Fibromyalgia is a musculoskeletal disorder that manifests as widespread body pain and fatigue. If you suffer from this, you may also experience sleep disturbance and diminished cognitive abilities. Doctors have not yet found the disease’s actual cause, but it might have links to genetics and certain illnesses.

Some foods may also trigger fibromyalgia. Below are some foods you should avoid if you have this condition.

“Being able to walk pain-free is a blessing. Being able to walk without showing the pain is a skill.” – Kylie McPherson

Here Are 10 Foods That Are Bad for Fibromyalgia

1. Agave

Agave is sugar derived from plants. It has lower glycemic effects, so it’s supposed to be healthier than common table sugar. But agave is high in fructose, which has been linked to inflammation and fatty liver disease, as per a study in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology. So, the next time you would like a little sweetness in your food or drink, use raw organic honey or leaf stevia alternatives instead of agave.

2. Corn

Corn can be found in many processed foods. It is widely used as an ingredient in seasonings, starch, breading, and even chicken nuggets. Corn is also the main ingredient in high fructose corn syrup. A number of studies link corn syrup to increased inflammation. The problem with inflammation, apart from the risk of fibromyalgia, is that it can lead to chronic disease development.  Harvard Health highlights risks such as coronary artery disease, diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.

3. Dairy

The body takes a harder time eliminating dairy products in the system. If you’re lactose intolerant, you might have frequent episodes of gas and bloating. If you have fibromyalgia, dairy can be bad for you because it rapidly turns to sugar. Processed dairy products also contain pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics that may cause problems in digestion and body inflammation. Since dairy comes from cows that consume mainly grains, the source itself can make dairy unhealthy for fibromyalgia patients.

4. Fat-free food

Fat-free food doesn’t always equate to weight loss. While it’s marketed as negative, your body still needs fat to help the organs function better. So, going fat-free might deplete your body of the nutrients it needs. If you have fibromyalgia, you have to avoid trans-fat to prevent body inflammation, but you shouldn’t avoid the healthy types of fat because your organs need its nutrients. So, carefully read the labels of the food you buy to determine whether it contains healthy or unhealthy fat.

5. Gluten-free food

An assortment of gluten-free foods in the market today are not naturally gluten-free. In fact, these are highly processed food with lots of fillers that might make fibromyalgia worse. As with fat-free food, always read the label before purchasing. Steer away from those that are sold as healthy alternatives when they’re actually not.

6. Nightshades

Tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes, bell peppers are part of the nightshade family.  These foods are rich in solanine, a glycoalkaloid. The digestive tract absorbs glycoalkaloid rather poorly. Ever notice why you develop gastrointestinal problems after eating foods rich in tomatoes or bell pepper? Solanine may also lead to body toxicity, as per the Toxicology Data Network. At least 74 to 90 percent of people prone to inflammatory problems like fibromyalgia develop body pains after eating nightshades.

7. Peanut butter

Peanut butter is a good source of protein. It’s also high in good fat and low on carbohydrates. However, a study published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism suggests that peanut butter’s rich omega-6 fatty acids content may increase inflammation. Experts suggest almond butter as the healthier and more positive alternative.

8. Soy or tofu

Soy or tofu has been pegged as a good and healthy source of protein. However, soy can cause adverse effects in the body that might be similar to gluten intolerance. According to a study in the Journal of Nutrition, estrogen in soy has been linked to breast cancer in women. Most doctors often suggest avoiding this food if someone has been diagnosed with the disease. The Japanese, however, love to eat soy food and gain from its positive benefits. It’s likely because soy isn’t genetically modified in Japan. Additionally, their general diet of fish, vegetables, and green tea might mitigate any negative effects.

9. Whole wheat

Whole wheat isn’t processed food, so it’s deemed healthier than white or refined flour. However, wheat contains gluten that can lead to body inflammation in someone who suffers from fibromyalgia. People who are intolerant to gluten may have Celiac disease. Most patients who have this condition also develop fibromyalgia, so the two diseases overlap. However, a study in the journal Rheumatology International revealed that those who have fibromyalgia, but do not necessarily have gluten sensitivity, saw a significant decrease in their symptoms when eating gluten-free food.


10. Whole grains

Similar to whole wheat, whole grains may also escalate symptoms of fibromyalgia. This food contains a high level of sucrose that elevates the blood sugar levels. People with high blood sugar levels are prone to body inflammation, which leads to body pain.

Final thoughts

To ease your problems with fibromyalgia, in addition to positive thinking, always aim to have a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, healthy fats, and some grains. Avoid processed food completely because the additives and chemicals are sure to worsen the symptoms. Women are more prone to this disease than men. Seek a doctor for other alternatives to lessen the symptoms, as you might need to take medication or undergo therapies to manage the disease.