May Is Fibromyalgia Awareness Month
Updated: Nov 11, 2019
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Fibromyalgia is still very much an unknown disability. There is little research being done on the cause or treating and curing this disease. Most of the research currently being done is about developing a blood test to confirm a person has this disease.
The medical field doesn’t even classify Fibromyalgia as a disease. It is classified as a syndrome. A syndrome is a group of symptoms that occur together or a condition classified by symptoms. Since we do not know the cause, there is no real treatment or cure. Currently we can only treat the symptoms.
The symptoms of Fibromyalgia are widespread pain normally in the back and legs, tender spots, pain that can be diffuse, sharp, severe, and can occur in the muscles, abdomen, back and neck. Fatigue, sleeplessness, muscle spasms, forgetfulness or lack of concentration known as Fibro Fog, headaches, morning stiffness, sensitivity to cold and heat, allodynia which is pain occurring with something that shouldn’t cause pain, anxiety or depression, irritable bowel syndrome and painful menstrual cramps.
One symptom that I am struggling with right now is the allodynia. When I am wearing clothes, my back will start a tingling sensation which is kinda like itching but not. As soon as I take off the top I am wearing it goes away! I obviously can’t be naked 24 hours a day so I do have some things that help a little. Having someone put lotion on my back seems to help some. I also have my daughter go over my back with the palm of her hand. It seems to help
calm down the nerves. If you scratch it, that actually makes the pain worse.
Some of these pains are more likely to occur in the majority of diagnosed Fibromyalgia cases because it is estimated that 80-90% are women. Women, men and children can be diagnosed with Fibromyalgia as well as all ethnic groups.
Since there is no cure, treatment of the symptoms is the only thing someone diagnosed can do. There is a lot of contention on if pain medications can help. Most medical sources recommend massage, acupuncture, medications such as Lyrica, Savella or Gabapentin, chiropractor, light exercise such as yoga, tai chi or gentle stretching, dietary supplements such as probiotics, melatonin or magnesium, and dietary changes to foods that are low in inflammatory properties.
I have tried most of these. One thing I have noticed is that not everything helps everyone equally. I was getting massages once per month for about 2 years. They helped greatly at first! They relaxed me, helped with the pain and the muscle cramps. Eventually I started to be really sore the following day. It got to the point that I would hurt so bad the following day that it undid all the benefit I got the previous day!
I have tried Gabapentin and Savella and both helped my pain immensely. The side effects however were so bad I couldn’t keep taking the medications. I have also tried magnesium and melatonin. I didn’t notice a difference with the magnesium but I am going to try again. Melatonin helps me sleep but I do need to do occasional “fasts” where I stop taking it to reset my body systems.
Another supplement that can help greatly is CBD (cannibidiol). Its a compound found in marijuana but its not the ingredient that causes the high. I have been taking a supplement from SwellCBD. They have many products like cremes, tinctures, CBD infused coffee, soft gels and they even have products for your fur babies!! I have been using the 750mg CBD and Curcumin Soft Gels. They have helped the aching I experience a lot. And also my sleep is better when I take them at night! You can use my code DD15 for 15% off.
I also do some modified yoga and gentle stretching. I used to dance. Ballet and tap mostly. I was very flexible! The muscle cramping does not allow me to stretch much anymore. So I do very gentle stretching in the morning when I get up and before I go to sleep at night.
I have also tried the dietary changes that are recommended. The main suggestion being lowering the foods that cause inflammation such as sugars, saturated fats, trans fats, refined carbohydrates, MSG, gluten and casein, red meat and night shade vegetables such as tomatoes.
It is recommended you eat a diet rich in inflammation fighting foods such as dark leafy greens, blueberries, blackberries and cherries, nutrition dense veggies like broccoli and cauliflower, beans and lentils, olive oils, turmeric and cinnamon, cold water fish like salmon and dark chocolate.
There are a lot of lifestyle coping mechanisms. You have to experiment and see what works for you!