Fibromyalgia

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  • Hello all,

    I’m planning on starting tomorrow, but I’d just like to know if anyone else with fibromyalgia has found it hard?

    I’ve tried just about every diet going, and on days when I am flaring I find it mentally and physically draining to stick to plan. In some cases I’ve even found some diets make my symptoms worse.

    I know that fasts can be great for all sorts of illnesses, because they help to reset your body. Does anyone have any experience of this helping with fibromyalgia?

    Thank you 🙂

    I have fibromyalgia and have only been doing this a couple of weeks. What I did find made a massive difference was discovering I was coeliac and having to give up gluten. Whilst it’s not taken away every symptom I can say I’m feeling so much better and flare ups have massively reduced.

    Finding this plan ok so far.

    Good luck!

    Thank you for replying.

    I have often wondered about gluten intolerance myself, but never looked in to it.
    I’m hoping fasting will help my body to start healing itself.

    I was diagnosed about 5 years ago. Been doing 5:2 for about 8 weeks. First week was torture but it got better. Found that I can cope with it if I have zero calories from waking up until a 500 calorie dinner in the evening. Otherwise I get too hungry. My brain definitely doesn’t work as well on fast days

    Just thinking out loud….

    My TDEE is about 1500 calories. So in on a normal diet to lose a pound a week I’d have to have 1000 calories a day. However, with fibro apparently your metabolism decreases by about 75% (no idea what that figure means). Which in theory means that my TDEE is actually about 1125 calories, meaning I’d have to eat only 625 calories a day to lose a pound a week!

    I’m probably eating a bit more than my TDEE on non fast days and on fast days I have 500 calories, which is probably a bit much. Yet I’m still losing around a pound a week.

    If all of the above is correct, there’s definitely more to this diet than calories in vs calories out….. I think the way I do it helps – fasting completely from dinner time to dinner time.

    Anyone have any thoughts?

    2 months and 10 pounds down.

    Interesting reading the CFS thread where people claim to have more energy on fast days – I feel like rubbish on fast days, really really awful 🙁 yet I’m still doing this because I get to eat at weekends in return!

    My husband has Fibromyalgia, and just does the 5.2 as it says… We did this 2 years ago and lost 30 lb each in 5 months with no problem. Some weeks 2 lbs or 1 lb. lost.

    Due to his double knee surgery and not being mobile we have put it back on …..but on our third week of 5.2 again and it’s going down nicely. We just want the weight off again as we felt so much better. This is the easiest diet ever you just have to be positive on fast days…..and take it easy in the week..

    Just thought if you wanted to see my hubbies weight loss over the time …go to personel stories..Title…First week in…very pleased.
    It covers a first year interesting reading, it makes me positive to get on board again.

    My daughter has chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. What I would like to know is the effect this way of life has on the symptoms of the disease. Can anyone enlighten me?

    PJBR

    My husband has it under control with tablets. He was really bad with pain in all his soft tissue around his joints for about 2 years. Then he seemed to get easier with his pain. It’s a thing what can come and go, sometimes worse than it eases but always there. Driving long distances isn’t good, Walking troubles him, shoulder pain always there also needing painkillers for bedtime for sleep. He keeps going as you can’t let it get the better of you. He is now swimming a couple of times a week, he thinks it helps.

    Hoping she soon feels a bit better

    PJBR,
    Just thinking husband was sent to hospital for his confirmation of him having it.

    My Daughter ( not his) was told at Doctors she had it, which I doubted, 18 months down the line a different Doctor said she was low in iron, she takes a iron tablet every day and all the symptoms have disappeared if she stops taking the tablet all the symptoms return…

    Has she seen the right person?

    Hi PJBR,
    I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, but not Fibromyalgia. I put on a lot of weight because of my forced inactivity, it was awful! I got to about 30kg overweight.
    First I cut out sugar (including fruit) and lost about 20kg, but then I stopped losing and was around 10 kg overweight for a couple of years before discovering 5:2.

    I find it really suits me! I have lost weight steadily, feel MUCH better in terms of my general well being, and I can manage my CFS more easily.

    I need the combination of low sugar and 5:2.

    Best wishes to your daughter!

    PJBR fasting is supposed to increase levels of human growth hormone (HGH). We fibromites don’t produce enough of this but what I don’t know is if the diet can do this for us too….

    Been doing the diet over two months and no changes in fibro symptoms so far. Might take years to undo the damage IF it even does have an effect on our HGH levels.

    atc – Thanks – that is the info I needed to know

    There has definitely been little improvement in my symptoms when I’ve been fasting (been on and off for a few months).
    I have more energy on the days that I fast, but if anything I think my pain levels are worse. That could be the time of year though.

    I’m struggling with being cold – you get cold when you fast, plus my office is freezing, plus I feel the cold more than everyone else.

    I’m cold.

    Where did you get that 75% figure from? Seems odd to me I would like to look into it. I have never heard of Fibro reducing metabolism and I work in health care.

    Hi I know your post was dec .but can you tell me what you eat on fasting day and do you just have one 500 meal.
    I have fibromyalgia and struggling to loose weight so decided to give this a go i had porridge for breakfast .or should i have nothing to eat till tea time Thank u

    My understanding is that you can eat whatever and whenever as long as you do not eat more than 500 calories in one day.

    Hi frankei and welcome:

    PJBR is right. I recommend that you initially work toward eating one evening meal high in fat and protein. When you are comfortable with that eating pattern, I suggest you work toward not eating anything on your diet days – but only if you feel like trying.

    Here are some tips: https://thefastdiet.co.uk/forums/topic/the-basics-for-newbies-your-questions-answered/

    Good Luck!

    I have MyalgicEncephalomyelitis commonly known and badly named as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), along with a small amount of Fibromyalgia.You may know that it is very common for these to be together. About 60% of people with ME/CFS also have Fibromyalgia.

    I was 32kgs overweight with most put on after getting ME/CFS. It took me 6yrs to get 10kgs off. I won’t do ‘diets’ offered by the diet industry. My husband and I saw the Dr Michael Mosely documentary on Intermittant Fasting. It made sense and was an outcome of good solid research. We bought the 5:2 book the next day and began 5:2 the day after. That was 16months ago. With 22kgs to lose, I began with some trepidation not knowing if my ME/CFS would affect this or I wouldn’t be able to do this. One of what I thought was an ME/CFS symptom was a need to eat something, however small, about 2hrly to stop low-bloodsugar/hypo type feelings. This has disappeared on 5:2.

    I’ve been on 5:2 for 16months. I’ve lost 16kgs and maintained that for 6months, and I’m now in the healthy weight range. My long term goal is to lose another 6kgs, although staying in the healthy weight range, and getting back to my normal weight I was for decades as an adult. The last 6 months has contained some travelling and later 3months of being very stressed. I’m very pleased that I’ve maintained my weight steady though doing some stress eating. All credit to 5:2. Previously, I would have gained weight through a time like this.

    atcgirl, on the CFS thread, I think you’ll find that the ‘increase in energy’ you’re talking about, is not an actual increase in energy, but the energy that was used to support the previous weight and it’s toll on the body, is now freed up to be used in other ways. I’ve been active on that thread, and certainly I’ve gone up a bit on the ME/CFS scale, but it’s purely because I’ve lost 16 kgs. My body isn’t producing any more energy. My body just isn’t carrying the strain of an extra 16kgs. Every 5kgs of overweight taken off means the heart functions a bit better. So, for me, that’s multiplied by 3, and although I still have a smal, problem with cardiac function from ME/CFS, I no longer need to go through yearly cardiac testing. My balance is a bit better from not having more weight in front; I can walk a little bit faster, go up another couple of steps before I have to stop to get heart rate down; go up low slopes a little easier; get up and sit down easier also; my heart rate ceiling is now 120bpm instead of 110bpm. All of these are great, but not from more energy;all from weight loss which 5:2 has done admirably.

    I fast Mondays and Thursdays; eat 1 meal of 400-500cals after 6pm. Eating anything earlier wakens The Hunger Dragon. On my other 5 days I eat in an 8hr window e.g. 12noon to 8pm or 1pm to 9pm, but I don’t eat till after 12noon. I am rarely hungry. Both my body and mind seem to like 5:2 and 16:8 as a natural way of eating and I intend to do it for life. I don’t drink calories except a small amount of milk in black coffee. I drink water, sparkling water for celebration, peppermnt tea, weak Earl Grey tea.

    I discovered I am one of a group on 5:2 who cannot lose weight when eating any starchy cars from grains, processed grain foods, potato, sweet potato, pumkin, sugar. Regardless of calories, these stop my weight loss.

    My degree of fibro hasn’t changed. I do have to be careful not to overdue repetitive movements as before 5:2, or the pain increases.

    LOL, that should be starchy carbs, not starchy cars in the 2nd last paragraph.

    PJBR, my symptoms haven’t changed except for the low-bloodsugar thing I mentioned. BUT my quality of life has improved. Having a ceiling heart rate rise of 10 bpm has helped a little too. Ceiling heart rate is the rate at which I can safely operate under. Over that, and I am using energy too fast and I’ll deteriorate. Soft hugs to you and your daughter.

    If you haven’t already found info on this, look up Dr Bruce Campbell. Bruce is now retired but is a PhD Dr who worked in rehabilitation, got ME/CFS himself, and promoted ‘pacing’ and staying within your ‘energy envelope’ as the way to maximise life with ME/CFS. Their is a book and online pacing courses.

    Thank you for your reply much appreciated.will give it a go
    I just never have any energy it’s awfull be in tired all the time thanks frankie22

    What do you eat that makes 500 calories that is good for you that’s home made .If any one has ideas as I dnt seem to loose anything

    Fasterer – I’ve read it in a few non official ‘about’ fibro websites. No idea where they got it from and googling gets me nothing official. Allegedly it’s due to the hormonal changes lowering metabolism? That tells me it affects the thyroid??? No idea. I didn’t think you can believe 99% of what you read about fibro. It’s why I put ‘apparently’ in the post.

    Down to 9 stone 3 ish now, back fasting for a few weeks now after wedding and honeymoon. Because I’ve lost weight but my belly hasn’t budged an inch, I look even more pregnant than I did before the weight gain and cannot find a bra that doesn’t cause me agony 🙁 I think the only solution to the bra problem is to try and lose more weight (but try and stay a health bmi of course). If I can at least shrink the boobs, even if I don’t shrink the belly, I might find a comfortable bra that doesn’t put too much pressure on my rib cage.

    I really hate fibro

    Interesting study that suggests using a hyperbaric chamber to induce ‘neuroplasticity’ in the brain can help fibromyalgia pain: http://news.rice.edu/2015/06/02/hyperbaric-hope-for-fibromyalgia-sufferers-2/

    intermittent fasting induces ‘autophagy’ and from what I can make out, also induces neuroplasticity too! Definitely keeping this diet going 🙂 for the past 3 weeks have been doing a water only fast from waking until a normal dinner, Monday through Friday and then normal eating at weekends. Finally saw 9 stone 1 on the scales this week AND my belly might have gone down half an inch or so.

    Also trying out some core exercises and my stomach is killing me. This will no doubt be lots of effort and pain for little gain but will keep trying.

    I have fibro and i am praying that the weight loss can reduce my pain. Has anyone else experienced this?

    Today my chiropractor commented that I’ve been much better since I started fasting. Apparently I’ve had to see her less and she’s found me ‘easier to adjust’. She suspects that losing a stone has made a difference to my hypermobile joints. However my bmi was 24 to begin with and is now 21.5 so I’m not sure how much that stone has helped considering I wasn’t technically overweight in the first place.

    If anything I feel I’ve experienced less tension headaches, less knee pain and I think I can walk further without the sciatica kicking in. But when I apply light pressure to any of my muscles I think the pain is exactly the same. I suspect the benefits are definitely more geared to my hypermobility than my fibro. but I might be wrong since I can imagine the changes are gradual enough to go unnoticed until they’re significant.

    ATCgirl, how have you been feeling? What kind of foods do you eat and drink? I was just wondering because fibro can be linked to a constant acidity diet where your body fights hard to bring your system to it’s set alkalinity. In doing so, it strips your bones, which leads to pain. I know this because it happened to me. I was drinking a lot of soda which is acidic and I had constant pain in my joints. I went to a specialist and he got after me, told me to stop overconsuming sodas and other heavily acidic foods. It’s not about total elimination, more about a balance that your body can keep up with. There are some vegan proponents out there that believe all acidic foods are bad and I do not believe that to be the case because the protein and nutrients they provide outweigh the acid they may carry. just me with ideas 🙂

    I’ve wondered about acidity in diet before but never researched it properly. I don’t think my diet is overly acidic to be honest. I’ll have a look at what I eat and repost here when I’ve figured it out.

    I had a pretty bad tension headache a few days ago and I *think* it went away quicker than it usually does when it hasn’t decided to stick around permanently (forcing me to see the chiro).

    PinkQueen – just had a look: I have a cup of tea a day, don’t avoid dairy, have alcohol at the weekends and eat a reasonable amount of meat so my diet is probably more acidic than it should be. Although it’s only one cup of tea and rarely do I have soda (once a fornight or less). I think that to have less of these acidic things I like would make me feel too deprived. I think if I had to chose between giving them up and experiencing slightly less pain, I’d rather have the pain – not to mention the brain power involved with making all this work with OHs fussy eating too.

    Thanks very much for the suggestion though 🙂

    Don’t take anything away then, but maybe add more fruits and veggies ;), but that is just good for everyone!

    I guess adding something improves the balance over all, will definitely try hard – no bad reason to add more fruits and veg! Might err on the side of veg though, potentially less sugar!

    Yes, I have been trying to add more veggies too 🙂
    Recently I discovered brussel sprouts! I actually love them and they help fill me up. I am working on learning the best recipe. So far I enjoy them with a creamy garlic sriracha mayo, but that is too many calories for fast day. Hmmmm.

    Well several months into this way of eating I’m much improved. For the past few months I’ve been doing water only intermittent fasting for between 3 and 5 days a week. I eat dinner, then have only water until dinner the next night. My lower limb joint pain has practically disappeared (leaving only the usual fibro ache) and my upper body main has significantly reduced. I’m also seeing the chiropractor much less.

    It’s getting harder to maintain this though because of stomach acid issues. I also think that the reduced lower limb joint pain is partly due to the fact I’m over 10kg lighter.

    Well done atc! It does feel so much easier with a significant weight loss, as you’ve done, and your heart will be appreciating it too. Maybe it’s time to eat a light lunch as well as dinner and stick to 3 or even 2 FDs now. Doing 5 FDs continuously might be a bit much. Are you planning on losing more weight or are you at goal weight now?

    Merry

    Merryme I’m past my goal weight which was 8 stone 7, currently 8 stone 5. Belly now down to a respectable 33 inches – one more and it’s less than half my height and I’m out of the diabetes etc danger zone. However the bottom healthy weight for my height is 7 stone 12 so I need to be careful how I approach this last inch. Really trying with the core exercises but they’re exhausting.

    Proper fasting days down to 2 per week but on the other 3 days I still don’t eat until lunchtime. My acid reflux is much improved with that. Weight loss has slowed to a pound a month roughly.

    I feel tons better than when I started in terms of joint pain/tension headaches etc, but in terms of proper fibro symptoms, I still ache all over most of the time and have fog/fatigue etc. Will still fast at least 2 days a week for the rest of my life and will potentially eat more on other days/do one day a week if I need to to stop me becoming underweight.

    Hi atc, that’s fantastic news all round. Well done! So good that your symptoms have improved. Like you, I aim to be on 5:2 for for the rest of my life. It just makes sense and my body really likes living this way. It just seems ‘brighter’ in some way I can’t articulate. I’m 3kgs from my goal weight now of 62kgs, 9 stone 10lbs. My previous decades long adult weight was 9stone 2-3 lbs, 128-129lbs, approx 59kgs. Like you, I don’t want to go underweight. My BMI is in the healthy range and I’d prefer to be in the bottom half of it rather than the top half. I’m now getting the comments about not going too low because “we put on weight because of menopause so you can’t use your normal adult weight as a goal”. I think the “menopause putting on weight thing is vastly overrated because it’s a good excuse for older women to explain their excess weight. Haven’t looked up any research on that, but I think the weight post menopause comes more from being less active with age. In my age group there are still far too many opportunities for “afternoon tea, morning tea” supplied by either people who love to cook, or people who compete to have the best ‘spread’. In my still somewhat limited time with outside groups of people I try to avoid the “I like to feed you my cooking or things with the most calories” groups.

    It seems we are destined to keep the foggy brain, even with the weight off, but on balance I feel so much better. So much better to carry these health conditions with a normal body!

    Cheers,
    Merry

    PS Seems we have ended up with the same outcome atc : 5:2 for life and no food till lunch time on NFDs! Works wonders.

    Merryme I’m glad this way of eating has worked for you too 🙂 I guess it’s all very well having the excuse that you put on weight with menopause, but if you can keep your weight under control that isn’t exactly a problem! I’m not convinced that 5:2 has helped the fibro, but it’s definitely helped my hypermobile joint syndrome (which because of fibro feels much worse than it is) so it’s kind of helped the fibro. I’m hoping that the ‘brain repair’ will still happen if I continue to do intermittent fasting so the symptoms may improve yet 🙂

    Good Luck!

    Hi, I am new to the 5:2, just on my second week.
    I am 51, so in the middle of menopause. I also have Thyroid issues/Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue (not M.E)
    I am of slight build 5ft 4inches and weigh 8st 13 or 125lbs but that weight varies on certain days as I also have bladder issues and sometimes retain fluid. I know some people think that is not heavy and they’d be right BUT the extra few pounds are on my stomach and I am not happy with that. I also think I would like to keep doing the 5:2 as a lifestyle choice as I feel better on fast days.
    I calculated that I need 1300 calories in non fast days. I have chosen the sedentary option although I do manage a little exercise most weeks.
    Any tips greatly appreciated.

    Hi Pippa:

    Here are some tips that will help: https://thefastdiet.co.uk/forums/topic/the-basics-for-newbies-your-questions-answered/

    Good Luck!

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