ASPIRING2BGREAT

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Gluten and Fibromyalgia: Are the two related?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia two years ago. I wasn’t even sure what it was at the time. When I told my mother that I was tired of looking for bruises on my legs and arms, only to find nothing there, she suggested that I see a doctor. I didn’t realize that my fatigue was also a large part of the same problem. The doctor, a nice man, gave me a prescription for the fibromyalgia as well as an anti-depressant. I had mixed emotions about this. I wanted a cure but not at the risk of what I considered my sanity. I am sure that these medications work for many, as my cousin regularly takes them for the same condition. However, depression and suicide have plagued some members of my family, and I didn’t want to tempt fate. So, I chose the natural path.

I know that exercise helps alleviate symptoms, but the fatigue is terrible. Being overweight makes it even harder to get up and get started in the morning. I started doing some of my own research with me as the guinea pig… eliminating certain foods from my diet, adding others. The results have been mixed, but I think I am starting to understand why.

A few weeks ago, I mentioned to my personal trainer, Cassie, that I have fibromyalgia. As a certified EMT and nursing student she read that there could be a link between the two. She also told me that over the last two years she began developing allergies and was found to be gluten intolerant. Cassie asked if I had considered the possibility of being gluten intolerant as well. “Nope.” However, I must admit that I am considering it now.

After some serious reading and reviewing my own notes over the past couple years, I am curious to discover if I have some sensitivity to gluten. In the past, whenever I’d removed all wheat products from my daily diet, I began to notice significant improvements in my weight loss, skin and hair. I had also increased my consumption of fruits and vegetables; therefore, my thought was that it was solely lowering simple carbs and increasing complex carbs from produce that had done the job. Unfortunately, for one reason or another (another holiday, another birthday, another sale on Hershey bars), those “diets” didn’t last long. I guess I needed a wake-up call like the one I got with my blood pressure recently (I was having some bad dizzy spells, and it was pretty high.)

Removing wheat from my diet will obviously not be a magic diet pill, but having the energy to exercise and the absence of pain the next day will certainly help the process. I’ve also read that eliminating dairy, eggs and sugar has also helped some people with fibromyalgia. I’ve already eliminated sugar from my diet weeks ago, but I don’t think that it’s related to the fibromyalgia (at least, not for me). After a while, I may see what effect eliminating eggs and dairy has on me. I have already significantly decreased egg consumption, if I do choose to eat one. For example, one whole egg with two whites or simply one boiled egg. The primary reason behind this is to control and lower my cholesterol.

I’ll keep you posted.

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