15 Tips for Managing Fibromyalgia

Here are some of the best things you can do to attend to the physical aspects of your fibromyalgia.

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Number 1:

Work with someone who can test to see what foods you are reacting to/that the body is having a toxic reaction to then experiment with the elimination diet: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elimination_diet. Make a list by meal of what you CAN eat, so you know what to do at mealtime and don’t focus on what you cannot eat. 

Number 2:

If you are embarking on cutting out gluten, find restaurants that have gluten-free selections on their menu such as PF Changs. Find restaurants that serve whole, healthy farm to table foods which will make many of their dishes gluten-free naturally—think meat or fish and veggies, rice or potatoes.

Number 3:

Get muscle tested for any supplements that may be supportive to your wellness and be consistent in taking them.  You owe it to yourself to feel good and enjoy life!

Number 4: 

Find a doctor who will send you for lab tests to identify any active or dormant viruses you may be carrying around such as Epstein Bar, Cytomegalie, Coxsackie, etc.

Number 5:

Request a stool sample test to check for candidiasis or parasites and full labwork to check vitamin D, iron, electrolyte levels, Magnesium, etc.

Number 6:

Yerba Mate. Years ago, while still in pain myself, I asked one woman who said she had healed her fibro, “What was the most important thing you did to heal?”  She said: specifically the Nativa brand Yerba Mate loose tea by the many-cupfuls/day, hot or iced.  http://nativayerbamate.com/ She gave me some in a Ziploc and so I tried it the next day.  I was ecstatic because I felt light and springy, not heavy, slow and stiff. I ordered it by mail and used it for probably a year.  It saved me on many a heavy day. I did try other brands and found they did NOT have the same effect, so I bought the two-pound bags at a mere $14.95 apiece from Nativa Yerba Mate. (Unfortunately I read years later excessive prolonged use may be correlated with various throat cancers, so use at our own discretion and in moderation.  I do not remember all the details, and I do not know how long or how much people were drinking when they got the cancer, so do your research and weigh the pros and cons.)

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Number 7:

Find a light exercise that will keep your muscles toned and limber and DO NOT OVERDO! Any day that you think, “I do not want to take a walk, go to yoga, etc.,” that is the day you most likely NEED TO GO.  Try it once and if you do not say, “That was soooo worth it,” I will be surprised.  If you do feel better physically and emotionally, promise yourself that you will get out and exercise especially on days you do not feel like it.  Just do it.  (Gently, of course!)

Number 8:

Drink coconut water or some other drink (without food coloring) to balance your electrolytes esp after a lot of sweating. If I do my hot yoga today and feel at all achy-even the good kind of ache from pushing myself!—and then I drink coconut water, voilà! All aches go away within an hour!

Number 9:

Try different physical and energy therapies: watsu (water massage), massage, thai massage, reflexology, reiki, pranic healing, etc.

Number 10:

Treat stiffness and aches with heat: hot tub, baths, heating pads, sweating, steam, sauna.

Number 11:

Detoxify in some safe way.  I preferred sweating it out.  See above.

Number 12:

As you know, if you have fibro or something similar, your immune system is not so strong, so when you get a cold or flu it will hit you even harder than it does everyone around you.  In that case, I swear by attacking that first tickle in your throat or other first sign of illness by pounding your favorite wellness formula supplements such as vitamin c, your multi-vitamin, emergenC, oral zinc, grapeseed extract (play with what your body responds to best/safely) etc.  And take a hot bath submerging yourself to your chin until you sweat.  Get out and take a nap while bundled up.  You may just have raised your temperature enough to kill off those nasty bugs!  This has worked for me many, many times!

Number 13:

Medications.  Do not feel badly if you are on medication for pain or inflammation, depression or anxiety.  As your body heals from the inside out, you may be able, under medical supervision, to reduce your dosage or wean off them completely.  Think of the medication as “for a time to help me get through what I am getting through.”  As a quote I read said, “If the medication helps you to be more of who you are, good. If not, don’t take it and find another one.”  Simple enough…but of course, I am no doctor so check with him or her first!

During my own journey, I tried Elavil, an older anti-depressant that is used at a very low dose to treat chronic pain. When I heard I would only have to take 10 mg as opposed to the 200-300 mg used to treat depression, I thought I may as well try it and was not worried it would make me feel emotionally odd.  It is used to treat agitated depression so it has a sedative effect.  Taking even such a small dose at night put me into a deeper and more restorative sleep than I could attain on my own.  And I felt better the next day after I took it. This was one of the keys to healing because it helped me realize my body was still capable of feeling well!  Once I got up to 30 mg as the effect wore down, I was putting on weight and forgetting simple things and unable to recall phone numbers I had known for years, so I got off it with my doctor’s help and continued to look for other things to help me out.  But, it showed me that my body was not broken and I could feel well, which was incredibly important and motivated me to continue my search.  Hooray!

Number 14:

Eliminate Caffeine and Alcohol which can lift you and drop you and create a hangover effect the next day, not to mention messing with your sleep.

Number 15+

These are your choice.  I want to hear what things you have done to manage symptoms or heal!

In the following weeks, I will go into the rather long and fascinating list of the unconscious patterns that I have seen hold conditions such as fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue in place for years and decades.  I will also offer ways to start to heal such patterns.

Share this article with friends and family who are suffering.  That is why I write my posts…to educate and expose people to what is possible and what might be helpful. Thank you in advance and remember, I would love to hear your thoughts amy@amysthilaire.com.

Amy St. Hilaire