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How I Beat Fibromyalgia Through Diet, Exercise, and Massage Therapy

As a young adult, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Today I am healthy and active again. This is what I did to beat this disease.

I Was a Normal, Healthy 25-Year-Old

I was a normal, healthy 25 year old—until I got hit in the jaw by a horse. Gradually, over a long period of time, I became really tired and sore. I wasn’t sure what was wrong with me. I went to the doctor, and he said I might have chronic fatigue but that I was probably just depressed. This complete lack of understanding and lack of motivation by the doctor to help me get better was really annoying. I didn’t go to another doctor for about a year, but I continued to feel tired and sore without understanding why. It was a struggle to make it to work each day.

I tried going to a variety of professionals for help. I went to a chiropractor twice weekly for eight weeks; this kept my condition stable but did not improve it. I went to osteopaths, I got massages, and I even tried a course of acupuncture. However, I found very little to no relief. My muscle tension and headaches were very bad throughout this period.

My mother had been to a naturopath who told her she had fibromyalgia. Given this information, my mom suggested to me that I might have fibromyalgia, as well.

I eventually went to a doctor who was prepared run some tests and to look at diet. The normal glucose tolerance test failed to pick up anything abnormal. He agreed that I had fibromyalgia. He didn’t have any ready answers or suggestion as to how to treat this condition, however.

Under his instruction I tried an elimination diet to see if a food intolerance was responsible. I failed to get a stable baseline. In fact I discovered by keeping a food diary that if I had rice bubbles and rice milk for breakfast I would get a headache and the shakes. I'd have to write off the rest of the day. I came to the conclusion that high GI (glycemic index) foods were responsible. My osteopath lent me a book on fibromyalgia that confirmed my reaction to high GI foods.

My doctor sent a blood sample off for food allergy testing. I had a delayed allergic response to dairy, beans, mushrooms, sesame seeds, shellfish, and oranges—with dairy being the worst. Once I cut these foods out of my diet I felt like I lost 5 kg in a week, due to bloating, and my stomach wasn’t sore anymore, I didn’t even realize my stomach was sore until the pain went away. With the change in diet to low GI and excluding food allergens, I lost over 10kg of weight.

I felt like I had done nothing for the past two years because I had been so chronically sick. My head was always foggy, I couldn’t think straight, and I had very low sex drive because my muscles ached all the time. Sometimes the pain was so bad I would just curl up in a ball and cry. My muscles were so tight I would wake up with a headache and sometimes end up vomiting.

Today, I no longer suffer from fibromyalgia. I am healthy and active. I play tennis, go for walks, kayak, dance, and have fun with friends. I also enjoy going to work again. Find out how I cured my disease.

What Is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is chronic widespread muscular pain and fatigue. The condition is most common in woman; 80% of sufferers are woman. The condition may affect 3-5% of the population and is diagnosed by your doctor by testing 18 specific tender point sites on your body. If you score at least 11, and you also have a history of widespread pain, normal blood tests, chronic fatigue, sleep disturbances, and skeletal pain (predominantly in the neck and back), then you receive this diagnosis.

Fibromyalgia Tender Point Survey

How to Beat Fibromyalgia

Based on my experience, this is my recommended sequence of steps for curing fibromyalgia:

Step 1: Diet
Step 2: Ease Pain
Step 3: Skeletal & Muscular Issues
Step 4: Massage
Step 5: Exercise


Symptoms of fibromyalgia include:

  • Pain
    • Muscular pain
    • Migraine and tension headaches
    • Morning stiffness
  • Fatigue
  • Sleeping Disturbances
    • Lack of deep sleep
    • Insomnia
    • Waking feeling unrefreshed
  • Emotional Disturbances
    • Irritability
    • Forgetfulness
    • Poor concentration
    • Mood changes
    • Anxiety
    • Depression
    • Nervousness
  • Body Disturbances
    • Dizziness
      • Vertigo
      • Imbalance
      • Faintness
    • Dry eyes and mouth
    • Salt craving
    • Sweating
    • Gas
    • Palpitations
    • Blurred vision
    • Eye irritation
    • Nasal congestion
    • Abnormal tastes
      • Bad
      • Metallic
    • Ringing ears/tinnitus
    • Numbness
    • Restless legs
    • Leg cramps
    • Nausea
    • Bloating
    • Constipation
    • Diarrhea
    • Pungent urine
    • Bladder infections
    • Weight gain
    • Brittle nails
    • Bruising
    • Itching
    • Rashes

Step 1: Fibromyalgia Cure Diet

Some of the symptoms of Fibromyalgia can be remedied by diet.

Reactive Hypoglycemia

Reactive hypoglycemia contributes to Fibromyalgia, particularly muscle tightness, fatigue and brain fog. Reactive hypoglycemia symptoms occur 2-3 hours after a meal high in carbohydrate. There is a rapid release of carbohydrate into the intestine, followed by rapid absorption of glucose and subsequent production of a high amount of insulin. This results in rapid conversion of glucose to fat causing low blood sugar. Your brain and muscles become starved of energy. This is the main cause of Fibromyalgia although other factors can contribute. Symptoms include headaches, dizziness, irritability, chronic fatigue, poor memory and concentration, shakiness, muscle fatigue and craving of carbohydrate. Reactive Hypoglycemia causes your muscles to become tight which in turn causes your posture to be out of alignment, commonly your head will come forward and you will get a “widow’s hump”.

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Reactive Hypoglycemia is not typically picked up in the more common fasting hypoglycemia test. Fasting hypoglycemia is low blood sugar when you do not eat. The correct test for Reactive Hypoglycemia is a Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT). Blood sugar readings are taken every ½ hour for 4 hours after glucose is consumed on an empty stomach.

What to Do About Reactive Hypoglycemia?

Change your diet to exclude simple sugars (e.g. table sugar, glucose), refined carbohydrate (e.g. white rice, bread, pasta) and starchy foods (e.g. potatoes). Reduce intake of fruit. Caffeine and chocolate can aggravate Fibromyalgia, avoid or limit to occasional treats. Once you have modified your diet and stuck to it for several months your body will be more tolerant to the occasional deviation from the diet below.

What to Eat

(These recommendations are taken from the book What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Fibromyalgia. I found this book to be very helpful.)

  • Meats: ensure sugar is not added, especially to low fat cold cuts.
  • Dairy: as long as it is unsweetened (e.g. unsweetened yogurt)
  • Vegetables: most vegetables, except potatoes
  • Nuts: all nuts
  • Fruit: maximum of one piece every 4 hours, avoid bananas. 1 cup of unsweetened orange, grapefruit or tomato juice is allowed as a serving of fruit.
  • Grains: wholegrain wheat, corn or rye is acceptable. Rice must be wild rice, only consume a small portion. Bread: sugar free whole grain wheat, corn or rye. Consume a maximum of one piece per 4 hours. Eliminate bread temporarily if symptoms persist.
  • Desserts: artificially sweetened dairy based deserts. Cheesecakes may be made with a ground nut base or crust. Avoid chocolate.
  • Drinks: Artificially sweetened drinks, soda water. Avoid caffeine. An occasional drink of spirits and dry wine is allowed.
  • Herbs, spices, dressings, oil and vinegar: All herbs, spices and imitation flavorings are allowed. Use sugar free sauces, salad dressings, mayonnaise, oil and vinegar.
  • Sweetener: Splenda made using sucralose a natural sugar is a good sweetener to use. It is available in tablets (one tablet is equal to one teaspoon) or in powder form (as an equivalent to sugar). Some chemical sweeteners such as aspartame have negative side effects such as headaches and should be avoided.
  • Other:
  • low carbohydrate and sugar free protein bars, shakes and bake mixes
  • All fats
  • Carob powder
  • Gluten, soy or nut flours (high protein, low carbohydrate).
  • Tofu
  • Popcorn, maximum 1 cup of popped popcorn
  • Pork rinds
  • Tacos
  • Xanthan gum (used as a thickener in gravy and baking)

This is basically the caveman or paleolithic diet our ancestors have followed for millions of years and bears no relationship to the modern food pyramid. You may find you also need to eliminate all grains and dairy if symptoms persist. If so please follow the GAPS diet or the autoimmune paleo diet.

Paleo, Atkins, South Beach, Mediterranean and low carbohydrate/glycemic index (GI) diet cook books are an excellent source of recipes.

You may crave sugar initially as your body adjusts to the diet; this is normal and will pass after about 10 days.

Once you have been on this fibromyalgia cure diet at least a month you can have the occasional treat.

It is better if you avoid artificial sweeteners altogether (even thought the book says that they are okay).

Food Intolerances

Some people after following the above diet for a least one month will still have symptoms of Fibromyalgia. Food intolerances may be responsible. Dairy and wheat gluten are common food allergens. Eliminate dairy and wheat from the diet for at least one month; if symptoms improve reintroduce one at a time to determine if one or both are responsible for symptoms. If elimination of dairy and wheat fail to give an improvement in symptoms it may be necessary to get a food allergy test completed or begin an elimination diet keeping a food diary with symptoms. The food allergy test can be done by US BioTek, Washington, USA or an alternative supplier. A blood sample is tested for allergic response to all the common foods. The report will contain IgE and IgG antibody results. Positive IgE antibody results show foods that you have an immediate allergic response to. These foods should be avoided. Positive IgG antibody results show foods that you have a delayed response to. These foods are most likely causing Fibromyalgia type symptoms and are commonly referred to as food intolerances. Research has been conducted on proteins, particularly dairy and wheat (gluten), not being fully digested and via “leaky gut” passing into the blood stream where they shouldn’t be and causing disruption/blocking biochemical and neurological processes. There is a lot of literature on its effect on autistic people. In time if the cause of “leaky gut” is removed and the gut has had time to heal you may be able to tolerate occasional consumption of these foods. You may wish to have a digestive enzyme with meals containing suspect foods to reduce the response.

"Leaky gut" seems to be caused by starchy foods sitting in the stomach changing the natural microorganism balance and allowing excessive yeast to grow. Some suggest the yeast make holes in the stomach lining and give rise to leaky gut. If you change your diet to a low starch one you should redress the balance and have a normal microbial flora again. The symptoms of food allergies should go away and you should be able to eat these food again. Please also read the GAPS diet and Practical Paleo books for healing leaky gut.

Often food intolerances cause bloating, weight gain, fluid retention, sore stomach, irritable bowel and malnutrition.

You may have celiac disease; your doctor can test for gluten intolerance. If so, avoid all gluten in your diet.

You may have issues with high histamine foods or high salicylate foods which should be fixed by the leaky gut diet. Histamines cause rashes, hayfever, asthma, hives, tight muscles and puffy face and red eyes. Salicylates cause red ears, hyperactive behaviour, frequent urination, asthma, rashes.

Vitamin and Mineral Supplement

If you have been eating a high sugar and refined carbohydrate diet, commonly called an empty calorie diet and/or have food intolerances and leaky gut you will need a good vitamin and mineral supplement. Your mineral levels will be quite depleted and contribute to some of the symptoms of Fibromyalgia. Choose a vitamin and mineral supplement that includes the trace vitamins and minerals. You can get your major vitamins and minerals from your new nutrient dense diet.

Sometimes a magnesium and potassium deficiency is present, this will cause tight muscles and will also cause muscle cramps. If you get muscle cramps I suggest you take some magnesium and potassium tablets until the muscle cramps stop.

Yeast Overgrowth/Intolerances

Yeast Overgrowth/intolerances may be responsible for some of the symptoms of Fibromyalgia including digestive issues, brain fog, sugar cravings, headaches, nasal congestion, runny nose, low sex drive, water retention, allergies, yeast infections and sensitivity to chemicals, light or odour. Changing to the low sugar diet will reduce the effects of a yeast infection however it may be necessary to remove yeast and mould containing foods from the diet temporarily (at least one month). I also recommend taking a good probotic with at least 10 different strains of bacteria. If you display these symptoms remove the following foods from your diet:

  • Cheese
  • Yeast containing breads
  • Mushrooms
  • Olives
  • Vinegar and other fermented condiments
  • Nuts, particularly peanuts, cashews and pistachios as these can be covered in moulds.

Some of the beneficial side effects of the fibromyalgia cure diet are:

  • Weight loss
  • Increased energy
  • Healthier
  • Increased nutrients in the diet and increased nutrient absorption
  • Less muscle tension
  • Less fatigue
  • Clearer thinking
  • Less pain

Reactive Hypoglycemia

Food Intolerances

Yeast Overgrowth

If you still don't feel better!

If you still don't feel better you may have a leaky gut and need to follow either the GAPS diet or the autoimmune paleo diet until your symptoms improve.

Step 2: Ease Fibromyalgia Pain

While you are waiting for the change in diet to take effect and to relax your tight muscles, I suggest taking a mild anti-inflammatory medication such as Ibuprofen (e.g., Neurofen) for up to one week.

Step 3: Skeletal & Muscular Issues

If your Fibromyalgia was induced by some muscular/skeletal trauma see an Osteopath. A common injury is incorrect positioning of the jaw. The temporomandibular joint is the joint of the jaw and is frequently referred to as TMJ. Ask the osteopath if they are familiar with treatment of TMJ (if applicable), Fibromyalgia and posture realignment. It is important that the jaw or other bones are re-aligned and the muscle tension holding the bones out of alignment is released.

Ortho-bionomy is a form of osteopathy that is especially good at retraining your muscles. Similar techniques include Positional Release, Strain Counter-Strain, Somatic and Neuromuscular therapy. Choose a practitioner trained in one of these methods if possible.

I have avoided suggesting chiropractors since they generally only focus on bone realignment and do not release muscle tension.

Discuss potential causes of posture misalignment with your osteopath and ask for exercise to help with re-alignment. A common cause or posture misalignment and extra muscle tension are seated and standing positions where your arms are stretched our in front of you (e.g. driving, computer work, vacuuming). Tension will accumulate between your shoulder blades, up your neck, buttocks and sometimes legs. Reducing instances where your arms are stretched out in front of you, correct posture when sitting, regular stretching and increasing muscle tone through exercise can assist in management long term. Consider changing to a more physical job, or walking to work if possible instead of driving.

Stress can also contribute to muscular tension, particularly in the shoulders causing tension headaches; take steps to reduce stress in your life if this is a factor.

If you are a woman underwire bras can cause muscle tension in the neck and shoulders. The underwire from the bra can sit on trigger points below the breasts and cause the muscles to tighten up. To check and see if underwire bras are causing some muscle tension try wearing only non-underwire bras or tops with breast supports in them for a week. You should notice a difference very quickly if this is the case. To learn more about trigger point techniques for pain relief, thoroughly recommend The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook for Pain Relief, by Clair Davies.

Get bone realignment done once the change in diet has taken effect. If you have a realignment before the change in diet your muscles may only release temporarily and you will have wasted your money and time. Before I changed my diet I found that my muscle release lasted up to 15 minutes before my tension headache returned. This tension reoccurrence was caused by a lack of energy in the muscles brought on by my reactive hypoglycemia.

Step 4: Massage for Fibromyalgia Relief

It is a good idea to get regular full body massages at least weekly initially to reprogram your muscles and help realign your body if you can afford it. I am sure they have been tight for a long time. This can be done at the same time as seeing your osteopath.

Step 5: Exercise to Beat Fibromyalgia

Exercise is important in reprogramming your muscles after you have had fibromyalgia and building muscle strength to assist posture re-alignment. At first this may be difficult, but it is important to persist by doing small amounts of stretching and walking initially. Build up to doing a 30-minute stretch and tone routine daily. Stretch and tone exercise routines are available on DVD.

You need to realign your body, stretch tight muscles and strengthen weak ones. I recommend the Structural Yoga Therapy book.


When you sit and stand make sure you do not tuck your tailbone under you as this gives you poor posture. See the Gokhale Method.

Make sure you assess your posture correctly as this can have a huge effect on muscle tension, particularly your back alignment as this is such a huge section of your body. I used the Structural Yoga Therapy book by Mukunda Stiles. On my first assessment I missed the fact that I had a sway back (or lordosis) I assumed that I had the hunchback (or khyphosis) posture. The sway back posture meant that I had excessive lumbar curve when looking from the side the arm hides the top of the back making diagnosis difficult. The swayback posture affects the thighs, hips, abdominals and neck. This posture made my neck very straight and the muscles tight. Addressing the sway back made correcting other issues easier. The upward legs, reclining hero and boat yoga poses were great in correcting my sway back.

Pilates and yoga are excellent for reprogramming your muscles, find classes in your local area to go to. The instructors should be very knowledgeable about posture and should be able to help you with your specific issues.

If you can't go to Pilates I thoroughly recommend the 10 Minute Solution Slim & Sculpt Pilates DVD shown below. The sequences are very short, so the workouts are achievable. Also by using the stretch band it encourages your muscles to stretch and also relax. I recommend starting with the Total Body and Relaxation sequences first.


  • New Zealand Fibromyalgia Information – Reactive Hypoglycemia website. Devin Starlanyl, M.D.
  • The Hypoglycemic Health Association of Australia – Testing for Hypoglycemia and How Your Doctor Can Help. Dr George Samra, M.B., B.S. (Sydney) F.A.C.N.E.M.
  • What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Fibromyalgia Fatigue, by R. Paul St. Amand, M.D., and Claudia Craig Marek.
  • US BioTek Laboratories, Washington, USA. Antibody Test.
  • Dr. Atkin's New Diet Revolution, Revised Edition, by Robert C. Atkins.
  • Whitley P. et al., A Gluten-free Diet as an Intervention for Autism and Associated Spectrum Disorders: Preliminary Findings. SAGE Publications and The National Autistic Society, Vol 3 (1) 45-65 (1999).
  • Southern Cross Health Insurance – Fibromyalgia website.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

Comments - Please let me know if you have any questions I am more than happy to help

Ghada on March 14, 2018:

This is the most comprehensive report I have read

Marlene O’Connor on March 01, 2018:

This is the most compressive report I have read. I have come to many of the same conclusions.....but you put it all together. Thank you.

Paul on December 23, 2017:

So positive and I believe it’s a repairable illness too! I’m almost back to 100%

esther on January 11, 2017:

I did an RAST test and my result came back all negative. Wondering if that test is not accurate since I was on elimination diet for about a week already from glute, egg, dairy, corn, soy, nightshade vege already....and now that I've been on the diet for almost 2 weeks, I still don't see a change in my pain/fatigue, I wonder if food is related /elimination would help in my case.

Margaret Keogan on December 29, 2016:

All this information in this article has been very helpful to me as I have only been diagnosed today. There are a lot of things I have said to myself yes this is me so I say Thank you for the valuable help.

V on October 22, 2016:

Great post. I've had this for quite some time. Same as Sumeera, I was recommended medication, even given take home samples, without much explanation. They were antidepressants which I did not take. The flare ups get worse when I take on too much, sometimes I get a mild cold. The muscle tension gets a little better with Vitamin D supplements. Worse with coffee. However, hard to give up. Sometimes I go some time without it, then go right back. Better when I stayed home for a few months, rested, worked out & had my own schedule but can't afford that lifestyle. Now my symptoms progressively worse and not sure how to get back on track. This post is very helpful. I will do as you have tried and see if I get results.

Mouse on November 08, 2015:

Well I find it a bit funny that a regular person would know this and be cured but our doctors don't. Why wouldn't my doctor suggest getting tests? I am not sure that all doctors have come together to decide not to help us for the sake of making money off of us. So I would say that scientifically this cure has not been proven at all. I am a little upset that here we are suffering and then there's ppl who want to give us hope that may be totally fake. That being said I do believe my fibro was caused by excessive prolonged stress and I also know that sugar is a trigger for my flare ups. I plan to simply eat healthier and eliminate the garbage food from my life. I hope that as you claim, it will make a change but ppl out there beware that all of our bodies are different and our cause for our fibro is different too. I may very well need to find a stress cure for myself to be cured as others may need to heal an injury and others may need to diet. Don't expect a miracle by following someone else's journey. Rather find your own journey based off what your life and body are telling you. Good luck.

Mark on September 26, 2015:

A question, is it al righi if i eat quinoa or barley which arte carbohydrats?

Rob on September 15, 2015:

Just a question: I'm trying to follow this diet but I'm a bit doubtful about something: if we remove potaetos, rice, pasta ecc ecc, where do we get the carbohydrates to survive?

Sumeera Ajmal on August 06, 2015:

Thank you for your post. I've been suffering for 3 years. Following a pulled muscle in my back after which I was unable to move for two weeks. Since then I've suffered with chronic pain in all my muscles and fatigue. My whole body feels out of synch. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia last year and was recommended anti depressants with no clear explanation and support. I decided it was not what I wanted to do. A year on the pain is unbearable. I will try following your suggestions and hope it works.

I can't imagine living in this much pain forever. Your post has given me hope x

Laura on April 13, 2015:

Great article and really helpful. I've bern struggling for almost two years and I'm miserable. I keep trying to change too much at once. I love the steps in your article. My only constructive comment would be to eliminate artificial sugars as well. A lot of chemicals cause further issue to fibro. I quit artificials years ago and it helped me so much with my overall health. I can't imagine being on them with fibro. I'd die!!

Mike on March 19, 2015:

Please review the missing contributing factors related to FM not mentioned in the wanna be fake cure.

What about B12 deficiency?

What about Lyme disease and co-infections (testing and awareness?)

What about Dysbiosis and H-pylori infection (testing and awareness?)

What about MTHFR the risk factors?

What about Small fiber neuropathy and thyroid dysfunction?

What about natural anti inflammatory therapies (ginger, tumeric, fish oil?)

What about walking and infrared saunas?

What about Mitochondria supportive supplements?

What about someone who is well informed and is not impressed with this wanna be fake cure?

I bring this up only because so many who get sick are desperate for a cure. It is important to gather information on our illnesses in order to treat what ails us.

The person believed "cured" may not have had FM in the first place. A diagnosis of FM may be used to cover a lot of conditions and if one receives treatment which stops the symptoms of whatever that person suffers from, he or she may believe that treatment cured him or her when, in fact, the patient never had FM to begin with.

A person may have FM with an associated condition. When that condition is treated, the patient may feel well and believe he or she is cured. The symptoms of FM may go into a temporary remission only to rear its ugly head later on. I know because I've had remissions from both CFIDS and FMS for relatively short periods of time.

It is possible to get better and I am a prime example of that. As I have mentioned before, I started with my worst symptom and treated that. It was successful and I moved on to the second-worst symptom, etc. If one treatment doesn't work, try another as long as any potential risks are acceptable. I do not believe it is possible to heal if one has one, or more, chronic infections. I had two and, when I started to treat them with an antibiotic and an antiviral, my FM improved dramatically over time.

Finally, never, ever give up. Healing is possible. We all pray for a cure but, until then, we may be able to heal enough to have a rewarding and functional lifestyle.

Johnd783 on November 21, 2014:

Wow that was odd. I just wrote an extremely long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn't show up. Grrrr well I'm not writing all that over again. Anyway, just wanted to say superb blog! ccagkggeecae

Henrietta on October 29, 2014:

I have had nasty Fibro for over ten years now. I am on a regime of opiates (which I loathe!), vitamins (do not help), and of course now Lisinopril, a blood pressure pill. I see a domino effect here from all the pain and meds I take, its all taking a toll on my body. I am wondering are there any self help books that are good to help me get started on eating better. I am so addicted to dairy & chocolate so I wonder if its wise to give it up all at once. I would also like to know of any Osteopathics that I might could try as well. Thanks for your great hub! God bless!

Angela Bea on October 09, 2014:

I found your research most interesting as it mirrors my personal journey almost exactly. It has empowered me to change my diet and life and I could almost claim a 'cure', except external factors such as as weather patterns, sudden low pressures, storms etc. can trigger a flare. Also any emotional stress can trigger an extra amount of cortisol which sets up the acidity again. Singing and laughing are the best cures for this! The urine acid test proves it! One become a 'barometer of healthy living', as your body tells you every time you do something it doesn't like! Thank you, body!! Please could you flag up a link to my book, "Self-help fibromyalgia, your body will heal itself" By Angela Bea, available on Amazon and Kindle, as it contains all this and more! Thanks

Wendy Woo Too on June 18, 2014:

Wow, brilliant info and so inspiring I will be looking at how to kick start it off.

My fibro was diagnosed 8 years ago following a bout of IBS so severe the bowel surgeon I saw in A&E said it was infected & wanted to remove it competed with a gastro consultant who insisted it had to be diagnosed crohns!! 2 weeks in hospital, blood transfusion, shed-loads of steroids and 18 months later it settled back to 'normal' ibs and hello fibro.

Like others it totally destroyed my life. My mobility, time with my children, my job (& career), my mental health etc and after fighting for welfare benefits, creditors, threatened eviction (& eviction date), among the pain, fatigue and disrepair I took an overdose 8 months ago and woke up 3 days later on a ventilator with my daughter sobbing by my side.

I have tried many ways to 'cure' my fibro and even once resorted to pretending it was not real so I would get well. We have all have had the 'its in your head' comments!.

Yes I take Amitriptyline, Gabapentine, SR Tramadol, Co-codamol, and when needed Morphine among my other fibro meds. The only bit I found missing here is what to do about the meds?? Does anyone have any idea's?

But not to be stopped by this query I will try the changes regardless. Sugar has become my staple ingredient due to the fatigue and needing a boost, so weaning off it is going to hurt, but sounds like it will be well worth it.

Good luck to everyone who has already tried this or is about to try. :)

John on May 19, 2014:

Great info. Reflects a what I have learned over the last few years. I just got tested and found out I have leaky gut and no good gut bacteria + parasite so working on that!

Also I read that anti inflammatories cause leaky gut (NSAIDs) so I would research this before following that step. They caused long term issues for me.

Try Curcumin (Tumeric) instead.

Ness West on January 22, 2014:

This is a great article so much info thanks for that. I have had fibromyalgia for about 6 years, and I too had the food testing with many different allergies which when I excluded from my diet helped the symptoms. But what really helped me was being tested and treated for heavy metals, mainly lead, and after undergoing EDTA treatments to remove this it has significantly helped. Thanks again, and I look forward to more of your articles.

Leah S on January 14, 2014:

I suffer from fibromyalgia and, therefore, also suffer from the side effects of chronic use of pain medications. My Dr recommended Lady Soma's Probiotics supplement, but after trying a probiotic it really didn't work, but the Lady Soma Fiber Cleanse did!

I take 2 Lady Soma Fiber Cleanses twice daily and it has definitely consistently worked. Without this product, I faced having to reduce the dose of my pain medication (tramadol) to a less effective dose. Doing that would have greatly impacted my quality of life.

kiznkitten on October 23, 2013:

Have you been tested for MTFHR? It's the primary cause of Fibromyalgia and over 130 related Type II Hypothyroid symptoms. MTHFR is a common genetic disorder affecting approximately 1/2 the US population! It is easily treated by a specific vitamin combo depending on which defective genes you have. See a Naturopath who is trained in treating this disorder and avoid Folic Acid like the plague! Folic Acid is a synthetic (man made) vitamin that is NOT tolerated by people with MTHFR. I had a list of problems that are now all gone since I started treatment with a few of the right vitamins in the right doses!

humbee on April 26, 2013:

Thank you for taking the time to post Donna, and Clare this illness nearly killed me too!

I wanted to share part of my story because it's been through other peoples' stories that I've gotten to were I am today. It's far from perfect but at least I'm headed in the right direction!

I've only REALLY had "fibromyalgia" for a year. I can't even begin to imagine living in this state for much longer. I should mention that I've always struggled with depression and that my life has drastically changed in this past year. I quite my job of 10 years and moved to NY to be with my husband. I'm unemployed which more than likely contributed to the situation but may have turned out to be a blessing.

At it's worst, when I didn't know what was going on with my body, it really messed with my head. It was a vicious cycle of not sleeping because of the pain and the less I slept the more pain I'd be in. I'd wake up exhausted and devastated that I was in so much pain everywhere. Add worry to this and obsessively searching the internet to figure out where all this was coming from, and the result was more stress on my body and more pain and exhaustion. I started thinking that I was doing this to myself. I now have to wonder if my husband also felt the same since I'd always been a bit of a complainer, and perhaps rightly so, I'm realizing as I write this. Maybe I really had something to complain about all along!

I've always felt more or less miserable, even as a child. There was ALWAYS something wrong. I always felt at least a little bit off, if not tired, hungry, moody, angry, or my stomach felt funny or I had a headaches. I was a tantrum kid and sometimes as an adult still felt like I could kick and scream out of frusration but could control myself. I always felt that I needed to accept the fact that I was an angry and moody person. People often referred to me as a bitch in high school when really I was/am a very sensitive, compassionate and caring person . I was just very unhappy. I might be wrong since it's still too early to see how I'll be in the long run but I'm starting to think/see that I've had food intolerances all along and that they may be responsible for this behaviour as well. Makes sense. It's as if someone or something is constantly taunting you, scratching at you and making you feel uneasy.

That being said, I had wine with dinner then lemon yogurt as a snack last night and this morning (in a rush) I had a smoothie with oats, pbutter, banana, and yogurt.. Since about 11am I've been feeling like I'm starving, groggy, tired and in PAIN! Part of me still doesn't really believe that certain "foods" can have such an impact on me. Despite some pretty clear evidence, I'm still sort of thinking that it must be something else. I guess it's just so hard to believe that all of these foods that I've grown up thinking are healthy and good for me are turning out to be just the opposite.

The prospect that my mental/physical health and wellbeing is not out of my control is really exciting! I know I have to get back on track. For about 4 months now, I've been eating Primal/Paleo most of the time until I decide it's ok to cheat. Since adopting this new way of eating I feel different..wait, maybe what other people feel like. NORMAL! I'm happy and in a good mood! I can go a long time without eating AND without wanting to kill someone if I don't get something to eat soon! I guess I went a little overboard last night and this morning and now I'm paying for it. And MAYBE I should truly accept as fact (duh) that what I put in my body is the source of a lot of my physical and emotional suffering.

moomaw on February 02, 2013:

my daughter has reactive arthitis--Allerigs from foods. Anageans

build up and then she has flu like symthems both end and severe cramps. now i reckon foods coculd do it. what i do is 2 caps of wild turkey water, aloe juce 1 cap, direa medicine -mix well and if you have a flexril one of them ... youl be out of pain up to 3 hours. two docs. tried it and said this is better than morphine and cheaper. They prescribe this medicine again for chronic pain---if its overwhelming take 2 caps every half hr. until out of pain i no longer get into number 10 pain. if its real bad get the 101 turkey if not stay with 40 % if that works.

Of course i dont drive anymore. good luck everyone...i call this the disease from hell--you have to get yourself out of pain as you aint goina get any good stuff the docters will give you. my friend goes to a specialist and shell cry still--i told her you dont see cryen now do you--God bless us

Ramesh on August 23, 2012:

Hi Dona,

Nice and very informative post... thanks alot.

I have muscle tightness all over my head and chest.. i feel it always. I shown to many doctors and made them rich but they dont have any clue as to where the stiffness from. I developed this when i was going through a very stressful period of my life. My BP is on border level.

Do you think this could be fibro?.. All other tests are normal basically its stress and anxiety (I used to have panic attacks some time also).

emilybee on April 21, 2012:

You have so much great info here. I'm considering eliminating starches and simple sugars from my diet, but that would need much willpower as I live off of those. I'm 23 and unlike you I didn't get hit in the jaw-but I did have jaw surgery about a year ago. But before then I've had horrible migraines every day, but I think they've gotten worse. I'm sure this diet is healthy for anyone, not just to help beat fibromyalgia, although I do have all the symptoms of it. Thanks for the info.

Sk on April 04, 2012:

Just started this diet. Already lost some weight, but haven't really noticed much symptom reduction esp. For insomnia. That's my main problem. If my sleep is ok, a lot of my pain symtoms are much more manageable. Has this sort of diet helped sleeplessness or in refreshing sleep?

Sherri on April 02, 2012:

Good advice, but I would not use Splenda. I have developed fructose intolerance after using it for a year and if you read about how it is an artificial chemical, you will not want to put this stuff in your body!

Coreesa on March 31, 2012:

To Clare,

I know exactly where you are at, I have 3 young children and I can't do it this way anymore, I've been feeling that way for years, and I somehow do, but it is robbing us of a precious time in their lives.

How has the diet been going? I hope things are going well with the pregnancy. Chin up as they say, take care

Coreesa on March 31, 2012:

Thank you so much. I am pretty low these days thinking about living with this for the rest of my life, and I sat down for the 100th time to see if there was anyone out there who was cured, and how they did it. Usually I get stories plugging a product, but tonight I found some hope. Thank you. Thank you for trying to help others.

Clare on January 19, 2012:

Hi thanks for all the advice, I have suffered with this illness for 15 years and take so many meds to try to relieve the pain. As of today I started the paleo diet so I'm hoping I will start to see some improvement. I am 5 weeks pregnant and feeling rather ill at the moment, but as soon as I feel better, I then want to start walking. I live in France and don't speak the language so feel quite alone in knowing where to turn to for help, I guess I should the. Order some of the books u mention? I hoped can recover from this too as it has ruined my life for too long, I just want to be normal, be able to exercise, and not feel tired trying to play with my 3 year old. My next baby is due in September, I hope I can start to feel happy and well by then. It's good to see I'm not alone. This illness nearly killed me but fortunately I was diagnosed by a fabulous doctor in England and it made me re think about ending my life. I used to be healthy and happy and fit and well so I know I can be again with some determination and will power. Thank u for ur inspiration. Clare. X

Santa Barbara Chiropractor Paul Zemella D.C. on January 16, 2012:

Since there is no cure for fibromyalgia. Therefore, it would be best if treatment focuses on reducing pain and other symptoms. A chiropractor within your area that you know is someone you may visit and check out so they can assess the matter and give you the necessary treatment that may treat the pain one day at a time

Donna Steiner (author) from New Zealand on August 27, 2011:

Hi L.D., yes carbohydrate addictions are hard to beat, cravings should reduce after a 2-3 weeks.

Try the US Biotek website for antibody testing I did it so long ago that I can't remember how much it cost.


L. D. on August 23, 2011:

Great info. I am healing myself from Fibro.I definitely react to carbs - although i have cut back hugely i cannot completely kick my addiction to white toast and chocolate even though I know they increase my pain.

I would like more info on the tests you had to identify rections to foods - was this the antibody test you had sent to USA?Was it very expensive?

Don Anders from Northern New Jersey on April 20, 2011:

Hi Donna,

This is an excellent hub, with a ton of useful information! I suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome for decades before finding an approach that worked for me, and many of the tips that you have provided were also useful for me. Congratulations on getting better!



embee77 on September 07, 2010:

Hi - I just discovered you through this hub. It's so detailed and clear - sorry you had to go through so much. I'm going to send it to a friend who has fibro herself. Thanks for sharing.

Donna Steiner (author) from New Zealand on April 30, 2010:

Dear Michael

Yes I agree not all chiropractors only focus on alignment of the spine. Thank you for your explanation about the role of cranial bones and their role in pumping cerebral spinal fluid. It's amazing how complex the body is.

Thank you


Dr. Michael Willis on April 30, 2010:

Donna, I am so happy that you took on the awesome responsibility of seeking answers beyond alopathy and midications. I noted that you sought care with a chiropractor 2x/week for 8 weeks with no lasting results and that later you said you decided not to mention chiropractic as chiropractic is only focused on alignment of the spine and not the muscle -- this is slightly inaccurate, although understandable. I am a doctor of chiropractic and I agree that a large percent of D.C.'s 1) don't understand what it is they are actually influencing in the body when they apply their expertise and 2)do not take the time to educate their clients on how the body functions. There is much more to it than irritation of muscle, ligament, tendon or even "bone-out-of-place"; it is also a matter of how the body adapts to physical stress (trauma by horse kick in your case), mental/emotional stress, and chemical stress (we are what we eat). Then there is the matter of cranial bone dysfuntion, neurovascular adaptation and on and on. The body vessel is a complex of interrelated systems that, having one out of balance, causes adaptations in the others. So there are differences in the understanding of chiropractors based on their passion to understand how the body functions on a quantum level. Symptoms, and fibromyalgia is a biggie, only indicate that there is a problem and as you know through your investigation and subsequent process of healing, the problem is not always where the problem resides. So kudos to you for taking on the process of healing from inside-out rather than just covering it up with meds. And here, let me suggest that you seek out a D.C. versed in cranial (head bone) adjustments. The bones do move contrary to what a lot of 'doctors' will dogmatically tell you they do not, but all one has to do is look at the physiology and anatomy of cranial sutures (how the bones fit together along their edges) to see that, in living human beings (and all vertebrates) the do move and must as a 'mechanism' if you will, to pump cerebral spinal fluid as we inspire and expire. The stagnation of CSF can cause a plethora of symptoms, including Fibromyalgic pain. Understand the word Fibro (connective tissue) My (myo = muscle) Algia (pain) is a fairly broad 'diagnosis' meaning you have connective tissue and muscle pain -- not very specific is it? So you have a multifaceted problem that involves your immune systems response, your nerve system reaction, and your musculoskeletal adaptation to these combined insults forcing your body to adapt as best it can. If i can be of further informational assistance in your research, please feel free to contact me. My very best regards,

Dr. MG Willis, D.C.

Donna Steiner (author) from New Zealand on July 26, 2009:

Thanks for the positive feedback Marco. I really appreciate it. I want to give as much information on Fibromyalgia as possible to help people so they don't take as long to recover as I did.

marcofratelli from Australia on July 24, 2009:

Wow! This is a richly detailed and helpful hub. Thanks for sharing.