Living with fibromyalgia can be challenging, but understanding this chronic condition is the first step towards improving your quality of life. To access additional resources for managing fibromyalgia, we suggest continuing to search online.
This guide provides valuable insights into fibromyalgia, including its common symptoms, potential causes, and practical tips for daily living. Invest in your health by reading, learning, and adapting your lifestyle appropriately.
Exercising with Fibromyalgia
The most effective way to cope with fibromyalgia is by participating in regular, low-intensity exercise — such as walking and swimming — since it improves sleep and eases both fatigue and pain. It is recommended that you aim to exercise for 20 to 30 minutes, most days of the week. You can even exercise in small bouts throughout the day as long as it totals the recommended 20 to 30 minutes.
A consultation with a certified trainer, your doctor, or rheumatologist is recommended before embarking on or significantly changing the intensity of exercise. Overall, regular exercise may decrease pain and stiffness, reduce stress, and increase your sense of control over fibromyalgia. Plus, you may improve your quality of sleep, which can help curb the condition’s associated fatigue.
Improving Your Sleep Quality
If you’re not getting restorative rest, consider the following tips:
- Reserve the bed for sleeping only;
- Keep the room dark, quiet, cool, and distraction-free;
- Keep a consistent sleep schedule;
- Ban the use of computers, tablets, and mobile devices in the bedroom as well as late-night TV watching, and;
- Avoid alcohol close to bedtime since it can disrupt sleep.
For better sleep at night, avoid caffeine from the late afternoon on. Caffeine may compound stress, as it stimulates the heart and central nervous system and can increase nervousness, anxiety, and insomnia. According to WebMD, drinking more than four cups of a caffeinated beverage has been linked to fibromyalgia pain. Also, don’t forget to watch out for food with hidden caffeine, such as chocolate, coffee, soft drinks, and tea.
Managing Your Diet
There isn’t just one diet that will help fibromyalgia patients deal with their symptoms. Considering there are a wide array of foods that appear to make symptoms worse, an elimination diet is the best way to determine which foods cause your symptoms to worsen. An elimination diet sees you excluding certain food groups each week to see if symptoms improve.
Along with the elimination diet, don’t forget about maintaining proper nutrition. Proper nutrition is very important since it boosts energy levels and helps avoid other health problems. This includes drinking plenty of water, increasing intake of fresh fruits and vegetables, eating more plants than meat, and reducing sugar intake.
Managing Stress Levels
Decreasing your stress levels can go a long way toward quelling the symptoms of fibromyalgia. There are numerous techniques, including meditation, mind-body practices, and acupuncture, aimed at management and reduction of stress levels.
- Meditation: mindfulness meditation teaches people to redirect their thoughts to be more positive. The more it’s practiced, the more pain relief it may bring.
- Mind-Body Practices: From sleep disturbances to fatigue to mood disorders, mind-body practices are great ways to help ease symptoms. While these practices have a similar effect on symptoms as exercise, they also include focused breathing, which reduces stress.
- Acupuncture: An ancient form of traditional Chinese medicine. It has practitioners insert very thin needles into your skin at different points on your body that may be helpful to some with fibromyalgia.
Some natural treatments for fibromyalgia to consider include:
- 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP): This natural amino acid helps your body produce serotonin, a chemical in the brain that regulates your mood. A review study published in Rheumatology International suggested 5-HTP can improve certain fibromyalgia symptoms. In particular, pain, morning stiffness, fatigue, anxiety, and depression.
- S-Adenosyl Methionine (SAMe): Although this substance is produced naturally by your body, it is also available as a dietary supplement. Research published in Rheumatology concluded that SAMe helps relieve pain, morning stiffness, and fatigue. Moreover, it improves mood and sleep.
- Melatonin: This natural hormone is often used in supplements to improve sleep quality. On top of improving your quality of sleep, it eases fibromyalgia pain.
Tips for Treating Fibromyalgia Flare-Ups
While some people experience certain symptoms on a regular basis, for some, the pain associated with fibromyalgia tends to wax and wane. These waxes and wanes are known as flare-ups of the disease. Often happening without warning, flare-ups are more likely to occur if a person is under a lot of stress. According to Medical News Today, a “flare-up can last anywhere from a few days to weeks at a time.”
The factors that may trigger a fibromyalgia flare-up include:
- Changes in diet and hormones;
- Physical or psychological stress;
- Busy/stressful schedule;
- Stressful events;
- Trauma and/or accidents;
- Lack of sleep, and;
- Changes in temperature or weather.
Learn More About Fibromyalgia Today!
If you or someone you know is affected by multiple sclerosis (MS), it’s crucial to seek out reliable information and resources to better understand this condition. Learning more about MS, its symptoms, treatments, and coping strategies is the first step towards effectively managing it. You’ll find a wealth of valuable information online, including answers to frequently asked questions and support from the MS community.
By continuing your research and connecting with reputable sources, you can gain the knowledge and tools needed to navigate life with MS more confidently and improve your overall well-being.