It’s a frustrating fact of life for people who suffer from fibromyalgia, but this health condition rarely comes without some less-than-welcome companions. One of the more common ones is Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS for short — which nearly half of fibromyalgia patients suffer from. Just because it’s a common problem doesn’t mean that it’s easy to treat, though. IBS and other stomach problems affect your quality of life from the moment you wake up to the moment your head hits the pillow (and even at night, unfortunately). So what can you do to prevent flare-ups or reduce the discomfort you’ve likely grown so used to? Let’s start with the foods you should be eating, as well as those that you may need to avoid.
The first step in changing your diet, after speaking with your doctor, is to simply remember that everybody is unique. The person next to you could have a similar build, the same medical conditions, and even the same favorite restaurant, but the foods that will make you feel your best may differ slightly. That means that finding your ideal diet can mean a little bit of trial and error. Here are a few places to start looking for culprits in your diet — as well as foods to replace them with.
Do Eat: Omega-3 Fatty Acids
This is likely not the first time you’ve heard of omega-3 fatty acids. They’re commonly suggested, either through supplementation or diet, to aid in everything from inflammation to fibromyalgia to symptoms of depression. Sounds like the perfect recipe for someone who suffers from a chronic illness like fibromyalgia! Seafood, Walnuts and chia or flax seeds are all good sources of this little dietary gem.
Not to sound like the Grinch here, but added sugars really aren’t doing you any favors in the long run. Whether you’re self-medicating for a low mood, trying to get a quick energy fix, or you just can’t kick a strong sweet tooth, added sugar in your food are likely leading you down a bad path health-wise.
Do Eat: Whole, Unprocessed Foods
We are most definitely NOT saying that all unprocessed foods are going to work for you personally. In fact, there are quite a few out there — raw onions, cruciferous vegetables, nightshades, and more — that you might want to cut out entirely. If you start from a place of whole, unprocessed foods, though, it’s quite a bit easier to tell which ingredients are making you feel worse. Instead of trying to determine if it was the red dye or the soy or the preservative that’s left you feeling bloated, you can more easily weed out the foods that don’t work for your health. And like we said above, that experimentation is key to determining YOUR perfect diet to help you manage your fibromyalgia long-term.