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Exercise and Fitness

Effects of Diet & Exercise on Fibromyalgia

02/28/2002

Question:

I have been diagnosed with Fibromalgia and CFIDS. After having a severe anaphalactic reaction and not knowing what caused it, I have had allergy testing and found a long list of common foods that I have eliminated from my diet. I feel that there are probably foods and other triggers that I need to avoid that aren`t necessarily causing an allergic response. I read the article "Food Sensitivities & Fatigue..." I would like to know if there has been research done on 1) specific diet programs or supplements that may help but that are also individualized enough that it won`t be extremely risky to try, 2)exercise programs that will take my disability into account but help me with my mental and physical strength and well being. I have altered my lifestyle greatly so far and now I am prepared to take on the challenges of one more level in understanding and health practices.

Answer:

As you know, fibromyalgia is a disorder involving chronic pain in your muscles, ligaments and tendons. Regular exercise has been shown to help reduce symptoms. At first, exercise may increase your pain. But doing it regularly often improves symptoms. Appropriate exercises include walking, swimming, biking and water aerobics. Aim for at least 20 to 30 minutes of exercise four or more times a week. Stretching and good posture are also helpful. Be consistent with time and intensity of your exercise routine. Doing too much on your good days may lead to increased pain. Stress reduction is a very important component as well. Develop a plan to avoid or limit overexertion and emotional stress. Do try to maintain your normal routine as much as possible. Individuals who quit work or drop all activity tend to do worse than those who remain active. You may wish to submit your diet questions to the experts at the NetWellness Diet & Nutrition expert panel.

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Response by:

Carolyn   Nickol, RD, MEd Carolyn Nickol, RD, MEd
Director
Fitness Center at CARE\Crawley
University of Cincinnati