The effects of hidden food additives on fibromyalgia symptoms

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Fibromyalgia stole several years of my life. In 2002, I came down with what I thought was flu-but it just wouldn’t go away, and doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me. Nothing they did for me seemed to help. After more than 15 prescription medications, countless appointments with various specialists and more than a handful of diagnostic procedures, I was eventually diagnosed with fibromyalgia.

For years, I lived in pure misery, suffering from a debilitating “invisible “illness for which doctors told me there were no treatment, no cure and no known cause. Fortunately, in 2007 I stumbled up some information that changed my life forever; I learned that there are ingredients in processed foods (e.g high fructose corn syrup, MSG, artificial colors/sweeteners) that are making people sick, tired, and overweight.

Immediately upon reading this information, my husband and I inspected the ingredients label on everything we were eating, and we came to the harsh realization that we have been putting into our bodies wasn’t really even food. Every ingredient label in our kitchen was filled with mysterious words and chemical names.

Without hesitation, we completely purged our kitchen of processed foods and mysterious chemical ingredients-we threw food away, gave food away, and even sold some of it at our garage sale. We said goodbye forever to things like Lean Cuisine meals, Slim Fast Bars, soda, chewing gum, ice cream and fast food.

We began making all of our food at home…from scratch. We scrutinized the ingredient label on everything we purchased from that point on, and if it contained even one word that we didn’t fully recognize as having come from nature, we didn’t put it in our grocery cart. We also began to seek out local farmers and purchase as much food as we could directly from them. We wanted to fill our bodies with foods from the earth, not chemicals from lab. Within just a few months of these dietary changes, I realized that I was no longer in any pain and my fatigue and all of my other symptoms had completely dissipated, as well.

No longer were my arms so weak that I could barely drive. No longer was I too fatigued to get out of bed. No longer was I in so much pain that I couldn’t bear to accept o hug from my loved ones. Actually, I couldn’t remember the last time I had suffered an episode of the abdominal cramping, insomnia, chest pains or racing heart beat that had plagued me for the last 5 years, either.

In fact, it seemed that I felt better and had more energy than most people I knew. So I kept reading every book I could get my hands on, and I still haven’t stopped educating myself and avoiding food additives and preparing natural, wholesome foods. The more I have learned about additives, the more shocked and disgusted I’ve become.

And when I read about the array of health problems (headache/migraines, fibromyalgia, digestive problems, cancer, chronic pain, fatigue, anxiety, depression etc) that are associated with these chemicals, it made me very angry. One of the food additives that upset me the most is Monosodium Glutamate.

Perhaps you are aware of health effects associated with the MSG that is commonly food used in Chinese food. However, many consumers are not aware that this very same MSG is added to all sorts of foods at restaurants and grocery stores, as well. Soups, potato chips, frozen dinners—–and even foods that you would assume are just one ingredient (peanuts or sour creams) often contain MSG. MSG is highly processed food additive that is added to foods as a flavor enhancer.

By over-stimulating our taste buds, MSG tricks our brain into thinking that a food item tastes good. Unfortunately according to experts like neurosurgeon Dr. Russell Blaylock, M.D, MSG also over stimulates and disrupts our nervous system which causes and exacerbates an array of health condition. For this reason Dr. Russell Blaylock refers to MSG as an “excitotoxin”.

Physiological responses to these excitotoxins are not allergic reactions—MSG and Aspartame are toxins, so everyone is sensitive to their effects to some degree. Of course, food additives are not the only factor to consider when treating fibromyalgia. There are a variety of natural approaches that provide relief for those who are suffering. I am not a doctor and I, is certainly not advising anyone to abort their current treatment plan.

However, we are what we eat, so I do encourage everyone to scrutinize their diet and to eat as many additive-free foods as possible. I am thankful everyday that I have found a solution that has worked for me and so many others. Research about the effects of food additives on fibromyalgia has been limited, but promising results were published many years ago in the Annals of Pharmacotherapy.

Reference: via Completely Nourished

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