We Are What We Eat?

Eating a healthy diet is good for all health conditions. Our body needs vitamins and nutrients to thrive and heal. Some people believe that if you follow particular ways of eating it can even eliminate disease… including Fibro. I myself am not that convinced of that last part, though. Sure, I believe wholeheartedly that a healthy diet can reduce and eliminate certain diseases and is the best thing for our overall general health, but I need more convincing where fibro is concerned – while food may certainly help to ease some symptoms (and I have tried many diets, to varying levels of success!), I don’t believe food alone can be the cure. Let’s take a look at some diets that are commonly recommended.

LOW FODMAP

The “Low Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides And Polyols” diet, don’t ever ask me to pronounce that one! This diet was created to help reduce the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) but has been touted as assisting in the reduction of other Fibro symptoms as well. You start by eliminating high fodmap foods from your diet for a short period and then reintroduce fodmaps one at a time; eventually, you will learn which ones you can tolerate and which ones you should avoid. I think this diet could be amazing at isolating problem foods! I did start this once, downloaded an app and all but then got really confused by it and never knew what I could and could not eat. If I have to ask 100 questions a day about something my attitude becomes “fuck that shit”, so I gave up.

GLUTEN FREE

The Gluten Free Diet is commonly used for people who have been diagnosed with Coeliac Disease, and also suggested by some knowledgeable people as being beneficial for people with Fibro. This diet, as suggested, simply eliminates all gluten from your diet. What is Gluten? A protein found in wheat, barley, rye and oats which can cause issues similar to IBS symptoms, as well as general tiredness and also aches and pains. I managed to stick to this one for a couple of months as it was pretty straight forward with what to avoid; I found a nice pasta replacement and a few other things… but honestly a lot of the replacement items I tried were pretty fucking gross. I also did not find it affected a huge change in my symptoms during this time and eventually slipped back into bad habits and gave this one up.

DAIRY FREE

I actually had this one suggested to me by a nutritionist to help with my Fibro. The Dairy Free Diet is beneficial for those who are Lactose intolerant (but people can also have a general dairy intolerance) and it works by cutting out ALL dairy (as opposed to just lactose). A large portion of the population just cannot stomach dairy, suffering digestive issues – some sufferers might not even be aware that this is the cause of their problems until they cut dairy out completely! The high saturated fat of dairy is also linked to heart disease among other things. I do love this one because it is easy to follow and I definitely saw improvement in my general health – although admittedly not so much my in my fibro symptoms, which was the point of me trying it. The alternatives like almond milk and tofu are great but alas, I love cheese and could not find a good cheese alternative so once again I split back into my old ways. I am sure you can all see a pattern here, I fucking suck at sticking to things!

VEGAN

The Vegan Diet is of course something that most people commit to because they care about animals, but there are also a heap of health benefits that come with it (although I know some hardcore carnivores will inevitably disagree with that part). Going Vegan means cutting out everything that is or includes animal products, from meat and dairy to eggs and honey. Many of the foods included on that list can cause inflammation, digestive issues and heart disease etc, so it makes sense to eat this way for Fibro as it is eliminating a lot of problem foods. I stuck to this diet for a while a few years ago and really enjoyed it; I felt healthier, more energetic and enjoyed cooking much more! Admittedly however this was before my fibro diagnosis so I can’t state any positive or negative effect on symptoms either way with this one. I can’t even remember why I stopped it; pretty sure it was just family life getting hectic and sometimes it was more convenient to eat whatever was on offer! I will be trying this one again. Stay tuned for further updates, I guess!

PALEO

The Paleo Diet takes us back to the Paleolithic era before farming emerged and brought along with it the introduction of grains, legumes, dairy, sugar, potatoes and general high processed foods. I have always been fascinated by this diet because while it sounds a bit crazy, to me it actually makes a lot of sense. Fibromyalgia-wise this diet is suggested because it focuses on a bunch of high Omega 3 foods like fish and  avocados etc, and Omega 3 fatty acids are proven to fight inflammation – a common problem with fibro. Whilst I have looked into this diet I have not actually taken the plunge and committed to it yet. I am not really sure what’s stopped me so far but I’ll definitely give it a go in the future, and if you’ve had any experiences with it, let me know how it worked for you! 

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Lao Tzu

So there you have it, my rundown on popular diets that I have seen or been recommended for fibro. I am always interested in people’s own experiences with stuff like this so I would LOVE to hear from you about any of it! You might even have some suggestions to help me actually stick to one for once. I guess my conclusion is that a healthy diet is essential for a strong mind and body, and just about any of them are very worth trying out to see if we can find relief (or even that elusive cure) through the foods we eat or eliminate. If we try we have nothing to lose… except excess weight, and that is more than welcome to fuck off out of here!

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