Ketogenic Diet & Fibromyalgia
Last updated on August 18, 2023
What is Fibromyalgia and can diet help? This is a common question as Fibromyalgia seems to be a common diagnosis. Many practitioners actually call it a “trash can” diagnosis based on the loose criteria for diagnosing the condition.
Fibromyalgia has become a common condition that is characterised by widespread pain and tenderness across the body. The people may also experience hyper-sensitivity to very benign stimuli such as heat, cold, and even smells. Chronic fatigue is also often associated with Fibromyalgia.
There is no clear cause of Fibromyalgia, however it does tend to happen more often in patients with autoimmune conditions, recent viral infections, depression, and history of substance abuse.
Can Fibromyalgia be Cured?
If anyone has experienced Fibromyalgia or had a loved one who has, I’m sure they’ve dived deep into Dr. Google looking for miracle cures. As with every health condition, I always view the body, health and any disturbance from health with the paradigm I learned as a young Doctor of Chiropractic. “The Body is a Self Healing, Self Regulating organism designed to express health. When health is absent, look to toxicity/deficiency and provide purity/adequacy”. I always check the spine and nervous system to ensure balance and clear communication before adding other interventions. Next, I’d look at the diet. How can we support the body the best to express the highest level of health in this current situation?
So let’s dive a bit deeper…
Fibromyalgia is often associated with Chronic Fatigue. Chronic fatigue literally means lack of energy. We have little powerhouses in each cell called Mitochondria that produce an amazing compound known as ATP. This is our body’s currency for energy. We can influence how this energy is produced by what we eat.
How is Fibromyalgia Managed?
There is an amazing way of eating known as a ketogenic diet that you may have heard of. This is a diet that is high in healthy fats, moderate in quality protein, and very low in carbohydrate. When following this model of eating your body produces something called a ketone body that you will use for energy instead of glucose. These ketone bodies provide very clean and efficient energy for mitochondria to produce your ATP. What’s remarkable is your body can use these in the absence of insulin! This clean energy is also very anti-inflammatory in nature and certain tissues have been demonstrated to prefer using ketones, such as your heart, nerves and even your brain.
I have anecdotal reports from many patients over the last 7 years who have expressed dramatic improvement in the symptoms associated with Fibromyalgia and Chronic fatigue. The one caveat is that there is a transition period most people require to become efficient at using ketones. During this time you may feel unwell, tired, and fatigued. The time frame depends on many factors and is different for everyone, however it usually takes 2-3 weeks to adapt.
So if you are experiencing Fibromyalgia or Chronic fatigue, get your spine checked, and then consider a ketogenic approach to eating.
What else can a ketogenic diet help with? Dr. Brian Johnson (chiropractor) explains the benefits in relation to seizures.