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Natural Treatments for Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterized by widespread pain in muscles, tendons, and ligaments combined with fatigue and multiple tender points on the body. Tender points are specific areas that are tender or painful when pressure is applied. Typically these are in the neck, shoulders, upper back and chest, elbows, hips, thighs, and lower back.

Those who suffer with fibromyalgia may also be plagued with multiple conditions including:

  • TMJ disorder
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Numbness/tingling in hands and feet
  • Painful menstrual periods
  • Sleep disruption problems
  • Fogginess in the brain
  • Heightened sensitivity to odors, bright lights, noise, and touch
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Tension headaches
  • Lethargy
  • Immune deficiency problems
  • Concentration problems
  • Irritability
  • Vulvar pain syndrome
  • Brittle hair and nails
  • Weight gain
  • Sugar cravings and a form of hypoglycemia

Some doctors and others say this affliction is “all in your head,” but as a sufferer, I know this to be false. I have done this research for myself as much as for you. Together we will learn how to treat this disorder.

The American College of Rheumatology states that fibromyalgia affects three to six million people in the U.S. It is more common in women.

Treatments:

  • Exercise is the most important thing you can do to treat your fibromyalgia. The worse you feel, the more you need exercise. Walk a minimum of twenty minutes daily, no matter how you feel.
  • Next you should eliminate all sugar from your diet. No questions asked – just do it for your health. You can replace it with stevia, xylitol, and occasionally blue agave syrup. NEVER USE ARTIFICIAL SWEETNERS.
  • Check for any food allergies. They can compromise your health and increase your symptoms.
  • Remove caffeine, including coffee, chocolate, colas, and hidden sources. Do so slowly to avoid withdrawal headaches. The quicker you begin, the quicker withdrawal will be over.  While it may be hard to give up your morning cup of joe, especially if you suffer from sleep disturbances, just remember that caffeine causes increased pain and inflammation.
  • Consider eating gluten free as a part of your program. Even if you haven’t been diagnosed with a gluten allergy, it may be a natural way to help reduce swelling and inflammation. Gluten is found in grains and grain products. Have you ever put rice or macaroni in water and left it overnight? It will swell until all the water is gone. So if you remove the grains, it seems to reason you will reduce your swelling too.
  • Herbal colon cleansing is another treatment option. Talk to healthcare provider or health food store attendant to find a reliable product. A clean, healthy colon is the foundation for a healthy body.
  • Sauna baths used regularly can keep the body toxin free.

Herbs and Supplements:

  • S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) – This is a compound naturally occurring in the body. It promotes proper immune function, helps maintain cell membranes, and assists in the production and breakdown of neurotransmitters (like serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine). It also helps in the formation of cartilage and our DNA. Taking supplements of SAMe may somewhat relieve pain and morning stiffness, improve fatigue, and mood. A note: those with bi-polar disorder should not take SAMe, as it may worsen manic episodes. People taking Levodopa for Parkinson’s should also avoid SAMe, and those taking anti-depressants should speak to their healthcare provider before taking it. Safety for pregnant and nursing women and children has not been established yet.
  • Magnesium (500 mg) – Magnesium is naturally occurring mineral in leafy, green vegetables, seeds, nuts, and whole grains. It is also available as a supplement. It is required for more than 300 biochemical reactions. Magnesium malate (a fruit acid, naturally occurring in apples) has been recommended for fibro sufferers. It helps to generate energy in cells in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). A note: high doses of magnesium can cause nausea, loss of appetite, muscle weakness, diarrhea, low blood pressure, difficulty breathing, and irregular heartbeat. It may cause interactions with osteoporosis drugs, antibiotics, muscle relaxers, diuretics, and high blood pressure meds.
  • Vitamin D 400 IU – Some with vitamin D deficiencies may suffer fibromyalgia. Studies have found a strong correlation between generalized bone/muscle aches and pains and low levels of vitamin D.
  • 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) –This works by increasing levels of serotonin in the brain. It may also reduce the number of tender points.
  • Vitamin B12 – Low levels of B12 are related to low levels of cerebrospinal fluid in those with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.
  • Cayenne (Capsaicin) cream – Applied to the affected area, it has been found to reduce pain.
  • Probiotics – Make sure it has 60 billion or more living organisms.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – Make sure it comes with the “mother” and is raw and unpasteurized – Bragg’s is a great brand. It can be found in health food stores. Take one to two ounces three or more times daily. It may be added to cranberry juice or water and lemon juice. It can be found in capsule form, but the liquid works better.
  • Organic Goat Yogurt – Several tablespoons two to three times daily may relieve some of your fibromyalgia symptoms.
  • Candida Treatment – This will insure that yeast overgrowth isn’t part of your problem. There are many, so ask your healthcare provider or health food store attendant.
  • Glucosamine – 1500 mg
  • Chondroitin Sulfate – 800 mg
  • MSM – 1500 mg
  • Calcium – 1000 mg
  • Phosphorus – 500 mg
  • Melatonin – 3 mg
  • Malic Acid – 2400 mg
  • Free-Form L-Lysine
  • CoQ-10
  • Niacinamide
  • Pancreatin

You can use those that best help your condition. When symptoms are under control, you may stop some of these supplements.

And as always, be sure to check with a doctor or other health care professional before starting any kind of treatment plan.

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