Dietary Modifications and Fibromyalgia

By: Alan C. Logan, ND, FRSH

Fibromyalgia (FM) is a rheumatic disorder characterized by chronic widespread musculoskeletal pain and tenderness in the absence of well-defined  musculoskeletal or rheumatic disease. The finding of tenderness in 11 of 18 specified soft-tissue points on digital palpation confirms this diagnosis. In addition to  pain and tenderness, patients often present with fatigue, insomnia, cognitive difficulty, and gastrointestinal complaints (Goldenberg, 1999). FM patients present with a wide range of symptom fluctuations and high levels of comorbidity and are met clinically with an absence of curative interventions (Friedberg & Jason, 2001).
FM is a commonly diagnosed rheumatic condition that affects more women than men. The prevalence of FM is approximately 3,400 women and 500 men per  100,000; in women, the prevalence increases with age to more than 7% between the ages of 60 and 79 (Wolfe, Ross, Anderson, Russell, & Hebert, 1995). Although considerable international investigation has been devoted to understanding FM, no single etiologic factor has yet been identified.

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