As you well know, the process of getting a clear picture of why you don’t feel well can take years. In my case, I shuttled from doctor to doctor, saw specialist after specialist, for more than a decade before getting a diagnosis. It wasn’t really even a satisfying declaration of “You have Fibromyalgia!” It was more of a weak, baffled admission of defeat like, “Well, it’s probably fibromyalgia. We’re not really sure but we’ve done all the tests we can think of and nothing came back positive. So yeah…probably fibro.”
And the mainstream docs I saw were not sure what caused it, OR how to resolve it. But they all knew how to prescribe anti-depressants, pain killers and other strong prescription drugs, which had longer lists of side effects than the fibro symptoms themselves. That wasn’t going to work for me.
Fortunately, I discovered another type of health provider, typically called functional, integrative or holistic, who actually wanted to help me find a root cause of the problem and could suggest something OTHER than drugs to help with symptom management. Hallelujah!
One of the major changes I made in my life to truly start feeling better was taking a much closer look at nutrition and the food I was eating. There are other factors, but fine-tuning my food was a major needle mover for me, and it can be for you too. I don’t typically assign any food a “good” or “bad” status because people vary, but I will say that if you have fibromyalgia, or any chronic health condition, especially anything autoimmune (Hashimoto’s, Lupus, Lyme, MS, etc.) you will see improvement if you drop these foods like a bad habit.
Has anyone not gotten the memo on sugar yet? I know, we all love it. I do too. Believe me, I love sugar much too much. It tastes good. Our brains are wired to love it. But sugar directly causes inflammation throughout the body, which keeps you in a cycle of pain. It feeds cancer cells too. Also, after decades of hearing the opposite, it is now widely known that fat in the diet does not cause you to get fat, sugar is what actually causes weight gain. If you’d like to learn more about that, check out Dr. Mark Hyman’s work.
Sugar causes insulin resistance which leads to weight gain and often to diabetes. The inflammation it causes in the body throws your health out of whack and makes everything run less efficiently. Sugar can make us bloat and have digestive issues. It’s known to wreck havoc on a clear complexion and cause break outs. The list goes on.
Keep in mind that “sugar” also covers anything that breaks down in your system to sugar, such as alcohol, refined carbs like crackers, cookies, bread, and anything made with flour, including gluten-free flours. Even “healthy” sugar alternatives like maple syrup and honey should be used sparingly.
Once touted as healthy, we now know that agave dramatically raises blood sugar levels more severely than high fructose corn syrup and should be avoided. Artificial, chemicalized sugar substitutes like saccharin and aspartame are known carcinogens, so avoid those entirely. If you need a bit of sweetness and fruit isn’t going to cut it, try some stevia or a stevia/monkfruit blend called “Lakanto.”
Check back soon for Part 2 of this post with more info on the top three foods to avoid if you are battling fibro, or any chronic illness. Meantime, I invite you to please leave a comment below and share how food has affected your health. Has sugar been an issue?