Eight Ways To Avoid Fibromyalgia

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The National Fibromyalgia Association reports that approximately 10 million Americans currently suffer from fibromyalgi , a painful chronic condition. Although this condition is prevalent in women, it can also occur in children and men. 

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes widespread body pain, moderate to extreme fatigue, sensitivity to light, sound and touch, sleep disturbances and cognitive difficulties. In addition to these symptoms, patients may experience overlapping symptoms from chronic conditions, including irritable bowel syndrome, arthritis and lupus. Let's take a look at each of these symptoms, the causes of fibromyalgia and what you can do to avoid it.

The symptoms of fibromyalgia

Pain – The pain experienced by a fibromyalgia sufferer migrates throughout the body and may vary in intensity. It can be described as throbbing, twitching, shooting or stabbing pain, along with deep muscular aching. Sufferers may also experience burning, numbness or tingling. This pain is often worse in the morning.

Fatigue – Fatigue from fibromyalgia is all encompassing and can interfere with a patient's day to day activities. This type of fatigue is more than being tired. Patients report that this fatigue is profound exhaustion that is not relieved with rest.

Sleep difficulties – Fibromyalgia sufferers often experience abnormalities in stage 4 deep sleep, which can disrupt sleep patterns and prevent sufferers from receiving deep, restorative and restful sleep. When the sufferer does not sleep, it can increase fatigue levels, pain and cognitive difficulties.

Overlapping symptoms – There are many symptoms that can overlap other disorders. These include migraines, restless leg syndrome, skin sensitivities, dry mouth, dry eyes, depression, tinnitus, vision problems, neurological symptoms, decreased coordination, Raynaud's Syndrome and concentration difficulties. Fibromyalgia sufferers may also experience bladder issues and irritable bowel syndrome.

Causes of fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is difficult to diagnose because patients experience widespread pain and other symptoms. Although there is no definitive blood test that can be done to diagnose this condition, a physician may use a number of tests to rule out other conditions. The physician will perform a tender point exam that measures a patient's pain and tenderness. These tender points  include the arms, neck, chest, around the waist, below the buttocks and near the knees. These tender points are in areas around the joints but not the joints themselves and are located just under the surface of the skin.

There is no definitive cause for fibromyalgia; however, it has been linked with the following risk factors – food sensitivities, chemical allergies, genetics, viruses, poor digestion, stress, neurotransmitter deficiencies, Candida overgrowth, spinal misalignments and hormonal imbalances. Furthermore, those with other chronic autoimmune disorder like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis are at an increased risk of developing fibromyalgia.

Avoiding fibromyalgia

The traditional treatment protocols for fibromyalgia include pain relievers, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antidepressants and anti-seizure medications. These medications do not cure fibromyalgia and can cause serious side effects including ulcers, high blood pressure, allergic reactions, liver failure, decreased immunity and heart attack. Luckily, you can use a multifaceted natural approach to improve your symptoms. 

Diet – Many sufferers have found that eliminating gluten from their diet can relieve many of the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Additionally, limiting the amount of caffeine you consume can decrease insomnia, depression, muscle tremors and anxiety. Artificial sweeteners, colors and preservatives should also be avoided as they contain compounds that have been linked to memory loss, seizure, thyroid conditions and cancer. Instead, eating a diet of lean proteins, fermented foods, organic fruits and vegetables and raw dairy can help ensure you are receiving the nutrition the body needs.

Nutritional supplements – Fibromyalgia sufferers often have nutritional deficiencies, such as vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin D, folic acid and magnesium. Taking a multivitamin and mineral supplement may help relieve many of these symptoms.

Stress relief – Stress relief practices like meditation, guided imagery, yoga and deep breathing exercises can help balance hormones, relieve stress and reduce anxiety and depression. Acupuncture, manual lymph drainage therapy, massage and essential oils can also normalize hormones, reduce toxins in the blood, improve circulation, reduce anxiety and improve sleep patterns. 

Sleep hygiene – If you suffer from insomnia or other sleep difficulties, learning sleep hygiene practices that include a regular bedtime, lowering the bedroom temperature, avoiding caffeine after 6pm and developing a bedtime ritual can help you relax and get ready for bed.

Exercise – Many sufferers think they should avoid exercise because they are exhausted and in pain. However, moderate exercise like yoga, Pilates, swimming, biking and walking can help to decrease your pain levels and stress.

Chiropractic Care – Because spinal misalignments can increase your risk of developing fibromyalgia, routine chiropractic care  appointments can help you avoid fibromyalgia. Furthermore, studies have shown that chiropractic adjustments can decrease pain, improve fatigue, balance hormones and improve sleep quality.

Seek Help – Connecting with others can help you avoid flare-ups and decrease the pain and fatigue when a flare-up occurs. Talking with someone who cares about you can reduce stress, improve your mood and your memory.

Hobbies – When you suffer from chronic pain, you can easily become frustrated and stressed. Enjoying a hobby can help you relax and find beauty around you. Creativity bolsters happiness and gives you pleasure.

There are many things you can do to help avoid fibromyalgia flare-ups. First, ensure you are getting enough sleep so that the body and mind can heal itself. Reduce stress using stress relief techniques like meditation, acupuncture and deep breathing exercises. Finally, regular exercise and a balanced diet can help decrease stress and regulate hormones.


Article last time updated on 15.08.2017.

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