Diet strategies for Fibro

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Fibromyalgia (FM) is a common condition that affects about five million Americans, often between ages 20 and 45 years old. FM is very difficult to diagnose primarily because there is no definitive test like there is for heart, liver, or kidney disease. Equally challenging is the ability to effectively treat FM as there are frequently other conditions that co-exist with FM that require special treatment considerations. Typically, each FM case is unique with a different group of symptoms and therefore, each person requires individualized care.

Fibromyalgia symptoms can include generalized pain throughout the body that can vary from mild to severely disabling, extreme fatigue, nausea/flu-like symptoms, brain “fog” (“fibro-fog”), depression and/or anxiety, sleeping problems and feeling un-refreshed in the mornings, headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, morning stiffness, painful menstrual cramps, numbness or tingling (arms/hands, legs/feet), tender points, urinary pain or burning, and more!

So, let’s talk about ways to improve your FM-related symptoms through dietary approaches. When the FM symptom group includes gut trouble (bad/painful gas, bloating, and/or constipation), it’s not uncommon to have an imbalance between the “good” vs. the “bad” bacteria, yeast, and problems with digestion or absorption. Think of management as a “Four Step” process for the digestive system:

1.  REMOVE HARMFUL TOXINS: Consider food allergy testing to determine any foods the FM patient has a sensitivity for. Frequently, removing gluten, dairy, eggs, bananas, potatoes, corn, and red meat can benefit the FM patient. The use of anti-fungal and / or anti-bacterial botanicals (as opposed to drug approaches such as antibiotics) can be highly effective. A low allergy-potential diet consisting of fish, poultry, certain vegetables, legumes, fruits, rice, and olive and coconut oil is usually a good choice.

2.  IMPROVE DIGESTIVE FUNCTION: The presence of bloating and gas is usually indicative of poor digestion, and the use of a digestive enzyme with every meal can be highly effective!

3.  RESTORE THE “GOOD” BACTERIA: Probiotics (with at least 20-30 billion live organisms) at each meal are often necessary to improve the “good” gut bacteria population, which will likely also improve immune function.

4.  REPAIR THE GUT: If the gut wall is damaged, nutrients like l-glutamine, fish oils, and n-acetyl-d-glucosamine may help repair it.

This process will take several months, and some of these approaches may have to be continued over the long term. Doctors of chiropractic are trained in nutritional counseling and can help you in this process. As an added benefit, many FM sufferers find the inclusion of chiropractic adjustments to be both symptomatically relieving and energy producing.

If you, a friend or family member requires care for Fibromyalgia, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services!

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Fibromyalgia Diet?

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Folks suffering with fibromyalgia (FM) commonly complain that certain foods can make their symptoms worse. How common is this? One study reported 42% of FM patients found that certain foods worsened their symptoms!

Because FM affects each person differently, there is no ONE FM diet or, “…one size fits all” when it comes to eating “right” for FM. Patients with FM usually find out by trial and error which foods work vs. those that consistently don’t. However, remembering which foods do what can be a challenge so FIRST, make a three column FOOD LOG with the following headings: BETTER, NO CHANGE, WORSE. This will allow you to QUICKLY review the list as a memory refresher.

According to Dr. Ginevra Liptan, medical director of the Frida Center for Fibromyalgia (Portland, OR) and author of Figuring Out Fibromyalgia: Current Science and the Most Effective Treatments, there are some common trends she’s observed through treating FM patients. Here are some of her recommendations:

PAY ATTENTION TO HOW FOOD MAKES YOU FEEL: It is quite common to have “sensitivities” to certain foods, but this is highly variable from person to person. Examples of problematic foods/ingredients include: MSG (commonly used in Chinese food), other preservatives, eggs, gluten, and dairy. Dr. Liptan HIGHLY recommends the food journal approach! She also recommends including a note about the type of symptoms noticed with each “WORSE” food, as symptoms can vary significantly.

ELIMINATE CERTAIN FOODS: If you suspect a certain food may be problematic, try an elimination challenge diet. That means STOP eating that food for six to eight weeks and then ADD it back into your diet and see how you feel. Remember, FM sufferers frequently have irritable bowel syndrome, also known as IBS, and this approach can be REALLY HELPFUL! Food allergies may be part of the problem, and your doctor may refer you for a consult with an allergist and/or a dietician. They will also discuss the “anti-inflammatory diet” with you.

EAT HEALTHY: In general, your diet should emphasize fruits and vegetables and lean protein. Pre-prepare food so you have something “healthy” to reach for rather than a less healthy snack when you’re hungry and tired. Consider “pre-washed” and pre-cut up vegetables; try quinoa rather than pasta. Consume anti-fatigue foods and eat multiple small meals daily vs. one to two large meals. Protein snacks (like a hardboiled egg or oatmeal – GLUTEN FREE) help a lot! Eat breakfast and include protein. Also, GET ENOUGH SLEEP (at least seven to eight hours and be consistent)!

SUPPLEMENTS: Consider a good general multi-vitamin, calcium and magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D3, and Co-Enzyme Q10. There are others, but this represents a great place to start. Remember to check any medication you may be taking with these/any suggestions before taking supplements!

If you, a friend or family member requires care for Fibromyalgia, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services!

What is the BEST diet for Fibromyalgia?

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Fibromyalgia (FM) and its cause remains a mystery, but most studies suggest that FM is NOT the result of a single event but rather a combination of many physical, chemical, and emotional stressors.

The question of the month regarding the BEST FM diet is intriguing since one might assume that the many causes should mean that there isn’t one dietary solution. But is that true? Could there be a “best diet” to help ease the symptoms from such a multi-faceted disorder?

Certainly, healthy eating is VERY important for ALL of us regardless of our current ailment(s). Obesity is rampant largely due to the fact that 60% of the calories consumed by the “typical” American center around eating highly inflaming food that include those rich in Sugar, Omega-6 oil, Flour, and Trans fats (“SOFT” foods, if you will!). Obesity has been cited as “an epidemic” largely due to kids and adults becoming too sedentary (watching TV, playing on electronic devices, etc.) and eating poorly.

Perhaps the BEST way to manage the pain associated with FM and to maintain a healthy BMI (Body Mass Index, or ratio between height and weight) is to substitute ANTI-INFLAMING foods for those that inflame (or SOFT foods).

You can simplify your diet by substituting OUT “fast foods” for fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. So there you have it. It’s that simple. The problem is making up your mind to change and then actually doing it. Once these two things take place, most everyone can easily “recalibrate” their caloric intake and easily adapt.

Not only have studies shown that chronic illnesses like heart disease, stroke, and diabetes significantly benefit by following this simple dietary shift, but so does pain arising from the musculoskeletal system! This is because the human body is made up largely of chemicals, and chemical shifts are constantly taking place when it moves. If you reach for an anti-inflammatory drug like ibuprofen or naproxen and it helps, it’s because you ARE inflamed and the drug reduces the pain associated with that inflammation. This is an indication that an anti-inflammatory diet WILL HELP as well (but without the negative side effects)!

The list of chronic conditions that result in muscle pain not only includes FM but also obesity, metabolic syndrome, and type II diabetes. Conditions like tension-type and migraine headaches, neck and back pain, disk herniation, and tendonopathies and MANY more ALL respond WELL to making this SIMPLE change in the diet. For more information on how to “DEFLAME,” visit http://www.deflame.com! It could be a potential “lifesaver!

I smoke and I sit; does that matter?

Your thoracic spine is made up of 12 individual vertebrae stacked on top of each other. To allow for flexibility and movement, there is a cushion or “disc” in between each level. As we age, these discs can wear and become thinner over time. This leads to additional changes, including bone spurs and narrowing of the opening where your nerves exit your spine. This process is called “thoracic spondylosis”, or simply, “arthritis”.

How quickly you develop back arthritis is largely a trait you inherited from your parents. Other factors may play a role, including a history of trauma, smoking, operating motorized vehicles, being overweight and/ or performing repetitive movements (i.e. lifting, twisting, bending or sitting). Men seem to be affected slightly more often than women.

Symptoms often begin as back pain that gradually worsens over time. Stiffness may be present upon arising in the morning. Pain is relieved by rest or light activity and aggravated by strenuous work. Sometimes your nerves can become “pinched” in narrowed openings where they exit your spine. This can cause pain, numbness, or tingling radiating around your trunk along the path of the irritated nerve. Be sure to tell your doctor if you notice any weakness or if you have a rash (running along your rib), fever, abdominal pain, change in bowel or bladder function, or pain in your groin crease.

Arthritic changes can be seen on x-rays, but interestingly, the amount of wearing does not seem to correlate directly with the severity of your symptoms. People with the same degree of arthritis may have symptoms ranging from none to severe. Most researchers believe that the symptoms of osteoarthritis are not the direct result of the disease, but rather, from the conditions that preceded the disease and those that develop after it, like joint restrictions and muscle tightness. Fortunately, those conditions are treatable and our office has a variety of tools to help relieve your pain.

In general, you should avoid repeated lifting and twisting and take frequent breaks from prolonged sitting, especially in motorized vehicles. Avoid any position that causes an increase in radiating pain. Light exercise, like walking, stationary cycling, water aerobics, and yoga may be helpful. Smokers should find a program to help them quit and overweight patients will benefit from a diet and exercise program.

Diet & Exercise Tip Of The Month

Exercise Tip

Have you ever started a new exercise program and then suddenly gained a few

pounds? Don’t fret. It’s normal! Exercise is a stress on your body, which creates micro

tears in your muscles, and the inflammation from those tears will cause you to retain

more water. Your body will also start to store more glycogen in your muscles to make

sure you have plenty of fuel to burn during your next workout. Those two things will

cause a temporary weight gain when you first start working out. A better way to track

your progress will always be to take measurements. If you’re losing inches, you’re

winning!

Food Myth #6: Energy Drinks Are Better Than Soda

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Red Bull, Monster and their brethren aim to give you a bump in energy with a giant dose of sugar, B vitamins, caffeine and “herbal extracts”. I’d imagine you’re already thinking “this sounds like a bad thing that I should avoid” but in case you aren’t…..

A 16 ounce can of this stuff packs a whopping 280 (!) calories of SUGAR in it which is about 80 calories more than the same sized serving of Pepsi or Coke. Still drinking this stuff? Great, I’ll pass along a few dentist contacts as well since a University of Maryland study showed that they are also 11% more corrosive on your teeth than soft drinks.

Drink more water, tea, black coffee and avoid anything with EXTREME or NEON on the can and you’ll be fine…….