Low FODMAP diet may reduce pain and improve daily life for people with fibromyalgia

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FODMAP, fibromyalgia, fibromyalgia diet, fibromyalgia informationEating a low FODMAP diet may become a way of treating fibromyalgia following positive results in a small study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Pain.

We already know that fibromyalgia is associated gastrointestinal disorders and irritable bowel syndrome. There is growing evidence that diets low in FODMAPs (fermentable oligo-, di- or mono-saccharides and polyols) are effective in treating irritable bowel syndrome.

So experts set out to look at the effects of a low FODMAP diet on 38 women with fibromyalgia. After introducing a low FODMAP diet regime to the volunteers the team recorded data using surveys and questionnaires for five months.

They found that the low FODMAP diet reduced fibromyalgia symptoms, including pain scores.

“According to current scientific knowledge, these are the first relevant results found in an intervention with low FODMAP therapy in fibromyalgia and must be reproduced looking for a future dietetic approach in fibromyalgia.”

What are FODMAPs?

FODMAPs are short chain carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed in the small intestine. These carbohydrates are commonly found in the modern western diet. They contain poorly absorbed sugars that are either fermented, which generates gas and bloating (including onions, beans, lentils, sprouts, artichoke and in some people wheat) or retain fluid (such as stone fruits, apples, beetroot) and may cause diarrhoea.
Remember to speak to your GP and/or a dietitian before significantly changing your diet to ensure you don’t miss out on any key nutritional groups.

What can I eat on a low-FODMAP diet?

Foods that contain poorly absorbed sugars (FODMAPs) can be eaten but in restricted quantities, but the following foods can be tolerated in moderate quantities by people on a low FODMAP diet:

  • Vegetables: aubergine, bamboo shoots, bell peppers, carrots, courgette, corn, cucumbers, leafy greens, lettuce, potatoes, pumpkin, squash and yams.
  • Fruits: bananas, berries (not blackberries or boysenberries), cantaloupe, grapes, grapefruit, honeydew, kiwifruit, kumquat, lemon, lime, mandarin, orange, passion fruit, pawpaw, pineapple, rhubarb, tangerine and tomatoes.
  • Protein: beef, chicken, canned tuna, eggs, fish, lamb, nuts (not cashews or pistachios), pork, seeds, shellfish and turkey.
  • Dairy: lactose-free dairy or half-and-half products, almond milk and rice milk.
  • Grains: corn, oats, potato, quinoa, rice, tapioca and gluten free options.

 Click here to read the original research.

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