On a scale of one to ten, fibromyalgia pain can swing from the low end to the high end of the chart. The pain is always changing in duration and strength. It can be light in the morning and excruciating by evening.
You might have pain free days and the turn around and have several days of pain in a row. People who have this condition have something that’s been labeled as ‘trigger points.’
These points are places on the body that cause pain when touched. In gathering information about this condition, those in the medical field discovered that most patients complained of pain in common areas: in the neck (both front and back), in the fold of the elbow, just below the knee, in the lower back and just above the top of the thigh. These common trigger points are instrumental in getting a diagnosis of fibromyalgia.
There are some things that can make fibromyalgia pain increase in intensity and those things are insomnia or not getting enough sleep, mood changes, illness, stress and a lack of exercise to name a few.
Maintaining a time every day to unwind and sleep when your body needs it is essential to keeping the often overwhelming fatigue on the low end of the pain chart. When you get more fatigued than usual with fibromyalgia, it can make the pain get worse.
This fatigue is not an ordinary feeling of tiredness you get from overexertion but rather a deep state of not being able to rest the body. Eventually, this fatigue can greatly affect your health if it’s not managed.
The treatment for your condition should treat you as a whole and not just focus on the times when your condition is worse. You will not find a cure for your condition in any treatment option known but you can effectively manage the pain so that you can continue to lead your life with modifications.
Medication can help to take the edge of the pain when it reaches the point it become unbearable and getting massages from those trained in understanding conditions like arthritis can give you some relief from the joint and muscle pain.
Accept that you have a condition that will at times limit your ability to handle things.
On the days when the fibromyalgia pain is worse, don’t be ashamed to ask for someone to help you do the tasks around the house that you would ordinarily do.
Save the things that don’t tax your strength for the days when the flare-ups are at their worst. You won’t be able to predict the days when your symptoms will deplete your energy but you can plan ahead so that the impact of those days aren’t as hard to deal with.
Learn to Recognize Fibromyalgia Symptoms
Fibromyalgia symptoms will often show up as common aches or pains. You might even blow off the symptoms not realizing how ill this condition can make someone feel. Because the condition is not yet fully understood, your family doctor can easily overlook the warning signs.
Having muscle pain is a sign you could have this medical condition but because muscle pain is a common complaint, most people never seek treatment and when they do, it’s often mislabeled as a sprain or other muscle injury.
Fatigue is often another overlooked sign that someone is struggling with fibromyalgia. Being tired is common and is nothing to be concerned about. Fatigue is different from tiredness in that it’s a complete weariness, an exhaustion that is not replenished by resting.
Whenever you feel tired and go to sleep for the night or take a nap during the day yet you wake still feeling the same deep tiredness, that’s a clue there’s something going on in the body that needs to be checked out.
There are more serious fibromyalgia symptoms you need to be familiar with. If you sit or remain prone for a while only to find you have difficulty getting your muscles and joints to work when you try to move, that’s a sign that needs to be brought to the attention of your doctor. Too often stiff muscles and joints are passed off as a sign of getting older. Any limit in mobility should be evaluated.
Sometimes you might discover that you’re sense of concentration isn’t as sharp and that you can’t remember things as easily. Having unexplained pain in your body can be a sign of this condition as can a change in bowel habits.
Experiencing bouts of extreme dizziness - from feeling slightly off balance to thinking the room is spinning is also a symptom. All these are part of the signals your body gives out trying to get your attention to let you know that something is wrong in the body.
If any part of your body loses sensation or you get a pins and needle feeling in your hands or feet not caused by them ‘going to sleep’ because you’ve been sitting the wrong way, then you should make an appointment with your doctor for a full examination. Because the fibromyalgia symptoms can range from mild to severe and can change depending on the time of day, you might not be aware that something is wrong.
Unfortunately, this condition doesn’t simply clear up on its own and if you don’t get the medical treatment to deal fibromyalgia, it can significantly impact your health and affect the quality of your lifestyle.
You can use a fibromyalgia diet to help control the symptoms associated with this condition better. Scientists have known for years that eating certain types of foods can work with the body to bring a sense of well being.
However, eating some foods, even foods thought of as healthy can actually aggravate some medical issues. What you have to understand about this complex condition is that it affects the people who have it in an individual way.
That means that the diet that works for one person who suffers with the fibromyalgia may not work for the next person. Each diet needs to be individually tailored. Some foods are okay for some people with fibromyalgia, but the same food can bother others with the condition.
Gluten is one such product. Gluten is a protein that can be found in many types of foods. Many of those diagnosed with fibromyalgia also have an intolerance for gluten. Some patients can tolerate products containing gluten so just because you’re told that a particular food is bad for fibromyalgia doesn’t mean it’s bad for you to consume.
Like people who can eat a normal diet, those on a fibromyalgia diet need to make sure they get enough of the stuff that’s good for them such as vitamin B12 and magnesium. There has been some evidence that MSG in food products can make the symptoms of fibromyalgia much worse because of the way it affects certain areas of the body.
Another product you may want to avoid is food or beverages that contain caffeine. Since caffeine is a stimulant, it can give anyone a quick pick up but the long-range effects are not good for those with this type of chronic condition.
Carbonated beverages, especially the ones that have artificial sweeteners have been said to have an effect on the energy level of those who have fibromyalgia. Foods that deplete or lower your energy levels should be avoided.
Junk food can wreak havoc on your system and make it more of an uphill battle in your fight for good health. Processed foods are also not the best meal choice for anyone who suffers from a chronic illness.
Since there really is no one size fits all diet for those with this syndrome, you might find It helpful to keep a food journal and write down any adverse reactions to the meals you eat. If one particular meal makes you feel more lethargic then you’ll be able to know which foods you would want to eliminate from your diet.
So what can you eat? There are some doctors who will prescribe a diet consisting only of vegetables and there are studies showing that a vegetarian diet can have other health benefits as well.
Still others in the medical profession believe sticking with a normal healthy diet works just as well for patients with fibromyalgia. A fibromyalgia diet should follow the guidelines recommended for healthy eating and include foods such as lean meats, plenty of fresh vegetables, and fruits.
The fibromyalgia treatment your doctor prescribes for you will depend on how severe the condition shows itself in your life. Some cases are mild and are treated simply with over the counter pain medication. In other cases, prescription medication must be taken in order to cause the pain from the muscle or joint aches to be brought to a manageable level or subdued to some degree.
Treatment can also include antidepressants, not because doctors think it’s all in your head, but because this class of drugs can help to relax the body and lessen the anxiety living with a chronic condition can bring on.
Dealing with an incurable medical problem can lead to long term anxiety problems due to mood swings. Physical pain and discomfort can bring on a variety of emotions and when mood swings go to the extreme, depression can then set in.
It’s understandable that an antidepressant can help to stabilize those emotions while you and your doctor plan together the best way to bring your fibromyalgia under the control you can achieve.
Sometimes drugs that are used to treat epilepsy in people are also used in fibromyalgia treatment. Certain medications can block the signals that allow pain to be felt. Anti-seizure drugs can help you deal with the pain of the condition.
Your doctor might suggest you also seek the help of a trained counseling who knows how to give you the emotional and mental tools you’ll need to handle having a chronic condition.
No matter how old you are, having an ongoing medical problem can create or exacerbate the stress in your life and knowing ahead of time how to deal with what you’re going through can lessen this stress.
You may also choose to add a rheumatologist to your care circle. Arthritis is a common complaint when a patient is dealing with fibromyalgia but with the right kind of help on your side, the condition might slow you down but it won’t keep you from experiencing a happy, fulfilling life.
Some people who experience flare ups with their fibromyalgia and want a more natural approach choose to use the services of an acupuncturist. Regardless of which route you choose to take, you will need experts who know how this condition affects the body physically, mentally, emotionally and even spiritually so that you can receive the care you need.
Some patients choose a fibromyalgia treatment plan that includes using a more natural approach to manage their health. The more natural approach would include an exercise plan, getting plenty of rest, a healthy diet and eliminating as much stress as possible since stress can cause your symptoms to worsen.
A fibromyalgia diagnosis might be a scary medical term for you to hear especially if you don’t know what it is and don’t know anyone who has the condition. The first step to do is to relax. Take a deep breath and know that you are not alone. There are others who successfully deal with this condition and there are many support groups available both online and off that can help you learn about your condition.
Decide right away that you’re going to become an expert about the condition. After all, it’s your body and you’re the best one in charge to fight back and keep yourself as healthy as you possibly can.
Your first step should be to assemble the best medical or holistic care for your condition. You may need to be seen by more than one professional. Some patients routinely see a chiropractor, their physician, and a doctor who specializes in rheumatoid care.
Usually these are doctors proficient in internal medicine. Because the medical profession is still learning about how fibromyalgia affects the body, if you have a doctor who simply wants to medicate you without trying to find the best treatment for you, then consider finding a new doctor. You need one who stays up to date on the latest treatment information about the condition.
You may need to educate your family on what a fibromyalgia diagnosis means to them. It may require some lifestyle changes for you in order to keep your health on an even keel. You may have to rest more frequently, do less around the house or even find a career that’s not as taxing to you physically.
A dietician may be beneficial to you as you learn what you need to add (or subtract) from your eating habits. Some patients have seen improvement in learning how to manage their level of pain by going to physical therapy.
Talk to your doctor to determine if finding a physical therapist would aid in handling your fibromyalgia. Because of the pain linked with this condition, many patients want to resist any type of exercise but keeping a healthy body weight will help to keep more stress from being added to your muscles and joints.
Being given a fibromyalgia diagnosis means that in order to learn how to handle the demands on your body you’re going to have to make some changes. Listen to your body and learn what makes the condition worse for you and what seems to make the strain or pain not as severe.
Your body needs more sleep so make sure that you get the rest that you need in order to function. Since some people with fibromyalgia have to deal with insomnia and a lack of sleep can worsen symptoms, seek a doctor’s help right away if you start having bouts of sleeplessness.
Vitamin K is an essential nutrient that your body requires for optimal health. This vitamin is necessary for proper cell function and tissue healing.
Learn more about this important nutrient:
1. What is vitamin K? Vitamin K is considered an essential vitamin that you can't live without. Vitamin K supports these bodily processes:
- Blood clotting
- Balancing calcium levels in the body
- Maintaining blood vessels
- Bone health
2. How much vitamin K do you need? The amount of vitamin K you require will depend on your age and gender.
- In general, it's recommended that adult men have 120 micrograms (mcg) of this vitamin a day.
- Adult women should have 90 mcg of vitamin K a day.
- Teens should have 75 mcg of vitamin K a day, while younger children may need lower amounts.
3. Vitamin K diet sources. Dark, leafy greens are the most common source of vitamin K. Kale, spinach, broccoli and other dark green vegetables tend to have large amounts of this vitamin.
- You can also find vitamin K in Swiss chard, romaine lettuce, turnip greens, collard greens, mustard greens, soy beans, cauliflower, green peas, and cabbage.
- Although vegetables tend to have a lot of this nutrient, they're not the only source. You can also add beans, tuna, blueberries, and other foods to get more vitamin K in your diet.
4. Are you getting enough? If you're eating a healthy diet with many vegetables and fruits, you may have enough vitamin K. However, it's not always easy to tell. A healthy diet tends to include enough vitamin K. For example, one cup of kale has more than the recommended daily value of vitamin K that an adult needs.
- Nevertheless, it's possible you may not be getting enough. If you have digestive problems, malabsorption, or liver problems, it may be necessary to take supplements. Conditions such as cystic fibrosis, celiac disease, or Crohn's disease can cause a vitamin K deficiency. In other cases, your medications can interfere with the absorption of this essential vitamin.
- If you think you might be short on this important nutrient, talk to a medical professional about your concerns. If you need to supplement your diet, there are many types of vitamins that include vitamin K. Choose one that works for you.
5. Special precautions. If you take any type of blood thinners, it's crucial to be careful with vitamin K. Blood thinners can interact with both food and supplements that contain large amounts of vitamin K. Talk about your medications with your physician and discuss how much vitamin K is in your diet and vitamin pills. You may need to make adjustments to avoid complications.
6. Symptoms of low vitamin K levels. If you're experiencing these symptoms, seek immediate medical care:
- First, you may have trouble after a small cut with the blood refusing to clot.
- Bleeding and blood clotting issues are common with this type of deficiency.
- You may experience internal digestive system bleeding, gum bleeding, nose bleeds, or other types of issues.
Talk to your doctor about vitamin K and ensure that you're getting enough for optimal health. Always consult a medical professional before making drastic dietary changes or trying new supplements or pills.