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Fibromyalgia and Diet

There seems to be a lot of information out there about what to eat and what not to eat for someone suffering from Fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes body wide pain and bone weary fatigue. It can often come about after a trauma, such as an accident or severe illness. For me it began when I was 12 years old.

I was a very active kid, that played tennis and did ballet, swam, ran cross country, walked and played. Then I got struck with this ‘mystery illness’, where every single part of my body was in the most excruciating pain that I had ever known. I ended up on huge amounts of medication and did recover , but was never quite the same again. I never slept well and was always sick and always in pain.

I had pain in my muscles, joints, tendons and fascia almost all the time. Something was sore on a daily basis.I didn’t have to do anything to end up being in pain. I would have such bad pain in my legs at night, it was as if I had just climbed Mt Kilamanjaro, but I had just had an ordinary day, going to school.

This continued through my whole childhood. I was always sick with every little infection going around, always tired, constant stomach problems and just immense frustration at being so helpless to an illness, no-one really knew anything about, never mind how to cure it. I felt very misunderstood.

I tried every medication, every alternative therapy, every elimination diet but nothing really worked. My thyroid was always very under-active and I was always very anemic. It was only when I changed doctors, when I moved, that she suggested I go see a Heamotologist because she wasn’t happy with my iron levels, that my Celiac Disease was first picked up. That was last year. I was 28.

I am not for one minute suggesting that every person that has Fibromyalgia has Celiac Disease, that would be naive. There are many people who have it, without having Celiac Disease. It is still a misunderstood illness. I do however see on many forums and many google searches and through lots of reading, that many people find that if they cut out gluten they feel so much better. They begin to cut it out and have a drastic response. They feel full of energy, their pain is lessened and they digestive problems all go away.

My issue is that very few of these people are being tested for Celiac Disease. It is one of the most under-diagnosed illnesses of this Century! You might say to me, what difference does it make, if they are cutting out gluten anyway and feeling better from it? To me that is a huge problem.

If we are to understand the origin of autoimmune diseases and find cure for Fibromyalgia, Celiac Disease, Hashimotos Disease and the myriad of other auto-immune illnesses out there, how can we do it, if we do not have clear diagnostic criteria and patients that are not fully tested? How many doctors out there test for Celiac? Did you now that you do to even have to have stomach problems to have it? There are many people who are asymptomatic. It would help us immensely to know if there is a link between Fibromyaliga and Celiac Disease, or even the effect of gluten on Fibromyaligics. Maybe when we armed with more knowledge only then can we find a cure!

I still am on medication, although not as much. I still see a physio monthly and I still get headaches and I still sometimes get really tired. But I also can go to gym 3 times a week and I do Pilates weekly. My muscles are getting stronger, for the first time in my life there is improvement. I sleep very well at night. I have more energy and enthusiasm in the day and life is so much better. My stomach never worries me at all (unless I have gluten by mistake which is very rare). I am not sick all the time. I am not on antibiotics all the time. If I have a cold now, it lasts 3 days, not 3 weeks, with secondary infections.

So yes there is a lot out there about what to eat diet wise. Yes eating well and healthily is important but a Celiac Diet is the key and Gluten may hold the key to research of the future.

Please let me know if you have had similar experiences or what you think about the connection between Celiac Disease and Fibromyalgia.

For a fantastic website on Fibromyalgia, check out Women to Women. I especially love the hormonal diagram on this page.

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