Two years ago, there was an interesting study conducted on 33 fibromyalgia patients.1 Eighteen female fibromyalgia patients were compared to 15 female controls. The study group was placed on a raw-food vegan diet consisting of fruits; vegetables; legumes; cereals; nuts; and seeds. The control group continued on their regular diet. After three months, the groups were given a series of tests and questionnaires. Researchers reported that the raw-food group had:
- improved sleep;
- less joint pain;
- weight loss;
- increased feeling of well-being;
- reduced serum cholesterol; and
- reduced urine sodium.
This diet eliminated all refined carbohydrates and was low in sodium and fat. It is yet another example of a recurring theme in therapeutic nutrition. When macronutrient intake is shifted to foods that reduce the synthesis of pro-inflammatory substances, improved function often results. It will certainly take a motivated patient to follow this diet, and change will not occur overnight. But with such a frustrating disorder, eating "health food" is clearly worth a try.
- Kaarginen K, Lammi K, Hypen M, et al. Vegan diet alleviates fibromyalgia symptoms. Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology, 2000; 29:308-313.
G. Douglas Andersen,DC,DACBSP,CCN
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