In a recent review published in the journal Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology, a research team from Pisa, Italy discussed the current knowledge regarding the benefits of certain diets interventions as non-pharmacological approaches for a multidisciplinary treatment for patients with Fibromyalgia (FM).
Fibromyalgia, also called fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), is a long-term condition that causes pain throughout the body. In addition to widespread pain, people with fibromyalgia may also have increased sensitivity to pain, fatigue, muscle stiffness, difficulty sleeping, problems with mental processes, such as problems with memory and concentration, headaches and irritable bowel syndrome. The exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, but it’s thought to be related to abnormal levels of certain chemicals in the brain and changes in the way the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord and nerves) processes pain messages carried around the body.
There is currently no cure for fibromyalgia, but there are treatments to help relieve some of the symptoms and make the condition easier to live with. For their review, the researchers conducted a systematic search from Medline in order to retrieve studies assessing fibromyalgia and nutrition between January 2000 and December 2014.
Recent treatment guidelines for fibromyalgia indicate that a multidisciplinary approach is the best method to achieve optimal treatment. This should combine non-pharmacological and pharmacological treatment modalities. Regarding non-pharmacological options, according to the review, nutrition is a promising approach for patients with Fibromyalgia.
According to the review, patients with FM have nutritional insufficiencies and would benefit with specific regimen and nutritional supplementations. Patients with FM often have been shown to be obese or overweight. These are often associated with the severity of FM that worsens the quality of life, with patients showing higher pain levels, worsened sleep quality, fatigue, and also higher incidence of mood disorders. Thus, weight management may be an effective method for symptoms improvement.
Results from the review also indicate that patients with FM should eliminate specific foods from their diet, such as excitotoxins. There is an increasing awareness of non-coeliac gluten sensitivity. This a common condition and some of the symptoms often present similar symptoms to those seen in patients with FM. Based on the review, elimination of gluten from the diet of patients with FM might be a potential dietary intervention for clinical improvement.