Taking Fibromyalgia Seriously
Fibromyalgia Syndrome covers a wide spectrum of symptoms. These symptoms also mimic several other conditions so it can be a long process of testing before an official diagnosis is reached. People who have FMS can go for years suffering from these symptoms and still not be diagnosed as having anything wrong with them. Blood tests often come back normal but the pain persists. The person returns to their doctor because they are still suffering, sometimes seeks second and third opinions to no avail leaving them with feelings of hopelessness and despair. People who have been diagnosed with FMS have shared numerous stories of how they were made to feel as if what they are experiencing is all in their head.
The FMS Umbrella
It is the opinion of some in the medical community that FMS is not a real disorder. They believe that FMS symptoms are the cause of something else going on and it has just not been found yet. I once heard a doctor say that fibromyalgia is the “Umbrella” in which lazy doctors wish to throw unexplained symptoms under and be able to call it something. Well that will give you hope won’t it? That may be the opinion of some, but the fact remain that this IS a very real condition and many are suffering from it while the debate and research continues. Fibromyalgia is not the only syndrome that was not taken seriously in its early stages of discovery. Other diseases or conditions that were scrutinized in their beginnings include: Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Lyme, and Lou Gehrig’s disease. As time has marched on these diseases are now accepted by doctors and several treatments are available to help people cope with their symptoms and in some cases find cures. So there is hope as studies continue for those suffering from FMS.
As mentioned above FMS covers a myriad of symptoms that are, in many cases, identical to several other diseases and conditions. Some of these symptoms include but are not limited to:
- Chronic exhaustion-never feeling well rested and always able to go back to sleep
- Pain throughout the muscle tissues
- Severe joint pain often described as “arthritic” (although tests confirm the joints look normal)
- Trouble focusing or multitasking
- Sleeping disorders
- Digestive disorders
This is just a small list of the most common symptoms associated with fibromyalgia. Once the doctor is able to rule out that there are no other diseases associated with these symptoms it is the diagnosed as fibromyalgia likely being the cause for everything.
Finally Some Answers
Depression and anxiety often result from the longtime suffering with no answers to show for it. It can be scary not knowing what is wrong with you and going for years without doctors figuring anything out. Once fibromyalgia is diagnosed the person suffering from it often experiences a sigh of relief because they now have an answer and can finally begin looking for relief by targeting their symptoms. FMS is treatable. Researchers are working on prescription medications that target the symptoms but those considering prescriptions should beware. Prescription medications often have side effects and those side effects long term can worsen the condition. The best considerations for treating FMS symptoms are those of natural origins. Healthy choices in diet can help tremendously. Diet changes used in combination with herbal supplements, and light forms of exercise, can reduce muscular pain and help induce better sleep patterns to fight of chronic fatigue. Those suffering from FMS should avoid high amounts of sugar, alcohol and caffeine. These contents can turn up the pain response through the nervous system as well as bog down the immune system. With FMS the goal is to achieve the exact opposite so these things should be avoided completely.
Healthy Symptom Management
Healthy diet choices and herbal supplements can remove harmful toxins from the body, help rebuild nerve structures, regulate hormones, calm inflamed muscles and nerves, and help restore balance to the whole body. Things you want to see in your grocery basket should include:
- Organic fruits and veggies. Avoid harsh chemicals and pesticides as they rob your body of vital nutrients as well as breakdown cells and protective structures of the nerves.
- Organic free range meat and poultry. You want to make sure you are not consuming hormones given to livestock as this can create major problems on a human being’s hormonal system. On a side note 90 % of those diagnosed with FMS are women and this can be strong connection as to why but needs further study.
- Herbal teas like chamomile and lavender are excellent to have at bedtime for a better nights rest. Herbs like ginseng are energizing and would be great for remaining alert through the day.
- Supplements such as CQ10, Fish Oil, SAMe, and 5HTP are all used successfully to treat depression, mood swings, and can effectively assist in pain management.
Finding a doctor who is familiar with herbal medicine and err on the side of a holistic approach to medicine would be best. FMS is a very vague, complex condition and needs to be handled accordingly. The road to vibrancy might be long be it certainly can be achieved when the body is brought back into proper balance.