Diagnostic diet part 2 and Fibromyalgia 

As promised, I would send you an honest update on how my diagnostic diet is going.  I started before I spoke to the consultant and completely ditched all processed food, so nothing came out of a packet.  I lost 7 lbs in 2 weeks and felt so much better; less fatigue and reduced muscle pain.  

I went into the diagnostic diet for 2 weeks to cut down my diet to a very basic bland hunter gatherer type.  This basically removes all potential foods that could cause a reaction with my nervous system.


You only eat the highlighted foods for the first 2 weeks.  You track your symptoms and at first you feel worse; giving up coffee gave me a migraine.  I lost 12 pounds in 2 weeks!!  

After the first 2 weeks my daily headaches disappeared, my fatigue was reduced, my muscle pain went away and the nerve sensation issues I had like tingling, itching, pain upon touching disappeared.  

I was just coming out of a flare up when I started the diagnostic diet and my sleep was terrible; 7 hours over 3 nights.  I asked for 5 days worth of sleeping tablets and usually they take my sleep from 3/4 hours to 4/5 but this time they worked great.

It took about a week to get over stopping the sleeping tablets (this is why I don’t like to take them)! Now I’m sleeping much better, deeper and longer 5/6.5 hours. 👍

Switching to fresh food only I lost a total of 1 stone and 7lbs in a month and never went hungry.

My moods are better, less extreme and my menstrual cycle was less severe.  I haven’t had digestive issues either.

The next phase of my diet is to slowly start bringing in the rest foods not highlighted on the photo above, one by one and track symptoms.

So far I’ve been able to eat asparagus, grapes, veal, tuna steak and tomatoes.  

I’m still not able to exercise until I’ve finished the next month as this could skew the symptom tracker.

I can’t wait to restart proper exercising as I’m so weak, getting out of breath walking up hill or up or down steps.  I couldn’t even keep up with my 67 year old dad!

It’s not easy as you have to have willpower and you have to track everything; symptoms and weight, which will start to increase if my nervous system reacts to it.

I have a comprehensive stool analysis kit to do and send off but I need to wait till I get paid as it’s £160 for the analysis; 3 collections and I have strict guidelines to follow including mixing with liquids, dealing and posting lol.  I have a list of other tests to do too that I have to pay for as the NHS has refused, simple blood tests.

I am willing to do anything to feel better and the Airedale Allergy Clinic here have done more for me than the NHS have in over 3 years.  The NHS don’t have the funding or support to investigate or locate cures for conditions like Fibromyalgia.  The US are way out front in this area as it’s about making money and a cure or even medications or treatments would rake in millions.  GPs are trained to give us meds and there aren’t any specialists only pain or arthritic specialists available in the UK, we are sent to these for more band aid treatments for our symptoms.  What we need is locating and dealing with the root cause!! 


Feel free to ask me any questions!  Or join my page here for more insights and research sharing.  

Advertisements

My first consultation at Airedale Clinic

Airdale are a private clinic that specialise in finding out what chemicals and foods affect our immune systems and cause medical problems, treating the root cause rather than masking the symptoms with medications.  You can read more about the great work the clinic do here.

When I was tracking my symptoms with a log I found a number of things that affected my symptoms of fatigue and stress:-

  • Sleep deprivation
  • Stress
  • Over doing things
  • Food and drink
  • Chemicals 
  • Hot weather
  • Dehydration
  • Injuries and other painful medical conditions

But some of these things affected each other too, for example certain foods affected my sleep, an injury affects my fatigue etc.

The first consultation was done over Skype to reduce my need to do the 1 1/2 hour round trip to Keighley which I would not have been able to manage.  It was with the Co-Director Dr Apelles Econs, lovely man, very caring and understanding and very knowledgeable about autoimmune disorders and allergies.  He gave me a frank explanation of how fibromyalgia works and affects the nervous system and what can be done to improve symptoms.  I have attached my treatment plan for you to review below:-


I want to share my journey with you to allow you to see what I am trying and what improvements I have.  There is no cure for fibromyalgia and the NHS are only interested in giving us pills and potions to band aid over our symptoms, not to treat the root cause.

The initial consultation was £175 but you can’t put a figure on good health.  The GPs only know how to prescribe meds or do referrals to specialists, but in the UK there aren’t any for fibromyalgia.

I recently had a bad flare up due to injuring my knee falling off a motorbike in training, I actually fractured my knee and again it took 2 months under the creaking NHS to find this out, as I had to wear a leg brace for a month restricting my movement the immobility flared up my fibro and back pain to the worst levels I’ve ever experienced.  

My healthy diet lapsed due to laziness and I put on a stone in weight and felt dreadful.  You are what you eat after all.  I gave myself a kick up the backside and ditched the processed foods and lost 7lbs in 3 weeks, since starting my diagnostic diet as recommended by the Airedale Clinic I’ve lost a further 3 pounds in the last 5 days.  At first I felt lethargic, had bad headaches (gave up coffee), could not sleep at all and my aches and pains got worse.  But I’m now on day 5 and I’m feeling a little better, I was in another mini fibro flare up due to overdoing things at work but I feel the diet is helping me recover quicker.  The only problem I have right now is very bad lower back ache which is hurting every time I remain still, especially when sitting and it’s worse when I lay down.  The only foods I can eat are detailed below, highlighted:-


The diet helps to detect whether food is affecting my condition to track how I react to the natural diet. It is only for 2 weeks and quite frankly I would do anything to feel better, even as one person put it yes I would sell my soul.

This is one of the pages out of my diet book:-


I have also obtained my full list of tests and results to share with the clinic from the NHS and I have a list of potential tests should I want to go ahead with them privately:-


I have ordered the stool test to start with until I know whether I have had any of these on the NHS, which I doubt as the NHS wouldn’t treat the outputs of most of the above tests.

I have a follow up consultation on the 11th to discuss how I’ve felt the diet has gone and discuss next steps.  Thankfully sebsequent consultations are only £90.

I have bought a vitamin B12 spray as this vitamin can help with fatigue, aches and pains, the tablet form is not adequately digested by our systems, but the spray works best, the gold standard are vitamin B12 injections.


I will update you on my progress with honesty and complete openness.  Maybe there is something I am doing that you would like to try.

Please feel free to ask me any questions, my Facebook page is updated on a more regular basis and is available through my blog.

Fatigue and fibromyalgia 

I have to be honest fatigue and anxiety are two of my most crippling symptoms at the moment.  I have had a busy weekend with a motorbike lesson Saturday morning, loading up the campervan for camping and unloading on return then I went out on my motorbike 3 miles to watch a stunt show for 2 hours.  Monday I felt great, Tuesday and Wednesday morning I have felt by far the worse I have ever felt in terms of fatigue.

I open my eyes and the stiffness and pain is extreme I feel it in every part of my body all over my skin, like I’m severely bruised, I cry lots more out of frustration I guess.  I struggle out of bed and it takes me between 90-120 minutes of waiting for my tramadoland the caffeine from my coffee to kick in.  I hate this feeling more than anything it’s horrible, getting into work is a massive struggle, today I have booked a days annual leave as I don’t even have the energy to get up.  I’ve been laid in bed for 3 hours now!!

Fatigue is a difficult one it’s all about pacing and you have to keep a diary of activities to learn how much you can do and when to rest to reduce fatigue flare ups, fatigue never kicks in straight away it takes my body 48-72 hours for it to kick in but when it does it floors me.  It’s a frustrating experience as I really had fun with my family this weekend and now I am paying the price.

Tips for controlling fatigue which I do not always follow hence why I am feeling ill today:-

  • Learn pacing; this means stretching out activities over a longer period.  I’ll give you an example I used to hoover the whole house in one go, now I have a lightweight rechargeable hoover and I do a room a night.  
  • Find easier ways to do things.  All my shopping is done online and delivered, any other essentials are fetched by my daughter and husband
  • Hire a cleaner or ask a family member or friend to help.  I am a proper clean freak so clutter and dirt stress me out so I pay my daughter a wage to clean.
  • Find ways to rest and this does not necessarily mean go to sleep, napping messes up your sleep health.  It means finding a way to relax which could be watching tv, reading a book, doing some crafts, sitting in the sun, etc etc
  • Meditate, get on the sofa and put on a YouTube and look up mindfulness meditation close your eyes, switch off your phone and follow the instructions.
  • If you are feeling down then have a good cry and get it out your system then move on, it’s my favourite way of getting all the frustration out!  Don’t let it ruin your day!
  • Stay positive, focus on what you have and what you can do not what you can’t.  I know this is hard but life is beautiful and when fatigue kicks in it’s overwhelming but we all have great things in our life even if it’s just the blue sky and sun today.
  • Keep telling yourself it will pass because it always does.  If needs be write it down ‘it will pass’ on an A4 sheet of paper and stick it on the wall to remind you.
  • Increase your painkillers to help you get through the flare up but remember to reduce back down or you could end up on a slippery slope of ever increasing pain meds.
  • Take a hot bath, not a shower and use magnesium flakes as they soak in your skin, at first you will itch and go redbut as your magnesium levels increase in your body this will stop.
  • Eat healthier than ever before, poor diet choices will increase fatigue.
  • Do not drink any alcohol as this will make you feel worse!!  The alcohol turns to sugar and is toxic to your liver it will only prolong the fatigue.
  • Get a massage it releases and removes toxins in the body and you will feel the benefit later on in the day.
  • Go and sit in the sun and top up your vitamin D levels naturally.
  • Remember your vitamins.
  • Talk to someone about how you feel, sharing your experience helps.  Why do you think I have my fibro page I need you more than you need me!!

Take a look at this site it’s got great tips and logs to help you plan living with fibro here 

Poor diet leads to increased Fibromyalgia symptoms

Don’t take my word for it, google it.  Even people without Fibromyalgia are affected by what they eat and drink so it’s only natural for us fellow fibromyalgia to feel the most severe symptoms:

  • Bloating
  • Headache
  • Stomach upsets
  • Increased/decreased digestion
  • Latheragy
  • Energy spikes, manis followed by depression
  • Insomnia
  • Brain fog
  • Weight increase
  • Itching

And the list can go on and on.

When you think back to our grandparents era there wasn’t the processed food we come to rely on now.  Everything was cooked fresh and most of the veg was homegrown.  Nowadays as our lives get more fast paced we rely more on ready made food, that takes no more effort than warming up in a device or ordering from a fast food joint.

Not only have I researched this subject to death at sites like this but I’ve also kept a food diary for 6 months and logged how I felt directly after eating and 20 minutes later and I was shocked when I reflected on the results each week.   Many foods were making me ill, feel worse and feel most of the symptoms above!!

It’s no secret that eating more natural food is much better for you and eating less sugar and salt will help you not only sustain good health but to feel better too. 

I like to focus on what I can eat rather than what I can’t.  Focus on the positives.  I’m not here to preach how you should live your life but if you want to change how you feel then you need to do something different!!

Take a look at this site here and do your own research.

Why do I rave about a good diet?  As the difference I feel since changing my diet is fantastic and I will never revert back to what I did eat before.

Start cooking fresh, over cook and freeze your own fresh TV dinners!!  Buy a hotspot and throw all your ingredients in and let the hot pot do the cooking.  Get your kids involved or your husband if you’re exhausted.  Cut down on takeaways to once a month.  Quit drinking alcohol or at least reduce your intake.  Look for sugar alternatives.  Bake yourself using healthier products like almond flour and honey etc.

You have a wealth of knowledge on the internet so why not use it?

Pain flare ups with fibromyalgia

I find there are a few reasons our bodies hurt, for me I’ve put them in to 3 categories:-

  • Psychological; for instance when I get stressed or I am under pressure, say from work, my brain then relays this into physical pain into my weak spots – my spine.
  • Not using pacing; doing too many activities and not resting enough, again my brain warns me by creating physical pain, mostly into my weak spots, my spine or all over aches and pains in my muscles or skin pain by touch, allodynia.
  • An injury, say from twisting my body or falling over.  I find that with fibro I hurt a lot by just simple acts I performed before I had fibro which might never have caused any lasting pain.

It’s important to understand which of these we feel during a flare up.  For example when I developed fibromyalgia and I didn’t know I had it and I was sure I had another serious problem with my back.  The pain was actually my heightened sensitivity to pain and the fact I was trying to undertake lots of activities such as before I had back surgery.  But when I learnt I had developed fibro I realised that my back did not need further investigation and that I had to learn to pace myself and I understood that my brain was increasing the pain signals through my nervous system instead of in a non fibro sufferer reducing the pain signals.  

An example would be falling and hurting your ankle with a sprain that Fibromyalgia could increase the pain and symptoms such as touch and to feel more like a break.  It took my sprained ankle 2 years to heal instead of a normal 3-9 months, even for a bad sprain!

Plus when you understand how pacing works, you can begin to understand your limits and reduce activities to a level that flare ups are rare and manageable.  Keeping logs and diaries are a great way to help you learn about your condition, body and reduce the boom or bust scenarios.  Please read here for more information. 


The above shows you how boom or bust works and learning to pace activities will help to reduce or even eliminate these.

Now I’m not an expert, I came home yesterday in tears as I pushed myself too hard this week at work.  I called my new manager and asked to come and see me this week as I needed to talk through my new role, his and my expectations and make it clear I will not risk my health for work.  He agreed and seemed generally caring, which is a start.

I have tried to deal with fibromyalgia by popping pain pills but this treatment does not work.  Eventually our brains get used to them and then you have to keep moving onto stronger medications.  I weaned off 5 tablets and now find that I deal with fibro much better by just taking them during flare ups, as they seem to actually work and the rest of the time I use a holistic approach, I’ll give you a brief run down of done of the things I use:-

  • Regular massage
  • Magnesium flakes in my bath
  • Mindfulness and meditation
  • Pacing, spreading out activities with regular rest
  • I use a hydraulic desk and spinal chair at work so I can work standing and sitting
  • Heat, I have hot water bottles everywhere
  • I take a varied amount of natural minerals and vitamins
  • I use positive affirmations all the time, by saying out loud positive things such as I love mornings, I am going to have a great day today
  • I use essential oils in a device click here

I am not sure where you are on your journey with fibromyalgia, but if you understand why you get flare ups and increased pain you can learn to reduce or remove these episodes. 

Fibromyalgia and food 

When I was growing up I ate whatever was thrown in front of me not giving much thought as to what was in the food or how it made me feel.  When we are young our bodies can take so much abuse it’s unreal.  Read this article here for an insight into food and it’s affects on fibromyalgia.

When I got older I started to feel sluggish and started to get hangovers but still carried on eating whatever I wanted, luckily I love vegetables so these were high up on my menu.  When I split up with my first husband who only ever ate convenience foods and had a few run ins with family over feeding my daughter packaged, processed foods it was like a lightbulb going off in my head.  Not only was I eating ‘shit’ food but so was my daughter.


When I met my new husband he already had a taste for good food our diet improved but it still wasn’t great.  After I had a fall at work, my back problems got worse and after a second fall and my second disc falling to bits I had to take drastic action.  By this point I’d started to ditch milk for alternatives, I ditched bread, white products such as rice, bread, pasta and potatoes switching for healthier options.  But it wasn’t until after my fusion and I developed fibromyalgia as my body never recovered from the major surgery that I really changed.

Things I changed:-

  • Only 1 coffee ☕️ and before 7am with a milk substitute but not soya read why here 
  • Ramped up my water consumption to 3/4 litres a day
  • Introduced herbal teas, not fruit (contains sugar) but chamomile and peppermint etc 
  • Dropped fruit to the occasional one off banana and occasional treat (again contain sugars) read why here 
  • Reduced consumption of red meat
  • Don’t eat rice or pasta but eat substitutes
  • Went organic as much as possible
  • Quit sugar, if I want a sweetener I use organic honey
  • Do not eat bread unless Rye Omega 
  • I don’t eat sweets or cakes unless made with natural ingredients
  • I bake my own treats using organic natural ingredients why? Read here
  • I do not drink alcohol 🍺 it’s just not worth alcohol neuropathy.  Learn more here
  •  I do not drink fizzy drinks at all or aspartame if you do then you need to STOP read why here 

Now you might be thinking we’ll what can I eat then?  There are loads of foods you just need to be creative try things you have never eaten before.  Plus you need to keep a food diary.  Important things to add are:-

  • What you eat?
  • How you feel before you ate?
  • How you feel half hour after you eat?

It’s that simple!  I did this for about 3 months and by following that list above this is why I have less pain, more energy, I sleep 5-6 hours a night not 3-4


Other routines I establish from what I learnt from my food diary are:-

  • I started to get ill if I didn’t eat every 2-3 hours.  Once past that 3 hour mark and up to 4 I hurt all over, feel like I have flu, cannot concentration and get a massive headache.  
  • I have to eat within an hour of waking up or I get the same symptoms above
  • I cannot eat within 3 hours of going to bed or I cannot sleep (nervous system is far too overactive)
  • I have to eat smaller more regular meals.  If I eat big meals I feel sluggish and sometimes have to go to bed, I have even vomited before

It is up to you at the end of the day if you continue to eat the wrong foods and be stubborn about it you will continue to feel unwell 🤒.  If you have a family you need to sit them down and have an honest conversation about your health and how they support you.  I love my husband but he knows how ill I get if I don’t stick to my plan and quite frankly if he did not support me he would be leaving by the front door, that’s how serious I am about getting my life back on track!!

You have to put yourself first or what good are you to anyone constantly ill, always having to go to bed, not have a social life, not being well enough to work.

Many of you will have or are going through the ‘why me’ overthinking and that needs to be resolved to move on.  I have been there.  I now accept this condition and I’m learning to live with it. I’m not going to spend the next 20/30 years of my life waiting to die.

This site is amazing and I beg you to follow it here

Follow my blog to get direct messages into your email inbox where you could read, research and make up your own mind about my tips.  But remember if it works for one, it can work for you!