Taking Back Control After Fibromyalgia
Many individuals who have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia may think that the diagnosis is the end of life as they know it, and while on a certain level this is true, Fibromyalgia sufferers should also understand that a new life can be had and the symptoms can be controlled while the quality of life can be maintained. The most difficult thing to deal with in regards to Fibromyalgia is the diagnoses itself, this is because there are no definitive diagnostics that can be run in order for the diagnosis to be made, in fact often times Fibromyalgia is diagnosed as when other conditions are ruled out, this process can take a very long time and can be extremely frustrating for the person who is undergoing the symptoms. However, once other conditions are ruled out there are a set of criteria that must be met in order for the tag of Fibromyalgia to be made. These criteria include individuals who have experienced (1) widespread pain lasting at least 3 months, as well as (2) Pinpointing at least 11 (of 18 total) positive tender points. Because this process of identification of Fibromyalgia can be extremely frustrating and depressing it is important that individuals be completely up front and honest with their physician about the symptoms they are experiencing, as well as being able to withstand some degree of patience while the process of the diagnoses is being made.
The diagnosis of Fibromyalgia is not a death sentence. While it is true that there is currently no cure for this disease there are many different treatment options that are highly successful in providing relief from the symptoms. Often times the best form of treatment will use a multifaceted approach where both the techniques of modern medicine are combined with alternative and holistic treatments for providing symptom relief. But before symptoms relief can take place it is important to understand the symptoms that are associated with Fibromyalgia.
Because each Fibromyalgia sufferer will experience their symptoms on diverse levels, it is one of the main reasons that a one size fits all approach for treatment does not exist. Understanding some of the common symptoms can help to provide more detail into how each individual deals with Fibromyalgia on differing levels. There are two basic categories for which Fibromyalgia symptoms fall into, either primary or secondary:
- Primary Symptoms. There are four primary symptoms when it comes to Fibromyalgia. Those symptoms are (1) Extreme pain over the entire body, (2) Tender Points, (3) Fatigue, Depression, and/or Anxiety, and lastly (4) Bowel and/or Bladder problems.
- Secondary Symptoms. Individuals who experience Fibromyalgia can undergo a large assortment of secondary symptoms including headaches, stiffness, memory and/or concentration problems, sensitivity to lights and/or sounds, painful menstruation, poor circulation, breathing issues, jaw pain, and many other symptoms that are far too numerous to list.
Living with Fibromyalgia
The best piece of advice that can be given to Fibromyalgia sufferers is to continue on and persevere when it comes to finding Fibromyalgia relief. Relief can be attained and symptoms control can be reached if the individual is driven enough to find what works for them on a personal level. Just as the symptoms will occur at differing levels so the relief must be found for each individual on a personal basis. There are a few steps that can be taken in order to more fully manage the overall health and well-being in a Fibromyalgia sufferer and these steps can aid in providing relief from the daily symptoms they face.
- Sleep – Other than pain, fatigue is one of the greatest symptoms that Fibromyalgia sufferers must deal with on a daily basis. Sticking to a schedule, keeping the room cool & dark, avoiding caffeine & alcohol, as well as developing a routine are just a few of the steps that can be taken in order to be less fatigued and become more well rested while living with Fibromyalgia.
- Emotional Well Being – It is important that Fibromyalgia sufferers take care of their emotional well-being. Proper communication between physicians, family, as well as friends is important in order to fully explain the condition of Fibromyalgia as well as the needs that the condition creates within the individual dealing with Fibromyalgia. And lastly, it is important for individuals living with Fibromyalgia to learn to deal with stress appropriately as stress can negatively exacerbate the symptoms of Fibromyalgia.
- Diet – The topic of diet and nutrition can be somewhat overwhelming for those who are living with Fibromyalgia. However, it is important to note that there are specific foods that have been proven to either help ease or on the other hand exacerbate the symptoms of Fibromyalgia.
- Exercise – Research has proven that individuals who suffer from Fibromyalgia but are able to continue on with a healthy and active lifestyle experience less symptoms and pain from the condition. It is important that an exercise routine is specifically balanced for an individual with Fibromyalgia; individuals should begin the exercise routine slowly and listen their bodies, and exercise such as walking, and light aerobic or water exercise are the best ways because of the low impact.