Natural Remedies For Fibromyalgia | Diet & Exercise

What Is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia, also called fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), is a long-term condition that causes pain all over the body. According to the NHS, it affects seven times as many women as men. It can affect all age groups but generally develops between the ages of 30 and 50.

Other symptoms of fibromyalgia include increased sensitivity to pain, tiredness, trouble sleeping, stiff muscles and problems with memory, concentration and headaches. Though the precise causes of this syndrome are unknown, it is thought to be related to levels of chemicals in the brain, as well as how the central nervous system processes pain messages in your body.

Foods To Avoid With Fibromyalgia

While there is no current cure for fibromyalgia, along with prescription medications, many clinicians suggest a few dietary additions and alterations may help to reduce some of the painful symptoms of the condition.

Some people have benefited from a diet that sticks to more anti-inflammatory foods. Some suggestions are as follows:

Cut down the amount of red meat you eat by replacing it with fish and white meats.

You should cut down on dairy. It’s a top source of calcium, but too much can be a cause of inflammation.

People with fibromyalgia should maintain a healthy weight, so try to get out of the habit of thinking of a diet as a matter of cutting anything; rather, you should find replacements. Eating as much fruit and veg as you can will fill your quota of daily carb requirements while getting you the nutrients that you need, making a good solution for any inflammatory foods you’ve cut down on.

The Arthritis Foundation advises that food additives including glutamate, aspartate, and L-cysteine, which are added to some sugar substitutes, may worsen symptoms.

Asian and frozen foods sometimes contain an additive called monosodium glutamate (MSG), which you are best avoiding. As a general rule, many people with fibromyalgia should avoid gluten, refined flour, too much sugar and dairy.

Natural Remedies For Fibromyalgia

So, what’s good? Seeing as many refined products filled with additives can cause inflammation, it’s wise to find replacements for your carb intake such as oats, brown rice, rye, wheat, barley and quinoa.

Vitamin D is also known to help with some of the symptoms. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggest that vitamin D supplements are a good solution to a deficiency. Food sources include:

  • Egg yolks
  • Low-fat yoghurt
  • Orange juice
  • Seafood
  • Whole grain cereals

Fibromyalgia Exercise

Of course, it’s not just a change in diet but certain lifestyle amendments that help reduce the symptoms of fibromyalgia. One of the symptoms is fatigue, which can make exercise difficult and unappealing. Because of this, many suggest that yoga and tai chi is a positive way to reduce symptoms while being a low-impact activity.

Half an hour of aerobic exercise has been proven to counter symptoms and fatigue, and maybe surprisingly, weightlifting is also recommended. This doesn’t necessarily mean bodybuilding, but resistance training is about more than building bigger muscles; it’s primarily about strengthening and improving the endurance of your muscles.

As well as the work you put in, rest is just as important, with studies suggesting that relaxation therapy, acupuncture and a regular sleeping pattern can help counter painful symptoms.


Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you’re concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.

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Faye Reid

Faye Reid

Writer and expert

Faye Reid has a Bachelor of Science in Sport and Exercise Physiology and a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology and Sports Nutrition. Faye has worked with numerous high-profile organisations, such as Men's Health, Sky Sports, Huddersfield Giants, Warrington Wolves, British Dressage and GB Rowing, providing her expert sports science support. Find out more about Faye's experience here: She puts her passion into practice as goal attack for her netball team, and in competitive event riding.

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