Fibromyalgia Help

There is no one food or supplement that has been proven to substantially improve the symptoms of fibromyalgia.

Having said that, there are foods and supplements that can help. Fact:  Many fibromyalgia sufferers are subject to sugar cravings and develop hypoglycemia. Fact:   Many people who have fibromyalgia suffer from IBS (irritable, irregular bowels) acid     reflux, cramps, bloating. Fact:   Most fibromyalgics have sleep problems.Fact:     Many who suffer from fibromyalgia have allergies and sensitivities to foods and chemicals.

A healthy diet promotes sleep, gives you energy to exercise and cope, relieves digestive disorders and controls sugar cravings.

Dark berries that are high in antioxidants can be very beneficial in restoring your immune system. They can combat the harmful chemicals from pesticides.  Oxygen deprivation to the cells can exasperate fibro symptoms. When you are in pain and/or stress, you breathe less deeply. This can deprive your body and mind form what it need to function properly.

Vitamins A and C and the B complexes are essential to help muscles tone and joint flexibility.

Minerals such as zinc and iron can boost energy, help relieve the fibro-fog and reduce stress.ORGANICS More and more fibromyalgics are turning to holistic methods of treatment and to organic foods grown without hormone injection  and chemicals.  Organic foods have higher levels of antioxidants and vitamins.

A diet rich in organic fruits and vegetables that are not over cooked or boiled is to many an essential weapon in combating the effects of fibromyalgia.SUPPLEMENTS Many doctors disagree on the beneficial role of supplements in the Western diet.  But no one can ignore the fact that westerners are eating more and yet their bodies are malnourished. Our foods are over processed to the point that the cardboard or paper sack they come in may be more nutritious.

On the other hand, you have to choose your supplements wisely. Many, in order to sell larger quantities, use fillers such as flour, sugar and soy. These may counteract the benefits. Talk it over with your fibro- specialist.

Here are some supplements and what benefits they may have:

Vitamin B Complex – helps energy and brain function

Calcium & Magnesium – promote tissue and muscle function and reduces spasms.

Vitamin C- simulates the immune system

Vitamin A-  promotes healing

Vitamin E – helps circulation and tissue repair and makes platelets less sticky.

Coenzyme Q 10 – improve oxygen absorption into the tissues and converts carbohydrates into energy. It can give a patient more flexibility in their muscles and joints

L-carnitine – is often combined with .Co-Q-10 to increase metabolism

Ginseng – can be an energy booster and enhance mental and physical aptitude.

Sulfur – in the form of methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) can help break down toxins and also keep joint more flexible by increasing the fluid between them

Betaine HCI  raise the levels of SAMe in the body, a natural mood elevator, which is often depleted in Fibro patients.

FOODS TO AVOID OR REDUCE SIGNIFICANTLY IN YOUR DIET

Highly acidic foods, tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, peppers, red meat, cow products, and wheat products can cause digestive complaints.

Sugar, caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, chocolate can seem like stimulants and energy boosters or mood enhancers and stress relievers, but they have adverse effects that can send your body into a yo-yo syndrome of imbalanced chemicals and hormones.  Avoid “energy” drinks.

Pork has been known to increase chances of gout and cause digestive disturbances in people with low immunity or food sensitivity.

HOW TO REVERSE FM eBOOK

Here’s what Dr. Robert O. Young an American microbiologist and nutrition scientist has to say about the ROOT cause of Fibromyalgia:“There is only One Sickness and One Disease, and this one ‘sickness’ is the over-acidification of the body due primarily to an inverted way of living, thinking, and eating… there can therefore be only one remedy and treatment, and that is to alkalize the body and break the cycle of imbalance, thus allowing us to experience the energy, vitality and true health we’re all meant to have.”

The solution to all of this is to get back into your natural state of vibrant health… by “cleansing” yourself from the inside and then providing your body with the raw materials it requires to increase your bone marrow stem cell production.

This eBook “How to Reverse Fibromyalgia Now!” by Author and Health expert Matt Traverso uses the research discovered by Dr. Young to reveal to you the right tools to restore your natural inner balance through correct nutrition and diets created specifically for Fibromyalgia sufferers.Click here to discover how he can help you to achieve YOUR inner balance and reverse the debilitating effects of Fibromyalgia.

While more and more doctors are studying Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) and more and more are taking the disease seriously, occasionally a naysayer makes the news.

On February 8, 2009, the Associate Press released an article where a medical doctor Fred Wolfe was quoted to say that fibromyalgia was dreamed up by the pharmaceutical community and “drug makers” so they could make a huge profit on the latest drugs hitting the market.

But this doctor, once a leader in FMS research in the early 1990’s, has in recent years been a derogatory voice against the disease and big drug companies despite being endorsed by six major companies.

Even so, it caused controversy and made headlines. Controversy always does. But there are other myths out there that just keep coming to the surface.

The point is, these are just myths.

Taken from an article by the Mayo Clinic from March, 2008, here are nine of the most common.Fibromyalgia Myth #1 Most doctors do not believe FMS is a real medical condition.

Wrong. More and more studies are being done to get at the causes and possible long-term treatments for this disease. If your personal doctor feels otherwise, get a new one that has read medical journal articles in the last ten to fifteen years. While some doctors still believe FMS is not one disease that can be cured, but a mutli-symptomatic phenom., they still believe it is real.

Fibromyalgia Myth #2 – Fibromyalgia if left untreated damages your joints

Not true. While the disease is progressive, there is no evidence of it causing permanent damage.

Fibromyalgia Myth #3 – “You look OK, so there is nothing wrong.”

Friends, coworkers and bosses and even family members who do not understand the disease may think you are “faking it” to get attention or get out of work. But there are plenty of websites and pamphlets that can prove them wrong. Resist getting angry or hurt but initiate a positive, open discussion.

Show them the websites or pamphlets or ask if you can make an appointment to talk it over with you in the presence of your doctor.  Your positive, “gotta get on with life” attitude will help convince them it is not all an excuse. Fibromyalgia Myth #4 – Fibromyalgia is a wastebasket term for your doctor not knowing what is wrong with you.

There are very specific symptoms that FMS patients have in common.  Over 18 years ago the guidelines for diagnosing FMS were established. But since there is not one definitive test, it may take time to rule out other disorders as the cause.

Fibromyalgia Myth #5 – Fibromyalgia only causes pain.

Most FMS patients experience symptoms secondary to the pain. (See article on early warning signs). Most of them experience similar enough symptoms to link them as such. Sleep disorders, digestive disorders, urinary and sexual complaints, headaches, mental fuzziness and mood disorders are all common complaints among fibromyalgics.

Fibromyalgia Myth #6 – Since no treatments exist, it is a waste of time and money to go to a doctor.

There are many treatments from medications to therapy to alternative and natural methods to treat the pain of fibromyalgia. What there is yet to be found is a cure.

Fibromyalgia Myth #7 – Do as much as you can on the good days, because the bad days will be back

That’s human nature. But while it is true the bad days will return, over-exerting yourself and pushing yourself beyond normal limits can bring them on. You can get hurt muscles, get over stressed and eventually just give up hope.

You need to find an even pace. Doing little can also bring on symptoms. Pace yourself, be kind to yourself and keep positive.

Fibromyalgia Myth #8 – FMS is life threatening if not controlled.

There has never been any clinical evidence of this.  It is not fatal and it does not damage your body in anyway. Yes it can get worse or more frequent, but you can also learn to live a productive life in spite of FMS. Many do.

Fibromyalgia Myth #9 – You cannot live a normal life

What did we just say? Learning to cope with FMS does take time and varies between individuals. The truth is everyone has a burden to bear. Very few people are perfectly healthy all of their lives. They just learn to live with their imperfections and go on.

You Can Too.

One of the best things for chronic pain, believe it or not, is to get up and move. The trouble is, when you are in pain, that is the last thing you feel like doing.

But the fact is that muscles that are sedentary, or not active, are more prone to become irritated. We have all felt it the next morning when we overdid it the day before, be it jogging, lifting too much, walking too far, or playing too hard. Ouch. The pain and stiffness lets us know “we had muscles we have forgotten about”.

It is no different with your trigger point pains.  The trick is to break the cycle of muscle pain, sleep disturbance, fatigue and lack of energy, which leads to less and less activity, which leads to more muscle pain, etc. So even if you are just starting out and have not really exercised in years, moving around is vital in relieving fibromyalgic symptoms.Aerobics is one good form of a mild, not over-exerting form of fibromyalgia exercise.  Basically, aerobics is any type of exercise that gets your heart rate and your pulse rate elevated for a while. It gets your blood flowing better.  Aerobics helps to strengthen your muscles, give them more flexibility and thus relieves the pain. Popular types are walking, swimming, bicycling or stretching, but do not discount dancing, surfing jumping rope or running. Water aerobicsis especially helpful for several reasons. The warm water helps soothe the muscles and relax them. The increased heart rate gets the blood flowing through the muscles. The buoyancy in water makes the work out non-load bearing on painful joints. Swimming is wonderful for fibromyalgia exercises. Tai Chi is a form of Chinese exercise that can help reduce muscle weakness, joint stiffness and depression. People who regularly practice Tai Chi’s slow rhythmic movements say they sleep better, have more flexibility, have reduced blood pressure levels, less anxiety and decreased pain. It’s been around for over 2000 years. There must be something to say for it.Strength Training under supervision with weights, is a great fibromyalgia exercise and can help you develop muscle tone and range of motion. But remember to start off with the smallest weights possible. The last thing you want to do is to strain your muscles.

Of course, before starting any fibromyalgia exercise regime, consult your doctor. And remember

Start slowly – do not get over zealous.

Work through the pain, but not if it gets worse.

Set your pace and set goals. If you can only walk a block, fine. Build up to two, then three, then a half mile, etc.

Before and after any exercise S-t-r-e-t-c-h. Try yoga or Pilates to achieve better range of motion and muscle conditioning.

Stick to it!! Do not give up even if you do not see immediate results. Change takes time.

Breathe deeply and often. Oxygen needs to get to those muscles.

Cool down and relax before you go “do something else”.

If you feel faint, dizzy or nauseous – stop, rest and hydrate. Then tell your doctor.

Exercising with a friend helps make it more fun, helps you track your progress and keeps you accountable.

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.

If you have found this site because someone you care about has been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and you want to know more about the disease, how to support them and what you can do to help them – good for you!

They are lucky to have somebody like you in their lives.

Patients with chronic illnesses need daily support, but do not need to be coddled. Their disease is often embarrassing for them. They do not want to call attention to themselves. On the other hand they may be a little too much “involved” with their pain and need to learn to cope with it in a healthier manner.

That is where you come in. You can help them balance their pain and their lives.

It is common for chronic pain patients to be short tempered, feel overwhelmed or angry that this has happened to them. To have something that cannot be cured is scary. Learning to live with it takes courage and a positive attitude. Here’s how you can help.

Learn all you can about the disease so you can know when and how to help.

Be a good listener and an encourager. Help them to share and talk about it. Don’t let them bottle up their feelings and become depressed

Get them out and have some leisure time together.  Even if they can’t play tennis with you right now, let them know it is important for you to continue and ask them to come along anyway to support you. Make it a fun, together time and don’t let them sit on the side lines in a pity party. This is a fine line to tread, but it can be done. It will help get them out of their pain box.

Sign up for relaxation, yoga or Tai Chi classes with them. It is much more fun to exercise with a friend. Walk together. It can be beneficial for you as well.

Encourage them to eat healthier by doing the same. Like exercise, it is something we all need and doing it together makes them accountable.

Give them space. Do not try and “do” everything for them. Don’t hover. Encourage them to do things for themselves.

When flare up days occur, be there. Do something special like send them an email or take them to lunch.  Be empathetic and do not take their moods personally. Remind them that this too will pass.

We all need to know people are with us on our journey through life.  Most of all, the fibro patient needs to know you understand that their disease is real, it’s not all in their heads – it’s pain all over their bodies.

They need to know they are still a valuable influence in your life. They want to believe they can still be a useful member of society.

Be their barometer. Keep open and honest communication going. Let them know if you think they are becoming a little too down or even a little too stoic.

Above all, be patient, be loving and…always be there when they need you. There will probably come a time when you’ll need them.

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