Patterns of food avoidance and eating behavior in women with fibromyalgia

Endocrinol Diabetes Nutr. 2017 Nov;64(9):480-490. doi: 10.1016/j.endinu.2017.07.002. Epub 2017 Aug 31.
[Article in English, Spanish]


Introduction: Fibromyalgia is a form of non-articular rheumatic disorder of unknown origin. It is characterized by widespread, chronic musculoskeletal pain. Patients with fibromyalgia suffer more frequently eating disorders, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and other gastrointestinal symptoms. Studies have pointed out to nutrition as a relevant factor in these patients. Some of them think that diet has an influence on fibromyalgia symptoms, and tend to adopt certain dietary patterns. This, combined with access to non-scientific information about diets and supplements, makes analysis of dietary behavior, avoidance, and restrictions particularly important. The aim of this study was to describe dietary habits and eating avoidance behaviors in patients with fibromyalgia, and to compare these data to those of a healthy sample of similar sociodemographic characteristics.

Methods: A descriptive case-control study was conducted in healthy subjects (n = 60) age and sex-matched to the fibromyalgia group (n = 60), whose eating habits and restrictions were analyzed using a food frequency questionnaire, a sociodemographic questionnaire, and a food restriction scale.

Results: The group with fibromyalgia had significantly higher values in body mass index, weight fluctuation, use of herbal products, and development of diets, and significantly lower mean consumption of cereals, fruits, sugars, alcohol, and soft drinks.

Conclusions: These results describe a sample of patients with fibromyalgia who follow a varied diet similar to that of healthy subjects, but more frequently avoid certain foods.

Keywords: Alimentación y dieta; Diet; Dieta; Eating habits; Fibromialgia; Fibromyalgia; Food and nutrition; Food intake; Hábitos alimenticios; Ingestión de alimentos; Nutrición.

MeSH terms

  • Body Mass Index
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Fibromyalgia / complications
  • Fibromyalgia / psychology*
  • Food Preferences*
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Information Seeking Behavior
  • Middle Aged
  • Overweight / complications
  • Surveys and Questionnaires