It’s thought that eating refined sugar can lead to chronic inflammation. Research into this theory, though, is still in its infancy. However, it’s becoming more widely acknowledged that what you eat plays a big role in how you feel.
For me, I couldn’t wait for the studies. I had excruciating nerve pain. And I needed a solution fast. My pain had gotten so bad I could barely walk. It had come on fairly quickly. I worried what would happen if I didn’t do something drastic.
Eventually, I gave up refined sugar. I still have an occasional small cheat. Then I pay for it. So I try not to eat much sugar. Actually, I don’t miss it anymore either. My sugar craving went away after a few weeks. (I think that’s how long it took until I stopped wanting sugary desserts or ice cream.)
Despite what mainstream medical doctors may tell you, it is possible to reverse what we know as fibromyalgia. At least it was for me. I saw several really skilled holistic healers. I also never wavered in my belief that my health could improve. Plus, I had a lot of people praying for me, and I know this probably helped a lot.
Sugar and Chronic Pain
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If I need to sweeten food, I use raw organic honey or liquid stevia. Stevia is a leafy plant that grows in South America. It’s considered a natural sweetener, just like honey. If I bake something, I use honey instead of sugar.
A word about sugar substitutes. Most alternative health experts believe that laboratory-made sugar substitutes are toxic. So it’is a good idea to avoid them as well. Did you know that aspartame causes the exact same symptoms we associate with fibromyalgia?
Link Between Sugar and Fibromyalgia
Unfortunately, research into diet and fibromyalgia is still in its infancy. I was unable to find any good studies that show that giving up sugar helps people with fibromyalgia feel better. I don’t think they exist.
The web site WebMD noted there are various anecdotal reports that not eating certain foods can help you feel better. Actually, I feel as if I’m a walking anecdotal report. A total dietary overhaul, plus some big lifestyle changes, seem to have led to an improvement in symptoms.
Can I prove that diet (specifically giving up sugar) has helped me? No, I can’t. Because I can’t conduct a controlled double-blind study on myself. But I know how I feel. And I also know I can walk again. That’s why I encourage my readers to consider dietary interventions, and to work with their healthcare providers to figure out what works best for them. (Because fibromyalgia is a controversial condition, I also feel it’s really important to do your own research.)
The WebMD article also suggested keeping a food journal for a couple of weeks. That way you can record how you feel after eating certain foods. If you notice a pattern, you may have found a culprit.
Does Eating Sugar Affect Fibromyalgia?
Sugar does seem to make my pain worse. Maybe not every single time I eat it. But I’ve seen a pattern. Shortly after eating something with refined sugar, my pain increases. So I do my best to avoid it.
Refined sugar is nutritionally deficient. Nowadays, it’s also likely to be made with sugar beets. In the United States, there’s a good chance that any sugar beet crop is genetically modified. GMO’s are very controversial. Genetically modified feed has been shown to cause cancer in lab animals. So for me, this is just another reason to avoid refined sugar.
Because I have chronic pain, excess inflammation is my enemy. So I try to keep my inflammation level low with a good diet and natural remedies. GMO’s have also been found to cause stomach inflammation in animals. This is one more reason for me not to eat it.
Sugar Addiction and Fibromyalgia
It’s believed that sugar is very addictive. Actually, I was hooked on it. Even thought I knew it was likely fueling my pain, I was very reluctant to stop eating it. I loved my hot chocolate. I craved ice cream. So I put off the inevitable, and continued to live in pain.
Finally, my health was so poor that I had little choice. I had to go on an anti-inflammatory diet. I ate real food in order to detox my body. Refined sugar had no place in my new lifestyle.
However, I’ve got great news. I feel so much better. And I can honestly say I don’t crave sugary foods. Sometimes I do want to eat or drink something sweet. So I use raw organic honey instead of sugar. It contains no GMOs and eating it doesn’t seem to increase my pain. Raw organic honey can be difficult to find locally. But it’s available online.
Is There a Link Between Sugar and Fibromyalgia?
At the moment, there’s no proven link between sugar and fibromyalgia symptoms. This may only be because not enough studies have been done. Or it may be too difficult to design a good study, since fibromyalgia probably has so many variables.
Alternative medical experts widely believe that refined sugar has no place in a healthy lifestyle. (High fructose corn syrup is probably even more problematic.) So raw organic honey is considered a much better choice.
Sugar Inflammation and Fibromyalgia
As for me, an anecdotal report, I don’t thing giving up sugar alone is the reason I’m feeling so much better than I did a decade ago, when I could barely walk. Instead, getting sugar out of my diet was one part of a bigger lifestyle overhaul. My condition was really severe. So I felt as if I needed to come at it from a number of different angles.
I gave up various other foods as well. And I used a variety of healing methods and natural remedies. Some of these I still take today.
Although I can’t promise that everything I did will work for anyone else, I did create an online course based upon my years of experience. This course is not designed as medical advice. Instead, It tells you what I did and what’s available in terms of natural healing. Armed with that knowledge, you can then discuss the next steps with your own healthcare provider. Click on the image below for more information.
For More Reading
Can Sugary Foods Increase Fibro Pain?