The Fibromyalgia Diet #fibrodiet #beingfibromom #fibromyalgia

The Fibromyalgia Diet

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With fibromyalgia, there are certain foods that will help symptoms. Likewise, there are foods that will aggravate symptoms. These foods make up the Fibro Diet and should be followed if you are looking to alleviate your fibromyalgia symptoms (particularly the stomach issues).

Remembering which foods to eat and which to avoid can be a pain (especially when living with brain fog). To make it easier, I’ve compiled these lists into two tables – Foods to Eat and Foods to Avoid – for you to be able to print and hang in your kitchen or pantry for easy reference (click here to get the PDF).

What Foods to Eat

These are the good foods that you should eat to help your body fight against fibromyalgia symptoms. Many of these foods are high in magnesium, and a large percentage of those individuals fighting fibromyalgia have a deficiency in magnesium. It is the fourth most prevalent mineral in the body and is responsible for lowering stress and anxiety and boosting energy levels. When a person is lacking this essential mineral, the person will experience body pain, anxiety, fatigue, muscle spasms, migraines, and other symptoms. (Many of these good foods can be assembled in a smoothie.)

Anti-Inflammatory

  • pineapple/pineapple juice
  • garlic
  • sweet potatoes
  • greens such as Brussel sprouts, kale, cabbage, broccoli
  • berries
  • healthy fats such as wild fish, olive oil, and omega-3
  • turmeric
  • ginger
  • salmon
  • olive oil
  • red grapes
  • tart cherries or tart cherry juice
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Energy Boost

  • apples
  • honey (Be sure it is 100% real or raw honey. For added convenience, try honey sticks or honey spoons for your teas or other beverages.)
  • eggs
  • sweet potatoes
  • fish
  • oranges
  • oats
  • bananas
  • yogurt
  • beans
  • spinach
  • almonds

Herbal Teas

  • chamomile: body aches, sleeping (I drink honey vanilla chamomile for the added sweetness.)
  • ginger: anti-inflammatory, nausea (The Lemon Ginger tea makes it taste better and the lemon is also good for the body.)
  • lemon: stress
  • peppermint: bloating and headaches

Fermented Foods

Fermented foods have been through a process called Lacto-fermentation. This process is in which all the natural, good bacteria feed on the sugar and starch preserving the food and creating healthy enzymes, vitamins, fatty acids, and strains of probiotics. Lacto-fermentation also helps with the digestion process and improves overall digestion.

FREE Fibro Food Guide #beingfibromom #fibrodiet #fibromyalgia

The Fibro Food Guide

The Fibro Food Guide is a collection of foods you can eat with fibromyalgia and foods you should avoid. The guide lists the reasons why you should or shouldn’t eat certain foods along with an easy-to-follow printable table.

The Foods to Avoid

These foods are bad for fibromyalgia. One of the common side effects of each of the following is the effect on the gut – inflammation. These foods aggravate fibromyalgia symptoms and can lead to flare-ups. Avoid these foods as much as possible if you have fibromyalgia, but know it’s also okay if eaten less often and in small moderation.

Caffeine

Caffeine stresses the adrenal glands. A little bit is okay, but large amounts can weaken the glands. These glands regulate hormones for functions such as sleep, digestion, and emotions. Read more about adrenal glands and their function.

Gluten

Gluten is a mixture of two proteins and is a substance present in many grains. In many people, it irritates the lining of the smaller intestines making it inflamed to the point of not being able to absorb nutrients.  Most people living with fibromyalgia are gluten sensitive meaning gluten causes mild gut inflammation which causes diarrhea, stomach pains, bloating, headaches, and all-over body aches and pains. Gluten intolerance, such as Celiac Disease, means the body cannot handle gluten in any capacity whatsoever. To determine if you have gluten sensitivity, you can either try an elimination diet or ask your doctor to run a blood test.

Dairy

Like gluten, dairy irritates the stomach and causes diarrhea, stomach cramps, and/or headaches.

Alcohol

The yeast in alcohol can irritate the lining of the digestive tract causing inflammation and swelling.

Processed

Processed foods have a lot of preservatives, unhealthy fats, artificial ingredients, and additives which add stress to the stomach and really the entire body leading to increasing fibromyalgia symptoms.

High-Sugar Content

Any foods which in sugar lead to increased inflammation and can negatively impact cognitive function (thinking skills). The impairment of cognitive thinking is also known as fibro fog.

Fried

Fried foods are loaded with unhealthy oils and trans fat which clogs the arteries. This increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other health risks. Opt for baking instead of frying and use healthier oils such as avocado or coconut oils for high-temperature cooking. Extra virgin olive oil is best for low heat or raw eating such as on salads or in dressings.

Nightshades

Nightshade vegetables should also be avoided because they contain alkaloids that are difficult for some digestive systems to break down. Most people living with fibromyalgia are sensitive to these vegetables and are unable to fully digest them. Symptoms of this sensitivity include diarrhea, gas, bloating, nausea, painful joints, headaches, and depression. Vegetables in the nightshade family are eggplants, bell peppers, tomatoes, and potatoes (sweet potatoes are not included; these are good carbs).

42 thoughts on “The Fibromyalgia Diet”

  1. I have always wanted to try a diet tailored to my illness. I have to eat lots of salt, so that sometimes makes avoiding processed food hard. I need to add more anti-inflammatory foods into my diet though.

    1. I need to add more of the anti-inflammatory ones, too. And avoid the nightshade vegetables! Thanks for commenting!

    2. Can I ask why you have to eat lots of salt? I’ve never heard that before. I love salt & that was my one bad habit I would allow myself to keep. I had a heart attack a couple months ago & have given up salt. That along with Fibro, numerous other diagnosed conditions & surgeries have made life no fun.

  2. Tumeric helps me the most. I try to eat mostly foods that are anti-inflammatory but I have been slacking lately and I can sure tell.

    1. Me, too! I ate without regard to my illness this past weekend and yesterday was a major flare! I drank only water and ate very little. That is all I could take!

    1. My Dr was surprised when I told him. I stopped eating them as soon as I read about it. Went to my sister’s for Passover and she made 3 amazing Assyrian dishes with lamb and Tomatoes. I hurt for two days after. I stay pretty close to an anti inflammatory diet. It has helped so much.

  3. Im confused about sweet potato being an anti inflammatory as it is a high oxalate food and high oxalate foods cause inflammation.

    1. Thank you for reading my posts, and addressing any concerns you may have. Foods high in oxalate does not lead to inflammation, according to my research on this subject. Foods high in oxalate lead to kidney stones. In fact, oxalate is good for the digestive tract as it helps culture good bacteria in the gut. To counteract foods high in oxalate, drinking plenty of water will help “flush” out this excess. Vegetables that contain high levels of oxalate include rhubarb, okra, leeks, spinach, beets, and Swiss chard. These facts were drawn from the Healthline.com website and the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health.

      Does this help?

    2. I am in constant pain with fibromyalgia. I thought beets would be healthy, but I ended up with a horrible attack worse than ever. That is saying a lot. My left ankle is still swollen and my right foot and shoulders hurt all the time. Unbelievable pain. No diet really helps, but some foods do make it worse.

  4. I struggle with so many “diets” that would be good for me not only in regard to my illness (plural, as I have osteoarthritis in my back and knees, as well as fibro) but also diets that would be the best for me to lose weight, such as a low glycemic diet. I need to lose 40 pounds, so that I can minimize the stress on my joints, which worsens symptoms. I do not care for fish or eggs, but I love cheese and have managed to find a no fat greek yogurt that taste good. I am confused about the possible benefit you mentioned, from eating yogurt, because later on it says that dairy is bad in larger amounts. I use yogurt and cheeses as a big part of the protein I need, in my efforts to follow a low glycemic diet. Any suggestions? Can you explain the dairy discrepancy that I mentioned? This is my first time sharing with one of these boards. It is nice to hear other people that TRULY get what it is like to live in our bodies and minds!

    1. Yogurt has a lot of good bacteria, the “probiotics”, for the digestive tract. As long as it is eaten in moderation, you should be okay with it. Dairy aggravates IBS symptoms, and many fibro thrivers suffer from IBS, which is why I said to avoid dairy, or eat in moderation. Thank you for clarifying it!

  5. My morning coffee with cream is the only thing that gets me out of bed in the morning. I want to try this way of eating but I dont know if I can give up my coffee

    Thanks
    Sheri

    1. I understand your struggle completely, Sheri. I read an article last summer that talked about the state of the body when waking up. Despite how tired or groggy we may feel, the first two hours after waking up is the most energetic. Once those two hours have passed, your body starts to be depleted of energy and that’s the time to drink coffee. It said that drinking coffee when first getting out of bed is like putting gas into the tank when it’s already full. In light of that article, I now wait for two hours after getting out of bed to drink my coffee. It has made a difference. It gives me that burst of energy I need to get from mid-morning to lunch when I can get more energy from eating. In other words, don’t give up your coffee! haha Just wait a bit before drinking it. I hope this helps. Let me know how it goes. I’m going to email this to you as well. Have a beautiful day!

  6. Thank you for posting this site. My daughter sent me the link and demanded I read it, which I did. I have suffered for over 10 years with what my PC Doc says is the worst case of Fibromyalgia he’s ever seen. I have several hospitalworthy flare ups per year and my diet is poor at best. I never have an appetite. After a recent hospital visit that was more than a little scary, I have become aware that I must make myself eat a proper diet. Fortunately, the good, bad, ugly of things to either avoid or gravitate towards are all doable for me. Most of the good things, I like. Most of the bad, I don’t with the exception of potatoes and French fries. At age 65 and having had excellent health until about 14 years ago, I realize that as long as I am stuck here (longevity runs in the family) quality of life issues are very important to me. Thanks again for the information you are providing.

    1. Thank you for listening to your daughter and reading my article! You have a smart girl 😉 I understand having a situation that makes you re-evaluate your diet and take it more seriously. I have started being more strict on what I eat, and I am reaping those benefits. It’s not a flawless system, but it does eliminate a lot of the negatives. I’d like for you to join us in our fibro parenting group on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/groups/fibroparenting Each Friday I have a live video to answer and address any questions and concerns. Please join me on my facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/beingfibromom I look forward to connecting with you there!

  7. Energy how? The first 2 hours getting out of bed I’m a zombie ran over by a tank..but I have more diagnoses than fibrosis maybe that’s why?

    1. When there are multiple diagnoses, it can be difficult to tell which one is causing a certain symptom. But with energy, that can be many of the diagnoses causing it. Leaning towards the food that have natural energy boosters would be the first place to start. Thank you for reading and commenting!

  8. Thanks for sharing this post Brandi! Something I would like to add to your post if your ok with is honey….i use honey in everything or maple syurp(real). But if you use honey you want to use REAL/RAW honey. There are many different reasons to do so, however the main reason is its NOT processed. It is better for you its even better for you if you get it from your local area. We are blueberry farmers…so I use the honey that my bee keepers get from pollinating our berries. But we also have cranberries, apples and a few other fruits and such in the area and those would be the honeys I would purchase from a local farmers market. Something to also keep in mind is different honeys have different flavours, I like the fruit honeys where my son likes the local wildflower honey. Sorry…got off the main point I just think its very important especially for people like me to know about honey! I LOVE my honey! And it has really helped with my health.

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  12. Ive suffered with fibro for nearly 10 years. Been experimenting with diet for the last 3 or 4 years along with 2 friends who have also been diagnosed fibro. We found that while some things like sugar effect us all negatively, there are some differences. Nightshade doesn’t seem to affect me but it affects one of my friends badly. We are keeping journals and trying to match diet, exercise, stress to how we feel. All three of us have learned a lot and while I agree with the general gist of the article, i think it is important to track diet long haul and see what individual triggers are. Dairy seems to do badly for me, with the exception of cheese and yogurt which are fine (something in the way they are processed/fermented?). I think most of us will find some difference in how we respond, but this is a good starting point. But honestly on bad days sometimes nothing helps.

  13. I have fibro, neuropathy in my feet lower legs and hand, degenerative arthritis thru my body and cervical stenoisis in my neck,thyroid issuse plus other health issues. I just had the worst pain i have ever had in my life last month from a allergic reaction from a medication and lost 36 lbs in 2 weeks and now also being taken off a med thats suppose to help with fibro but also allergic. I am trying to figure out which diet plan to follow the fibro or neuropathy or arthur one because one says yes on this no on this and so on. I am a widow of 10 years and about to turn 50. I dont know which non antiflamtory diet to go on. Some of the anitflamtory food doesnt like my stomach because of 30 or so years of GERD.

  14. Anastasia Paggett

    Thank you for the diet plan for the Fibromyalgia I have been looking and even ask my doctor about what kind of food do you need to eat or not. He tell me no one have even ask that question and when I find out please let him no. Why do we pay doctor if we have to do the work at a $110.50 for and hour he need to pay me after all the looking I have done. The only thing he could tell me no shell fish now that really hurt me I love crabs legs, shrimps why I’m glad I found this group can you please help me

  15. For about 2 years I have been dealing muscle pain and stiffness that did not make sense. I started going to the doctor for a check up and blood work and everything was normal. I have been really confused about what is going on with my body. I believe I have fibromyalgia. Hopefully I will find some answers to my pain. I also have been dealing with digestive issues along with my pain. I really loved the info about what to eat and what to avoid. I am going to start this diet ASAP. Thanks

  16. I have been eating these foods for over a year. I don’t see where they r helping or not helping. I can’t take meds. Getting really frustrated because I can’t get a job or do anything that I love to do. I’m a 46 year breast cancer survivor and this fibromyalgia is so debilitating it makes my cancer look like a wall in the park. I’ve been in physical therapy and that didn’t help. Oh and I love the brain fog. Any suggestions out there.

    1. Hi, Barbara, I’m sorry to hear you’re not seeing results with your foods. I’d be happy to guide you more on the nutrition side of fibromyalgia. Send me an email when you’re ready and we can chat more about it. Gentle hugs and healing energy!

  17. I began eating Vegan in March and love the positive results I have experienced. My fibro pain has been reduced to practically nothing on a daily basis. I do experience an occasional flare, but the episode is over in less than 8 hrs. I still drink a cup of coffee daily and cannot give up my tomato mayo sandwich. I added grilled or baked fish to my diet so I guess I am now eating Pescatarian.

  18. Thank you so much for your Fibro diet information. I have recently been diagnosed with it and I think I have bought just about every book on it and boy was I getting confused. You have made it so easy to have all the information in front of you rather than flipping from book to book. Thanks again.

  19. Hi. I was wondering if anyone has noticed a difference in dairy products that are organic versus not organic. I’ve had issues with regular milk and ice cream since I was a kid. But since buying organic milk, I don’t have those same problems. I’ve had Fibromyalgia for roughly 32 years, along with a laundry list of other issues including CRPS, multiple sensitivities and allergies, etc. I love cheese, my favorite food, so have been trying to buy only organic. I would love to know if anyone has any info regarding organic versus not organic when it comes to Fibro, flares, etc. Thank you so much.

    1. Hi, Kim, Thank you for your inquiry as this is an excellent question. I don’t have any facts or references to leave; however, based on what I know and what I’ve experienced personally, organic is better for gut health. There are various additives with conventional foods and with a fibro stomach, this is not a good thing. I cannot always buy organic, but I do buy it when I can and buy the foods that are most important to me. This can make a huge difference in my pain levels and flares. I hope this helps! Gentle hugs, Brandi

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