Yep, that's a bold headline. Medical Science hasn't achieved it in 200+ years, now some guy comes along and says he can do it no problem - I understand your scepticism. This almost certainly will not provide all of the answers but It could be a big step in the right direction.
Today, we'll tackle diet, what foods to eat, when to eat them, what that will do and most importantly WHY.
I need you to experiment with yourselves - you no doubt have experimented a number of times before, this one won't hurt you or your pockets.
You've probably tried "everything" else. So what's one more thing to try? It won't hurt, but you might get a little bit hungry.
If you've read my last article you'll know that Fybromyalgia appears to be an over reaction of the immune system, attacking our nerve endings creating systemic pain.
Around 70 - 80% of our immune system resides around our Digestive System - this is because much of the "attack" to our body can come from the foods that we eat and the nature of the GI tract being only 1 cell thick - it needs to be like this because it's better for absorbing the nutrients more efficiently - humans are all about efficiency - i'll get back on track now!!
So, calm the immune system and we can calm the FM symptoms.
"Well Pete, how the Hell do we do that?"
The answer may lay in the Jaw - remember I talked very briefly about TMJ Disorder in the last post and how frequent that is in people with FM - around 90% source
Yep, our body is telling us to stop putting inflammatory foods in to the system. People with FM might just have a genetic "advantage" in the weight loss category. That might be your body's way of telling you to stop putting bad stuff in. But because of the stress, fatigue, low energy, the foods that you WANT to put in might not be the best.
What kind of diet?
One study compared a Mediterranean Diet and Extended Periods of fasting source
The results were a reduction in inflammatory makers in the stool samples with the better result coming from the fasted diet. Not all fasting methods were tested. I'll give you the lowdown on what I've read to be a good way of doing this.
All sorts of things can cause inflammation in the gut. Like with coeliac disease you might have a gluten intolerance, you might also be intolerant to a number of other things such as foods of the nightshade family i.e. tomatoes, potatoes, aubergine, courgette etc. possibly also the other usual suspects garlic, onions, eggs, dairy, soya. Cleaning up your diet would be the first place to start.
How to go about clean eating
Planning - you are going to need to come up with a food plan - failure to plan = planning to fail
If you would like a weekly meal planner just click here
After that, you are going to need to write a shopping list that avoids inflammatory foods - read on because I go into that a little bit later.
You're also going to need a list of foods that you can eat, that are not likely to cause an inflammatory response - you may need to adjust a few as you may have some intolerance's to some of the foods on there.
Intermittent Fasting - Intermittant Fasting is NOT a calorie restriction diet. The idea is that you merely pause your breakfast until a bit later and more than likely eat your dinner a bit earlier to give a longer break to your digestive system.
If you were training for a marathon, you wouldn't start by running 10 miles on session 1, you then also wouldn't run 10 miles the next day for training session 2. We need to start slow and plan in rest days.
Your guts need a rest, time to recovery, rebuild and start reset.
There are lots of conflicting views on fasting, on which protocol is best to follow. Some aim at weight loss by using the fast as a way of skipping a meal. The other way - and it's the way I'm going to describe - is to keep your caloric intake at it's normal level - for arguments sake, lets say 2000 Calories per day. Intermittent fasting, combined with a nutrition plan that avoids common inflammatory foods WILL do that for you.
When to eat:
"Well, what the fuck is Intermittent fasting Pete?"
The recommendation that I would make is to fast every other day. All this requires is for you to "skip" breakfast on every second day and I'll lay this out with an example in a moment.
We now need to look at what foods you should eat and when - when is VERY important!
on a non-fasting day.
Breakfast: within 30-60 minutes of waking up
Lunch: around 4-5 hours after breakfast Dinner: around 4 - 5 hours after lunch (3 - 4 hours before Bedtime)
On A fasting day:
Breakfast: around 16 hours after your evening meal the day before. If Dinner the day before was 6pm - your breakfast should be around 10am the following day. Eat lunch and Dinner (2 separate meals) within 8 hours of your breakfast.
What to Eat
I don't like to "prescribe" meal plans to people - I want you to work out what is best for you, there are so many allergies and intolerance out there, it's best to avoid all foods that are "highlighted" on the back of packets i.e. soya, egg, wheat. However, below is some advice on the kinds of meals that you should be eating at the different times of day.
There are reasons behind all of this but this post would become epic if I put all of that in. If you want more detail buy this book - glow 15 by Naomi Whittel - this book is aimed at staying young - stimulating your body to kill off cells that aren't functioning at their best, it's called Autophagy -, however, it also describes how your cells die (we want this) and then are replenished helping your cells to stay young. Young cells are less likely to go wrong and cause inflammation which in turn leads to pain.
What To Eat 2
Breakfast - focus on Protein and fats - we want a low/zero carb breakfast.
Lunch - mostly salad with nuts/seeds and some proteins (white meats/beans/fish) and high quality olive oil - we still need calories (not too much) - focus on a large salad!
Dinner -slow release carbs - i.e. rice/potato/sweet potato/buckwheat; vegetables with some more Proteins - again nuts/beans/white meats/fish/shellfish.