Food of the Week -- One to Avoid: Caffeine
Caffeine is such an ingrained part of most people's daily life that we often don't realize how much we're getting. If you have fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome, it's definitely something to think about.
We like caffeine because it gives us energy, and who needs energy more than we do? The problem with it, though, is that after the initial burst, it can make you feel worse. That's true for everybody, but even more so for many of us -- it artificially speeds up an energy-depleted body that may not be able to tolerate an increase in activity, and that can put you at risk for a symptom flare. It's like an energy credit card with a really high interest rate.
On top of that, caffeine stays in your system for several hours, so the iced tea you had with dinner may delay or disrupt your sleep. Enough things keep us from getting quality rest without adding to the problem.
The good news is, if you drink coffee or tea for the flavor, with some searching you can find decaf varieties that don't compromise flavor. If you're a soda drinker ... well, I won't get out that particular soap box right now. There's plenty in there that's bad for you, so I hope you'll consider cutting your soda intake altogether.
However, caffeine doesn't seem to be a universal problem for us. I've eliminated it from my diet twice to gauge the effect and saw no difference whatsoever in fibromyalgia symptoms or sleep problems (once the withdrawal headaches stopped, that is.) This is definitely something to test for yourself to see what impact caffeine may be having on you.
Have you cut caffeine out of your diet? Did it help? Is this a change you've resisted? Leave your comments below!
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