Despite what many people claim, there is no specific diet for treating fibromyalgia symptoms. Fibromyalgia can be a tricky condition to treat because everybody experiences it differently. Sure, there are some common symptoms like wide spread muscle pain, joint pain and tender points but the finer details are very unique to each individual. For example, I have a hard time keeping my hands closed in a fist due to the nerve pain I experience. My parent, who also has FM, does not have this problem. Just like each person has a unique set of FM symptoms, so too does each person have a unique diet that works for them.
Some people have reported success in going gluten free, paleo, low carb, high carb, raw or even vegan. I’m not going to tell you what works because it’s YOUR body and only you know how to manage it.
What I want to talk about is the importance of keeping a food diary, not to lose weight, but to identify if there are any foods that might be affecting your FM. I suggest logging everything that goes into your body. Pay attention to how your food makes you feel. When you have a flare, see if there’s something in your food log that may have triggered it. Perhaps it’s something you don’t normally eat or, perhaps it’s something you eat too much of. It could be dairy, gluten, or even something as normal as tomatoes.
If you suffer from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome,) which is common in people with fibromyalgia, try an elimination diet. Log what foods you’re eating and cut one thing out at a time to see how it makes you feel. Start slowly and record how you’re feeling (a journal as well as a food log are fantastic tools for managing your FM) and hopefully, with some time and persistence, you will discover what’s triggering your pain.
There are several ways to keep track of the food you eat. You could try using an online tool like MyFitnessPal to track your food (and calories) but sites like this were designed for weight loss in mind. If seeing your calorie count doesn’t bother you, then I would go this route. If you feel intimidated by calorie counts, feel free to write down your foods in a notebook with general information like what you ate, how much, time of day, etc. Don’t worry if you forget sometimes, it happens to all of us. Just do your best to consistently keep track of what you ingest so that you have a better idea of what affects your FM and what doesn’t.