People who suffer from fibromyalgia often suffer from weight gain because of a number of factors that are directly and indirectly related to the disease.
Fibromyalgia causes hormonal imbalances that affect the levels of cortisol, thyroid gland, serotonin and insulin, as well as growth hormone production. Due to this hormonal imbalance, metabolism slows down, which often results in weight gain.
Fatigue associated with fibromyalgia is another factor that also leads to weight gain due to sedentary lifestyle.
Because fibromyalgia triggers a disruption of excitement in the brainwave cycle during sleep, the individual may not have sufficient sleep quality, in addition to suffering from sleep apnea (breaks in breathing and snoring) or agitated legs syndrome that increases fatigue.
A new study found that lack of sleep also leads to increased production of hypocretin, which is important for regulating sleep and appetite levels. When the levels of hypocretin neurons are high, this leads to an increased waking state, which causes not only fatigue, but also overeating.
In addition to fatigue, the experience of many patients with chronic pain and fibromyalgia is that exercise capacity is often inhibited.
Medications taken to treat fibromyalgia-related depression can also lead to weight gain. Antacids such as Prozac and Zoloft increase appetite, water retention and can affect hormone levels and, consequently, your metabolism.
Diet for fibromyalgia.
It is essential to maintain a balanced diet and to minimize the weight gain of fibromyalgia.
Here are some useful tips on diet:
■ E vitar the consumption of animal fats such as red meat. Instead, take leaner meats such as skinless chicken, turkey and fish, which are also excellent sources of protein.
■ Increase the consumption of high-fiber, low-sugar foods such as vegetables.
■ Drinking lots of fresh fruits like raspberries and strawberries is also helpful. Avoid dry fruits as they contain preservatives.
■ Omega-3 fatty acids are also important for maintaining a healthy diet and can be found in cold-water fish. Other good sources of fat are almonds, avocados, fish oils and olive oil and corn.
■ Eat three meals a day and try one or two nutritious snacks each day.
Avoid fried foods, junk food, white flour, sugar, alcohol and soft drinks.
Fibromyalgia and exercise.
Although fibromyalgia causes pain and fatigue, it is important to stay fit as much as possible to avoid weight gain and keep it healthy.
Starting your own tailored exercise program is a great way to achieve this goal.
Start with simple exercises such as stretching, walking or cycling.
Start a walking routine with one of the five minutes of the first day, then add 1-2 minutes a day, gradually moving to a 60-minute goal (or how comfortable and fit you are without suffering).
Cycling is another great training option. A stationary bike lets you work year-round, no matter how much time you spend, and you can easily track your mileage, which can help you achieve your training goals more effectively.
Keep in mind that some muscle pain is common when you start exercising, but acute pain may indicate that you have overloaded muscles.