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Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain disorder. There is no identifiable cause, or even a concrete understanding of how this complex set of both physical and psychological symptoms works. Unfortunately, there is no cure for fibromyalgia either. It does tend to effect middle-aged women more than any other group of people. Also, those who have arthritis are more likely to develop this disorder than those who do not. While it can be very difficult for sufferers to deal with, managing fibromyalgia is possible.
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Understanding the Symptoms
Fibromyalgia is characterized by pain and tenderness throughout the body. It can manifest as a throbbing, aching feeling, or a strong shooting pain. The sensation tends to occur at different areas of the body, and is for the most part chronic, intense, and widespread. It is often most severe after sleeping for the night or sitting for a long period of time, such as a car ride.
People who suffer from fibromyalgia also tend to be tired a lot of the time. The fatigue ranges from moderate to severe. While a good night's rest could benefit these symptoms, sleep problems are another typical characteristic of this disorder. For some reason, patients suddenly wake up during one of the stages of deep sleep. This makes it very difficult to enjoy a deep, restful sleep.
Other common characteristics include:
- Dry eyes and mouth
- Vision problems
- Impaired memory
- Trouble concentrating
- Skin sensitivities
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Range of Remedies
On a fundamental level, a healthy lifestyle can greatly reduce the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Moderate physical activity, a healthy diet, and a regular sleep schedule are key. Eat plenty of fresh, raw fruits and vegetables, deep water fish, nuts, seeds, and poultry. These foods will support the body's nutritional needs. Consider taking vitamin supplements as well. Avoid processed, sugary, and salty foods, as well as the nightshade vegetables.
Alternative treatments such as acupuncture, yoga, herbal medicine, aromatherapy, and therapeutic massage can be very beneficial for addressing pain management, sleep problems, and psychological well-being. Unlike drug medication, these alternative therapies improve overall well-being along with being effective treatment options. With a disorder such as fibromyalgia, this can be extremely helpful. Optimal health is so important for better management of symptoms.
There are pharmacological medications for the treatment of fibromyalgia. For pain there is Lyrica, Cymbalta, and Savella. Some doctors may recommend antidepressants. You can also talk to a doctor about prescribing medication to help you sleep.
There is no cure for fibromyalgia, and relief from different treatment options will not happen overnight. However, many people have found a profound reduction in symptoms by improving overall well-being and working with a medical professional.
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National Fibromyalgia Association <http://www.fmaware.org/site/PageServer>
Medicine Plus <http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/fibromyalgia.html>
Balch, Phyllis, CNC. "Prescription for Nutritional Healing, 4th Edition." (The Penguin Group, 2006).
photo by: Sasha W (CC/flickr) <http://www.flickr.com/photos/sashawolff/3273154710/sizes/m/in/photostream/>