Friday, March 30, 2012

Fibro and the Importance of Nutrition

Hi Everyone!

Unfortunately the speaker for our February 2012 Fibromyalgia Support Group Meeting was unable to make it this evening, but we held to the topic and had a really great and informative discussion on nutrition, along with a bit of other...

I began the evening with announcements. I had received an excited e-mail from a member of the group telling how much help she had received from her new doctor at Physicians HolisticHealth Alliance, Dr. Madiha Saeed. Our member had had two hip replacements along with her Fibro, and was in pretty bad shape when she had gone to Dr. Saeed back in November, and now she's considered a miracle woman! She had been a constant 8.5 out of 10 on the pain and fatigue scale. She is now without pain most of the time and and is on the go most of the day! And she tells me that the doctors there are seeing a lot of pluses with many their Fibro patients now!
One other announcement is more of a notice of information. I was online in a Fibro support group and came acros this site which I feel is of utmost importance. One lady told us that her doctor said he could no longer treat her as he was a natural physician and did not treat anyone who was taking hydrocordone. She was NOT taking any. This woman had found out when she was a child that she had a severe allergy to it and could neveer take it. It was written in her medical records. She had had a blood test and found that she was taking an over-the-counter cold-relief medication that gave her a "false positive" in her blood test for taking hydrocordone!

You can see where this blood test would shape and determine what other meds a different doctor would have given her. This is not to mention her frustration with the natural physician who never checked her chart, but only went by the blood test to determine his mode of treatment and blatently accuse her of lying when she said she was not taking any meds at all.

I take Benedryl (Wal-Mart brand) a few times a week for sleep. If I were to have a blood test to test for PCP (the illegal drug) it would come out positive because of the Benedry I take! This is a scarey thought! Alka Seltzer Plus, for example can come out testing positive for Morphine!!!! Advil can test positive for Marijuana! Check out this site. You may want to check out some of your medications.
After these announcements we began in ernest talking about nutrition and the importance of have a good foundation for your body to work with. Good nutrition is the starting place for everything else. It allows our body to use supplements, and even prescriptions, so much more to our benefit- more efficiently. In fact, it is quite possible to lower our dependance on prescriptions and lower the doses, even delete prescriptions altogether in some cases (like mine and a number of others in our group) when good nutition is a part of your Fibromyalgia treatment program.

We began, of course, by talking about the no-no's - foods and substances it's best to avoid to help our symptoms. Most of these are in my book, but we went over them anyway. New members or old members - it is good to have reminders.


Aspartame and MSG, any artificial sweetener like Equal, Sugar Twin, Nutrasweet, Splenda and High Fructose Corn Syrup. These create inflammation in the first place, and in the second place they are excitotoxins. NOT good for nerve endings and nerve pain! Several articles here will explain. Dr. Blaylock is a noted authority on this and a number of other issues.

Hydrogenated foods and trans fats also create inflammation. Read labels. Go to your cabinet and pull out all the boxed, packaged, and even frozen foods, and read the labels. Hydrogenated this and hydrogenated that is in practically everything! Cooking oils? Crisco for making cookies? PURE hydrogenateds. Pure inflammation-makers! OUch!

Alkaloids are a form of excitotoxin although not quite as potent as the man-made aspartame and msg. Alkaloids are in natural foods, most especially in nightshades. Nightshades consist of a family of foods including potatoes, tomatoes, green peppers, eggplant, paprika and a few others. One of our members is extremely sensitive to these and has horrible, painful symptoms with only one small potato a week! Others, like me, are less sensitive. I found out that I was sensitive by doing an elimination test. First, I eliminated all these foods for one week. I couldn't believe how much my pain subsided! It was a real-eye-opener for me! But these foods are full of vitamins and minerals and enzymes and prebiotics and all things good for us. (And besides, I was born in Boise, ID; I HAVE to eat potatoes. It's an unwritten the law.) So I began re-introducing these foods slowly - one at a time. I found that I can eat tomatoes one day, potatoes the next day and green peppers the next day and so on. As long as I don't eat two or more at the same time I do just fine. But I believe that I had to get the alkaloids out of my system first by eliminting them for a time to begin with. I think that was the key.

Soft drinks are another pain-maker. Soft drinks literally eat up our body's minerals. If there's one thing we've learned about Fibromyalgia is that we are almost always very low in B-vitamins, Vitamin D, and Magnesium. When we are low to start with, drinking soft drinks only adds insult to injury (and PAIN) by dissolving even more of our minerals, including calcium! This first article tells of back pain and soft drinks.
Dr. Mercola describes the process in this article

Nitrates, sulfites and other food additives are also pain-makers in folks who are sensitive to them - that's a lot of folks who have Fibromyalgia. Nitrates are a preservative found in packaged and prepared meats and other foods - balogna, salami, hot dogs, some wines etc.This site describes symptoms of sensitivy or allergies to such things.

[Excess sugar, an inflammatory, aggravates symptoms, as does coffee in some people. But we did not talk about them this evening.]

Pain Relievers
We moved along to better things. The first thing out of my mouth when we began talking about foods to help alleviate pain was tart cherries.

Tart Cherries are among the very best pain relievers. They are anti-inflammatory ,and they are Cox2 inhibitors! Whatever science says, that's ok. All I know is that they help pain. Period. I have arthritis along with Fibro and this is THE most helpful pain reliever I use. I began using frozen concentrated Tart Cherry juice years ago. It was only found in certain health food stores back then. In the frozen section. I then began finding it in the local Farmers Market (about $3.00 cheaper). It was great because I brought it home and put it down in the fridge to thaw. Then every morning I mixed 1 part tart cherry juice with 7 parts water for a delicious and pain-relieving drink in a 4 oz juice glass. Then as I began traveling more, I decided to try the dried tart cherries so I wouldn't have to mess with a glass bottle in a cooler in the car. The dried cherries worked like a charm. I remembered not to overdo because that is so easy with dried fruit, and stuck to 5-8 dried cherries in the morning, and if necessary another 5-8 in the evening. Too many dried fruits can cause loose stools (fruit), and too much fructose (sugar & inflammation), not to mention more calories. *:) Tart Cherry juice, that has already been diluted, can be found at Kroger. I have found the frozen at Meijer Stores (near the pomegranate juice) and the South Bend Farmer's Market (but you have to ask for it - it's back in their freezer), and all the health food stores. The dried tart cherries I've found at all the local health food stores. (They look like fat red raisins). The juice that is pre-mixed and ready to drink may be available in many grocery stores, but I wonder if it is strong enough a mix to be as effective. With the frozen concentrate, If you are having extra pain, you can always mix it 5 or 6 parts to 1 for a more potent dose. You can't do that with the pre-mixed drink.

Tumeric is a spice that's often used in curry dishes, but gaining more popularity in other dishes as well. But it has been used as a pain reliever for many years. Testing for many conditions, including arthritis, and even cancer, it has proven to be quite an excellent pain-reliever !
I began using tumeric again when my shingles showed up. I always have it handy. I usually use malic acid when I have a flare, but tumeric is here for strong flares. *:)

Ginger is another spice that is an excellent pain-reliever. Yes, regular ginger. The rhizome you see in the produce section of your local grocery stores! It does come in capsules in the health food stores, though, in case you want something quick or don't like the taste. Another benefit is that it also helps nausea. A common symptom for us as well! *:)

Antioxidants in the form of fresh whole fruits, veggies, beans*, whole grains**, nuts (particularly Brazil nuts and walnuts) are without a doubt the very best and most valuable overall benefit to your body! They enable all other supplements, vitamins and minerals to work better with your body. They are all bioavailable and your body knows exactly what to do with the nutrients! They may also fortify your body well enough so that whatever prescriptions you do have to take, may work more effectively and effeciently, with the least amount necesary!

[ I drink green tea (and a lot of water, of course) all day long. Green tea is an excellent antioxidant! Holy Basil tea (Tulsi tea) is also a great antioxidant, and it is very helpful for stress! But we did not talk about them this evening.]

*It was noted that some cans of beans contain food additives like nitrates, and/or sulfites, etc. Read the labels!
**Whole wheat, Rye and Barley are may not be ideal for many with Fibromyalgia. Gluten intolerance and/or sensitivity seems to be a real popular issue with us. If you are sensitive, there are other grains like wild rice, brown rice, organic oats, quinoa, millet and amaranth are all available in our local health food stores to use for our grains.

We all know that when you walk into the produce section of the grocery store, everything looks all shiney and fresh and wholesome. But we know that pesticides and food washes have been used to bring out their good looks. Buy organic when you can, but even still, buying these foods will still give you antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and prebiotics your body needs. Wash them well when you get home, and enjoy all the benefits within!

We talked a bit about sleep and mattresses and other things, but I am not writing another novel here, only a monthly summary! *:) And I do want to get it to you as soon as possible so you can take advantage of the events listed above! Be well everyone! And keep smiling. It's important! *:)

1 comment:

  1. Did not know about tart cherries and do not even know if I can get it here in Australia. I am taking ginger and turmeric and following an anti inflammatory diet. Hope you are good today.