What are the dietary recommendations for patients with fibromyalgia?

Updated: Apr 23, 2020
  • Author: Chad S Boomershine, MD, PhD, CPI, CPT; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Slowly wean the patient off caffeine, because abruptly stopping caffeine will increase fatigue and pain, headaches, anxiety, and sleep disturbance. Some suggest that all alcohol must be avoided for at least 6 months; however, a patient with stable symptoms may consume no more than two alcoholic drinks a day.

Tobacco use should cease, as should the consumption of chemical-laden foods, aspartame, and monosodium glutamate (MSG). In some, but not all, cases, elimination of aspartame and MSG from the diet has resulted in patient improvement. [161, 162, 163]

Most patients with fibromyalgia consume enormous amounts of carbohydrate-rich foods, suchas refined sugars and white flour, which may contribute to their symptoms. Some suggest a diet high in fresh vegetables, fish, and fiber. Green, leafy, and yellow vegetables are preferred because of their low carbohydrate content.

Choose fruits carefully; some are more glycemic than others. Fruits such as citrus fruits, apples, berries, cantaloupe, and peaches may be preferred.

The rate of carbohydrate absorption decreases if the patient combines starchy food with a food containing fiber or fat. Advise patients to avoid junk foods or processed snack foods, which usually contain large amounts of sugar or salt.

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