We are always being told that eating a well balance diet is good for our health so what are you supposed to do when the foods we eat can make symptoms worse? The link between specific foods and fibromyalgia are still very much in debate but as all of my friends with chronic illnesses say that they notice a link between the two I think it is worth a mention.
Many believe that food sensitivities and fibromyalgia go hand in hand. I am not going to tell you what to eat or what to start eliminating from your diet. Everyone will have their own experience with trigger foods, and if like me, can also get really fed up with other people telling you what you can and can not put into your body.
I was diagnosed with IBS about 17 years ago, long before I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Since then my relationship with food hasn’t really been a healthy one and it has gotten worse since my diagnosis
IBS affects the digestive system. It can cause backache, bloating, cramps, constipation, diarrhoea, fatigue, flatulence, incontinence, nausea, and passing mucus heavy stools. Just like Fibromyalgia there isn’t any one test to see if you have it. Instead diagnoses happens through the process of elimination so it is always advisable to speak to your Dr. If you feel you are suffering with any of these symptoms on a regular basis, especially as some of these could be a sign of something more serious.
The importance of a food and symptoms diary
Diaries to keep track of your food intake and your symptoms can be invaluable and yet Is something I personally struggle with doing. My plan though is to actually start doing this because I think it would help with gaining a sense of control over my health. I recommended you see a dietitian if you can rather than doing all this by yourself as it can all be very daunting and overwhelming.
The general idea is that you have two columns and you simply write down your food and drink intake in one. Then any symptoms you are experiencing, rated on a scale of 1-10 in another. I would also recommend writing down your medications and any supplements that you are taking, especially as most require you to take them around the same time as your meals. Hopefully by doing this you can start seeing a pattern which will help when seeing drs and specialists.
Then after a month start off by gradually replacing old eating habits with new ones making changes gradually by adding goals to your diary. It will also be handy to plan your meals to include more foods that are suited to you.. Many more “fibro friendly” foods may take a while for your pallet to get use to the new tastes. Keep your symptom column going too.
- Avoid stimulants such as additives, alcohol, caffeine, chemicals, chocolate, sugar, and tobacco.
- Avoid gluten and dairy.
- Eat small meals 3-4 times a day with snacks in between. Obviously making sure they are nutritious.
- Prepare your meals in advance.
- Talking of your nutritional intake the current train of thought is to have a diet that consists of 40% Carbohydrate, 30% protein, and 30% unsaturated fat.
Things to also consider
Try to get help when cooking and preparing food in general, especially with preparing your snacks. The first issue many people come up against is having nothing but ingredients in their cupboards without the energy or inclination to use them. This is a trap I fall into a lot and most of the time I will go without rather than struggle spending ages making something to eat only to end up exhausted from the task or injured due to lack of coordination.
My diet and nutrition will be spoken about a lot in the next coming weeks as I start the process of getting back onto of my health again, or as much as I can with what I have. Is there anything that you have fond helpful? Have you managed to get a dieticians help or did you do it on your own? A dietician isn’t an option I have which is why I’ve spent the past few years researching as much as I can about it.