I've had great success by avoiding nightshades!

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Geek, Jul 31, 2005.

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  1. Geek

    Geek New Member

    Doing a search reveals that the topic of nightshades is rarely brought up. I've had FMS since 2000 and for the past 2+ years have had almost 100% success with elimination of FMS symptoms, simply by avoiding the nightshade family of foods.

    I've done enough experimentation (usually accidentally) to confirm that it really is the nightshades that cause my FMS symptoms. No doubt about it, at least for me since this treatment doesn't work for everyone.

    The nightshades include the following:
    - Tomatoes
    - Potatoes
    - Peppers (NOT black pepper!) of any kind including that which has been converted into some kind of seasoning e.g. curry.
    - Paprika
    - Eggplant

    Early on, I suspected nightshades but I was unsuccessful at getting better by avoiding them. Why? Because, I was only partially avoiding them -- I stopped eating baked potatoes and spaghetti sauce. Didn't help a bit. As it turns out, it is probably necessary for 100% avoidance if it is going to be effective. Peppers and paprika are the hardest to avoid since they are used as seasonings and are often hidden in the ingredients list simply by being listed as "natural flavorings" or "spices" -- both of which often (usually?) mean that peppers or paprika is in there.

    Should I "mess up", the effect is noticed between 24-48 hours after I eat the offending food. The effect is a sudden instantaneous onset of bad pain particularly in my legs -- and I do mean sudden! I can be just standing there minding my own business doing nothing, then suddenly it hits! It normally takes 1-2 weeks for the symptoms to subside, and oddly they subside almost as suddenly as they appeared.

    Other people will vary, but I have observed the onset of symptoms from the following:
    - Peppers (in ANY form)
    - Potatoes
    - Paprika hidden in Miracle Whip mayonaise.

    I have not yet observed the effect with tomatoes but I normally avoid them anyway, just in case it takes more accumulation for it to happen.

    It was nightshades that first brought on my FMS. What happened was that 6 weeks before the first symptoms, I got married. My new wife baked potatoes and made spaghetti with sauce on it ALL THE TIME, things that I rarely ever did on my own.

    It is VERY difficult to successfully avoid these nightshades, but I must because I can now function normally. Many a time I was so affected by pain that I couldn't even so much as walk around a mall and had to wait in my car while my wife shopped for me (how embarassing -- I was only in my early 30's for crying out loud). This year, I've done about a dozen day hikes up sizable mountains in NH and Maine, and was fine afterwards. Anyway, as I was saying, they are difficult to avoid... employees at restaurants usually cannot understand the specifics of my questions/requests. My wife gets annoyed at me for having trouble picking out places to eat while on vacation and the details of how food must be prepared. Most processed foods have to be avoided due to the "spices" ingredient in them.

    I strongly urge all FMS patients to consider avoiding nightshades. You may have to do it for 3 months or longer to notice an improvement, and even then it may still take longer. A book by Dr. Sherry Rogers called "Pain Free in Six Weeks" (the title is a bit misleading and it'll probably take longer) claims 75% success rate by avoiding nightshades, but other than that I have no idea how reliable it'll really be for everyone.

    NOTE: This isn't ALL I do -- I have a bunch of supplements I take and if I avoid them for an extended period of time, I start to feel not quite as good. These are fish oil (Fisol), C, E, multi, B-complex, calcium/magnesium, and MSM. Plus I try to stay low on the refined carbohydrates.

  2. Denamay

    Denamay New Member

    You are fortunate indeed to have such good results from avoiding nightshades.

    For quite a few years now I haven't eaten them.

    But it hasn't made any difference in my fibro.

    Nightshades have been indicated in arthritus so you are on the right track.

    I think it would be worthwhile for others to try giving them for while and see if it makes a difference.

    I wish it it worked for me, but like you I am sure I am sure it could be a factor in this disease.
    [This Message was Edited on 07/31/2005]
  3. Geek

    Geek New Member

    Its not the supplements alone, although they did HELP but not completely. Fisol is my favorite since within a few weeks after taking the omega-3's I noticed obvious improvement. But, it was not complete improvement and my symptoms fluctuated wildly from being "pretty good" to "help I can't even get off this couch", all for no apparent reason why there was such variation.

    Avoiding the nightshades stops this wild fluctuation, and makes my condition better than even the "good" days when I was just doing supplements alone.

    My first confirmation that nightshade avoidance works was when I had been avoiding them for several months and feeling pretty decent most of the time, but I was uncertain about whether it was worth it because I figured maybe its really nothing after all and its just the supplements that are helping. So, I went to the mall and had a nice tasty steak-cheese sub with green PEPPERS. Then forgot all about it, until the next day when I got home from work. I was casually walking out to the tool shed to pick up a tool, and as I bent down I heard a strange SNAP in my left knee followed by severe pain and a big lump appeared (and no, not a blood lump -- I've never seen anything like this), and within minutes all of my legs were hurting severely and I was laying on the couch in agony. This was the worst flare-up ever. Exactly two weeks later, the symptoms suddenly went away almost as fast as they've appeared.

    Since then I've obsessively been avoiding nightshades. Other flare-up events about a day later included:

    - Box of french fries at McDonalds; lasted a week.

    - A friend who knew I was avoiding peppers put some bell pepper seasoning mixed in with the grilled burger he served me (didn't occur to him that seasoning counts as peppers) -- two weeks of agony! (The burger sure tasted good though.)

    - Mayonaise (paprika?) on more than one occasion. Roughly a week or so and symptoms not as severe as in the other cases.

    I really hate FMS flare-ups so I'm reluctant to on purposely keep trying nightshades to see what happens. Its not like other allergies such as strawberries where I'll break out in hives for 24 hours and then its all done -- 1 to 2 weeks of agony is more of a cost than I'm willing to pay for the knowledge of knowing exactly which nightshade does what. Thus, I'm not going to experiment with tomatoes although I have had them twice in the form of a slice of pizza and did not notice anything major. Better safe than sorry though.

  4. ilovecats94

    ilovecats94 New Member

    I eat them all the time and have never had a problem with any of them. I did go on a site looking for more info and it said that tobacco was a nightshade plant also, so if you smoke, you really aren't getting rid of all the nightshade plants in your diet.

    Hope this info helps some of you that are sensitive to these plants/foods.

  5. Geek

    Geek New Member

    Its funny you mention eggs... if I have them once, I'm OK. Two days in a row (including via mayo), of all things my NOSE swells up and gets super sensitive to touch! My nose is already large so this doesn't exactly help things any either! Its a very annoying reaction to have since my nose feels like its gonna burst like a balloon and the slightest contact hurts it. I don't get it... talk about a strange reaction... maybe I'm the only one this has ever happened to.

    I do have lots of food allergies, allergies that I mostly did not have prior to FMS, including lactose intolerance, eggs, coconut, chocolate... ummm... strawberries I actually have always had so that's not new.

    One of the first things doctors did for me is try an allergy elimination diet. Other than learning about the lactose intolerance, it really didn't do anything to help my FMS. It was worth a try though, and its good to know that the dairy is otherwise bad for me.

  6. Geek

    Geek New Member

    Yes the elimination diet is a good thing to try. If you have a whole foods / natural foods store near you, that'll make it a lot easier as you'll have to buy Ezekiel bread (I'm eating some with almond butter as I type this), sesame crackers and other impossible-to-find items if you shop at a conventional grocery store.

  7. Leenerbups

    Leenerbups New Member

    I was tested for food alllergies a long time ago and it said I was allergies to nightshades, wheat and sugar.

    I think there is defo something to this in regards to feeling better and even reversing health problems.

    The problem is, most people, even when sick find it hard not to eat these things. So I admire your discipline!
    [This Message was Edited on 08/01/2005]
  8. My story.....i cannot eat nightshade, gluten or even dairy!

    Hi everyone I am new here. I am a working mother of 2 young mischievous boys, with a passion to create and promote healthy home cooking for my family and friends. I spent most of my life suffering from severe migraines and my pains eventually extended also to cramps and heavy fatigue. Blood tests were all normal but after several tests and consultant visits, I learnt that you do not need to be diagnosed as being Coeliac to have a gluten intolerance. In addition to gluten, I was told that I had to eliminate Cow’s milk, nightshades (mainly consisting of potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, chili, paprika, eggplant) and eggs from my diet! I thought ‘Oh Boy’ what on earth shall I eat, lettuce and water?! I can assure you that my adaptation to my new diet regime didn’t happen overnight, however it worked, as eventually the symptoms stopped, my energy levels shot up and I felt that i had a new life and could give more energy to my kids.

    Weekday cooking time is limited, so I wanted to be able to prepare meals which were great for me and the whole family at once, whilst ensuring that nutritious and delicious food was still on the menu. Through passionate research and hundreds of recipes later, today I am cooking meals that not only meet my dietary limitations, but also satisfy the strong appetite and nutritional demand of a family of four. This motivated me to share my passion as well as my recipes with like minded home cooks who share my passion and maybe some of my dietary limitations.

    For people like me…eating out is close to impossible right? Most menus fail to cater for a combination of intolerances. A restaurant might have a gluten free pizza, but one without cow’s mozarella and tomato sauce is hard to find! Hands on heart I can say that I do not miss restaurant food any longer.

    Yes, I do miss the luxury of being able to take a night off from cooking, but with some planning I have learnt to get around that too.

    Finally I decided to create my own blog and start sharing my ideas and recipes with whoever shares the same passion for food as i do but has food intolerance. I would really appreciate your help support and if you share my blog with like minded friends and family.

    love to all.

    I have been adding recipes regularly and continue to do so as I continuously create new great recipes. please contact me if you would like the link to my blog.


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