The Facts on Fibromyalgia - Part Two
More and more cases are being reported of people who are becoming bedridden, having to use Walkers or wheelchairs due to Fibromyalgia. Chronic Fatigue, Depression, Chronic Pain/Myofascial Pain Syndrome are frequently found along with the FMS. It can get so bad that being hugged (a breeze!) can be painful! A cat on a lap can feel like bone grinding against bone. Your socks touching your toes can be a nightmare of pain.
Your sheets and blankets touching your toes or legs can be so painful you are unable to sleep. Elastic touching you anywhere is pure hell. Imagine having even your clothes touching you your worst pain. It was so bad for one woman in her 30's, with small children (and a husband) that she used Dr. Kevorkian to end her misery.
Here is a brief list of common symptoms of this disease:
* Chronic pain throughout the body
* Burning, numbness and tingling
* Tenderness when pressure is placed on or around the neck, elbows, hips, thighs and knees.
* Sleep disorders
* Chronic fatigue or exhaustion
* Facial Pain
* Jaw Pain (TMJ)
* Memory Loss
* Irritable Bowel
* Tension or Migraine Headaches
* High sensitivity to foods and medications (allergic type reaction).
* Minimal tolerance to heat and cold
* High sensitivity to bright lights and sounds
* Hair Loss
Because symptoms develop gradually, this disease is often misdiagnosed. It is often diagnosed as a repetitive strain injury; sleep disorder condition, irritable bowel syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis or any other type of medical problem. Based on the American College of Rheumatology a person is diagnosed with Fibromyalgia when he or she suffers pain throughout the body for at least three months and has 11 out of 18 tender points present.
Who Is Affected Experts estimate that 3 million to 6 million Americans have Fibromyalgia. Of these, 80 percent are women. One of the main risk factors is being a woman between the age of 20 and 50. Another risk factor is having a rheumatic disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus or Sjogren's syndrome.
Fibromyalgia also seems to run in families, so a gene may be at least partly responsible for the condition. Most people with fibromyalgia begin to notice symptoms between the ages of 20 and 40. But children and older adults may develop the condition. Women with fibromyalgia typically feel pain throughout their body.
Causes Experts do not know what causes Fibromyalgia. There are several theories about possible causes or triggers. Inadequate sleep is a possible trigger. Another is suffering an injury or physical or emotional trauma that affects the brain, spine and nerves. Some experts believe that a viral or bacterial infection plays a part.
Abnormal production of pain-related chemicals in the nervous system also contributes to the symptoms of Fibromyalgia. It's thought that any one of these factors may bring on the symptoms of Fibromyalgia in someone who is already genetically predisposed to the condition.
Treatment includes the following:
* Change in diet and nutrition
* Supplements geared toward Fibromyalgia
* Exercise: Gentle stretching such as warm water stretches and light aerobic activity, if possible.
* Physical Therapy under the guidance of a Chiropractor or Naturopathic
* Massage Therapy
* Avoidance of activities that over stress the body (Consider keeping a journal)
* Regulate sleep patterns
* Avoiding emotional stress
Nutrition is very important with this condition as with any serious physical condition. Avoid caffeine products, sugar, processed foods and fried foods. Low blood sugar (Hypoglycaemia) is often a factor in causing the person with Fibromyalgia to feel fatigued. That is why a good nutrition program is very important, eating frequent small meals with some protein is very important in keeping the blood levels even.
Whole grains, seeds, nuts, yoghurt, chicken, Turkey, organic beef, eggs, natural cheese and cottage cheese should form the base of your diet. Accompanied by Appropriate vegetables and a minimum amount of fruit.
A good quality multi-vitamin is absolutely essential with this condition. It's important to replace what the body loses daily. If a person takes no other supplement but a multi-vitamin they're helping to support their body daily. Co Q 10, in soft gel form 100mg, taken three times daily can help increase the energy.
There's no definite cure for Fibromyalgia but there are certainly many alternative methods that can help you improve the quality of your life. The medical drug Lyrica has been helpful in relieving pain for many people with Fibromyalgia. I still find that natural medicine works best for me.
I find that deep tissue massage therapy performed regularly really keeps down the pain. When I'm going through a really bad time I always get a massage. It works better than any medicine.
Physical therapy that is performed at home is very important for Fibromyalgia. Warm water stretches performed at least three times weekly can be of tremendous help keeping the joints and muscles flexible.
A Jacuzzi or hot tub is without a doubt one of the best treatments you can do at home, not only does it improve circulation you can also perform warm water stretches in it. If you have access to one and can use this daily you would see a tremendous change in the body. Using a moist heating pad on areas of pain for 20 minutes can ease the pain.
I also find that chiropractic care can bring tremendous relief. I always recommend people with Fibromyalgia seek out a Chiropractor who uses the activator method for physical therapy and pain relief. If you would like to find out about a doctor of chiropractic in your area who uses this method go to http://www.activator.com/qualified_doctors.asp
Take a proactive role in learning about fibromyalgia to help control it, and be vigilant about following your treatment plan. Emotional support is very important too. Living with fibromyalgia may be difficult if your family, friends or employer do not understand the condition. Seek out supportive family, friends, clergy, support groups or a mental health counsellor.
About the author: I practiced as a doctor of Naturopathic medicine for twenty years. I now am a spiritual/psychic advisor. www.cherokeebillie.com