One of the things that seems to go wrong with fibromyalgia is the functioning of the central nervous system, of which the brain is a part. The brain is very sensitive to changes in blood sugar (glucose). Research has shown low glucose can alter the perception of pain . Low glucose can also contribute to fatigue . Given that pain and fatigue are the main symptoms of fibromyalgia, it make sense that moderating glucose fluctuations could lead to symptom moderation as well.
What About Gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in grains such as barley, rye, wheat and oats. Gluten sensitivity can result in some fibromyalgia-like symptoms. Sensitivity to gluten can range from mild to extreme, with the extreme form being known as celiac disease or sprue. Blood tests and biopsies are usually performed to confirm a celiac disease diagnosis, and blood tests are also available to test for milder forms of sensitivity.
If you are gluten-sensitive and you have fibromyalgia, eliminating gluten from your diet may result in symptomatic improvement. If you are not gluten-sensitive and you have fibromyalgia, eliminating gluten is unlikely to produce any symptomatic improvement aside from placebo effect.
Other Nutritional Considerations
Pain, fatigue and financial limitations may underlie decisions that result in a sub-optimal diet and nutrient deficiencies. Food intolerances and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (both common with fibromyalgia) may also contribute to the development of nutrient deficiencies. Fibromyalgia itself seems to create nutrient deficiencies and/or higher than normal requirements for certain nutrients.
The "best" foods listed below have been selected because they are high in the nutrients most commonly needed by people with fibromyalgia. If you are concerned you may be low in a specific nutrient, please contact a health care practitioner for assessment.
The Best Foods for Fibromyalgia
Make sure your diet adheres to these basics to keep your blood sugar in the right zone:
Food sensitivities to things other than gluten can also contribute to chronic widespread pain and fatigue. For this reason, it is often worthwhile for people with fibromyalgia to be assessed for a broader spectrum of food sensitivities.
Do not undertake supplementation without medical supervision because some nutrients can be toxic and/or interact with medications you may be taking.
How To Implement Dietary Changes