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Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia

Imagine waking up feeling stiff and achy, having tender trigger points, feeling tired but suffering from troubled sleep and experiencing foggy thinking and depression. If you have fibromyalgia, you know all too well how miserable each and every day can be. Fibromyalgia occurs differently in various people; symptoms can vary from mild to debilitating.

Overview

Fibromyalgia is technically not a disease, rather it is best classified as a syndrome. People that suffer from fibromyalgia have their muscles and soft tissue impacted. Below are symptoms that a fibromyalgia patient typically suffers, although it is important to note that the presence of some of these symptoms does not automatically mean that you have it. Getting a solid diagnosis by a skilled medical provider is always important to make sure you have your health evaluated appropriately.

Fibromyalgia Symptoms:

  • Notable fatigue and decreased energy
  • Ongoing muscle pain, muscle spasms and/or tightness
  • Sleep difficulties, feeling tired but unable to sleep well
  • Getting stiff when lying or sitting for long periods of time
  • Fibro fog: decreased mental clarity, memory and recall
  • Abdominal discomfort with irritable bowel symptoms
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ) and temple/face tenderness
  • Anxious or depressed feeling
  • Numbness in one or more of the following areas: face, arms, hands, legs or feet
  • Urgency or frequency of urination
  • Muscle pain after exercising that exceeds the amount expected
  • Decreased exercise tolerance/endurance
  • Specific tender points or trigger points as seen in the below diagram:

Image Credits: www.fibromyalgia-fitness.com

Next Steps to Take

First and foremost get diagnosed. This means getting a physical exam, blood work and tests. Here are some recommended vital tests:

1.) CBC with differential: to check immune system and help rule out anemia and overt infection
2.) Comprehensive metabolic panel: check kidneys, liver, electrolytes, proteins, etc.
3.) Thyroid testing: TSH, Free T4, Free T3 and Reverse T3 and thyroid peroxidase antibodies
4.) Ferritin and iron levels in blood
5.) Vitamin D levels; low levels can contribute to pain and muscle soreness
6.) Vitamin B12 levels
7.) Chronic fatigue vital panel including Cytomegalovirus (CMV), Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV), Herpes 6 Virus, etc.
8.) Sleep apnea test: to ensure you are getting enough oxygen at night

Please note these are the basic tests that should be performed, tests may also be taken depending on personal history, family history, occupational and life exposures and physical exam.

Supplements and Treatments

There are countless approaches used to successfully control symptoms of fibromyalgia. They range from prescription medications such as ibuprofen, antidepressants and several other drug therapies. Discussed below are some natural and simple approaches that can help to lessen the level of suffering. Get a good diagnosis and make sure you have the above tests and others as indicated by your medical provider.

Natural treatments allow patients to control their suffering of fibromyalgia and enable them to regain a level of wellness that they thought was long gone. Here are some basics for all fibromyalgia patients to visit with their health care providers about:

1.) Support mitochondria: your mitochondria are the “AA batteries” of your body; they literally provide the energy that allows your body to properly function. CoQ10, carnitine and magnesium are a must.
2.) Muscle tightness: proper hydration and getting your potassium and magnesium levels optimized are essential. Also drink plenty of fluids to stay well hydrated and get rid of toxic substances like lactic acid that adds to muscle soreness.
3.) Epsom salt bath: the use of epsom salt baths can help alleviate the aches and pains.
4.) Inflammation control: use anti-inflammatory herbs like boswellia or turmeric to lessen suffering and help with tissue wellness.

Summary:

When in doubt, consult a doctor and get a physical exam and lab work done. Also, fuel your body right, lessen the red meat and processed foods you eat, supplement your diet with mitochondrial and muscle supporting nutrients and help get your body in the wellness zone. Focus on greens and reds: lots of salads, fresh veggies and fruits.

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Health Tips On the Go!

Improve Posture

  • 1.Avoid slouching. Be aware of your posture as you walk, sit, and drive, keep shoulders squared and head pulled back and up.

  • 2.Imagine a thread pulling the top of your head toward the ceiling. Visualization can help improve your sense of position.

  • 3.If your job requires you to sit for long periods, take frequent breaks to stand, stretch and shake it out.

  • 4.Maintain a strong core to help support proper posture. Add core-training exercises to your daily routine.

  • 5.A firm mattress and ergonomic pillow help achieve proper back support while you sleep, so you'll stand straighter in the a.m.

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