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Fibromyalgia and diet

by Susan

Susan's question...

My daughter, who is 25 years old, has been told by the doctor she has fibromyalgia. She says she doesn't want to live on drugs, but she has a 20-month old son and she doesn't have the energy to play with him. She says she can't sleep, and I think she may be getting depressed.

Are there supplements, vitamins or anything that could help? I don't know if this is up your alley, and I know you're not a therapist, but maybe you have you have some answers. Thanks.

Suzy's answer...

Fibromyalgia is a somewhat mysterious illness that is becoming more common. Symptoms include pain, fatigue, sleep problems, light sensitivity, headaches and abdominal distress. It is important that people with this disorder follow a healthy diet. Here are some specific recommendations for those with fibromyalgia.

*Eat more Omega 3 fats such as found in flax seed, salmon, sardines and other cold-water fish.

*Get rid of the trans-fats in your diet, from margarine, solid vegetable shortenings and processed foods with hydrogenated oils.

*Eat lots of colorful fruits, vegetables and include whole grains.

Click here for more information on phytonutrients.

*Take a good vitamin-mineral supplement, including magnesium which is anti-spasmodic. This is just anecdotal, but I have a friend that tried everything to relieve fibromyalgia, and finally started taking a Super B vitamin supplement, which alleviated her symptoms.

*Eat turmeric and ginger, either in your food or in capsule form.

*Get regular physical exercise, along with stretching. Walking, swimming and other low-impact aerobic exercise work the best.

*Set up regular sleep patterns by going to bed and getting up at the same time every day, if possible.

I hope this helps your daughter and give her my best wishes for a full recovery from this frustrating disorder!

Eat and be healthy with my warmest regards,

Suzy Staywell

Nutrition page

More tips for eating healthy

*Eat a variety of fresh, whole foods, including selections from all five food groups—Vegetables, Fruits, Grains, Meat and Legumes and Milk.

*Include at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day, with an emphasis on vegetables. Eating colorful foods for their protective phytonutrients will help you stay healthy.

*Eat a balanced diet with a ratio of 40-30-30 of good carbs, low-fat protein and good quality fats respectively.

*Include fiber foods with each meal so that you get a total of 25-30 grams of fiber each day.

*Choose low-fat versions of dairy products and leaner meats.

*Include a serving of a low-fat version of good quality protein with each meal and snack.

*Eat good carbohydrates, such as whole grains most, if not all of the time.

*Choose unsaturated fats such as olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds.

*Stay away from empty calorie foods that provide calories but little nutrition.

*Limit your intake of foods with a lot of added salt and sugar.

*Limit pre-packaged foods and fast foods, which are generally over-processed, full of chemical additives and high in sodium.

*Drink 6-8 glasses of filtered water each day, while at the same time avoiding soft drinks and limiting fruit juice.

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