eating.
Questionable foods for fibromyalgia sufferers
This is an artificial sweetener used to add sugar to products like yoghurt, desserts and other foods without packing more calories. This artificial sweetener has been linked to worsening fibromyalgia pain to people who regularly use it.
To counter the stinging effects of Aspartame, you can use products that make use of natural sweeteners. You can incorporate beets to your meals to add a touch of sweetness without having to put your health on the crossfire. Alternatively you can use sucralose as an artificial sweetener if need be.
We all love that warm cup of coffee or even other caffeinated drinks. It may come as a temptation to keep the fatigue with a cup of coffee but as it turns out, this may be counterproductive. Coffee comes with a heavy dosage of caffeine which disrupts sleep.
A recent study in Norway showed that fibromyalgia sufferers who spent less time sleeping significantly increased fibromyalgia development.
To counter these caffeine effects, you can take your coffee during the morning hours and abstain for the rest of the day.
Sugar as a carbohydrate plays the role of supplying your body with energy. This attribute makes sugar appealing to fibromyalgia sufferer in a bid to release the fatigue. However, too much of it can stack on pounds, leaving you in even more pain.
If your body is craving for something sweet you can opt to go for a piece of fruit which serves as a natural sweet.
MSG and sodium nitrite
These substances are used to preserve and to enhance flavors to processes foods. They also sport high amounts of salts which intensify swelling and pain in fibromyalgia patients.
To minimize this effect, stay clear from prepackaged foods and concentrate on eating whole foods like brown rice, lentils, and fish.
Other important factors to help manage fibromyalgia
As we have seen, insufficient sleep is can cause significant problems for fibromyalgia sufferers. Ensuring that you have up to 8 hours sleep per day can greatly improve and help recede fibromyalgia pains.
Physical exercise is another important aspect that you shouldn’t overlook. A recent study by Harvard showed that after 20 weeks of exercising, females with fibromyalgia exhibited strengthened muscles, reduced fatigue, pain and stiffness.
Low Vitamin D levels can spiral fibromyalgia pain. As a result, patients are always advised to check their Vitamin D levels and bask in the morning sunlight as it’s a natural source od this vital vitamin.
We hope this article helps debunk the myths surrounding spicy foods and fibromyalgia. As a fibromyalgia sufferer, there’s nothing wrong with eating spicy food. In fact as you have seen, it may come in handy in trying to manage the condition. This however doesn’t mean that spicy food works for everyone. It is all about trying out everything and settling with what your body feels comfortable with.
Jane Grates is an award-winning web lover. Travel Scholar. Writer. Health Enthusiast. Food and health practitioner and the Co-manager of Jane’s Kitchen Miracles, Runnerclick, Thatsweetgift, NicerShoes, and The Gear Hunt.