What Is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is “a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory, and mood issues. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain processes pain signals.”
Who Can Be Affected?
Anyone can get fibromyalgia, but statistics show that women are affected more than men by fibromyalgia.
Many times, fibromyalgia can show itself after a trauma, surgery, infection, or an accident.
People who have tension headaches, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), anxiety, and depression are more likely to suffer from fibromyalgia.
Symptoms To Look Out For
- Widespread pain – A dull ache is how most people describe fibro pain. Researchers believe that the brain’s pain receptors in fibromyalgia patients are more sensitive and tend to overreact to pain signals.
- Fatigue: People with fibromyalgia often awaken tired even though they have slept. Many suffer with sleep disorders like sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome.
- IBS: Irritable bowel syndrome often goes hand in hand with fibromyalgia.
- Depression: Dealing with constant pain and fatigue can lead to depression.
- Headaches: Migraines and headaches are common in people with fibromyalgia.
- Fibro fog: A common complaint from fibro sufferers is the impairment of the ability to focus, pay attention, or concentrate for long periods of time
How To Diagnose
There is no test to diagnose fibromyalgia, but it’s usually diagnosed by a rheumatologist.
If the individual has had overall body pain, which has lasted for more than three months and reacts to at least 11 of the 18 tender points located all over the body, it indicates fibromyalgia.
Natural Ways To Deal With Fibromyalgia
Dealing with fibromyalgia can be challenging at times, but there are a few things you can do to help cope with your pain.
Proper nutrition is important and reducing inflammation in the body is key. Testing for food allergies, sensitivities, and candida is a good place to start.
Eliminate gluten, dairy, nightshades (peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, and potatoes), and sugar from your diet as they are acidic to the body.
Keeping the body alkaline is a sure way to reduce inflammation in the body. An alkaline diet will keep tissue supple and reduce inflammation, which is the cause of many diseases like arthritis, fibromyalgia, and irritable bowel disorders.
It’s easy to test your pH measurement of acidity or alkalinity. Purchase some pH paper at your local health food stores and test your urine. Readings below 7.0 are considered acidic, while higher readings are considered alkaline.
Staying away from acid-forming foods like dairy, sugar, and processed foods is a sure way to lessen inflammation in your body.
Alkalize Your Diet
- Vegetables: Green veggies making up 75% of your plate is a great rule of thumb to keep your body more alkaline. Kale, avocado, leafy greens, cucumber, brussels sprouts, and zucchini are some excellent foods to introduce into your diet.
- Lemons: Add freshly squeezed lemon juice to your morning water.
- Water: Drink plenty of filtered water during the day and switch from coffee to green tea.
- Sugar: Reduce consumption of sugar, sodas, and refined carbohydrates.
Other Lifestyle Choices
- Meditation: Thirty minutes of meditation or mindfulness a day has shown to reduce pain and anxiety for those with fibromyalgia.
- Hypnosis: Hypnosis is a wonderful tool to learn about your past since you may have an underlying trauma or issue that is causing your fibromyalgia. The field of mind-body medicine and epigenetics is showing us how our thoughts and beliefs can affect our health and well being and that we can change our genetic code by changing our diet, thoughts, and environment.
- Gentle exercise: Walking, swimming, yoga, or qigong are excellent ways of aligning our breath with gentle exercise, which can help with pain management.
Understanding fibromyalgia and its many sides can help in dealing with it.
Find a caring practitioner and embrace a healthier diet and some form of exercise or stress reduction to keep the body healthy and happy.