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All About FibromyalgiaA Guide for Patients and their Families$
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Daniel J. Wallace and Janice Brock Wallace

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195147537

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780195147537.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 13 June 2021

Influences of Lifestyle and Environment on Fibromyalgia

Influences of Lifestyle and Environment on Fibromyalgia

18 Influences of Lifestyle and Environment on Fibromyalgia
All About Fibromyalgia

Daniel J. Wallace

Janice Brock Wallace

Oxford University Press

Although there is no cure for fibromyalgia, patients can initiate numerous changes and make adjustments that improve their sense of well being. Simply stated, there are things patients can do without spending money or seeing a health care provider. Demonstrating a certain amount of control over the syndrome also improves self-esteem and instills a sense of self-worth. This chapter describes how modifications in diet, sleep habits, and lifestyle can ameliorate fibromyalgia. It also advises patients how best to deal with the weather, fatigue, pain, and their home environment so that they will hurt less and become more productive. Even though certain general dietary principles allow fibromyalgia patients to feel better, there is no “fibromyalgia diet.” No specific food regimens or supplements have ever been shown in any published, controlled study to be helpful for fibromyalgia despite the observation that “arthritis diet” books are a multi-million-dollar-a-year industry. How can we explain this discrepancy? First, people feel better when they eat healthy foods. Most “arthritis diet” books urge patients to eat three well-balanced meals a day and caution against overeating. Many recommend having the main meal at midday; heavy, late-evening dinners don’t give the body enough time to burn off calories and are associated with bedtime esophageal spasm or heartburn. Similarly, consuming alcohol, nicotine, or caffeine (in the form of coffee, tea, or even chocolate) at a late dinner can make it harder to get a good night’s sleep. Alcohol, in particular, should not be used as a painkiller. In turn, poor sleep can increase musculoskeletal pain. An acceptable healthy balance of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats can also increase energy and fight fatigue. What about vitamins? As people always on the go, Americans tend to settle for the convenience of quick-to-prepare, easy-to-consume refined, processed foods that are relatively deficient in vitamins and minerals. Multivitamin and mineral supplements can be useful additions for those who don’t have time or are unable to prepare well-balanced meals. Many specialized formulas with heavily promoted “herbs and spices” are available from acquaintances, distributors, and health food stores; none of these have been shown to be superior to Wal-Mart, Rite-Aid, or Osco preparations available at a fraction of the cost.

Keywords:   alcohol, calcium channels, diet, fatigue, home environment, infections, menopause, nicotine use, osteoporosis, perfectionistic tendencies

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