Fibromyalgia: The latest research
Fibromyalgia is a disease characterized by aches and pains throughout the entire body. Often times other symptoms like fatigue, muscle spasms, and insomnia are seen in patients. Fibromyalgia is a disease that affects more than 10 million people in the US, more than 80% of which are women. Traditionally, it has been diagnosed when no other source for the pain can be discovered, and 11 out of 18 tender points are seen in defined locations. It must be a chronic pain lasting more than three months.
However, this old way of diagnosing the disease is outdated and often subjective. Now to properly diagnose fibromyalgia a doctor must rule out everything else that may be causing the pain. Then, the doctor uses a 19-point checklist called the Widespread Pain Index (WPI), along with a symptom severity scale to diagnose fibromyalgia. This more recent process of diagnosing the disease is said to identify 88% of cases.
Conventional medicine often has little to offer patients with fibromyalgia. Here is a new protocol that has show improvement in 91% of patients during trials.
Get a good night sleep every night. Some supplements may be used to help you sleep, such as melatonin, herbal-based formulas with hops, and passionflower. It is important to get on a regular sleep/wake cycle.
If you are tired you may need thyroid support. If you are irritable when hungry (“hangry”) you may need adrenal support. You might consider a trial of iodine (6.25mg/day of tri-iodine) to see if it helps.
Identify and then treat any infections you may have.
Many patients with fibromyalgia find that they feel better on a low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet. Avoid the processed whites (sugar and flour) and increase your water intake to be sure you are hydrated properly. Keep salt at a normal intake. Often patients with fibromyalgia who go on salt restricted diets deplete what energy they have very quickly.
Try to have a conservative exercise routine. Do only what you can.
Other treatment options to consider:
Acupuncture- Acupuncture can help with chronic pain syndromes. An acupuncturist can modify treatment to make it suit the patient on an individual basis. They also have many herbal formulas that can assist with your condition. There have been more recent studies done on patients with fibromyalgia and treatment with acupuncture and oriental medicine. So far, outcomes are positive for short-term pain relief in these studies. For more on acupuncture see: acupuncture
Chiropractic- Chiropractic care is meant to take the stress off your nervous system and be sure your spine is moving properly. The chiropractic adjustment can help improve function, and promote the natural healing ability of your body. Chiropractic care has been studied in many chronic pain syndromes and is shown to help reduce pain in the neck and back.
Nutrition- make sure you are on a proper anti-inflammatory diet. Also, get the right amount of micronutrients (especially: Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Magnesium, and the B vitamins).
We are still learning about the condition known as fibromyalgia. It is often hard to diagnose and difficult to treat. Be patient and do your best to follow the latest recommended treatments available. What may work for one person with fibromyalgia, may not work for another. Know that your condition is real and there are ways to help manage it.
This information is for educational purposes only. Seek the advice of a health specialist before making any changes to your healthcare.
“Hope and Healing for Fibromyalgia”