About 10 million Americans (75 - 90 percent of which are women) suffer from fibromyalgia—arguably one of the most painful conditions ever known.
The pain and associated symptoms (more on those below) can be so debilitating that the condition can not only affect you physically but also mentally, emotionally, socially and economically.
It can impair your ability to work, go to school, drive, socialize, do household chores or even engage in routine activities of daily living.
Sadly, the standard treatment offerings are dangerous drugs—including NSAIDs, antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications and anti-seizure drugs, all of which come with a Pandora’s box of potential side effects.
For example, NSAIDs can cause gastrointestinal bleeding and liver and kidney damage; antidepressants can lead to suicidal thoughts and violent and aggressive behavior; benzodiazepines can cause confusion, depression, vision changes and headaches; and anticonvulsants can lead to drowsiness, dizziness and weight gain!
Talk about making things WORSE—not better!
But the promising hope here is that specific underlying factors behind fibromyalgia have been identified, and you can achieve truly effective relief by addressing those factors, as well as using safe, natural pain relief methods.
Here’s what you must know about fibromyalgia and how you can feel a whole lot better.
So much more than body aches!
The classic symptom of fibromyalgia is widespread chronic musculoskeletal pain. However, its effects go FAR beyond that and can include the following:
- Nervous/Mental: Overwhelming fatigue, impaired memory and concentration, insomnia
- Musculoskeletal: Pain and stiffness of muscles, tendons and ligaments, swollen joints, numbness, leg cramps
- Skin: Rashes, eczema, brittle hair or nails, hypersensitivity, excessive sweating
- Gastrointestinal: IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), leaky gut, gas, bloating, mucus in stools, constipation, reflux
- Genitourinary: Frequent urination, bladder spasms, yeast and bladder infections, burning discharge
- Head, ENT: Headaches, dizziness, vertigo, blurred vision, excessive nasal congestion, tinnitus (ringing in ears), sensitivity to light, sounds and odors, asthma, hay fever
Fibromyalgia is challenging to diagnose because it’s not like there is a simple blood test or x-ray that can detect it.
The American College of Rheumatology had previously established diagnostic criteria for fibromyalgia, allowing physicians to diagnose someone if they show positive reactions to 11 of 18 specific tender areas of the body. But since people’s symptoms can wax and wane (i.e.: one day they may have pain in 15 areas, yet at another time only 4 or 5), that wasn’t entirely accurate or reliable.
The current method of diagnosis is based on chronic widespread pain plus other associated symptoms like sleep problems, fatigue and “fibro fog”— cognitive impairment that causes you to lose your ability to focus and concentrate.
The underlying factors
Current research on fibromyalgia is centered on these triggering factors that can cause a weakened state of health which eventually can manifest as fibromyalgia:
- Hormonal imbalances—especially low levels of the hormones, noradrenaline, serotonin and dopamine
- A traumatic psychological or physical event, illness or injury
- A weakened immune system/autoimmunity
- A nutrient poor diet
- Increased levels of substance P—a chemical found in the spinal cord fluid that transmits pain impulses to the brain. Elevated levels of this chemical can make pain more intense.
- Sleep problems/lacking sleep
How to get real relief from fibromyalgia
The more you can address some of the underlying factors behind fibromyalgia and naturally reduce pain, the better your chances of getting real relief!
Here are several measures you can explore:
Eat real (not processed) foods
An unhealthy diet is a significant contributing factor behind fibromyalgia, so ditch the fast food and processed junk and eat real foods—stuff that does not come with a bar code and a list of ingredients you can’t pronounce.
Make the time to cook wholesome real foods. Many a delicious, nutritious meal can be prepared in half an hour or less! Check out my Great Taste No Pain health system to get some good ideas and help improve your digestion too.
Avoid offending foods
These foods have been shown to worsen fibromyalgia symptoms in some people:
- Aspartame (NutraSweet)
- Food additives like MSG (monosodium glutamate) and nitrates
- Refined carbohydrates (sugar, high fructose corn syrup, white flour and all products made with them)
- Nightshade vegetables (bell peppers, potatoes, tomatoes and eggplant)
Supplement with vitamin D
At least half of the people with fibromyalgia have vitamin D deficiency, and many have seen their symptoms literally disappear once supplementation was started!
Plus vitamin D helps counteract the overzealous immune system action involved in autoimmune diseases, and autoimmunity is another fibromyalgia trigger.
Optimum DK Formula with FruiteX-B can help make sure you maintain a health-supporting level of this crucial nutrient. Each dose provides a therapeutic 5,000 IUs of vitamin D3, plus its partners vitamins K1 and K2, and the mineral boron.
Explore holistic therapies
Holistic therapies such as chiropractic, acupuncture, acupressure, trigger point release, massage therapy, yoga and physical therapy can all help reduce pain, ease stiffness and improve flexibility.
According to physical therapist Rena Hughes, PT, MS, Cert. MDT: Core stabilization and postural muscle strengthening help tremendously with any back and neck pain, and heat, ice, and TENS can offer pain relief in lieu of painkillers. Aquatic exercise in warm water is also good for relaxation and relief of pain and muscle spasms.
Get regular exercise
Regular exercise boosts your body’s endorphins (natural pain-fighting, feel-good molecules), it helps to naturally relieve stress, it can help improve flexibility and energy levels, it helps with quality of sleep and strengthens your bones and muscles.
Get your doctor’s OK and pick whatever activity works for you.
Try essential oils
Essential oils have many stress-relieving and relaxing properties, especially lavender, and have been shown to be helpful in easing fibromyalgia pain.
Check out our line of outstanding Mooseberry Essential Oils and see how they can help you!
Encourage better sleep
Many fibromyalgia sufferers have chronically poor sleep. Be sure to avoid caffeine and alcohol before bedtime and go to bed the same time each night.
5HTP or melatonin supplements may also be helpful.
Supplement with probiotics
Probiotics can help support strong immune function, which is vital because a weak immune system is a factor behind fibromyalgia.
Super Shield multi-strain probiotic formula fits the bill perfectly! Its full spectrum formula contains both Bifidobacterium species (for the colon) and Lactobacillus species (which beef up the small intestine)—to help support the health of your entire intestinal tract and your precious immune system.
Reduce stress and get counseling if you need it
If you are under chronic stress and/or feel that a traumatic event may have triggered your fibromyalgia, please seek counseling. There are many skilled, caring practitioners out there that can help you.
Note that stress can lead to hormonal imbalances too, which are another fibromyalgia trigger, so that’s yet another reason to get a handle on your stress.
The time has come for YOU to finally get real relief from fibromyalgia—so get going and start feeling better!
To your health,
Definitely a food allergy for me. I had the most terrible agonizing fibromyalgia and also bad reflux and bloating. I was diagnosed with Coeliac disease 2 years ago and stopped eating gluten and 6 months later….tummy happy and fibromyalgia completely gone to never return. The gluten was causing inflammation in my gut and muscles.
Great FM FACT WELL SAID, Pragmatic description