Chiari Malformation Community
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Managing Chiari symptoms with diet and exercise and???

Hello I was diagnosed with CM about 6 years ago but was told decompression isn't needed until I can no longer deal with my symptoms. Since then I try to watch my diet as I have found that certain things make my symptoms worse (sodium, caffeine.)
Just wondering if anyone else has found that certain diet and exercise regimens hurt or help.
15 Responses
620923 tn?1452919248

  Hi and welcome to the Chiari forum.

  Yes, certain foods can cause inflammation and we need to avoid that as the area the CSF needs to flow is tight already...so avoiding those foods can be helpful or eating those that are anti inflammatory...we do have a list of those foods.

AS for exercise,  I have not found anything that helps with symptoms, but the easiest on them is walking on a flat surface...no up hills....and rough terrain....swimming is also ok...for me tho I found I can swim better on my back as the arm and the way I need to hold my head up swimming the regular way was a bit much for me..

Have you had any new symptoms or issues since you were DX'd?

Or a new MRI to see if things have changed?
Avoid Sugar and Carbohydrates. I have Chiari I with a 12mm "hearniation" and I do/have experience(d) a laundry list of symptoms. Face numbness to difficulty breathing. Paleo/low carb diet, with resistance training keeps me 90% symptom free (face numbness and other minor symptoms will still be present). Anything that reduces stress and keeps systematic inflammation down will help. I cannot over stress how important overall health and fitness is to a condition such as this. Most importantly, be honest with yourself, are you taking care of yourself outside of targeting individual symptoms.
246139 tn?1424375573
I was wondering if there were any kind of arm or even easy back/shoulder/trap exercises we could do to help with strength? I am losing muscle tone so fast its unbelievable in my shoulders and my arms. I have a hard time not taking a break while washing my own hair! Up until May I was a fairly healthy 34 year old woman!
620923 tn?1452919248

  Do curls with soup cans....light weights....they are the best thing we can do....I also lost upper body strength and found some has returned post op but I have a long way to go still...lol...and that is on me....
Avatar universal
Hi, I was wondering where is the list of foods or can you tell me some of the foods that we should avoid because I have noticed that some foods that I eat are triggers for me not feeling well as soon as I swallow, I will get sick ( having an episode) It was difficult for me to track because when I tried having a food journal, some of the food that gave me an episode the first time, did not give me an episode the second time. Now I am having  choosing what to eat because most foods are causing me to have an episode and extreme stomach pain!
620923 tn?1452919248

  Sure...no problem....the site is doing updates and it is not easy to locate the Health Pages....here is the link to the list of foods...


Let me know if you have any issues getting to this page or have more questions.

You may want a list of foods for those that have GERD.....let me know.
246139 tn?1424375573
I always have the best intentions of keeping food journals. I even use myfitnesspal, etc. But, I'm so impatient.. LOL.. and I can't seem to stick with anything. I always say I'll track what I what I eat later and then I end up forgetting for three days. Then I never pick it back up. I need a personal assistant to follow me around all the time.

For more reasons than one obviously. LOL.
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