Guide to Fibromyalgia

Guide to Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a complex condition characterized by full body tenderness, chronic fatigue, poor circulation, and other similar symptoms, such as sleep disturbances and persistent headaches. It is often a diagnosis of exclusion, given after other causes for this suite of issues have been ruled out.

Fibromyalgia Causes and Diagnosis

Fibromyalgia has existed as a diagnosis for hundreds of years, but until recently, it remained widely misunderstood. Physicians have long noted some of the primary symptoms, such as pressure-point pain, and have even understood parts of the disease process, such as body inflammation. However, the debate rages on about what causes the condition and whether it’s a separate illness or a symptom of something else.

Recent medical discoveries suggest Fibromyalgia is the result of improper nerve signal processing in the spinal cord and blood vessels. The sufferer’s body may have more pain receptors than average, which would account for why even small bumps and scapes feel like torture.

While there is still no definitive answer for why Fibromyalgia occurs, there are some tentative theories. Beyond the notion that perhaps improper pain signals are involved, it is also possible that trauma (both physical and emotional), co-occurring mental or physical illness, and a sedentary lifestyle can contribute to the development of this disorder.

Managing Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is not curable, but there are ways for a sufferer to manage the disease better.

First, supplements can positively impact the inflammation aspect. In particular, fish oil capsules, curcumin (turmeric extract), and melatonin are worth trying with a doctor’s supervision.

Exercise is another lifestyle change that can reduce the symptoms of the condition. It is important to choose activities that will be gentle to the body. Water aerobics, lap swim, and other similar sports are ideal for sufferers. Water exercises are low impact. Heavy lifting, cycling, and walking are also great alternatives.

Often, sleep disturbances are part of Fibromyalgia. Practicing good sleep hygiene can help offset the adverse effects. Going to bed at the same time every night, turning off devices an hour before, and avoiding caffeine in the later afternoon and evening will all improve the sleep experience.

Creating a ritual around bedtime can also be beneficial. Perhaps it is lighting a lavender candle, or taking a bubble bath. Reading is also a great way to ease into sleep.

While Fibromyalgia can be frustrating and life-limiting, a few changes will help reduce the negative symptoms of this complex disorder. As science continues to advance and lead to discoveries, knowledge will increase. One day, there may be a more definitive treatment for Fibromyalgia. But in the meantime, empowerment is available to the Fibromyalgia sufferer through small lifestyle changes that build up to significant relief.