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Sunday, 19 May 2019

Could insulin resistance be the cause of fibromyalgia?



"It almost seems as if there is no limit to the benefits of low-carb diets. Of course, we need to be cautious about over-interpreting the data and anecdotal reports, and we need to remain objective. But the reports keep coming.

We recently posted about reports that low-carb diets may benefit COPD and osteoarthritis. Although the evidence is mostly anecdotal, the reports suggest there may be a link. Hopefully we will have a series of anecdotes and eventually a controlled trial to confirm if that is the case. Now, thanks to a recent publication in PLOS One, it looks like we might be able add improvements in fibromyalgia to list of possible benefits. 

As the authors mention in the study, fibromyalgia is a common generalized pain disorder without a clear cause and without very good treatment options. It can be a disabling condition causing sufferers to remain mostly sedentary and is frequently associated with severe depression and feelings of hopelessness. 

To be fair, the study did not show that low-carb diets improve fibromyalgia. But it did show a high association between fibromyalgia and co-existent insulin resistance (measured by HbA1c which is actually not a very sensitive measurement of insulin resistance). The study then went on to show those treated with metformin, a drug that can improve insulin sensitivity, had improved fibromyalgia symptoms. 

Although this data is mostly associational and does not prove cause and effect, it has to make us wonder if fibromyalgia is driven by insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia. If that is proven to be true, then it would follow that a low-carb, high-fat diet may be an effective treatment. 

Since we currently do not have any good treatments for fibromyalgia, should we empirically try a low-carb, high-fat diet for those searching for an answer? Most of these individuals are desperate for a glimmer of hope. It would ground-breaking if we could provide them with that glimmer. Since side effects may include weight loss, improved energy, blood pressure control, improved lipid profiles, and so much more, what’s the downside? 

Stay tuned for more. Here’s hoping….
Thanks for reading"

Words and picture above from an article here

Related Post:
LCHF : Eat, Enjoy and Feel Good : Birgitta Höglund


Birgitta is a retired restaurant chef. Health problems with a back injury, a spinal fusion and fibromyalgia made her question her lifestyle and diet. She discovered LCHF and, the rest they say is History!

Her motto … eat, enjoy and feel good! 
Please see and read more here

A variety of articles and recipe ideas within this blog. Please note, not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

29 comments:

Tom said...

...I hope not!

carol l mckenna said...

Certain an idea to contemplate ~

Happy Day To You,
A ShutterBug Explores,
aka (A Creative Harbor)

Anonymous said...

I had not heard of fibromyalgia until a few months ago when a friend was diagnosed. She has good days and bad days and I know she has to balance any activity with periods of rest. If she doesn't do this her fibromyalgia can get worse. I will show her this article, perhaps a change in diet may help?
LR

Anonymous said...

It would be wonderful if this could help so many suffering!

Sandi said...

So much of what ails us comes from lifestyle and diet.

Have you ever written about insulin resistance, fibromyalgia, and diet soda? I read somewhere there might be a connection. I think it meant diet sodas made with aspartame, rather than the ones made with stevia.

Valerie-Jael said...

It would certainly be good for sufferers to give it a try. Valerie

Lowcarb team member said...

Sandi said...
So much of what ails us comes from lifestyle and diet.

Have you ever written about insulin resistance, fibromyalgia, and diet soda? I read somewhere there might be a connection. I think it meant diet sodas made with aspartame, rather than the ones made with stevia

Hello Sandi, may thanks for your thoughts and comment.
It was Hippocrates who said … 'Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food', and I think there is a lot of truth in that sentence. Of course there are also many outside influences, genetics etc that also play their part.

We seem to be experiencing so many different diseases and in recent times our diet and lifestyle have seen changes.

You mention Aspartame, which is a common artificial sweetener in diet sodas. From various papers and articles on the internet it would seem that by using this it can 'chip away at the brain’s antioxidant defence system' and one of the twelve conditions this is linked to fibromyalgia is mentioned.
More to read here
https://draxe.com/is-diet-soda-bad-for-you/

I must point out that I am not a medical person, I just share my own experiences and that of others and link to articles which readers may find helpful.

Thanks again for your comment.

All the best Jan

N.B. Many thanks to all who take the time to comment on this post and our other posts, it is appreciated.

Snowbird said...

How interesting Jan, the things a change of diet can help!xxx

Lowcarb team member said...

Following on from Sandi's comment and my reply above …

There is an article 'Foods That Cause Fibromyalgia Flares' that may be of interest to readers, and you can find it here
https://www.chronicbodypain.net/foods-that-cause-fibromyalgia-flares/

It is interesting to note that the article says a diet free of dairy, sweeteners and soy is shown to drastically help... and that Splenda as a sweetener does not appear to cause the flare-ups as Aspartame does.

However, I would always proceed with caution, what may suit one person does not necessarily suit us all.

All the best Jan

William Kendall said...

Food for thought.

Elephant's Child said...

Ongoing pain is a nasty beast and anything which can help is certainly worth a try.

Victor S E Moubarak said...

Thank you for taking the time to research and publish such information.

God bless.

Miss Val's Creations said...

It is such a horrible thing to live with. This education is so important.

Christine said...

certainly worth a try!

Sandi said...

Thanks, Jan!

Jan/JFM said...

I have fibromyalgia. I was diagnosed with this disease over ten years ago. I try to do everything I can to help reduce the pain, including my adjusting my eating habits.
Your blog is very helpful and informative.

Thank you to the whole team ❤

Practical Parsimony said...

Metformin gave me unrelenting diarrhea! I will never take that again. I use no artificial sweetener, either. But, please, don't let it be dairy!!! My chronic fatigue syndrome is worse than fibromyalgia.

Birgitta Höglund said...

Thank you so much for this important post, Jan, and for mentioning my story.

My Fibromyalgia has become so much better since I changed my diet to glutenfree LCHF 10 years ago.
I've heard from so many here in Sweden that experienced the same relief since they started with LCHF/Keto.

I hope that we can change many peoples lifes by charing this information.
Summer greetings from Sweden./ Birgitta

Margaret-whiteangel said...

Interesting. My late mother had that about 4 years before she died.

Iris Flavia said...

I am so very thankful to be "healthy". Even more now.
You do a great job with this blog.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

This was an interesting read and anecdotal. Now it is time to isolate the factors and conduct some cause and effect studies that will add weight to these studies. I have a friend who has been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and anything that could help her pain would be most welcome.

kotanopan.com said...

fibromyalgia, I even just discovered this type of disease.
Thank you for the information

CJ Kennedy said...

Interesting how good foods might be used to help with all sorts of ailments.

Lowcarb team member said...

Birgitta Höglund said...
Thank you so much for this important post, Jan, and for mentioning my story.

My Fibromyalgia has become so much better since I changed my diet to glutenfree LCHF 10 years ago.
I've heard from so many here in Sweden that experienced the same relief since they started with LCHF/Keto.

I hope that we can change many peoples lifes by charing this information.
Summer greetings from Sweden./ Birgitta

Hello Birgitta
Many thanks for your comment, so pleased to read that your Fibromyalgia has become so much better since changing your diet to gluten free LCHF.
I do think that what we eat can play such an important role in our health.

Blogs, the inter-net, people exchanging their stories can and does help others to better health … it is amazing that with the click of a mouse we can access information that can help us … but obviously it is always best to talk over changes with your health care professional.

Enjoy your summer, my good wishes

All the best Jan

mamasmercantile said...

How wonderful if this could help so many sufferers.

Birgitta Höglund said...

Thanks, Jan.
I wish that this information will reach also to Doctors ad Nurses, so they can give these kind of advices to their patients.
When I got my Fibromyalgia diagnosis 15 years ago, no one said anything about the benefits of eating a sugarfree and glutenfree diet. I just had to live with it, was I told. That was the reason I started to read all about the syndrome and after a couple of years found LCHF.

Last year I read an article about a new study here in Sweden, that had found that Fibromyalgia comes from an inflammation in the brain. So thats why a low carb and anti-inflammatory diet can be such a good help.

Here you can read it in English: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0889159118302423?via%3Dihub

I hope you can understand my English, it's many years since I learned it in school ;)

Lowcarb team member said...

Birgitta Höglund said...
Thanks, Jan.
I wish that this information will reach also to Doctors ad Nurses, so they can give these kind of advices to their patients.
When I got my Fibromyalgia diagnosis 15 years ago, no one said anything about the benefits of eating a sugarfree and glutenfree diet. I just had to live with it, was I told. That was the reason I started to read all about the syndrome and after a couple of years found LCHF.

Last year I read an article about a new study here in Sweden, that had found that Fibromyalgia comes from an inflammation in the brain. So thats why a low carb and anti-inflammatory diet can be such a good help.

Here you can read it in English: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0889159118302423?via%3Dihub

I hope you can understand my English, it's many years since I learned it in school ;)

Hello again Birgitta,
Your English is very good.
Many thanks for the link to the science paper. I am so pleased more research is being done into Fibromyalgia. The paper was very detailed and, (I'm not a scientist but), I thought it enthusing to read about future studies to test whether glial modulation may be a viable therapeutic strategy for Fibromyalgia.
Readers can find out more about glial cells being the "glue" of the nervous system here
https://www.antibodybeyond.com/reviews/cell-markers/glia-marker.htm

As you say - Fibromyalgia comes from an inflammation in the brain, so it does make sense that a low carb and anti-inflammatory diet can be such a good help.

I do hope that more research can be carried out to help all those who suffer with Fibromyalgia.

Thanks again for sharing your experience and first hand knowledge, I do think that the more people who do this the more aware medical professionals and their patients can be - and that surely has to be good thing.

All the best Jan

My name is Erika. said...

Of course veggies and fruit are made of carbs as plant fiber is cellulose, so low carb means less process and starchy foods. Just saying as people use low carb and don't mean all carbs. Biut agreed, we eat way too many of those kinds of carbs. Happy new week Jan. Hugs-Erika

Conniecrafter said...

I have many friends who suffer from this, it is so sad to see what they go through!