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Fibromyalgia and Raw Foods

In 2001, a USA study was conducted to examine the effects of a raw foods diet on the physical and psychological wellbeing of individuals with fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia patients are afflicted with chronic pain that affects muscle tissue and joints across the body. Historically, the syndrome was often known as “rheumatism,” a disease that was typified by inflammation of the joints and tendons, and a decrease in mobility.

The tissues develop a sensitivity that can make normal contact with their environment painful. People with fibromyalgia are faced with a self-reinforcing cycle of exhaustion, in which the painful nerve stimulation disrupts the quality of sleep, which cannot be restored. Lower activity levels can cause painful stiffness. The impact of the chronic pain increases stress, and can lead to depression and increased anxiety.

The treatment of these symptoms is largely limited to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Ibuprofen and painkillers. Currently, known treatment is limited to mitigation of the symptoms paired with physical therapy to keep the muscles in use. The cause is unknown, which makes addressing the problem complicated.

A very high portion of fibromyalgia patients have sought out alternative medical therapies to mediate their symptoms.   The raw foods diet is based on the principle that heat destroys nutrients in the food, and makes the body need to process a greater amount of food to get the same amount of nutrients. Essentially, the diet contains a higher concentration of nutrients.

Thirty persons were placed on a controlled diet that focused on raw fruits and vegetables, nuts, salads and juicing. The study lasted seven months. Participants were asked to respond about their symptoms, sleep quality and other health details. Improvement was seen in pain levels, both when at rest and active, as well as increased flexibility and range of motion in the joints and spine. Participants were absent from the workplace less often, and reported a large increase in the number of days in which they reported being very pleased with their quality of life.

Raw food recipe ideas? See Ann Wigmore’s RECIPES FOR LONGER LIFE.