Monday, August 25, 2008

Reduce Sugar for Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is characterized by chronic fatigue and all-over achiness. While there are many lifestyle changes that can be made to help the disorder, such as getting enough sleep, exercising regularly and reducing stress, it can also be extremely beneficial to eat a healthy, low fat diet, which includes limiting your sugar intake.

Although the body needs carbohydrates to function properly, getting these carbohydrates through sugar sources can be very detrimental to those with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. Sugar causes a 'sugar high', usually followed by a 'sugar crash'. While most people think of sugar as 'bad' due to weight gain that happens when the body stores the extra fuel as fat, too much sugar can be detrimental to one's health. The cells, organs and nervous system can be overworked, causing extra production of insulin to flood the body.

Glucose levels rise then drop drastically, resulting in the body craving even more sugar and thus the cycle starts again.

This 'sugar rollercoaster' is a bad cycle for anyone, but especially those trying to stabilize chronic fatigue and other symptoms of fibromyalgia.

What foods should you avoid to keep an internal balance? Of course avoid sugar (as in, putting it in your cereal, coffee and tea), and avoid candy bars, ice cream, sugary pastries and soda. Also avoid white foods, such as white break, potatoes, white rice and other refined sugars. These foods are just as bad for the rollercoaster ride as a candy bar. Another drink to avoid other than soda is fruit juice. Even the 100 percent juice variety can be harmful because the reaction in the body is exactly the same as with refined sugars.

In fact, today it is hard to avoid to sugar, because it can be found in everything from spaghetti sauce and peanut butter to ketchup, bread and nearly all processed or packaged meals. It hides in the terms sucrose, fructose, maltose, lactose and can be found in abundance as 'high fructose corn syrup', which is simply oil and sugar.

If fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue plague your life, start reading labels and make an effort to cut much of the sugar in your diet. Your body will thank you.

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