Natural Solutions to Healing Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a chronic (long term) condition characterized by widespread body pain and extreme fatigue. It generally involves excruciating muscle pain, overwhelming fatigue, brain fog, and maybe swelling or tingling in your hands or feet, but your doctor can’t figure out what’s wrong and no matter what you seem to do, the symptoms just won’t go away. Sadly, your primary health care Doctor thinks you’re exaggerating and wants to put a Band-Aid on it. What you’re experiencing may be a condition called Fibromyalgia, a disorder that has long baffled the medical community.
What Are the Symptoms of Fibromyalgia?
Although it can make your muscles and bones hurt, Fibromyalgia is considered by many to be a disease of the nervous system. Your nerves are not working properly so your brain perceives the sensation as muscular or skeletal pain.
You may wonder what the symptoms of Fibromyalgia are since it could mimic a different condition, like arthritis. Typically, the most common symptom of Fibromyalgia is pain that has lasted for more than three months. In addition to pain, other symptoms of Fibromyalgia can include:
- Fatigue -a feeling of over whelming tiredness, not relieved by sleep.
- Physical weakness
- Mental fogginess
- Sleep issues – some people will suffer from insomnia (problems falling asleep or broken sleep), other people will sleep for a good length of time but due to a lack of restorative sleep (deep, stage 4 sleep) will awake unrefreshed.
- Mood disorders
- Swelling or tingling in the extremities
- Morning stiffness
- Pain – usually constant and widespread but may be worse in certain places such as the back and neck. The pain can be sharp, stabbing or dull in nature. Sometimes there are ‘trigger’ points from which pain radiates.
Possible Causes of Fibromyalgia
- Hormones – Fibromyalgia predominantly affects middle aged women; a population whose hormones have begun to decline or fall such as in perimenopause.
- Stress – stress weakens the immune system while leading to inflammation in the body. This in return sends signals to the brain that exacerbate the nervous system resulting in further stimulation of the body’s pain signaling pathway.
- Neurotransmitter Imbalances – symptoms of Fibromyalgia might be caused by a disruption in the communication between peripheral nerves and the brain. Fibromyalgia patients often have lower-than-normal amounts of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine; and frequently suffer from mood disorders like depression and anxiety.
- Inflammation – Fibromyalgia often occurs simultaneously with other chronic inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, or chronic hepatitis. Researchers have discovered that people with Fibromyalgia have high levels of Substance P in their central nervous system which is associated with inflammation, the body’s stress response, and pain.
- Mitochondrial Dysfunction – Fibromyalgia symptoms may arise as a result of mitochondrial dysfunction. Since the mitochondria is known as the ‘powerhouse’ of each cell, it acts like a digestive system which takes in nutrients, breaks them down, and creates energy rich molecules (or food) for the cell.
Natural Treatment for Fibromyalgia
As a Naturopathic Doctor, my focus is to treat my patients Holistically, not just the treat their symptoms. The symptoms are merely the body crying out for attention to where it needs help. Here are just a few suggestions that I often use to help treat the root of the cause.
- Treating the nerve pain – antioxidants such as alpha lipoic acid acteyl-L-carnitine help relieve the neuropathies often seen in Fibromyalgia.
- IV therapy – high dose vitamin IV therapy can replenish the multitude of vitamin deficiencies that Fibromyalgia patients experience.
- Curcumin – a powerful herb used for thousands of years to squelch inflammation. The key is to combine it with black pepper for intestinal absorption.
If You Have Fibromyalgia, Avoid Eating
- Processed Foods: Pre-packaged foods with long shelf lives.
- Chemicals: Steer clear of foods made with many chemical ingredients.
- Sugar: Sugar can make inflammation and painful symptoms worse.
- Caffeine: Caffeine can cause dehydration, worsening headaches, and other pain.
- Alcohol: Alcoholic beverages are not recommended for people with Fibromyalgia.
It is a misconception to think that people with Fibromyalgia just do not get better. It’s important to not give up. I have helped many of my patients with Fibromyalgia live healthy, happy lives and do the things they enjoy. If you are interested in scheduling an appointment to begin your natural path to healing Fibromyalgia, please contact my office here.