Diet is a vital component of the treatment plan. While certain foods can enhance inflammation, others are essential for the body’s systems to perform. Whether it is the immune system, the neurological system, or other systems, without the right levels of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, essential fatty acids, anti-oxidants, or other essential nutrients, those systems and processes can’t function optimally. To fully appreciate the importance of the things you feed your body with, imagine what would happen to a machine that is not given the right fuel – everything will just stop working! The human body is much more complicated than any machine, and its ‘fuel’ mostly comes from the foods we eat.
What is considered healthy food by most people may not always be the right choice for you. There are certain common irritating foods (including vegetables from the nightshade family, dairy, wheat, gluten, sweets and processed foods) that can contribute to inflammation in the body. Eliminating these foods from the diet can lead to a significant decrease in pain, stiffness and inflammation (see study). While an elimination diet might seem challenging at first, it is helpful to focus on those things you can eat, rather than on those you can’t. Cookbooks like The Fibromyalgia Cookbook and Meals that heal inflammation can help to get inspired and develop new ways of cooking.
In addition to eating a healthy diet, food intake can be complimented with supplements (specific to each persons individual needs) and high dose intravenous nutrients, for example the Meyers cocktail. In a small study on people with fibromyalgia who did not improve with standard medical interventions, a weekly ‘modified Myers Cocktail’ was given for eight weeks. By the end of the study, pain levels were reduced by 60%, and energy levels were improved by 80%.