Fibromyalgia Action UK

Nutrition and FMS/CFS

Well as promised I am forwarding on the information I got last night from seeing a nutrition therapist. I have to say it was a really positive and very interesting session and I think she may be able to help.

From her research she looks at the body as a whole and looks for problems where drs might not bother or don't have the time to look into. Before my appointment I'd had to fill in various health questionnaires: medical history, family history, significant events in my life, a whole range of symptom checks (circling over 300 symptoms as good/bad etc)

From the information Id' given her (bear in mind everyone is different, so her advice to me might not be right for you, but worth checking or seeing a nutrionist yourself) she could tell that I was in Adrenal Fatigue, basically the adrenal glands have been overworked by my body for so many years, due to stressful situations over my life and virus' I'd had as a youngster. So my adrenal glands have been producing Cortisol at high levels for a long period of time and now they have run out of cortisol and with my current diet (i.e. not being able to eat much during the day) I'm really running my body down and this has a chain reaction through the body and all the cells in the body. So because my cortisol is low if there at all, that triggers a chain of events in the body that causes a lot of the FM symptoms, the fatigue for sure, the muscle pain and weakness, my weight gain depsite not eating, etc etc.

Her main advice to me was that I should be eating something every 3 hrs and I MUST have breakfast (which I haven't had for years) it is more important to eat during the day than in the evening. I should be eating more protein and low glycemic loaded food - she explained there is a weakness with the glycemic index as apparently a slice of watermelon appears in the index with a bar of chocolate. This is because the index just looks at the quantity and doesn't take into consideration the load, so the glycemic load is much less in a watermelon than a bar of chocolate but the index is the same (I'm sure I could explain that better but worth taking note and maybe looking it up)

I was really surprised that nuts appear on most menu ideas for breakfast lunch and dinner, she explained this was because in nuts there are lots of good fats, proteins and vitamins, especially almonds, cashews and brazils. Also something else that surprised me was that it is better to cook with a small amount of butter or normal olive oil as opposed to extra virgin olive oil, something to do with the refining process of the extra virgin means that when you heat it up it loses the benefits. It is good to have extra virgin olive oil cold, so as a dressing on a salad etc, but once you heat it up its not that good for you anymore.

There are lots of other tips too and once I have written up my notes and got into a good routine I will post some more info if it does help me!

An amazing and inspirational story from my nutritionist to finish off though: 15 years ago she had a heart attack and ended up requiring triple bypass surgery - one artery was completely blocked (that caused the heart attack) one was 75% blocked and another 55% blocked. This is when she started looking into nutrition and the how the body works in a biological way as she did not want to go through the triple bypass surgery. She changed her diet and incorporated the good fats and eliminated the bad fats and followed the diet that I will be advised to follow (basically a healthy diet, but as described above there are a few surprises) 10 years on from that at her most recent checkup, all her heart tests came back normal and she has never required the triple bypass. The drs are amazed with her and basically said she had managed to turn a very serious and nasty health situation completely around and she is now discharged from the hospital. The only test they have not redone is the one to see about the blockages, as that involves putting dye in the arteries and looking to see, which I don't know why they haven't redone that one, probably because its quite invasive, horrible and unnecessary if all the others test are normal! So she doesn't know if the blockages have gone completely or if they've decreased in % but if everything else is normal I would have thought that they have done.

In essence the whole theory is to look after your body and feed it the right things, sounds very simple but the body is so complicated with so many different functions it is hard to get it right and in todays' day and age convenience food and take aways are so easily accessible and take a lot of hassle out of cooking and eating, but they are not good for our bodies. Everybodies body is different and will require different things, but I would say this is the most positive I've felt in ages about the FM and I finally feel like there is something I can do to help. It's going to be hard going to change my eating habits and diet, but it will be so worth it if I can have a normal life again!

Right I've rabbited on now for ages, but its definitely worth looking into as a solution or part solution to our problems and symptoms.

3 Replies

Thanks Lynn, it did take all morning but it was worth it. I am so insprired to try this, even if it doesn't "cure" the fibromyalgia it will benefit my body.

It is so difficult to change things though, I usually last about a week if I'm doing a diet, but this has to be a lifestyle change, so hopefully I'll last longer than a week! And if it really does make a difference I'll want to stick with it!

Something else she said which made perfect sense when I asked her "Do you ever have a mcdonalds or something of no nutrional value but thats tasty?" she replied saying I could if I wanted to every now and then, but she sees her body as for arguements sake as a car and that food is the petrol; you put bad petrol in a car it won't go anywhere and will breakdown a lot, you put good petrol in the car runs well and smoothly. I thought it was a great way to look at the body and what you're putting into it.

Now I'm not saying I'll never have a macdonalds or a kebab ever again, I'm from a generation where these fast foods have been a part of my life for a long time (always had home cooked meals as a kid, but in my teens onwards I was a regular at mcdonalds! Rebelling I think!) so on a night out after a few beers I probably will have a kebab, but I will think twice about fast food and convenience food on those days where 'I just can't be bothered!'

A couple of other bits that I picked up were that complex carbohydrates are much much better for fatigue sufferers as they release the energy slower and more continuously, so go for brown rice, Wholewheat pasta (obviously this will be harder for you Lynn with having to avoid wheat) wholegrain/wholemeal bread, rye bread, Oats (apparently oats are a humans best friends!) Quinoa, Barley, Buckwheat, Millet, Bulgar wheat, wholegrain couscous, sweetcorn, polenta, Potatoes - any combination of these should fill 1/4 of a plate . Also Protein rich foods such as Eggs, Fish, Seafood, Beans and Lentils, Chickpeas, Paoultry and game, Meat, Tofu, Tempeh and Quorn, Cheese (Feta Goats or cottage) Natural Yoghurt and nuts and seeds - these should fill another 1/4 of your plate and the other half with Vegetables or Salads.

For cooking you should you butter, raw coconut oil, olive oil (not extra virgin), palm oil, in dressings use extra virgin olive oil, hemp, linseed(flax) walnut or sesame oils, or nut butters.

Where ever you can add a sprinkling of nuts or seeds and with breakfast try some ground linseed with whatever your having.

More to follow another day .... :)


putting linseeds directly into porridge as you cook it makes a scrummy breakfast....and i dont like porridge normally!

it gives it a lovely flavour and texture



Thanks for posting this Stormlaw, as I have said before, I intend to keep this fibro under control with a little meds as possible, so diet is something I have looked into and am very interested in, I can't tell you whether it works on the pain aspect directly but I certainly feel better in spirit than I used to and have less bouts of depression, which in turn, does help with the pain indirectly.

fascinating stuff!


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