"Welcome to Nutritionhelp - supporting health for 26 years."
Erica White DipION, FBANT, Nutritionhelp Founder



My name is Erica White. I’m founder of Nutritionhelp, a graduate of the Institute for Optimum Nutrition and an Honorary Fellow of the British Association for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy. I'm also the author of the 'Beat Candida Cookbook', updated and expanded in August 2014 and flagged by Amazon  for many years as their No.1 Best Seller for Special Diets. My other books include the 'Beat Fatigue Handbook'.If you have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, you might be interested to read the following information.

Q. What exactly is fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is the term used for pain in the fibrous tissues of the body – muscles, ligaments and tendons. It used to be known as fibrositis. Fibromyalgia is commonly experienced as aches and pains in muscles in various areas of the body and can even be felt as ‘pain all over’. The symptoms are very much like the severe muscle pain that is experienced in a bad bout of flu, but whereas flu eventually comes to an end, fibromyalgia goes on indefinitely.

The main symptom associated with fibromyalgia is aching muscles. This is thought to be caused by improper energy-production in the muscles, and may sometimes be helped by taking good levels of magnesium and also supplements of malic acid, derived from apples. Stress is thought to be a major factor in fibromyalgia because it burns up magnesium. It might be the initial trigger, but equally the trigger might be a virus or an overload of toxins, because when toxins reach the muscles, the result is inflammation and pain. An over-production in the body of certain organic acids, like tartaric acid, may also cause muscle pain.

Q. Does fibromyalgia have any other symptoms besides aching muscles?

A diagnosis of fibromyalgia may be given in situations where there is fatigue, poor memory and concentration, tingling in hands and feet, headaches, irritability, depression and irritable bowel syndrome. The fact that it can present as a wide variety of symptoms makes it very similar to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (sometimes called Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) and, as with CFS/ ME, various factors should be suspected including food allergy, adrenal exhaustion (as a result of stress), nutritional deficiencies or imbalances - and yeast infection or candidiasis, by which I mean an overgrowth of the common yeast Candida albicans. In fact, both fibromyalgia and CFS/ ME may have identical symptoms to severe yeast infection.book-beat_fatigue_handbook_cover

This similarity of symptoms may be due to the fact that candida is known to release at least 79 known toxins, and toxins can cause inflammation and pain in the muscles. Many candida sufferers who have not been diagnosed with fibromyalgia very commonly suffer with aching muscles. Another effect of toxins in the blood is fatigue, both physical and mental, together with poor memory and an inability to concentrate. They can also cause numbness and tingling sensations. In addition, candida releases tartaric acid, an organic acid known to cause muscle pain. Dr. William Shaw in the USA has found that tartaric acid levels are invariably raised in the urine samples of adults with fibromyalgia, which further reinforces the candida association.

Q. So is it possible that an anti-candida regime might be helpful for fibromyalgia?

By bringing candida under control, the level of toxins and inflammatory organic acids in the body is reduced, and their associated symptoms are overcome. Appropriate nutritional therapy may support the liver’s detoxification processes in speeding up the elimination of toxins and counteracting the effects of inflammatory organic acids.

Q. What does the anti-candida regime involve?

It includes a carefully-controlled diet avoiding yeast, all forms of sugar, refined grains, fermented products and drinks containing stimulants; appropriate vitamins and minerals to strengthen the immune system (preferably a tailor-made programme); natural anti-fungal supplements to destroy the candida overgrowth; and probiotic supplements to re-establish a healthy colony of friendly bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract.

Q. Apart from the anti-candida diet, are there any specific foods to avoid with fibromyalgia because they encourage inflammation?

Foods which are known to contain inflammatory prostaglandins include red meat and animal fat, so these are preferably avoided or at least reduced.

Q. And are there any foods which are anti-inflammatory and therefore could be helpful with fibromyalgia?

Foods which contain anti-inflammatory prostaglandins include oily fish (salmon, herrings, sardines, mackerel), and seeds of all types (flax, sunflower, pumpkin, sesame, hemp) plus their oils (unrefined), especially flax seed oil.

My experience shows that the anti-candida nutritional regime needs to be followed until symptoms are under control, at which point it is helpful to carry out a one-month diet-relax experiment. Even if this is successful, it is invariably helpful to return to the strict anti-candida diet for a further year in order to consolidate the newly-established healthy balance of microbes which has just been achieved in the gastrointestinal tract. This approach, in combination with an emphasis on specific foods as discussed above, may in time be helpful in reducing or even completely removing the symptoms of fibromyalgia.

Further reading:

Biological Treatments for Autism and PDD, by Dr. William Shaw

Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome, by Leon Chaitow

The Yeast Connection, by Dr. William Crook