Fibromyalgia is a very complex syndrome. I have lived with it for many years and explored many various treatments, and approaches to healing. One of the factors I have found to be very important in reducing fibromyalgia symptoms is the food we put into our mouths. What we eat can help our bodies to heal or to exacerbate or cause symptoms.
I am inspired to write this today because of a flare up of symptoms that I had not experienced in years. I was very baffled about what was happening. It took me a few months to realize what was happening. I had became too lax in my diet and began including foods that I have previously expelled from my diet. With the removal of the foods, my symptoms quickly resolved. That completely reaffirmed my belief that diet is a MAJOR factor in fibromyalgia.
There are 4 major components to consider when considering diet:
- Eating whole, unrefined foods free from additives and preservatives.
- Eating the right foods for your unique body type
- Eating from a place of gratitude and presence.
- Identifying and eliminating foods that your body reacts to.
Symptoms that can be caused by the wrong diet include (but not limited to):
- Physical tension, aches, and pains.
- Burning, itching on the skin and internally.
- IBS, crones, constipation, diarrhea
- Depression and anxiety.
Eating whole, unrefined foods free from additives and preservatives.
Fresh fruits, vegetables, animal foods, nuts, seeds, grains, and oils are the foundation of a healthy diet. Dairy if your body can tolerate it, some bodies cannot tolerate dairy. These foods provide the body with important nutrient to build, repair, provide energy, enhance cellular communication, hydrate, and nourish cells, balance hormone activity and more.
Refined foods are often loaded with chemical preservatives to extend the shelf life and additives to give it back some flavor that is destroyed in the refining process. The refining process destroys important nutrient that the body needs to thrive and heal and can add empty calories (calories deficient of nutrition) that can lead to weight gain and malnourishment. The added chemicals can build toxicity in the body and interfere with the body’s natural chemical processes.
Animal food free from hormones, antibiotics, and other chemicals are preferable. The added chemicals can impact your hormone levels, create a desensitization to antibiotics when truly needed, and create imbalances and toxicity in the body.
Organic vegetables are preferable but start where your feet are, and your budget can handle. Fresh vegetables are preferable, then frozen and lastly canned (which are the most deficient in nutrients)
Eating the right foods for your unique body type
Just as different plants have different needs such as amount of sun and water, temperature, the Ph level, and the right blend of soil and fertilizer, our human bodies have unique needs. If you place a pansy on a hot dry area with direct sun in the middle of the summer, it will shrivel up and die. But if planted in the fall it can thrive all winter. If you give a geranium a lot of water it won’t do well, but many philodendrons love water.
Some people do well on a high protein, high fat diet. Some people do better on a high carb, low protein diet. If you discover the right diet for your type, you will feel a greater sense of well being and balance, reduce food cravings, have a steady flow of energy, and maintain a stable weight.
Different body types do well with different vegetables, fats, and protein as well.
Eating from a place of gratitude and presence
Taking time to eat in a quiet space and chewing your food improves the digestion and assimilation of the food. It allows for full digestion and improves elimination as well. Focusing on the taste of the food and the process of eating assist the body in digestion. Eating in a rush or while multi-tasking reduces the benefit of food and creates digestive issues. It also creates a tendency to overeat as you are unaware of when you body is signaling that it is full, which leads to obesity and further insults the digestive system.
Identifying and eliminating foods that your body reacts to
This aspect of diet is more difficult to identify. Different bodies react strongly to certain foods. Here are some common intolerances: Dairy, gluten, gluten free grains, eggs, corn, soy, Legumes, tree nuts, citrus fruits, and night shade vegetables, shellfish, and coffee. There are also categories of food that contain high levels of natural chemicals in foods that can cause reactions. These include salicylates, amines, sulfites, fructose, oxalates.
Steps improve your diet to enhance your health.
- Improve the quality of your diet by transitioning toward whole foods and away from processed foods. Moving towards organic foods rather than conventional and factory farming. Improve the quality of the animal foods you ingest by finding meats that are free from added hormones and antibiotics. Then discovering animals’ foods that include a healthy environment for the animals as they grow.
- Set aside a time and place for eating that provides a calm and nurturing environment in which to eat and enjoy the process of nurturing your body. Focus on the experience of eating. Tasting the foods, chewing well, savoring the flavor, eating slowly and consciously. This will enhance digestion and can be a mini meditation away from the busyness and concerns of your daily life. Expressing gratitude for the food you ingest, feeds you the emotion of gratitude along with the nurturing foods.
- Discover your unique body type. There forms of body typing that focus on different aspects of our physiology. I have explored many different types of body typing and I find the Metabolic Typing Diet by Bill Wolcott is the most inclusive. His book, the Metabolic Typing Diet is a good place to start. The book educates you as to the importance of body typing, provides a questionnaire to identify your oxidative type, how to implement, and instructions as to what foods to eat and how to refine your diet. He has an advanced questionnaire that offers a more complete assessment by including nervous system type, blood type and hormonal type that is available through a certified practitioner. (If you are interested in that, you can contact me.)
- Explore food intolerances and sensitivities. Educate yourself. There are many good articles on the internet about food sensitivities that include lists and instructions. You can experiment with your own body. Remove one offending food for a week, notice if you feel a difference. Then put the food back in and notice how you feel. This is a very powerful way to use your body to discover exactly what does not work for it. There are blood tests that can identify food sensitivities. (If you are interested in this, contact me).
Learning to feel your body and listening to it is very powerful.
Your body knows what it needs and does not need. By tuning in and listening to your body, you will create a very powerful alliance with your body. It can become your guide and friend, rather than an enemy that is causing you pain. Remember, your body is also suffering. It does not want to be in pain. It also wants to be healthy and can guide you in that direction.
May you discover the healing properties of food,