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Are sugary foods bad for people with fibromyalgia?

Jacob Teitelbaum
Integrative Medicine
Sugar can increase blood sugar swings associated with adrenal fatigue, and these drops in blood sugar can cause flaring of muscle tightening and anxiety. In addition, sugar is composed of empty calories resulting in nutritional deficiencies and can also aggravate growth of yeast/ Candida in your gut.
Cutting back on sugary desserts, candy, fructose-sweetened beverages and even simple carbohydrates (like refined pasta, bread and white rice) may not affect patients' fibromyalgia for better or for worse. But it might help them sidestep hypoglycemia -- a fatigue-inducing dip in blood sugar that can happen when people overindulge in foods with a high glycemic index, like sugary treats. Avoiding hypoglycemia is extra important for fibromyalgia patients, considering that some studies suggest people with fibromyalgia may have an impaired ability to produce the hormones necessary to keep blood sugar stable.
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Matthew F. McCarty, MD
Anesthesiology
Its controversial  and not yet  scientifically proven that reducing simple sugars in the diet can reduce the symptoms of fibromyalgia. That being said it is well known that after heavy meals when wide swings in blood sugar occur there can be a stimulant effect followed by a sedative effect. Since fibro patients suffer from sleep interruption and fatigue its reasonable that these symptoms could be exacerbated following heavy sugar meals. Hence sticking to a well-balanced diet low in carbs could be helpful.

Fibromyalgia is a syndrome and often presents as a result or in conjunction with other underlying disease states like restless leg syndrome, osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and other autoimmune diseases. It’s hard to say if one causes the other but a thorough evaluation by your pain physician could help sort out the picture.

By clinical experience, there are some foods that when avoided help symptoms of fibromyalgia. These foods listed below could help with the co-existent disease states.
  • caffeine,(colas, tea)
  • aspartame or NutraSweet
  • MSG and nitrate containing food
  • chocolate
  • yeast and gluten
  • tomatoes, chili, bell peppers, potato and egg plant
There was a study published in the Journal of Alternative medicine that proved a vegetarian diet improved patients with fibromyalgia.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
The simple fact is that sugary foods aren't good for anyone, certainly not in the large quantities we tend to consume them in the United States. That includes people with fibromyalgia. You may find websites proclaiming that people with fibromyalgia should avoid sugar at all costs. The truth is that the link between fibromyalgia and diet isn't well understood. Limiting the amount of soda pop, candy, cookies, and other sugary foods you eat makes sense for your all-around health. But you shouldn't feel guilty for enjoying a small piece of chocolate or a slice of cake at a birthday party now and then.
There’s a lot of debate among health care providers on whether fibromyalgia sufferers should avoid sugary foods and sugared sodas, but as these foods are not nutrient dense, you’re better off replacing them with whole grain carbohydrates for overall health, along with the possibility of symptom resolution.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.