They write "Though antidepressant drugs are typically used to treat mood disorders, they have also proven effective in relieving the pain and sleep-related disorders of fibromyalgia. When people with fibromyalgia receive antidepressant prescriptions, it is typically in order to interrupt pain cycles and restore restful sleep. Antidepressants are prescribed in lower-than-usual doses in order to treat these symptoms. Many people with fibromyalgia also suffer from depression. In these cases, antidepressant medications are prescribed in order to lift mood. However, regular doses of antidepressants are required in order to improve depression."
Judy just shared this story with me:
A few days a weight loss client told me that she eats sugary foods to help her pain. She has been suffering from fibromyalgia for decades and her treatment has included a variety of antidepressants. "They work," she told me, "to control pain most of the time. But every so often the pain breaks through and then I have to eat something sweet. The sugar takes away the pain for about 30 minutes and it's enough of a reprieve so I can deal with it when it comes back."
Our client was afraid that if she went on a diet, she would no longer be able to use sugar when her pain again became intolerable. But to her immense relief, we told her that our diet plan insisted that she eat carbohydrates either in the form of a sugary or starchy snacks at least twice at day. And if she followed the plan, she could count on much longer periods of relief from her pain.
"It isn't the sugar itself that is taking away the pain," we explained. "But sugar and other starchy carbohydrates trigger the production of serotonin in the brain. And this brain chemical, serotonin, will diminish the pain you are feeling."
"Well I guess I won't be losing any weight on your diet," she told us sadly, "but if the pain goes away, I guess it is worth it."
"Au contraire" we answered (using our very limited French), on the contrary, you will lose weight very easily. Because serotonin not only takes away pain, it takes away appetite and gives you back a better mood. But you don't have to eat sugar. Any carb except fruit will get the brain to make new serotonin. You just have to be careful and eat the carbs on an empty stomach. Avoid eating protein with the carbs when you need to make serotonin for pain and appetite control because the protein prevents serotonin from being made."
"What is a sweet snack I could eat on my diet?" she asked. "Well," we answered, "how about those sugary crunchy very low fat breakfast cereals?"
"You mean like Captain Crunch?" she asked.
"Sure," we answered. "But you can't eat the whole box. You have to follow the diet guidelines and measure your portions. You only need a certain amount for the brain to make serotonin. Any extra will just add unnecessary calories."
"Pas de problem." she answered in her limited French. "Not a problem. When can I start?"
Each person needs to experiment with their eating to find a diet that best controls their symptoms. For anyone, we always recommend a balanced diet that includes wholesome carbohydrates, lean proteins, and healthy fats whether your goal is pain control, weight loss, or general well-being. We just like to let people know that a little sugar can go a long way in making you feel good.
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The Society for Neuroscience website, it is thought that activation of some serotonin receptors has the ability to alleviate migraines by constricting the blood vessels in the brain that dilate to cause migraines. In addition, it is believed that serotonin can inhibit the release of peptides that are believed to cause migraines. Therefore, it makes sense that increasing brain serotonin levels can reduce the severity and frequency of migraines.
When patients learn that low brain serotonin levels may be associated with migraines, they seek ways to increase brain serotonin naturally and effectively. So they put themselves on The Serotonin Power Diet and are pleased with the results.
Here's what we heard from one reader:
"I found the book when I was searching for infomation on serotonin. I am looking
for ways to change (increase) brain serotonin in relation to brain function and
headaches. My husband had an increasing number of headaches, which the
neurologist calls migraines and he mentioned that lower levels of serotonin
(suspected to decrease as we age) may trigger headaches. My husband also had an MRI, CT scan and allergy tests to rule out other reasons for the increase in
headaches. So after researching sertonin and finding this particular diet we
have changed the way my husband is eating and we have seen a decrease in the
number and severity of his headaches. We are seaching for a natural way to
solve this particular problem. We are not necessarily interested in the weight
loss aspect (husband is 6 ft 3 in and weighs 183 pounds today) - but he has lost
some weight (4-5 pounds in 2 weeks) , feels good and does not feel as hungry
between meals. He does not crave snack foods as before - it
has definitely affected his appetite, as the diet is supposed to. He will
continue on the diet to see how much we can improve the headache situation. I
will add that this diet was not suggested by his neurologist - who has no
knowledge of his change in diet."
We'd love to see many more migraine sufferers benefit from The Serotonin Power Diet, whether they want to lose weight or not.
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