Fibromyalgia Causes: Food Allergies
What causes fibromyalgia is not well understood. Some researchers believe that food allergies – and specifically, delayed pattern food allergy – are a cause of non-specific pain syndromes like fibromyalgia.
The conditions associated with fibromyalgia and other fibromyalgia symptoms are believed to be manifestations of these food sensitivities which are often linked to staple foods such as milk, wheat, eggs, meat and coffee.
Food Allergies and Causes of Fibromyalgia
Some of the earliest symptoms of fibromyalgia in patients who have yet to be diagnosed with fibromyalgia are digestive tract problems. Such symptoms of gastrointestinal tract problems are characteristic of food allergies and food sensitivities, and often indicate a food supply problem within the body.
However, there are other symptoms of a food allergy that are not as commonly acknowledged as digestive problems. In the 1930s, researchers outlined a set of food allergy symptoms that were not as readily associated with digestion problems.
These include the following, which are similar to the symptoms of fibromyalgia:
- lack of motivation
- fatigue, including “motor fatigue”
- feeling of being poisoned
Other non digestive symptoms of food allergies include:
- joint and muscle pains
- skin rashes
- weight fluctuations
- anemia/nutritional deficiency
- mental fogginess
- nerve pain (neuropathy)
According to some researchers, these symptoms may indicate a delayed pattern food allergy, which involves immune mechanisms that are different from those that cause allergy symptoms such as hay fever.
According to some researchers, individuals who suffer from fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, depression and asthma may have four different manifestations of a food allergy and not four separate clinical conditions. Other combinations of symptoms and conditions are understood in the same terms.
The following are some common symptoms of fibromyalgia that may be associated with food allergies:
- abdominal pain, usually due to irritable bowel syndrome
- numbness or tingling
- cold intolerance
- bladder problems
- restless legs syndrome
- sleep apnea
- secondary growth hormone deficiency
- secondary psychological problems
- dry eyes and dry mouth
Fibromyalgia and the Immune System
There have been some possible explanations set forth regarding the immune system mechanisms that may be the causes of fibromyalgia symptoms and food allergies.
Food allergies may have the following effects on immune system mechanisms which may be the cause of fibromyalgia:
- improper entry of larger food molecules into the bloodstream
- activation of immune cells and immune complexes
- chemicals released by active immune cells
In this way, the body’s immune system recognizes foods such as as toxins, which can lead to a variety of symptoms.
Fibromyalgia Treatment of Food Allergies
While there has been little information available from the scientific community regarding the specific effects of foods for fibromyalgia patients, diet and nutrition changes are among the most highly recommended treatments for fibromyalgia.
Different fibromyalgia patients have different food sensitivities and allergies. For example, some are allergic to dairy, wheat and corn, while others are not. Keeping a food diary and paying close attention to which foods seem to provoke the onset of fibromylagia symptoms is recommended.
Other foods that are associated with fibromyalgia symptoms such as muscle pain include the following:
- highly acidic foods
- foods in the nightshade family such as tomatoes
- red meat
- cow milk products
- wheat products
In addition, it is recommended that coffee, chocolate, soda and alcohol be completely eliminated from the diet.