If you’ve suddenly been feeling aches and pains in your body for some inexplicable reason, then you have to stop and read this. You could be suffering from fibromyalgia, which affects hundreds of thousands of people between the ages of 20–50.
Now, you may be wondering, what is fibromyalgia and how did you get it?
Natural Remedies for Fibromyalgia
What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a chronic inflammatory disorder, characterized by muscle pain, joint pain and fatigue.
Patients who suffer from fibromyalgia usually feel these symptoms:
- Unbearable pain
- Chronic tiredness
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Sleep disorder problems
- Concentration problems
Physicians will diagnose someone with fibromyalgia if they show positive reactions to 11 of 18 specific tender areas of the body.
For a disease with no known cause, fibromyalgia sure affects a lot of people, at least 5 million in the U.S. alone. That’s about an estimated 2–4% of the population! Now, what’s strange about fibromyalgia is that it seems to affect more women than men, as 9 out of 10 people who reportedly suffer from fibromyalgia are female.
Treating Fibromyalgia With Conventional Drugs
Since the leading symptom of fibromyalgia seems to be muscle and body pain, scientists and doctors have tried to treat the symptoms with conventional drugs including NSAIDs (non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs), pain killers and antidepressants. However, these methods of treatment don’t seem to work very well.
First of all, most analgesics are very mild, and given the level of chronic pain that a majority of people experience, the results aren’t very effective at all. If you have fibromyalgia, chances are you’re suffering from all sorts of pains and aches, and taking multiple drug combinations can lead to serious side effects that can drastically interfere with how you live day-to-day life.
Furthermore, taking different combinations of drugs can result in a real problem, especially when you want to slow down or stop the medication. In many cases, some of these pain relievers can be quite addicting, and have some serious side effects!
Causes and Remedies for Fibromyalgia
I believe there can be many contributing factors to fibromyalgia, including chronic inflammation, gluten intolerance, emotional and physical stress.
If you really want to fix the problem, you must address the root cause. Many studies suggest that certain lifestyle changes can be more than enough to keep fibromyalgia at bay.
If you’re looking for natural remedies for fibromyalgia, consider the following:
1. Eat Anti-inflammatory Nutrients
Inflammation can cause a range of health problems, including muscle and joint pain. A German study found that anti-inflammatory antioxidants like Quercetin (found in black and green teas, red onion, broccoli, tomato) can naturally reduce inflammation that can help fibromyalgia. Also, omega-3 fats can naturally reduce inflammation. If you’re going to purchase a fish oil, make sure you only buy a high-quality fish oil, high in antioxidants like astaxanthin and low in mercury. I personally take fish oil. Also, check out the Healing Food Shopping List for a complete list of anti-inflammatory foods that I recommend.
2. Go Gluten-Free
One in seven people are gluten intolerant, and I’d even say that most people don’t do well with gluten. Gluten is a protein found in most grains like wheat. I’d start by eliminating all grains except for brown rice and quinoa. Gluten can lead to neurological problems, weight gain, inflammation, muscle pain and fatigue. I’ve helped many people go gluten-free and have seen some incredible results because of it. Most of my recipes in my healthy recipe section are gluten-free as well. I personally use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Flour for cooking that requires a flour.
3. Reduce Stress and Anxiety
A review in Neuroscientist found significant association between fibromyalgia and physical and sexual abuse in both adults and children. If you haven’t dealt with past issues in your life, I strongly encourage you to find a good counselor who can help you begin to heal emotionally. Another great place to start is by reading The Bondage Breaker by Neil Anderson. Also, schedule some fun and relaxation into your life! Stress can raise cortisol levels and inflammation markers which contribute to fibromyalgia symptoms.
4. Chiropractic Care
Research published in Best Practice and Research Clinical Rheumatology reports neck trauma causing spinal, joint and muscular injuries increases the risk of developing fibromyalgia. Chiropractic care works to correct spinal misalignments and correct posture through spinal adjustments and rehabilitative spinal exercises. Also, patients with fibromyalgia have been shown to have hyperactivity of the sympathetic nervous system. Upper cervical spinal adjustments have been shown to have a positive effect by decreasing hyperactivity.
5. Address Nutritional Deficiencies
A study of 41 people with fibromyalgia found that taking five grams of D-Ribose (an organic compound) three times daily showed significant improvements in fibromyalgia symptoms. Also, studies have shown supplementing with magnesium can help with fibromyalgia symptoms and physicians recommend taking 250–300 milligrams twice daily. Some magnesium-rich foods include pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, cocoa, almonds, spinach, halibut and black beans.
Is someone in your family suffering from fibromyalgia? I’d love to hear your thoughts on fibromyalgia and conditions like chronic fatigue.
sources: Staud, Roland (2011). “Peripheral pain mechanisms in chronic widespread pain”. Best Practice & Research Clinical Rheumatology. Schweinhardt P, Sauro KM, Bushnell MC. (October 2008). “Fibromyalgia: a disorder of the brain?”. Neuroscientist. fibrocenter.com, naturalnews.com, huffingtonpost.com, huffingtonpost.com