Fibromyalgia can make life miserable. The extreme pain, body aches, and sleeplessness can be enough to feel like you’re losing your mind. What’s worse is the way many doctors still treat patients with this condition.
Because the reason for the extreme pain and fatigue can be tough to pinpoint, many traditional medical doctors either do not agree that the disease exists or downplay its signs and symptoms.
Signs and Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
The signs and symptoms of fibromyalgia can range from individual to individual, but the most common include:
- Concentration and memory issues (“fibro fog”)
- Digestion issues
- Balance and coordination problems
- Muscle twitches
- Morning joint stiffness
- All-over body aches
- Chronic headaches
- Restless legs syndrome
Due to the fact fibromyalgia can mimic different autoimmune illnesses including lupus and chronic fatigue syndrome, medical doctors may additionally find it hard to diagnose.
However, there are some symptoms that can point to a fibromyalgia diagnosis more easily.
These symptoms consist of:
- Knotted muscle tissue
- Trigger point pain
- Itchy, burning skin
Clinical Diagnosis of Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia may be very hard for traditional doctors to diagnose. Some physicians even discourage their sufferers from hope for comfort from severe pain once they inform them it’s “all in their head” or there is little that they could do to prevent it. It’s no surprise annoyed patients turn to natural options.
However, this isn’t to say all medical doctors will simply shake their heads at you and let you know there’s no help in sight. Advances in medication and information about the disorder have given traditional health practitioners diagnostic standards for diagnosing fibromyalgia.
This criterion consists of:
Muscle pain lasting 3 months or more
11 out of the 18 tender points on the body
Pain and tenderness located in all 4 quadrants of the body
Reasons for Fibromyalgia
The reasons for fibromyalgia are regularly debated amongst medical experts.
Here are the most commonly believed reasons for this debilitating disease:
A common element within the development of fibromyalgia is physical trauma. As per clinical research, the development of fibromyalgia increased 10-fold in Israeli patients with neck damage.
Food sensitivities, which include gluten intolerance, are another common element within the development of fibromyalgia. With undiagnosed gluten intolerance, the body is not able to digest the food and properly absorb nutrients into the body. This could result in the development of autoimmune disease and chronic pain.
Environmental allergies are typically ignored as a possible source of fibromyalgia. Think about what’s in your house. Did you recently have a brand new floor installed or purchase a new bed? What about new paint or air fresheners?
Environmental allergic reactions go way beyond hay fever, and a very large portion of the population has no idea how risky household chemicals may be.
Flooring, carpeting, and cleaning products contain hormone disruptors and neurotoxins which could rewire the way the brain and body works, leading to the development of fibromyalgia and other chronic diseases.
Natural Treatments for Fibromyalgia Pain
These days, fewer and fewer doctors are prescribing long-term opioid pain relief because of the so-called “opioid crisis”. Because of this, more and more chronic pain patients are turning to natural alternatives to ease their pain.
Here are a few things you can do at home to treat fibromyalgia and ease flare-ups:
A healthy, well-balanced diet is important for everyone, but that goes triple for those who live with fibromyalgia and other chronic pain conditions. Your number one line of defense is the food you choose to put into your body. It can either cause inflammation or decrease it, and the choice is always yours.
This is why it’s so important to eat plenty of organic vegetables, fruit, poultry, wild-caught salmon, and gluten-free grains.
Foods that help fight inflammation specifically include:
Turmeric – Turmeric is a yellow spice normally used in Indian cooking. This spice is particularly vital for humans with leaky gut syndrome and food sensitivities because it tightens the intestine and relieves intestinal pain. Morever, it has been scientifically proven to ease chronic inflammation.
Cayenne Pepper – Cayenne pepper is a natural blood-thinner and anti-inflammatory. It has been shown to be effective in the natural treatment of chronic pain when consumed and/or applied topically with a carrier oil. For topical relief, use a prepared gel or cream. If you don’t like the taste of cayenne, you can take it in pill form with your largest meal of the day.
Note: If you are on blood-thinning medication or have acid reflux, do not use cayenne pepper without getting the all-clear from your doctor.
Wild-Caught Salmon – Farmed salmon is full of growth hormones and antibiotics that could cause the inflammation you’re seeking to prevent, so it’s best to avoid it. However, wild-caught salmon offers high ranges of inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids that may help decrease fibromyalgia pain.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Coconut Oil – Extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil can help provide anti-inflammatory benefits. Furthermore, the polyphenols in extra virgin olive oil can reduce body aches, while coconut oil acts as a natural antibioitic.
While you’re in extreme pain, the last thing you want to think about is exercise. However, there are a few gentle stretching and strengthening exercises that will let you work on those muscle aches without triggering a flare.
Here are a few exercises you can try:
Walking – Walking is a low-impact way to stretch your muscles and get a few rays of much-needed sunlight. Even if you can only make it around the block at first, it’s a start.
Swimming – While you’re submerged in water, your body is more buoyant, and working out is a bit less difficult. You don’t need to swim laps. Simply stepping into the water and moving your muscles can be sufficient for starters.
Yoga – Yoga is a sort of moving meditation designed to help you breathe through pain while stretching and strengthening your painful muscles.
Light Weight Training – If you don’t use your muscles for a long period of time, they can start to atrophy. This is where training with light weights can come in and help prevent this. Start with 1-2 pound weights and ease into exercising with them. Begin with only a few reps a few minutes per day before gradually working your way up as you are comfortable.
Supplements are another way those living with fibromyalgia can treat their condition naturally.
Here are a few supplements that can help:
Boswellia – Boswellia is a natural treatment that relieves inflammation in a similar way to NSAID pain relievers. Boswellia works through blocking the formation of leukotrienes, the chemicals that cause inflammation and pain, but without the gastrointestinal side effects that can present with long-term NSAID use.
If you’ve been newly diagnosed with fibromyalgia, don’t despair. These treatments and methods can help you get a handle on your symptoms naturally. Over time, you may be able to regain quality of life, mobility, and health.
Learn more about fibromyalgia and what you can do to ease the pain and fatigue naturally by clicking on the links below.