Fibromyalgia is a condition that millions of people suffer with, and unfortunately, it comes with chronic pain and a variety of other unpleasant symptoms. There are many approaches to dealing with fibromyalgia, but not all of them will work for everyone.
If you are looking for a holistic approach to fibromyalgia, then you have come to the right place. We are going to provide you with some tips and information on how to manage fibromyalgia, which will hopefully help to lessen your symptoms.
It is important to know that there are no guarantees that a certain method will work for you, which is why it can be helpful to try out multiple different methods and combinations to find out what works the best for you.
What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is an extremely complicated condition that manifests with various different symptoms in different people. The symptoms that you are presented with can range from occasional and mild to chronic and severe, but there are some symptoms that are commonly associated with the condition to some degree. Some of these symptoms are:
- Generalized pain – Discomfort and tenderness throughout the body, from a dull ache to excruciating nerve pain
- Chronic fatigue – Low energy and tiredness
- Cognitive disturbances – Upsetting emotions and low mood
Lots of people that suffer from fibromyalgia may also have irritable bowel syndrome, disrupted sleep, weakened bladder control, a lowered pain threshold, intolerance to noise and light, memory issues, restless leg syndrome, painful periods, headaches and swelling.
These are not guaranteed symptoms, but they are quite common. Unfortunately, the pain that is caused by Fibromyalgia can interfere with a person’s ability to perform daily tasks in life.
How Common is Fibromyalgia?
It is thought that Fibromyalgia affects around 1 in 20 people globally, which makes it more common than people might think. Experts have estimated that at least 5 million Americans are living with Fibromyalgia. It is also known that this condition mainly occurs in women that are in their middle years of life.
How is Fibromyalgia Diagnosed?
Unfortunately, Fibromyalgia is a condition that is very subjective when it comes to the symptoms that it presents, which means that it can be very difficult to diagnose. It cannot be detected through blood tests or scans, which can make it very difficult to get a diagnosis.
These symptoms can also occur in other conditions, which a doctor may want to investigate first. As well as this, not all doctors are equally aware of Fibromyalgia, which can lead to having to see multiple healthcare professionals before getting a diagnosis.
Can Fibromyalgia Pain Be Managed?
There are ways to try and manage the pain that comes from living with fibromyalgia, but there is no way to know for certain which ones might work for you unless you try them out. Fibromyalgia affects everyone differently, and what works for one person might not work so well for another. We will leave some helpful suggestions for managing the symptoms of fibromyalgia below.
Diet is Key
There is a connection between your gut health, diet, and autoimmune disease, and autoimmune disease. Inflammatory foods can cause small leaks in the lining of your gut, which means that bacteria and chemicals from your digestive tract can travel into the bloodstream and cause inflammation. This can be a contributing factor to conditions like Fibromyalgia.
Many people choose to stop eating wheat, gluten, dairy and sugar, which are all classic inflammatory foods. Eliminating these foods from your diet can help to heal your gut and allow your body to heal.
Chronic pain can sometimes affect a person’s willingness to eat and appetite, but optimizing nutrition when you have Fibromyalgia is really important. A diet that is rich in nutrients will ensure that your body is functioning optimally, and it can also boost your energy levels.
Take the Right Supplements
Supplements can be essential for many people that suffer with Fibromyalgia, and you can take supplements that target nutritional imbalances to help with healing and recovery.
Some of the supplements that can be really helpful include vitamin B, fish oils, probiotics, magnesium, selenium, vitamin C, omega-3, vitamin D, zinc, iodine, and more. You should consult your doctor before you start to take combinations of supplements, and they can help to advise you.
Be Aware of Your Triggers
Many people that have Fibromyalgia will find that their symptoms can arise or worsen due to different triggers. It can be helpful to write down a list of things that have this effect on you, and try to avoid these situations.
Sometimes, these situations will be unavoidable, but being prepared can be helpful. Some common triggers include physical exertion, illnesses or infections, stress and anxiety, changes in the weather, lighting, seasons, and allergies.
Try to Move Around Gently
This may seem unachievable if your pain levels are at a high, but gentle movements and exercise has been known to relieve or improve some symptoms of Fibromyalgia.
It is important to be really gentle with this, and some good options for gentle movement are tai chi, water-based activities, gentle walking, gentle yoga, and stretching. All of these things can offer the added benefits of improved sleep and mood for some people.
Lowering Your Stress Levels
It is evident that stress can negatively impact Fibromyalgia, and stress also lowers our ability to cope with pain and negative emotions. Reducing your stress can benefit your overall health, but it can also improve symptoms for those with Fibromyalgia.
It might sound easier said than done, but some great stress- reducing techniques include meditation, positive affirmations, calming music, aromatherapy, gentle yoga, journaling, therapy, and other things that make you feel good.
This is something that won’t be for everyone, but some people with Fibromyalgia have found that regular gentle massages can help to manage the condition. Massages can help to lower stress levels and help to relieve tense muscles to relieve pain.
Hot and Cold Therapy
Both the heat and the cold can help to manage symptoms of Fibromyalgia, and some people will find that one works better than the other. Things like heat packs and gels, hot water bottles, or hot water can soothe aches and pains of the muscles and joins. Alternatively, ice packs and cold treatments can relieve some people’s symptoms better.