Have you ever noticed that the things you eat can actually have a huge effect on the way you feel? When we stick to a healthy diet, we have more energy and even just feel happier. But have you ever binged on a bunch of processed snack foods and felt terrible afterward?
Don’t worry. It happens to everyone. But by now, you’ve probably figured out that diet is an important part of maintaining your body. Obviously, a healthy diet reduces the risk of disease, but it also helps you maintain your energy levels. And when you have fibromyalgia, a little bit of extra energy can make a big difference.
That’s why you might want to consider trying out a ketogenic diet. You may have already of heard of the ketogenic diet as a great way to lose weight, but it can also have a lot of other health benefits, including extra energy. So, what is the ketogenic diet? And can it help improve your fibromyalgia symptoms?
What Is A Ketogenic Diet?
Your body turns everything you eat into energy. And the energy it doesn’t need to use is stored as fat. When you don’t eat anything for a long time, your body begins breaking that fat down into energy. This process is called ketosis. But you can also trigger this process by starving your body of carbohydrates.
Without those carbohydrates, the body has to turn to its store of fat. So, a ketogenic diet is designed to keep your body in a state of ketosis and burn fat.
Usually, that means eliminating simple carbohydrates and processed foods and replacing them with protein and leafy greens. So, a basic ketogenic diet plan would be something like this:
- A smoothie with kale, almonds, and coconut milk.
- Steak salad.
- Pan-fried cod with garlic.
As you can see, the ketogenic diet tries to incorporate fresh meat and nuts for protein. And it eliminates things like bread, or cereal, which are made from grain and heavy in carbohydrates. There are a lot of benefits to a ketogenic diet. And some of those benefits might be helpful for someone with fibromyalgia.
Can It Help Improve Your Fibromyalgia Symptoms?
The first benefit of a ketogenic diet is that it can help you lose weight. And we know that losing weight can have a huge impact on the severity of the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Being overweight increases the amount of pain you feel and saps your energy. Of course, losing weight when you have fibromyalgia can be difficult since it’s hard to exercise when you’re dealing with symptoms. So a low-impact option like dieting can really help.
In addition, a ketogenic diet can increase the amount of energy you have. When you eat carbohydrates, your body turns it into glucose. Glucose is easily processed by the body, which means that it can give you a temporary energy boost. But it is also burned so quickly that you might experience a sudden loss of energy once the glucose is gone.
Fat is processed more slowly as energy by the body. By following a ketogenic diet, you can force your body to burn fat for energy. And by using fat instead of carbohydrates as fuel, your body has a steadier supply of energy. That helps avoids the natural spikes and dips in energy you feel throughout the day.
A ketogenic diet also helps you regulate your blood sugar, which is vital when you have diabetes. And that’s important for a lot of people who have fibromyalgia since diabetes is common in people with the condition.
Finally, a ketogenic diet can help you deal with the “fibro-fog” that can make it difficult to focus on daily tasks. The ketones produced by a ketogenic diet can help stimulate the production of neurotransmitters in the brain. And these extra levels of neurotransmitters can make it easier to focus and increase your mental clarity.
Now, while a ketogenic diet can have a lot of benefits for fibro sufferers, it may not be for everyone. If you have type-1 diabetes, it can increase the risk of ketoacidosis, which can be fatal. Although, most experts agree the risk of that is quite small.
But there can also be a few negative side effects, especially in the first few weeks. Many people who go on a ketogenic diet notice something called “keto flu.” This produces symptoms like nausea, fatigue, headaches, and cramps. This condition is caused by your body transitioning to a new way of using energy and usually goes away within a few weeks.