Foods Likely to Make Fibromyalgia Symptoms Worse

Sensitivity to pain is a well-known symptom of fibromyalgia. A lesser-known symptom is an enhanced sensitivity to various substances, including food. An anti-inflammatory diet and being aware of food sensitivities can help people with fibromyalgia get the most out of their food while avoiding symptom flare-ups. The following are the foods that make fibromyalgia symptoms worse.

Foods Likely to Make Fibromyalgia Symptoms Worse

The following foods may worsen symptoms by increasing inflammation, aggravating food sensitivities, or both.


There are two reasons that have a significant impact on health by reducing sugar. First, medical science shows that eating high sugar foods is related to increasing fibromyalgia pain. Second, limit sugar intake a little because it controls your body weight. When you are overweight, that means you are having a lot of stress on your body. That contributes to fatigue and stored fat may lead to inflammation in some cases.

Sugar is the most used ingredient in soft drinks, sodas, and candy bars. But, it’s also an ingredient for healthy foods, such as yogurt. Fructose, glucose, and sucrose are other known names for sugar that most companies use in their ingredient list. Check nutrition labels before buying.


Cookies, pastries, bread, and white rice are a few refined carbohydrates that digest a little quickly. They cause your blood sugar levels to spike. Their effect does not last for long, however, the blood sugar level drops after some time. Which causes the individual feeling hungry again. These instabilities make the fatigue and pain of fibromyalgia worse and hence results in individuals overeating.

Whole wheat sources should be chosen when eating carbohydrates. Because they digest more slowly, avoiding the instabilities that occur with other carbohydrates. One small study research on women with fibromyalgia, who also had irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and food intolerance.

They reported a 50% reduction in irritable bowel symptoms when the women reduced the intake of a specific group of carbohydrates. And, a 22% decrease in other symptoms like pain. The restricted carbohydrates are a type that does not well absorb in the small intestine. Such carbohydrates include lactose (an ingredient in milk and other dairy foods), fructose (in some fruits and vegetables, honey, and other sweeteners), and grains.

Processed foods

Sugar and unhealthy fats, which increase inflammation, are a large part of many processed foods. Flavorings and preservatives commonly used in processed foods also may trigger food sensitivities.

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Unhealthy fats

Vegetable oils, such as corn oil, safflower oil, and peanut oil, have an inflammatory effect, especially when used to fry food. The medical science has related fried foods to the worsening of fibromyalgia symptoms. Unhealthy oils are a common ingredient in many processed foods, such as cookies, doughnuts, and crackers. Pizza and cheese are also major sources of unhealthy fats.


While some research has found moderate alcohol use can ease symptoms, some people with fibromyalgia report alcohol cause symptoms to flare. Drinking alcohol while taking certain medications prescribed for fibromyalgia. Such as anticonvulsants, antidepressants, and acetaminophen (an ingredient in many medications) could cause harmful interactions.

This is not a comprehensive list of foods that may trigger symptoms. Other foods and ingredients that may cause symptoms for some people include, but are not limited to:

  • Gluten
  • Red meat
  • Fruits and vegetables in the nightshade family, such as tomatoes, white potatoes, green peppers, and goji berries.
  • Dairy products
  • Eggs
  • Caffeine

Learning About the Body’s Reaction to Certain Foods

If any kind of food appears to trigger symptoms in an individual, eliminating the food entirely for several weeks is a good way to determine its impact. Keeping a detailed food log to track symptoms when the food is removed and added back may also be helpful.

Reducing sugar and sugary foods can have an additional benefit, helping the individual overcome a craving for sweets for the long term.

The doctor can be a good resource on food sensitivities and should be informed of problems encountered with different foods and ingredients. In some cases, the doctor may suggest testing for food sensitivities or allergies to narrow the list of potential problem foods.


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