Trigger Foods

Not everyone has the same trigger foods, but it has been noted that certain foods seem to have more of an effect on sufferers of chronic pain and fibromyalgia. It is advised by occupational therapists to keep a food and pain diary for 2 – 3 weeks documenting what you eat and how bad (if at all) your body reacts to it. To be able to do this it is advised that you try to keep the offending food below separate so you can pin point what type of food has had an adverse effect on you. When I (Jeni) completed my food diary I had just completed a Cleanse 9, you do not have to cleanse your body before starting a food diary however at the time I was eating every food known to man so this was the better start for me. Upon completing my C9 and my food diary I noted that I had adverse effects to Dairy, Eggs and Aspartame. I now try to limit these foods in my diet, especially when I am suffering a flare up.

Here is a list of foods that are known to cause some people with Fibromyalgia flare ups –

Aspartame

This is a artificial sweetener and can be found in a load  of different foods that you really would not expect. Those of us on a diet will usually opt for the sugar free foods as that is limiting the amount of sugar we are consuming and supposedly helping us loose weight. However there is another issue for the chronic pain sufferers when consuming this type of food. It contains this sweetener which has been proven to cause pain flares in a lot of fibro sufferers.
So what about those of us that want sugar free stuff because of the Diets?
When buying sugar free items you can look for the natural sweeteners that are used – Lactose (which is from dairy foods) and Sucralose (which comes from sugar)

Caffeine

Now this particular food does not trigger pain off, it interferes more with our sleep patterns which is the reason for the Fibromyalgia flares. Doctors say we require 20% Deep sleep to effectively re-charge our batteries, those people with Fibromyalgia seem to only manage up to 10% which can add to the fatigue we experience during the day. Doctors have mentioned to chronic fatigue sufferers to try to limit the amount of caffeine they drink in the afternoon to reduce your sleeping issues.
So how do we stay awake during the day without caffeine?
If you don’t work then short power naps throughout the day will help you combat the chronic fatigue, however for those that do work, I (Jeni) take a product called Bee Pollen which has been proven to help people to stay awake without the need for Caffeine products.

Sugar

Sugar is a carbohydrate which produces energy for our bodies, one of the symptoms of Fibromyalgia is the craving of carbs and this can also be attributed to the chronic fatigue symptom that we all suffer too. Too much sugar can make sufferers pack on the pounds. Extra weight means extra pain.
How do I get rid of my sugar / carb cravings?
If you are craving sugary / sweet food the best way to combat this type of craving is to opt for a piece of fruit instead. Certain fruits taste sweeter then others, i.e. – Red Grapes.

MSG and Sodium Nitrite

MSG otherwise known as Monosodium Glutamate (E620) is an artificial additive that is added to enhance the flavor of certain foods. MSG can be found naturally in such foods as tomatoes and cheese’s, however in today’s processed food it is crystallised and added in a lot of the food production to enhance the flavor. Chinese food is one of the main culprits for this as the Chinese use this as a main ingredient when cooking.
How do I get around consuming MSG?
Try cooking all your food from fresh, this will limit the amount of MSG you consume, if however you do want processed foods, look for ones that do not contain E number E620.

Dairy

Certain people are lactose intolerant (which is not a fibromyalgia symptom) however being lactose intolerant can cause bloating and gas that can make you feel slow, weak and tired after consumption. Limiting the dairy foods can help combat this.
Calcium is important, won’t removing Dairy remove this?
Calcium can be found in many other foods other then just dairy, Salmon, Broccoli and Tuna all contain some calcium. You could always opt for a lactose free milk alternative, like soy milk.

Gluten

Celiac disease, which is an intolerance to gluten that can be found in wheat, rye and barley, can overlap Fibromyalgia as the symptoms it causes are very similar to Fibro, There is no scientific reason why a normal Fibromyalgia sufferer would need to exclude Gluten, however if you find that you pain flares worse after consuming a product containing gluten it is best to speak to your Doctor to get tested for Celiac.

NB – This page is for information only and should not be accepted as Medical fact. If you have symptoms of a unknown intolerance or allergy you must see your medical professional firstly.