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.
Although not specifically allowed (by law) to be marketed for any improvement in chronic bowel conditions such as Chron's disease, they can have a benefit on sufferers of IBS and other more minor bowel conditions.
I encourage you, at this point to do some research on pro-biotics, the numbers of bacteria required in the capsule, collagen shells (to protect the bacteria from stomach acid).
For FM and the likely bowel conditions you are suffering, I could not talk about diet and nutrition and the gut without at least mentioning that probiotics could be of benefit to your gut flora.
What are we doing?
Giving your intestinal walls time to recover, rebuild and reset.
Removing a lot of the foods that would inflame the gut lining and set you back.
Giving the bacteria that live in your gut the foods that they need to be healthy which in turn will keep you healthy.
Which will prevent your immune system from attacking your nervous system
reducing all of the other awesome symptoms that comes along with FM
WARNING - time, planning and dedication required but would you rather spend 30 minutes per week planning a good food/eating plan and following it through than having a whole week of pain because you failed to plan.
If you've been suffering for years, what is the problem with trying this out for a 3 months?
I'm not asking you to starve yourself, simply improve the quality of food that your eating, keep your calories UP to what your body requires to function (BMR), and just move about the time of when you eat finally consider taking a probiotic I also want you to get/feel better - I'm such a bad person!
Everything here is FREE.
Except for this bit
When your body experiences something for a long time it builds a neural network that makes it easier for your body to do that thing. i.e. if you sit for long periods of the day, regularly, your body will get really good at sitting - not using muscles. Then when you get up to move, your body might complain.
Our brains are all about efficeincy
That neural network becomes like a motorway for neural traffic - a high amount of cars can travel down it easily and at speed.
Unfortunately, sometimes that isn't the best route, or we have taken the wrong motorway.
What I'm able to do through the testing procedure I work through, is to redirect the traffic. Turn a motorway back into an A road and the neglected road can be re-built. This eases traffic on both roads making travel more efficient for the whole system.
If you want some faster, more accurate testing, that is something that I can provide. Through the AMN system that I am trained in I can assess for Neurotransmitters (despite the name they also live and work in your gut), gut bacteria, hormones and from that assessment be able to provide you with a more accurate suggestions on foods to avoid or include in your diet specifically.
A little about the testing procedure - AMN uses very light touch and intention to determine the electrical charge associated that thought or areas that have been touched. Your Brain interprets that and responds with a "strong" or a "weak" - it is the "weak" areas that I then accumulate and then after a full assessment can then be calibrated. It's generally painless, can be done, sitting, laying or standing and even via video call.