Fibromyalgia and nutrition


Thorough fibromyalgia (FM) care necessitates that one consider a multitude of variables such as quality of sleep, hormonal balances, potential infectious conditions, nutrition, exercise and a host of other factors.

What seems to be apparent with FM patients include the following pathophysiology factors:

  1. Substance P (a pain neurotransmitter) is too high.
  2. Tryptophan (an essential amino acid) is too low.
  3. Serotonin (a brain neurotransmitter) is too low.
  4. Muscle cells (mitochondria which produce energy) are abnormal.

Much of this can be affected with diet to a degree, with the FM sufferer typically noticing substantial improvement.  For example:

 Turkey:  Eat more turkey, because turkey contains tryptophan, an amino acid  which is needed for the body to make both serotonin as well a melatonin.  Serotonin helps with our moods and melatonin helps with sleep.  Many FM sufferers complain of energy loss.  In addition to being found in turkey, tryptophan is found in salmon, tuna, anchovies, and mackerel, nuts, seeds, soy products and yogurt.  These protein foods also contain another amino acid, tyrosine, which is needed for the body to produce the brain neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine.  Dopamine and norepinephrine work to reduce mental ‘fogginess’ and to increase cognitive function which is often needed in FM sufferers.  Melatonin is sometimes taken to help with sleep and tryptophan is available to take as a supplement as well, but caution must be used when taking single amino acids that imbalances are not created in other amino acids.  For this reason, turkey may be the best bet!

Sardines:  According to the National Fibromyalgia Association, 63% of FM sufferers report muscle pain.  Fibromyalgia muscle pain is thought to result from CoQ10 deficiency.  Deficiency of CoQ10 is also seen with stain use to lower cholesterol.  CoQ10 is found in abundance in sardines and organ meats, or if you prefer a CoQ10 supplement is an alternative.  In one study 30% of fibromyalgia pain sufferers experienced less fatigue and pain after taking 300mg per day of this nutrient for 9 months.

Common Offenders:  Common foods and substances which have been reported as being problematic for FM sufferers include:  Aspartame, sugar, corn, yeast, gluten, shrimp, chocolate, food coloring, caffeine, and especially, monosodium glutamate (MSG).  Also, both aspartame and MSG have been implicated in stimulating certain neurotransmitters and FM symptoms often diminish once these are eliminated from the diet.

We truly appreciate the confidence and trust shown by choosing our services by those who require care for FM!

This information is not to be considered or used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please talk to your health care provider for anything related to your health including but not limited to diagnosis, treatment advice and/or care. Always seek the advice of a health care professional. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem or condition, please contact a qualified health care professional immediately. If you are in the United States and are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911 or call for emergency medical help on the nearest telephone.