Sue's Blog

Fibromyalgia and diet


A woman wrote: do you have any feedback regarding fibromyalgia and the failsafe diet? 

See below for some reader success stories. As usual with food intolerance, everyone is different.

Which foods are implicated?

  • Any or all of the usual: salicylates, amines, glutamates/MSG, additives, dairy, gluten
  • Some people also have multiple chemical sensitivity including fragrance sensitivity

Time to improve?

For chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, 4 weeks on the strict diet RPAH elimination diet including gluten and dairy free is recommended by experienced dietitians

  • some people improve within one week
  • some say a full 6 weeks or even longer
  • some say, it only works if you follow the diet strictly, e.g. ”it didn't work for me until I was strict and df/gf” and “Once I went onto strict elimination, my health improved quickly and dramatically” - Melanie and Shireen from story [1449]

Symptoms of fibromyalgia

  • widespread muscle and joint pain
  • fatigue
  • non-restorative sleep or insomnia, restless legs
  • foggy brain

Other conditions also known to respond to diet that can co-exist with fibromyalgia

  • IBS (irritable bowel symptoms)
  • headaches or migraines
  • depression
  • asthma, and many others

Some fibromyalgia success stories from our website:
At my absolute worst, with a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and IBS, with speech issues, constant headaches, psoriasis, untold medications and a very real chance of having to use a wheelchair, I can easily say FS saved my life.  I'm now fit and active, run a business, teach belly dancing and thoroughly enjoy life -  Sue from [1273]

I went on this diet for gut issues but my fibromyalgia & arthritis is sooo much better & I haven't had a migraine in 3 years now!! - Sharyn from [1476]

My fibromyalgia pains disappeared inside a week (wheat and dairy in my case)... I was furious that nobody had mentioned it to me before – Susanne from [1211]

My mother and I … have had doctors mystified for years with strange and debilitating health issues … Now they have decided that we both have fibromyalgia. None of my doctors have ever mentioned that salicylates are in foods … on the right track (with diet), we have both been improving so drastically that everyone is asking us what is going on -  from story [559]

For years I have been in and out of the doctor’s office and all tests ran negative … so the multiple diagnoses began - arthritis, mental illness, fibromyalgia … Removing sal-full products and food from my life relieved all of my symptoms - from story [557]

I’m 58 with severe salicylate intolerance. Thankfully, my avoidance of sals over the last 7 months has "cured", or put me in remission, for ulcerative colitis … My roseacea is also cleared after 3 years … My fibromyalgia is gone – Kathy from story [1473]

I have fibromyalgia and MSG/glutamates cause horrific pain through my whole body, but I'm ok with amines – from story [1479] (See scientific study The effect of dietary glutamate on fibromyalgia and irritable bowel symptoms.

More reader stories and info in our Fibromyalgia factsheet