The World's Healthiest Foods

Can you tell me more about the best food choices for fibromyalgia?

Although we have not developed a fibromyalgia-related meal plan for our website and do not feature it as one of the health conditions that we focus on in our website, we can give you a brief update on the major food-related issues in this area. The most common food steps presently taken for healing from fibromyalgia involve elimination of as many food stimulants and processed foods as possible from the routine meal plan. Food stimulants here would include caffeine-containing foods like chocolate, sodas with caffeine, and coffees and teas with caffeine. Processed foods would include foods with artificial additives and preservatives, processed foods containing high fructose corn syrup or other sugar-based sweeteners and providing more than 10 grams of sugar per serving, and processed deli meats that are preserved with nitrates. Alcohol and tobacco are also usually eliminated.

Another set of steps may be taken to help support energy production in the muscles. These steps center on nutrients involved with processes taking place in specialized parts of our muscle cells called mitochondria. The mitochondria handle most of our oxygen-based energy production, and their function is critical to our muscle movement. Many of the B vitamins, vitamins C and E, Coenzyme Q, and the omega 3 fatty acids are important in this energy-production context. (You can find profiles of these nutrients, plus "best source" foods for each one in our Essential Nutrients A-Z section.

Since there can possibly be a variety of different approaches for the treatment of fibromyalgia, we encourage you to work with a licensed healthcare practitioner skilled in nutrition, such as a nutritionist, dietitian or naturopathic physician.

We suggest that you ask your physician for more help in this area; if your physician is not skilled in nutrition ask him/her for a referral to a healthcare practitioner who is.

References:

Berg AM, Naides SJ, Simms RW. Established Fibromyalgia Syndrome and Parvovirus B19 Infection. J Rheumatol. 1993;20(11):1941-3.

Caro XJ. New Concepts in Primary Fibrositis Syndrome. Compr Ther. 1989;15(5): 14-22.

Kushmerick MJ. Muscle Energy Metabolism, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy and Their Potential in the Study of Fibromyalgia. J Rheumatol Suppl. 1989;19:40-6.

Narvaez J, Nolla JM, Valverde-Garcia J. Lack of Association of Fibromyalgia With Hepatitis C Virus Infection. J Rheumatol. 2005;32(6):1118-21.

Neumann L, Buskila D. Epidemiology of Fibromyalgia. Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2003;7(5):362-8.

Olsen NJ, Park JH. Skeletal Muscle Abnormalities in Patients With Fibromyalgia. Am J Med Sci. 1998;315(6):351-8.

Wittrup IH, Jensen B, Bliddal H, et al. Comparison of Viral Antibodies in 2 Groups of Patients With Fibromyalgia. J Rheumatol. 2001;28(3):601-3.

Wortmann RL. Searching for the Cause of Fibromyalgia: Is There a Defect in Energy Metabolism? Arthritis Rheum. 1994;37(6):790-3.