FM/CFS/ME RESOURCES - Diet for Managing Symptoms


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Diet for Managing Symptoms Dr. Podell, M.D.

People who have severe Fibromyalgia (FM) or CFS/ME may do better if they completely avoid both MSG (monosodium glutamate) and also NutraSweet (aspartame), the artificial sweetener. Both glutamate (in MSG) and the amino acid, aspartic acid (in aspartame) stimulate pain augmenting receptors within the spinal cord. These are called NMDA receptors. Some individuals with FM and CFS/ME improve very much on a diet that avoids MSG and aspartame.

In addition to these restrictions, Dr. Richard Podell, one of the nation's leading experts on alternative therapies, finds that many people with chronic illness tend to do better with sensible diet therapy. Dr. Podell says to aim for five plus servings daily of multi-colored fruits and vegetables. (Nutrition science defines one "serving" as 1/2 a cup.) Eat modest-size meals without excess fats, sugars or simple carbohydrates. Perhaps, easier said than done, but many patients have reported benefit from just a few weeks on this "Fibromyalgia diet".

Occasionally, people with FM and CFS/ME improve with the elimination of foods to which they personally are sensitive. Wheat/gluten, milk, yeast, and sugar are occasionally culprits. Here are some more foods that are reported to affect their symptoms:

  • acidic foods
  • alcohol
  • bacon
  • beef
  • caffeinated teas
  • chicken
  • chocolate
  • citrus
  • coffee
  • corn
  • cow milk products (not yogurt)
  • egg whites
  • eggplant
  • fatty foods
  • fried foods
  • junk food
  • liquid with your meals
  • nitrates (lunch meats, cured meats, hot dogs, etc)
  • peppers
  • potatoes
  • preservatives
  • saccharine
  • salt
  • sodas (caffeinated & caffeine-free)
  • soy
  • splenda
  • tobacco
  • tomatoes
  • wheat products
  • white flour
  • white sugar
  • yeast

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