Those that suffer from fibromyalgia have often spent a legacy in time trying to prove that their problems were real. For a long time, the medical community dismissed the symptoms, either misdiagnosing or making the assumption that the pain symptoms were psychological rather than physical. There is only a slight benefit to the fact that doctors now realize fibromyalgia is a true condition, as the pain and agony of often multiple location symptoms still exists.
The problem with fibromyalgia is that the symptoms are both localized and systemic. It is believed that the syndrome involves inflammation in both the soft tissue and muscle areas of the body. The symptoms range from singular to many and can include:
*Chronic muscle spasms, tightness and pain.
*Decreased energy from moderate to extreme severe fatigue
*Sleeping disorders from insomnia to awakening without feeling refreshed
*Stiffness of the body when waking up or as a post sleeping in a position for too long
*Problems in memory, concentration and the performance of simple tasks (known as ‘fibro fog’)
*Intestinal and abdominal bloating, pain, nausea and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome
*Migraine or tension headaches
*The feeling of depression or being anxious
*Facial and jaw tenderness or weakness
*Sensitivity to one or a combination of: noise, odors, medications, bright lights, cold, some foods
*Tingling or numbness in arms, face, legs, feet or hands
*An increase in urgency for urinary needs (aka irritable bladder)
*Reduction in exercise tolerance or post-exercise muscle pain
*A sensation of swelling in the hands and feet without the actual swelling condition
The medical community has an array of medications that they will often prescribe, many of which cause harsh reactions in the body and may actually make some of the symptoms worse. The problem has been in trying to understand the cause and effect of the condition and has often left physicians at a loss for treatment.
The alternative health practitioners have focused on a number of modalities that bring both a relief of pain as well as an overall healthier condition to the patient.
*Yoga, practiced for 75 minutes twice per week for a period of 8 weeks validates the 2011 study by Oregon Health & Science University that showed a reduction in pain and the stress hormone cortisol.
*Meditation may alter the brain functions and improve fibromyalgia symptoms according to Dr. Daniel Lewis, Australian rheumatologist. Studies have shown that meditation assists in calming the mind and easing the body into a state that promotes deep relaxation and rest.
*5-HTP is an amino acid that occurs naturally in the body and assists in making the ‘feel-good’ hormone, serotonin. University of Maryland Medical Center studies have suggested that 5-HTP may assist in improving the symptoms of anxiety, morning stiffness, pain and anxiety of fibromyalgia as it helps to balance the brain function.
*SAMe Natural treatment: This is a compound that is naturally made in the body and works in the same way as 5-HTP. Four double-blind studies by NYU Langone Medical Center resulted in showed that those taking SAMe did experience improvements in fatigue, rest, mood and morning stiffness.
Always confer with a primary care physician prior to making any changes in lifestyle, including the addition of supplements, vitamins or any OTC product.