Fibromyalgia is a real syndrome that affects millions of Americans every year. As a type of chronic pain, this syndrome can affect every aspect of the patient’s life: from what he/she eats to how he/she sleeps.
It can be tedious and it can seem almost impossible to live with Fibromyalgia, but it can be done and there is more than one way in which things can change for the better.
To understand these remedies and how your life as a Fibromyalgia patient can improve drastically, you should first understand what this syndrome is, what causes it and which its “mechanism” is.
These pieces of information will help you gain a deeper knowledge of what you are facing and how the remedies can help you.
Fibromyalgia is, as mentioned before and as you probably know it already, a type of chronic pain. As a matter of fact, it is not as rare as it may seem and it is considered to be among the most encountered types of chronic pains out there.
Its name comes from the Greek for “muscle” (“myos”), from the Greek for “pain” (“algos”) and from the New Latin for “fibrous tissue”(“fibro”).
Although the causes that lead to developing Fibromyalgia are numerous and sometimes they can be quite confusing, there are some things on which all doctors agree to be the triggers of this syndrome. One of the leading causes for Fibromyalgia is more common than you would believe: stress.
Living a stressful life means that your body will consume more energy and, in its essence Fibromyalgia is a syndrome tightly connected with the levels of energy on one’s body.
Arthritis is also associated with Fibromyalgia and so are repetitive injuries, Lupus, Central Nervous System issues and genetics. Environment can also be an important factor into the development of fibromyalgia. In general, this syndrome can be developed as the result of certain changes made in the neuro-chemical substances in the human brain.
These abnormalities can be the result of exposing one’s self to prolonged periods of stress at a certain point in life. Which leads us back to stress…
Every patient is different, but in general, they can all show a series of symptoms that can be associated with other diseases and syndromes as well (which makes diagnosing Fibromyalgia very difficult). The main symptom shown by patients who suffer from Fibromyalgia is pain. However, this is not the only symptom that may appear.
Morning stiffness, headaches, numb fingers, cognitive issues, odd sleeping patterns, as well as the development of the Restless Leg Syndrome are all common symptoms shown by those who suffer from Fibromyalgia. Furthermore, nausea, weight gain, depression, anxiety, breathing problems, vision problems, eyesight problems and symptoms similar to those of the flu can appear.
Diagnosing Fibromyalgia can be very hard to do (mainly because, as mentioned before as well, the symptoms in each case can be very different and they can appear to be the symptoms of a completely different disease/syndrome). However, once a patient is suspected to suffer from this particular chronic pain syndrome, there are some tests that can be run.
One of them is a blood test called FM/a, but in addition to that the doctor will need to examine many areas of the patient’s body (from his/her thyroid to signs of arthritis and even depression). Furthermore, the medical professional will inquire the patient about potential stressful situations, about where the pain appears and how long has it been like that and he/she will also examine the patient’s so-called “tender points” (if 11 out 18 of them are painful, then there is a high chance that the patient developed Fibromyalgia).
How can this type of chronic pain be ameliorated and which are the ways in which you, as a patient suffering from this particular syndrome, can make your life better?
Most of the remedies available for patients suffering from Fibromyalgia are related to stress and how it can be eliminated from their lives. In addition to certain types of medication (including pain killers, anti-inflammatory drugs, antidepressants and benzodiazepines), patients will be recommended to call for certain natural remedies that will help ameliorating the syndrome.
One of these remedies is very common: exercising. Believe it or not, exercising is not only for sporty people and it is not only meant to make people look like model. Latin people knew it best: “Menssana in corporesano” (“A healthy mind in a healthy body”). Exercising can help relieving you from pain, it can relax you and it can make your entire health condition improve dramatically.
Also, as a Fibromyalgia patient, you may be recommended to try out some relaxation techniques. Yoga, meditation and Tai-Chi are just three of them, but you can try whatever you believe that suits your needs and your tastes better. Acupuncture is also a method of relaxation that has proved useful for many patients, and so is cognitive-behavioral therapy.
In addition to these natural ways of ameliorating pain, you should also change your life style, which means that a healthy diet will become essential to the improvement of your condition. Fast-food and sweets may seem like a good pain reliever on short term, but on the long run they will cause more damage than do good.
Start eating more fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Also, start eating more foods that contain omega 3 fatty acids (fatty fish such as salmon or sardines, walnuts, shrimp, tofu, soybeans, beef, scallops, and so on).
These fatty acids generally help reduce inflammation at all levels of the body, so they can help you with your Fibromyalgia symptoms as well. Ginger and turmeric are also two plants that have been long-known for their anti-inflammatory effects.
As you can see, Fibromyalgia is still a mystery to most doctors out there. While its symptoms are most often misleading and its causes can vary a lot, this syndrome’s remedies are quite clear for everyone, and most of the doctors will agree that the above-mentioned ones will help ameliorating the condition of those who suffer from Fibromyalgia.