What diet works best to control Fibro pain?

Is it inflammatory? Or no dairy?really need help!!!

I think it depends on what your body wants. I would try slight modifications first. Make note of what makes you feel terrible. Animal products (meat, egg, cheese, milk, etc.) are hard on the body, especially in the over indulgent typical american meals. I try to eat simple foods. Very unprocessed and whole foods are best. Most of the grocery store and restaurants are not included in this...boo! Then I try to add foods that are good at combating inflammation, making sure I get plenty of veggies, fruits, fiber, beans, almonds and walnuts. You want to eat the rainbow, and i'm not talking about skittles. :) Eat things with all different colors....eggplant, dark green veggies, berries, oranges, bananas, carrots, etc....

For me it is the anti-inflamatory diet that has made a major difference in my fatigue and pain levels and overall condition. I don't eat night shade veg's either. Gluten is a major offender for the chronic conditions, autoimmune conditions/fibro etc. Here are some links, but on the Lupus Community of Ben'f Friends there is a sub-group called Gluten free recipes etc, tons of info there for you and also some good recipes and tips. Join up and you will get much benefit from it.



Take care,



I have been dairy free for 4 yrs.

All of a sudden my body just could not handle it.

Then I went Gluten free in addition to the removal of the dairy. It helped for a while. I did this for 2 yrs and then started eating the bread and pasta again but not a lot. Everything was fine, I even lost some weight adding the regular pastas back over the gluten free.

I was told to remove all sugars that are not in raw foods. Fruit was totally okay but no added sugar, no candy, no fake sugars, or substitutes. This was not possible. I am a candy lover. While I felt a bit better for the 6 weeks I lasted, I was really sad about the loss of my chocolate. I did lose 12lbs. I dont need to lose weight and missed my goodies so I ditched it and just to no dairy. I have issues with digestion since my fibro really got involved. It is all dependent on what feels good for you, try to eat as much fresh and whole food as possible. Additives and processing of food is so bad for us.

Historically I have always felt better eating a little meat and dairy. Lower fat choices. Lots of fruits and veggies. And no candy or junk foods. Especially the sugary stuff. Avoiding caffeine too. But lately my diet is horrible. I crave sweets and I keep giving in to it. Drinking coffee again too. Even though I wasn’t diagnosed til 2011 looking back I realize I did have symptoms. And I felt the best when I ate well and exercised every day. I really need to get my eating habits back to HEALTHY! My chiropractor is a big fan of the anti inflammatory diet by the way.

You can be tested for inflammation with a simple blood test. I was told by my rheumatologist that I do not have inflammation, so that was good news. Always best to check this kind of thing out with a specialist. :-)

My rheumatologist said I don’t inflammation either but the seem to think I have some. Don’t know what to believe. Sometime an anti inflammatory medication helps me so I’m not sure

Have you researched the candida diet , it’s kinda the anti- inflammation diet along with other things to get rid of the yeast… One study showed, using paud ,arco tea , grapefruit seed extract, and oil of oregano, alternating one each week, while eliminating sugar in diet , I’m just starting it, as with anything talk to dr about this . No sure how it will go, I have such a sweet tooth, but I’m sure going to try
Hugs & blessings
I’m almost about 75 % gluten free, and it has helped with my GI symptoms,

Hi, I was diagnosed with FM about 2 years ago. Shortly after that, I went to see a doctor who did a blood test for food sensitivities. The results showed that I had many food sensitivities. The big ones were gluten, dairy, corn and soy. But it also showed I was sensitive to certain fruits, vegetables, and nuts. So, I cut out all of the foods on my list. I noticed an improvement in my pain within a week. Within 4 months, my pain was about 90 percent better. Within 6 months, I was off of Cymbalta and Neurontin, completely. I felt almost normal again. Let me know if you want to know more about my experience. Thanks. Dave

This may be the best thread to warm up about diets. The 2nd post mentions anti-inflammatory, dairy-free, vegan, unprocessed, whole, anti-inflammatory, rainbow (funny, cos it contrasts many others!), the 3rd has links for anti-inflammatory and nightshade, the 4th dairy, gluten, sugar,, the 9th candida & gluten and the tenth almost total recovery due to elimination diet (food sensitivities)

Summarizing other good old posts: Elimination Diet or Virgin Diet? - #14 by Lalabug mentions sugar, @Stacey_B explains her virgin diet (no gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, corn, peanuts and sugar), and shares help to over come emotional blocks and @Lalabug compares it to the paleo diet. In another thread vegan helped @Han with IBS and dairy helped @Justwhatineeded with stomach/heartburn. Then paleo helped @kallee. @Debra3 did low carb. @NIR was sure about an alkaline diet, @Sy1 found her GI-triggers using an elimination diet. @LadyLori46 got less joint pain by stopping nightshades.

Quick overview of diet names here under “I do still have questions about the ketogenic diet”

I’ve seen I think all diets associated with or tried by people with fibromyalgia and/or co-morbid IBS. My list to date is

dairy free (but perhaps meat)

fructose/fructans free (for FMS)

gluten free,

grain free,

nightshade free,

sugar free

vegan (no dairy, no meat etc.)

vegetarian (no meat etc., but dairy)

dairy free plus grain free

low carb, incl.:

Keto diet / ketogenic diet (high fat, low carb, low protein) and

low FODMAP (fermentable oligo-, d i-, mono-saccharides and p olyols, i.e. all short-chain carbs), incl. fructans (see fructose free above),

candida diet (= low on simple carbs)

low histamine

low oxalate

low salicylate

paleo diet (palaeolithic, caveman, stone-age, = no dairy, grains, sugar, legumes…), incl.:

AIP diet (Autoimmune protocol) / anti-inflammatory: paleo minus nightshades, nuts, seeds, sweeteners and egg; no wheat/gluten, milk

plant paradox (lectin free) for leaky gut

virgin diet (no gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, corn, peanuts and sugar)

Mediterranean diet: unsaturated fats (e.g. omega 3: flaxseed oil) fats & complex carbs

pegan, a vegan form of paleo, for fibro (‘nutrition docs’ on German TV/youtube)

elimination diet using diary for food sensitivities contributing to IBS & stomach hyperacidity or pain

Hay diet (“separate” proteins & carbs in one meal), seperate plant & dairy protein) for IBS

organic foods

whole foods (i.e. non-processed)

I myself have tried most of these (for at least 2-3 months each, or intertwined), and still use some or parts of them, esp. my elimination diet for GI and a Mediterranean diet to lower my blood fats, vegetarian come vegan to reduce pain on earth.

Easy to read links:


Quote: “Mayo clinic is neutral to weak against for diet. There is some relative recent research on gut biome and fibro.” (Des from FMA UK)

Study: Dietary Interventions in the Management of Fibromyalgia: A Systematic Review and Best-Evidence Synthesis Lowry et al, 2020:
oxidative status or damage; dysfunction of pro-inflammatory or anti-inflammatory modulation; dysfunction of energy production; or, dysfunction of the neuromodulation within the peripheral or central nervous systems. To recommend any nutritional intervention, will require extensive randomised, controlled, human trials. (And that’s the problem.)

Sorted by Symptoms:

For FMS: Fructose & fructans free

For gut/IBSD/ISBC: Fructose free, elimination diet. (Also: Keep loose around the waist.)

For stomach - hyperacidic: elmination diet, e.g. nothing acidic, i.e. sour, hot, onion-like etc.

For bladder: … pumpkin seeds

For cardiovascular: Mediterranean diet

GI = Gastrointestinal symptoms - Gastroenterologist, gastroscopy and/or colonoscopy.
To make sure there is nothing serious going on a gastroenterologist should check your stomach by looking into it (gastroscopy) incl. the esophagus, or your duodenum as well (esophagogastroduodenoscopy, EGD) and your gut (e.g. colonoscopy)

Ideas how to try diets

Myself I’ve tried and now do a combination of many diets, but they didn’t change my fibro in any way, I do them for IBSD, general health & genetically high blood fats (to hopefully get/keep off of statins).
All the same there is evidence from studies that for fibro at least
:one: a Mediterranean diet will be generally helpful, as well as :two: sorting out fibro or IBS triggers with an elimination diet.

  1. I’d get used to pinpointing and tracking symptoms with a food diary, esp. any IBS-type symptoms, those & their triggers may give you ideas. With accurate descriptions & pain amounts.
  2. Just eating healthier improves your health generally. Weight might also be an issue.
    That would mean unsaturated fats (olive oil, or better still omega 3 from flaxseed oil, plus 1-3 tbl./day linseed oil) rather than saturated, complex carbs rather than simple (like sugar), 5 smaller meals, not too late in the evening (or if blood fats are high 3 meals spaced apart). The Mediterranean diet is considered as one of the most generally healthy. More veg than fruits (more green veg than coloured), wholemeal, praps organic, more plants. Many people say no/low sugar, coffee and alcohol (as well as drugs & meds).
  3. I’d watch for where it’d hurt most, cravings, like chocolate, and praps have a look at that, e.g. Trudy Scott about that & amino acids.
  4. Careful with anti-inflammatory herbs & spices (ginger, the related curcumin/turmeric, garlic etc.) They can improve pain, but increase symptoms if you have hyperacidity/IBS (I don’t tolerate any of them).
  5. I’d actually start where it easiest for you, to get under way, and might be a clue.
  6. I’d do it elimination diet wise - only I’ve been doing that for decades due to my IBSD long before fibro.
  7. Overview of the relevant & acknowledged types I’ve found to date (I do about half of this, plus mainly raw food):
    a. No: fructose/fructans; gluten; grain; nightshade; sugar; dairy; meat; dairy & meat; or dairy & grains.
    b. Low : Carb incl. Keto(genic), FODMAP; incl. fructans; and candida; histamine; oxalate; or salicylate.
    c. Combinations : paleo; AIP; plant; virgin; Mediterranean; pegan; elimination; Hay; organic; whole food; fasting. (See below for quick details.)
    BTW - US grain types are apparently less ‘natural’ than European and it makes quite some difference if they are wholemeal or not.

Recent research has no clear evidence for pain improvement, the research needs to get better the researchers say, but the articles below recommend this for fibro:

  • vegetarian, dairy-free, then both: vegan (lots of nuts & tofu/soy),
  • gluten-free,
  • Mediterranean, which pretty much involves low fructose/-ans, then go low FODMAP anyway.
    Not sure if this is the “easiest order” for these, it was mine, after having tried all I do 80% all of them.

Pagliai, 2020: Nutritional Interventions in the Management of Fibromyalgia Syndrome
Supps: Vitamin D, magnesium, iron and probiotics.
Diet: olive oil, replacement diet with ancient grains, low-calorie, low FODMAP, gluten-free, monosodium glutamate & aspartame-free diet, vegetarian, Mediterranean.
Lowry 2020: Dietary Interventions in the Management of Fibromyalgia: A Systematic Review and Best-Evidence Synthesis
vegan, low FODMAP.
Supps: with Chlorella green algae, coenzyme Q10, acetyl-l-carnitine or a combination of vitamin C and E

Lattanzio, 2017: Fibromyalgia Syndrome: A Metabolic Approach Grounded in Biochemistry for the Remission of Symptoms: explains low fructose/fructans (serotonin).

A few short specifics on the above, excerpted from my treatments list

C.1.10 low carb/Atkins, incl.:
C.1.11 Keto diet / ketogenic diet (high fat, low carb, low protein) and
C.1.12 low FODMAP ( f ermentable o ligo-, d i-, m ono-saccharides a nd p olyols, i.e. all short-chain carbs), incl. fructans (see fructose free above),
C.1.13 candida diet (= low on simple carbs)

C.1.17 paleo diet (palaeolithic, caveman, stone-age, = no dairy, grains, sugar, legumes…), incl.:
C.1.18 AIP diet (Autoimmune protocol) / anti-inflammatory: paleo minus nightshades, nuts, seeds, sweeteners and egg; no wheat/gluten, milk
C.1.19 plant paradox (lectin free) for leaky gut
C.1.20 virgin diet (no gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, corn, peanuts and sugar)
C.1.21 Mediterranean diet: un saturated fats (e.g. omega 3: flaxseed oil) fats & complex carbs
C.1.22 pegan, a vegan form of paleo, for fibro (‘nutrition docs’ on German TV/youtube)
C.1.23 elimination diet using diary for food sensitivities contributing to IBS & stomach hyperacidity or pain, or the whole30 elimination diet.
C.1.24 Hay diet (“separate” proteins & carbs in one meal), seperate plant & dairy protein) for IBS

Nordic diet similar to Mediterranean diet:

A new one for me is the Nordic diet. It’s a bit of an umbrella term, but often is meant similar to the Mediterranean diet, and I’ve realized that I tend more towards that than the Mediterranean diet. However studies have only looked at and shown help with cardiovascular/heart, inflammatory diseases, type 2 diabetes and chronic disease in general, not with fibromyalgia or pain generally.
Lankinen 2019 regarding inflammatory diseases compares Mediterranean Diet MD to Healthy Nordic Diet HND: “Both of these dietary patterns emphasize the abundant use of fruits and vegetables (and berries in HND), whole grain products, fish, and vegetable oil (canola oil in HND and olive oil in MD), but restrict the use of saturated fat and red and processed meat.”
German links: ZdG and NDR

Experiences here on this forum mainly second the above...

A few examples:
NIH Releases Dietary Supplement Database with Personal Tracker and Smartphone Application
Acid: Heartburn, reflux, stomach burning - #3 by JayCS
vegan: Feeling defeated today - #5 by mommyinpain
Ginger: Fibromyalgia and Weight Management - #11 by Luna01
artificial sugar, yogurt (dairy) and Nightshade plants: What are Your Good & Bad Foods for Fibro
Vegetarian, gluten, fructose, not nightshades, Flax Seed Oil What are Your Good & Bad Foods for Fibro - #2 by Bast75
Gluten free, sugar What are Your Good & Bad Foods for Fibro - #3 by Jewelbird
Paleo What are Your Good & Bad Foods for Fibro - #5 by Cathy58
Dairy, gluten, sweeteners What are Your Good & Bad Foods for Fibro - #6 by Sherry
Good food: What are Your Good & Bad Foods for Fibro
gluten, sugar, wheat and dairy, empty carbs What are Your Good & Bad Foods for Fibro - #11 by Cindy_H
nightshades What are Your Good & Bad Foods for Fibro - #18 by Petunia_Girl
Caffeine, sugar, sweeteners, fructose, simple carbs, saturated fats, red meat, alcohol, gluten, dairy, nightshades What are Your Good & Bad Foods for Fibro - #19 by Justamom72

Terms/diets referred to on this forum, but not mentioned/explained above yet:

Alternative diets with no evidence: Fen-Phen, NAET, HCG, Blood types, Maker's diet, "?Beyond? Diet"

Fen-Phen diet (weight; drug combination fenfluramine/phentermine, dangerous): Weight gain...Injections or Meds? - #9 by Auburnm
NAET practitioner (Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Techniques, combines anti-allergy diet with acupuncture in an improbable way): What are Your Good & Bad Foods for Fibro - #14 by NIR
HCG diet (human chorionic gonadotropin injections, no medical evidence) Hcg? - #7 by littlejld
blood types: Foods for blood types: Blood type foods
“The Makers Diet” by Jordan S. Rubin (a Christian diet programme, claiming a biblical diet will heal) Blood type foods - #3 by Funnygirl71
(Not sure what is meant with “Beyond diet” = low carb: Has anyone been on these medications? - #18 by irishroots

“Healthy diet”: grains? low carb? fats? More important: Natural, unprocessed food

I haven’t realized up to now how much the diet recommendations for cardiovascular issues and general health are subject to debate. This is relevant for us with FM, as diets generally considered healthy are also ones recommended and with evidence for helping us, either generally or even specifically. The general import is that the supposed evidence for unsaturated and against unsaturated fats and for carbs/grains is being challenged and even the wikipedia skeptics are featuring that prominently. More importantly the final general advice is to “eat natural food and avoid processed food”, which seems easily understandable.

Someone made me aware that a new hypothesis on plaque (atherosclerosis) not being caused by LDL, not being helped by statins, and lipid deposits developing through the vasa vasorum, not invading thru the arterial lumen is being offered by Vladimir Subbotin, summarized here.

Vladimir Subbotin unfolds his hypothesis here Neovascularization of coronary tunica intima (DIT) is the cause of coronary atherosclerosis. Lipoproteins invade coronary intima via neovascularization from adventitial vasa vasorum, but not from the arterial lumen: a hypothesis, summarized here.
The analogy he cites is that draining swamps reduces but doesn’t get rid of malaria, unlike the analogy that a fire engine is not the cause of a fire. Draining swamps causes other problems, question is if lowering LDL does. What he says is that lowering LDL does make a difference, but “protects only 30-40% of those at risk” (Summary (4)), which is not enough to make it “a fundamental cause” and is less than is being assumed or implied. He also clarifies in the last paragraph that “he does not claim that his hypothesis offers an immediate solution” and he “does not intend to suggest an immediate solution”.
In association with him I found Zoë Harcombe’s meta-review and further articles by her alone or together with many other researchers which show & argue that the studies on which American diet recommendations are based were flawed, biased and possibly industry-influenced. These arguments are being featured prominently in wikipedia Dietary Guidelines for Americans - Wikipedia.
One abstract about alternatives Problems with the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans: An Alternative - PubMed seems to imply that eating some refined grains, low-fat dairy and unsaturated oils, whilst limiting saturated fats & sodium, leads to many health problems. But in the details Problems with the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans: An Alternative the focus is on stressing “eat natural food and avoid processed food”. The arguments against grains, low-fat dairy products and unsaturated fats (omega 6 is stressed) are all directed mainly against the processing and refining, and this also leading to unhealthy compensations like sugar, eating more etc. The argument against even whole grains are added sugar, them being less nutritious(?) and “only” being added to the human diet 10.000 years ago(?).
An abstract from 2020 argues that there is no evidence “that a low saturated fat, low cholesterol diet reduces coronary events in FH individuals” (familial hypercholesterolaemia). Dietary Recommendations for Familial Hypercholesterolaemia: an Evidence-Free Zone - PubMed But for a subset (insulin resistant) a low carb diet might help (trials needed).
In a review from 2019 Harcombe argues that all evidence suggests that saturated fats do not lead to CV issues.
Her arguments here aren’t really deeper, but shows some mainline arguments, that seem to fall short: Problems with the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans: A Response to a Rebuttal
This article seems to me to suggest that both normal carb and low carb arguments need verification.
And 2020 she also argues “The new European guidelines for prevention of cardiovascular disease are misleading - PubMed

I can now see that/why it is probably no problem adding some unrefined coconut oil with its saturated fats. Just I have no issues with Alzheimer’s or appetite control etc.
And what I see is that all these arguments are important for the general population of Europe & (esp.?) America. But I don’t ever eat refined fats or oils and hardly any processed food anyway, so it seems no problem to continue with unrefined omega 3 fats and oils, olive or canola, with avoiding too much omega 6, no problem to lower my LDL with a Mediterranean diet as I have done, even if it’s unsure that that’ll prevent CV issues.
Arguments what humans did or ate 2 million or 10.000 years ago don’t impress me in the least, my focus is valid modern evidence and my own experience. So I can’t follow the arguments here for low carbs / stopping whole grains and would need better arguments / clinical evidence for this. I didn’t see any difference when I reduced wholemeal gluten-free berry muesli with added nuts and bread and potatoes. But the ethical reasons for not using animals are more important to me and my lipidologist argued it’s better to keep some carbs in for that reason.

Fruits (sugar) & Lectins - getting even more complicated…

I keep getting confused what has too much sugar, and want to know if plums and grapes are OK, so just looked it up. Turns out plums are OK-ish because they have a low glycemic index, whilst grapes are not:
7 High Sugar Fruits to BAN (plus, which fruit to eat instead) (Gundry MD is the lectin guy, author of the Plant Paradox diet.)
Don’t eat much, keep to summer & fall when they are ripe, worst are grapes, ripe mangoes, ripe bananas, lychees, pineapple, whilst apples & pears need to be kept down, but are good for fibre sometimes.
Best are unripe bananas, avocadoes, raspberries & other berries, figs (not sure if dried also) & coconuts. Lemons & limes in moderation.

Regarding lectins I just read all of this differentiating detailed article, in which fibromyalgia is mentioned:

Bottom line for me is I need to carry on keeping sugars down for my blood fats, but since I have eliminated so many foods that cause GI problems, I can very well see that I do not need to reduce lectins at all for that, since I have absolutely no problems with most beans, with soy, with peanuts.
Here https://www.restartmed.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Foods-high-in-Lectins-1.pdf is says lectins can cause fatigue, brain fog, pain & sleep issues. It has foods listed in different categories, e.g. from ideal to never to eat.
Here High Lectin Fruits & Low Lectin Fruits List - Lectin Foods Base is says organic will likely be better, so I’m safer there.

I wanted to add a new post, but wasn't allowed cos it'd've been my "3rd consecutive" one.

Not sure why that’s not possible. If some answers I could carry on adding…: