Compiling a List of Fibro Friendly Foods Can Be Confusing

Compiling a List of Fibro Friendly Foods Can Be Confusing
The past several months have been difficult for me. Both my irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea and my cervical radiculopathy have flared up. Between muscle spasms that result in nerve pain in my back and many uncomfortable hours spent in the bathroom, I’ve been pretty miserable. I've spent most of the time chasing cures. Trigger point injections, massage therapy, chiropractic adjustments, hot and cold compresses — you name it, I’ve tried it! I was even desperate enough to try a new medication my neurologist thought could help. Given my history of side effects, you can imagine that it was truly a last resort on my part. Sadly, it became just another entry on the long list of medications I cannot tolerate. This week, I’ve been thinking a lot about the foods I eat. Although not mentioned by my doctors, common sense told me there must be a connection. Something I’m eating must be contributing to the painful state of my body. Over the years, I'd eliminated some items that I was fairly certain had contributed to my problems. I am lactose intolerant so it wasn't difficult to give up dairy. Food sensitivity testing done years ago by my acupuncturist had shown that I was sensitive to soy, so I gave that up as well. Never a big fan of Asian foods, that wasn't much of a sacrifice. The really difficult thing to give up was gluten, found in wheat, rye, and barley. However, I'd read so many things a
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  1. Sally Ferguson says:

    Hello! Just some info that might help you with the diet plan. Last year fibro news posted a story about a diet plan that seemed to put fibro symptoms into controlled remission. (The study paper can be found here: It is a version of the FODMAP diet, but it focuses on foods that produce a high amount of fructans specifically. The initial elimination diet is quite restrictive but I can report from personal experience that within a matter of days on the diet described in the paper (and working closely with the primary researcher who has been enormously helpful) my fibro symptoms were DRAMATICALLY improved! Depression absolutely lifted, pain reduced from 7/10 on an average day to 1 or 2/10, fatigue virtually eliminated. I know it sounds too good to be true, and if it hadn’t actually happened to me, I wouldn’t have believed it. So I understand if you’re suspicious but it only takes a few days to test the diet out to see for yourself. You can live on fish, chicken, and a limited number of veggies with a few limited carbs for a week, right? That’s all that’s needed in order to see if your symptoms improve as dramatically as mine did. And it will be encouraging to know two things: 1) a year later I’m doing just as well, and in the process of eliminating all prescription drugs and 2) I am now gradually adding foods (such as gluten) back into my diet as tolerated. Good luck!

  2. Christine Lynch says:

    Thanks so much for this comment. I just read the study diet. I plan to try it for a week to see if I notice a difference. It’s actually not all that different from what I normally eat – and it’s certainly worth the effort for 7 days. So happy to hear that this has been successful for you.

  3. effie kachurka says:

    I am suffering so much and I have tried everything medicinally and otherwise. This diet is the newest thing I will give a try (for a week). Can someone please explain to me though, how are you preparing these limited foods. Are you allowed to salt and pepper your foods? Do I have to drink my coffee black or can I use a bit of almond milk? I wanted to begin today, so if someone would please get back to me asap I would appreciate it tremendously. I cannot live like this one more day! Thanks so much.

    • Christine Lynch says:

      I’m so sorry you’re having a difficult time. I’m no expert, and I have yet to begin this diet myself, but I do see that a limited number of almonds are allowed. I would think that means you could put some almond milk in your coffee. But I would read the ingredients on the almond milk container to see that no form of sugar has been added. For me, coffee is a no-no because it’s a known bowel irritant. If you have IBS with diarrhea, I would definitely not drink coffee – ever! However, if you’re using this diet to control pain and/or depression, it does appear on the list of allowed foods. I would love to know how you do after a week on this diet.

  4. Effie Kachurka says:

    I thought same thing abt the almond milk. Just went to the health food market in town and got $80 worth of Organic chards Spinach eggs mullet rice and chocolate! I also spoke to
    A nutritionist there who recommended Fibro Sense, a supplement with magnesium and malic acid which is good for “proper muscle function”. And is gluten and gmo free.
    Still have no idea how to prepare foods but I’ll try.
    Fingers crossed

    • Christine Lynch says:

      There’s always Google. Just type in “recipes using eggs and spinach” or whatever it is you’d like to eat. Good luck.

  5. Effie Kachurka says:

    I tried googling but since the diet is very restrictive so most recipes include ingredients, even Herbs spices That aren’t on the list.
    I’m sorry. I’m not trying to be difficult. I appreciate your suggestions and your support. Today is day 2. I’ve been ok. Trying really hard. I’m not really starving like I thought I would be. I’m cranky but I think that’s a Symptom of my sugar withdrawal. 🤫 shhh but (I’m also Kinda gassy 💨 ).
    Yikes 😬

  6. Christine Lynch says:

    If you’re not doing better, you might try cutting out the magnesium with malic acid. Even the slightest bit of magnesium gives me diarrhea immediately. I get that necessary nutrient from foods like spinach, avocado and banana.

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