Fibromyalgia Diet -
Rationale for Some of My Fibromyalgia Diet Changes
I often make the broth for my anti-fibromyalgia soup from the knuckle bones of cows or whole chicken breasts. Historically, broth has been used to stimulate digestion. As with many home remedies, this is one that may have some truth to it. I do believe there is something in the both that aids in my digestion, which improves my nutritional intake. I also think that by consuming broth that includes the connective tissue of animals in it, it supplies some missing nutrients to my own connective tissue. (See my section on food containing hyaluronic acid for more on this topic.)
Related link: Traditional Bone Broth in Modern Health and Disease
If I'm short on time, I just make soup in the microwave. If I have more time, I make it in the crockpot.
I don't use any seasonings, I just simmer together assortment of foods such as:
For seasoning I might add some tomato paste or spaghetti sauce. If my blood pressure is up, I skip the broth. My blood pressure used to be low, but since I started improving my digestion and increasing the amount of foods I eat with B vitamins, it goes up sometimes. I think there is some kind of link between high stomach acid / high blood pressure and low stomach acid / low blood pressure, which would explain why heavier people tend to have higher blood pressure and thinner people have lower blood pressure.
I'm pretty sure I had a zinc deficiency from eating a diet too high in carbohydrates and phytates and too low in meat, especially red meat. After I had corrected my diet somewhat, and probably corrected some of my nutritional deficiencies, I had nutritional testing done. I found out I still had biotin and vitamin B12 deficiencies. Vitamin B12 deficiency, I know now, is a common problem with vegetarians. Biotin can be a problem as well for vegetarians because most rich sources of biotin are form animal products. So I scrapped the veggie diet and became an omnivore again. We eat red meats now because they are good sources of zinc.
While some fiber in a diet is needed for proper bowel movements, very high fiber diets from grains can interfere with absorption of vitamins and minerals, especially magnesium which is needed to relax muscles. One thing I've noticed is that if I eat a lot of whole wheat my muscles get very tight and I get insomnia. I think it might be because the high amount of fiber from the whole wheat prevents my body from absorbing magnesium and other nutrients. Interestingly, one of the risk factors for osteoporosis is a very high fiber diet.
Another reason to consider avoiding whole wheat is that the food is also an estrogen blocker, and estrogen makes it easier for the body to utilize magnesium and other nutrients. If you have fibromyalgia, do you also have wrinkled skin? My hand use to look like little old lady hands until I changed my diet. I realize now the wrinkles were at least in part from low estrogen levels, most likely due, at least in part, to a very high fiber diet, low fat diet.
Many of the tips from Part I of my Fibromyalgia Diet page are aimed at increasing magnesium intake and absorption. Magnesium is needed to relax muscles. I think a lack of magnesium may often be the single biggest factor in fibromyalgia. Many people who have fibromyalgia also have other conditions linked to magnesium deficiency such as nystagmus, migraines, anxiety disorders, ADD, mitral valve prolapse and TMJ. (See my site map for more information on all of these conditions and my section on Mg for links to studies linking many of these conditions to magnesium deficiencies.)
I don't take multivitamin pills any more because they almost invariably contain a number of magnesium antagonists and very little, if any, magnesium. It usually makes the pills too large to swallow if the manufacturers put the RDA of magnesium in them, so they usually just leave magnesium out.
I've decided it is better for me to get my nutrition the natural way through my diet. I do have one son who is underweight, so he eats vitamin enriched protein bars, and I make sure they always include some magnesium. Since vitamin powders and protein bars don't have the size constraints of pills, they are far more likely to include vital nutrients such as magnesium and calcium.
I also don't like eating fortified cereals. Most do not include magnesium and yet do include magnesium antagonists. I've noticed my kids get a bit agitated from eating fortified breakfast cereals. With vitamins and minerals, there is a delicate balance between them that you need to maintain in a healthy body. For example, too much calcium can cause a a zinc deficiency. Too much zinc can cause a copper deficiency. Too much iron can cause a magnesium deficiency and so on.
When water gets filtered or distilled, it's true that impurities get filtered out, but the filters may also remove many vital nutrients, including magnesium. Filtering and distilling also make the water unusually acidic, which I don't think is natural. I've noticed that my kids get a bit more excitable on filtered water, possibly due to a decreased magnesium in take. (Visit the Magnesium Web Site for lots of interesting articles on the importance of calcium and magnesium in drinking water.)
Check your multivitamin, your bread, you pasta, etc. and add up how much iron, a magnesium antagonist, you are ingesting each day from supplements and fortified foods alone. Then check out how much magnesium you are getting from supplements and fortifications. It's probably not much compared to how much iron you are getting.
Calcium and vitamin D are other magnesium antagonists. Again, check any multivitamins or supplements you take, dairy products fortified with vitamin D, etc. and compare the amounts of calcium and vitamin D you are ingesting to how much magnesium you are getting each day. If you are like most people on a standard Western diet in the U.S., you are taking in high amounts of magnesium antagonists and less than optimal amounts of magnesium. With so many common foods fortified with magnesium antagonists, it's no wonder so many people in the U.S. have fibromyalgia and other conditions linked to magnesium deficiencies.
(Heavy periods can also cause a loss of magnesium. For information on causes and treatments of heavy menstrual bleeding, see my section on menorrhagia. )
Fibromyalgia Diet - Part I