Fibromyalgia can be an excruciating, painful, overwhelming condition that comes with a host of symptoms like brain fog, weakness, insomnia, mood swings, tingling or swelling in the extremities, stiffness, headaches, muscular pain and so many others. But, there are treatments available.
The reason why this happens is unclear, although the symptoms are well-defined. It isn’t the result of contracting something, like a virus. But, researchers believe it’s a combination of factors like genetics, stress and trauma.
There is also evidence to suggest fibromyalgia may develop after some kind of severe infection. Not that the infection “causes” fibromyalgia, but rather it has some sort of association.
And yet other researchers discovered this condition’s connection to Substance P. This is a neuropeptide produced by the nerves and found in spinal and brain fluids. It has connections to inflammation, stress responses and pain. Substance P is similar to serotonin, playing a role in mood and anxiety.
To determine a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, your doctor will review your medical history along with a thorough examination. This may include a blood test or other evaluation to see if there isn’t some other explanation for the pain.
Unfortunately, more women receive this diagnosis than men along with those who are 30 to 50 years old.
Once you’ve received a diagnosis for fibromyalgia, there are several ways to get relief via natural remedies. Of course, taking probiotics will keep gastrointestinal health in tip-top shape. This is an essential part of maintaining a healthy immune system and crucial in fighting off the symptoms associated with fibromyalgia.
But, there are other things to include in a fibromyalgia treatment plan. Antioxidants, magnesium supplements, topical treatments and de-stressing exercises, like T’ai Chi and Yoga, all contribute to fighting off this disease.
It’s also advisable to get regular chiropractic care, massages and even acupuncture along with a well-balanced and well-rounded diet. Incorporate plenty of fruits, veggies and foods rich in omega fatty acids. Also, avoid foods that can induce inflammation or increase symptoms like sugar, caffeine processed foods, chemical ingredients and alcohol.
For more severe cases of fibromyalgia, your doctor may prescribe things like pregabalin, also known as Lyrica. Even though this is often for epileptic seizures, it helps alleviate the symptoms of fibromyalgia by modifying nerve signals.
But, as with most pharmaceuticals, there are some side effects with taking pregabalin, like blurred vision, drowsiness, swelling of extremities, dizziness, weight gain and cotton mouth. Also, it may inhibit your ability to drive and have contraindications with any other medications you’re using.
It’s important to sit down with your doctor to decide how to treat and proceed with your fibromyalgia. Always go the natural route before taking stronger prescriptions, like pregabalin. With dedication and a commitment to healing, you can get better.
Proper management of this disease can lead to a happy, healthy and fulfilling life. There is hope, but it depends on your willingness to win against all the odds.