A healthy Fibromyalgia diet is the one thing everyone can do to reduce the symptoms of Fibromyalgia.
Chronic disease is rampant in most of the Western world because of poor eating habits.
While there is no one Fibromyalgia diet that can absolutely improve the symptoms of Fibromyalgia, there are several do’s and don’ts that both health professionals and patients agree can help.
Positively thinking, first the “DOs”:Antioxidants Found in abundance in the dark fruits, antioxidants stimulate health cellular growth, increase blood flow and give you energy. They also help boost your immune system. Though some doctors argue FMS is not an auto-immune disease, chronic pain can lower your body’s ability to combat infections and viruses.Vitamins A,B,C and E in normal quantities are key in helping muscle tone and joint flexibility. They can be heart healthy as well. Minerals – like iron and zinc are essential to help increase energy and mental acuity. FMS sufferers often complain of “fogginess” or mental “dullness.” Magnesium is often taken as a supplement to relive pain. It has been for centuries. Along with malic acid, studies have shown it reduces the painful achiness many fibro patients suffer and also help to lift the fog and give them stamina to combat the symptoms’ toll on their everyday lives.
Now for the DON’Ts:
Avoid as much as possible refined sugars, caffeine, alcohol and tobacco products. Unfortunately chocolate is not a great idea either, even if it does raise serotonin levels and ease stress. It is a stimulant, and FMS victims do not need that type. Same with the so called “energy” drinks. All of these have chemical reactions that can send your system into a roller coaster ride.Pork increases the chances for gout and digestive disturbances. FMS patients often already have digestive issues and may be susceptible to gout in later life, though this is not yet confirmed.
Blogs where patients share their strategies for living with the disease seems to stress moderation in salt intake as well as reduction in the consuming of red meat, cold cuts and starches. Aspartame may cause chemical reactions to medications. Because of common complaints from fibromyalgia victims of digestive issues, spicy herbs may aggravate the symptoms.
It is a fact that many FMS patients also have food allergies, though the connection has not yet been discovered. Therefore, avoidance of some foods may be beneficial to some and then again, to others it may not make a significant difference.
Basically, if you think about it, all of these do’s and don’ts are good advice for anyone who wants to live a more energetic, healthy lifestyle.
Again, there has been no studies done that provide absolute proof that any of these rules have a positive or a negative effect on Fibromyalgia diets. But a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean meats and vitamins can’t be a bad thing.
And while hair and blood samples on Fibromyalgia patients taken in studies show no across the board mineral deficiency, a normal supply on a daily basis can only be beneficial.
Causes Fibromyalgia |Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatique Syndrome
Many have theories about what causes Fibromyalgia, though there has been no true clinical evidence to prove or disapprove any one theory.Is It Auto Immune?
For the last twenty or so years, doctors and scientists have classified fibromyalgia as an auto-immune disease. But most other auto-immune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus show up in blood tests that measure the erythrocyte sedimentation rates. There are no blood tests to prove or disprove a patient has fibromyalgia. However, having a good blood work up is a way to rule out other diseases that may have similar symptoms. It is highly recommended by most medical researchers.Is It Emotional?
Some researchers have traced what causes fibromyalgia back to stemming from some sort of traumatic emotional or physical event (like a death of a loved one or a severe automobile accident.) Other researchers classify it as a chronic pain disease. They believe an imbalance of chemicals in the brain that control our moods may also control our tolerance for pain. We all know when we are tired and grouchy; everything seems exaggerated – pain, noise, the inability to tolerate that co-worker that “gets on our nerves”. Is It Hormonal?
Still others are studying the possibility that it all relates to the chemicals transmitters that pain produces in our bodies. There may be underlying hormonal causes. An imbalance of cortisol and other growth hormones in the pituitary gland caused by sleep disturbances may cause lower tolerance of pain. Others think perhaps some undetected virus or bacterial infection may be what causes Fibromyalgia. More recent research involving the study of brain waves and how different people actually process pain has come up with a new theory. Is It Painful?
It is believed that patients with fibromyalgia may actually process pain differently. Why? It seems that the more we are in pain, the more the brain’s “pain receptors” become sensitive to it. Therefore, the pain threshold becomes lower and the ability to tolerate pain weakens. Each time pain hits, the brain searches its memory and will over time tend to overemphasize that pain because it has felt it so many times, alarms go off. It is like crying “Wolf”, but in reverse. The brain tells the body to overreact, to be more receptive to the pain. The nerves send out signals that the pain is extreme in fibromyalgia patients where as in others it may be a lot milder. Pain has long been a relative thing. Has your doctor ever asked, “On a scale from one to ten, ten being the worst…”? That because defining pain varies so much between individuals. This new study may be cluing into why.Is it Genetic?
There is some evidence in case studies that what causes Fibromyalgia may run in families. But medical research is not ready to call this a genetic malady. Mostly because not that many generations of truly well diagnosed fibromyalgia patients have been documented and tracked. It may be a hereditary thing, or it may be environmental. Some people in the same family may have less ability to combat pain, but why is unknown. Maybe it is learned behavior. It may also be some depleting of our body’s defenses through the introduction of free radicals and chemicals in our environment. It may be the way the brain sends out signals.Who Gets It?
What is known is that over 5 million people in the United States have been diagnosed with the illness. And of that number, over 80% are women over the age of eighteen. But that may be inconclusive. More and more men are being diagnosed, as are children. This may be due to the fact that increased research has legitimized the disease in the medical community. Let’s face it, men do not seek medical care as often as women, and kids have a hard time verbalizing what is wrong with them. Men tend to “buck up” and think to admit they have chronic pain is a sign of weakness. But then for years, women were told their pains were hormonal. Bottom line, if you do not have a fever, severe inflammation, a broken bone, impaired vision or speech, or are not bleeding all over the examine table, doctors have a hard time figuring out exactly what it is you might have. Good news
The good news is that while there is no consensus in the medical community on what causes Fibromyalgia, researchers are still seeking answers. That means the disease is being taken seriously. For the millions of sufferers out there with fibromyalgia, that is encouraging. Be Sociable, Share!
There are many ways to treat FMS, but at this point all Fibromyalgia medicine is designed to lessen the symptoms, not to cure the disease.
Traditional methods of treatment fall into four categories:
Sleep-aid medications such as Lunesta, Ambien, trazodone or clonazepam are used because one of the main symptoms of fibromyalgia is poor sleep patterns. Fatigue and lack of restive sleep help to worsen the pain, so you sleep less, so the pain worsens. aking sleep aids during flare ups can break that vicious cycle.
Anti-depressants that can boost your serotonin and norepinephrine levels (neuro-transmitting hormones and chemicals that register pain levels in the brain and determine tolerance and mood) are often prescribed to be taken on an ongoing basis. Cymbalta, Elavil and Flexeril as well as older known drugs such as Paxil and Prozac are the most common.
Pain killers from analgesics to opiate derivatives is a traditional method, but many doctors caution against long term use. Mostly they recommend Tylenol or Advil and perhaps anti-inflammatory medications such as Celbrex or other NSAIDs.
Muscle relaxers and anti-epileptics are often prescribed for flare ups. The most common are Lyrica and Neurotin.
If you spend anytime listening to the commercials on TV, many of these fibromyalgia medicines sound familiar. Some doctors say their patients find relief with guaifenesin, a common cold medication though why is not known.
In January of 2009 a new drug hit the market in the US called Savella ( milnacipran). It is the first drug specifically for the treatment of FMS trigger point pains. However, it won’t be released until May or June.
Patients in Europe and Asia have already been taking the drug just now approved by the FDA. It is marketed also under the name of Ixel.
Originally it was developed as an anti-depressant, but since it’s introduction in 1997, it has become known as the fibro-drug. It increases the serotonin and norepinephrine levels that send pain signals up through the central nervous system to the brain. The FDA’s test showed at least 30% improvement in pain levels, an overall relief of symptoms and a significant improvement in physical functioning amongst trial patients.
The most common side effects that seem to diminish after a few weeks were nausea and headaches. There have been other symptoms reported such as dry mouth and dizziness as well as profuse sweating. People with restless leg syndrome may find their sleep actually gets worse.
Since so many patients who suffer from FMS are also oversensitive to chemicals, trying out any new fibromyalgia medicines can be risky. Whatever you try, make sure you and your doctor monitor it carefully, especially if you have had intolerance to medications in the past.
Fibromyalgia is a long term disease, so whatever medications you take must be long term as well. People develop tolerances to medications after a while. Addictions is a real concern. AND no one really knows the long term effects of taking many of these drugs for ten, twenty or more years.
The best plan many health professionals believe is to take as little fibromyalgia medicines as you can for as short of a period as possible.
Fibromyalgia Pain Relief
The pains that fibro patients suffer vary as much as the ways they find fibromyalgia pain relief. While there are promising results from medications such as Lyrica and Savella, many long term victims have turned to other means of pain relief. They have undergone massage therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic techniques and aqua-therapeutic exercises. But there are other more exotic and less known therapies being used.
Magnet therapy and low frequency therapy are gaining in popularity. These help to target the muscles involved and get the pain to switch off for a while through cell stimulation. In low frequency therapy, sound waves are introduced into the body even though the human ear cannot pick them up. The cells are believed to be stimulated by the sound wave. Similarly, magnet therapy uses electrical currents to course through the body. It is not painful. The Chinese have used magnets to relieve pain for centuries. Both types are often used in conjunction with massage therapy.
Other therapies concentrate on relaxing the body rather than stimulating it.
Biofeedback shows you on the screen how your body reacts to pain and slowly teaches you through visual representation to help relax and control it. It has been successful for chronic pain and migraine sufferers for over twenty years. Many insurances will cover it.
Aromatherapies such as flower essence therapy help to relax the muscles and nerves. Yoga moves help control deep cleansing breaths and smooth muscle stretches. Watsu, Tai CI. Reiki and Qigong are all forms of Eastern therapy methods some FMS patients are turning to in order to self-relieve their pain.
Lately, there is a lot of talk in the FMS community about colon cleanses that help relieve the body of toxins. It has been long established the fibro patients suffer from digestive disorders.
It is best to consult with the health care professional who is treating your fibromyalgia before you undertake this type of fibromyalgia pain relief.
Diet and supplements have been known to help ease the flare-ups. Many fibromyalgia patients firmly believe that the supplements they take help reduce the “fibro-fog”, a self defense mechanism that tries to block the pain and usually blocks everything else as well, leaving the patient dulled and not mentally acute.
The cycle of pain, fatigue, pain, fatigue can become frustrating for a person who suffers with fibromyalgia. Breaking that cycle is the key to fibromyalgia pain relief. Whatever it takes, whatever works for you is what is important. Perhaps it may be a combination of therapies both practiced at home and through a professional.
Until researchers discover a cure for FMS, living with the pain is the only option you have.
There is no right or wrong method to help ease the frustration of always being in chronic pain. It can be depressing, limiting and downright unfair. You need fibromyalgia pain relief. Do what works for you.
<h2>Fibromyalgia Symptoms and Treatments</h2>
Muscle pain, fatigue, sleeping disorders, stiffness in joints and body aches are the most common complaints of people suffering from Fibromyalgia.
Let’s take a look at some of these symptoms and see what treatments or methods you can use to help relieve them.
Pain caused by Fibromyalgia can be both widespread and localized and usually feels like general achiness and stiffness over the whole body. Feeling almost like the soreness and tenderness of flu symptoms, pain can also be concentrated in one or all of the “trigger points” in the body.
These so called trigger points are located at the parts of the body where tendons connect to bones. Typically found in the buttocks, neck, arms and back areas. The pain at these locations feel like a stabbing sensation and you feel like you have no control over the feeling at all.
Treating this symptom of Fibromyalgia is a complex and generally lifelong process.
It is best to get professional help and guidance from a physician you trust and believes in the Fibromyalgia syndrome. Some don’t.
There are also alternative or natural methods of dealing with Fibromyalgia, again, get help from someone you trust and know has either been there or knows what they are talking about.
Local fibro support groups are a great place to start.
Another symptom of Fibromyalgia is problems getting the proper amount of sleep. The pain caused by fibromyalgia can prevent many sufferers from falling asleep.
Many studies have shown that pain caused by Fibromyalgia disrupts your REM sleep. REM is short for Rapid Eye Movement and is the deepest stage of sleep. Without REM sleep you can’t get the full benefit of restful and refreshing sleep that you need every night. Without proper sleep you become exhausted and can feel like you are fatigued all the time.
In order to help you get the sleep you need if you suffer from Fibromyalgia, you need to have a consistent nighttime routine. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. Don’t take long mid day naps. Don’t ingest any stimulants such as caffeine or sodas that could affect your being able to fall asleep.
There may be other methods that your physician or people in a fibromyalgia support group could help you with. Check them out also.
Fatigue that is reported by many fibro sufferers is usually caused by lack of sleep. But some people have said they feel even more tired after waking up from sleeping when they have fibromyalgia. Over ninety percent say they suffer from chronic fatigue, in other words they feel tired all the time. Lack of interest in daily activities, decrease in sexual desire and a feeling of depression can all be caused by this chronic fatigue.
Try to follow the same treatment you would for sleep disorders above. Consistent routines and no long mid day naps. It may take a period of adjustment but can payoff in a short time with more restful sleep and less feelings of fatigue.
In response to the pain from fibromyalgia, people reduce their activity levels in an attempt to alleviate that pain. This can affect the digestive system by causing indigestion, constipation and even diarrhea.
It is reported that over thirty percent of fibro patients also have digestive disorders.