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Can I still drink wine if I have fibromyalgia?

Stephanie Cain
Posted: October 4, 2010

Q: I've been having back, shoulder and neck pain for years and my doctor thinks it may be fibromyalgia. I've been reading up on it and some recommendations indicate I should stay away from certain foods that cause flare-ups. Is wine something I need to avoid too? —Jay

A: Dr. Scott Zashin, a rheumatologist and clinical associate professor of medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, says that for people with fibromyalgia, there are no specific foods to avoid, but cautions that there haven't been any conclusive studies on how diet affects the condition. When it comes to wine, he explained that a glass of wine early in the evening is fine as long as it is not contraindicated by the patient's medicines. "Many fibromyalgia patients will be on medications including narcotics and muscle relaxers that should not be mixed with alcohol," he said. "In addition, wine may aggravate migraine headaches and affect the quality of sleep. Patients with fibromyalgia have an increased incidence of this problem."

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