Monday, December 20, 2010

Inflamation and Fibromyalgia

Inflamation is one of the problems with my Fibromyalgia. I can feel it in my mouth. It's swollen and hurts. I usually take medication like acetaminophen when it's really bad.

I started drinking green smoothies every morning. Mind you I have only been drinking them for the past 5 days but I noticed that I have very little inflamation those days. Still hurting but the inflamation seems down. Have any of you tried green smoothies?

Friday, December 3, 2010

Sleep and Firbromyalgia

I know I have said it before but it is mind boggling to me how much my sleep affects my Fibromyalgia. For instance, last night I had to work which was already going to make me ache. Then my daughter, who has a disability herself, came over at midnight.

I missed more sleep. So now I'm having trouble with the shakes and pain. Time to start some of my pain reducing strategies. I'm still amazed at how much sleep is a part of this for me though.

Does anyone else have this experience?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It's Been Awhile

Yes, I know it's been awhile since I posted. Not that I am not thinking about Fibromyalgia every minute of every day. I just get frustrated.

I have been thinking about triggers lately. Probably because I was in a wreck with a semi. I was jostled a bit. But the stress of the wreck is what did me in. Put me to bed right away.

I know stress is a trigger but that brought it to my mind in a large way. I needed to document it and could not think of a better place.

My rememdy was sleep. Even though I still work, sleep is still my remedy of choice. What about you? Does stress affect you the same way? What is your rememdy of choice?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Fibromyalgia Is Real

Even in this day I still run into doctors who do not believe Fibromyalgia is a real condition. Some times it is a general practitioner or a specialist who does not believe. They will treat someone with a large number of what are typical symptoms and still not see it.

It seems like the legitimacy of the disease should be based on strong evidence of its existence. This is true for a lot of diseases so this is not unreasonable. This is similar to my understanding of the psychology of pain.

Basically, you can not feel my pain, but if you could it would hurt. All of this reminds me of the psychology of pain. If I have pain it can not necessarily be measure, but if I feel it intensely, it is real. It is real whether you believe it or not.

One other issue is my surprise about how professionals think. Many professionals are having to realize they do not know everything. Myself and people I know are in pain. They have the same symptoms and problems as many other people.

These people may live thousands of miles apart and not know each other. They may not even know what this disorder is called. Surprisingly, they all have similar symptoms.

It is hard to retain a sense of humor or composure when people call what you feel tired butt syndrome or lazyitis. It just seems with the amount of people involved there is more going on, a real disease.

Some people will be tempted to give it a psychological name. Unfortunately this was also true for many diseases we now know. Science had to catch up with what real people were reporting. Science thought of these diseases as myths until it found a link between cause and effect.

Diseases that make you feel weak, sick or dizzy and even take away your will to live have no psychological component. At least until you start feeling however the disease makes you feel.

Gulf War Syndrome, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and even a disease that makes you laugh yourself to death were once a myth. They were a myth until a relationship was found in the chemical section of the brain or body. This may well what happens in Fibromyalgia.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Fibromyalgia Natural Medicines: Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is one of the fibromyalgia natural medicines that people swear by. Some natural health practitioners and chiropractors also use aromatherapy as part of a treatment for fibromyalgia. There are several scents which are preferred. As always you should consult your health professional before trying these on your own.

A high-grade peppermint oil seems to help block some of the pain. Peppermint oil also seems to help with the fibrofog. The scent helps with focus and clearer thinking.

Sweet birch is also used because it is a natural anti-inflammatory. Another reason to look for high grade oils is so you do not irritate your skin when you use them. Sweet birch can also be toxic and should be used sparingly.

Another essential oil that seems to help is lavender. It is used to calm you down. Sometimes the pain and stress of dealing with fibromyalgia can become so overwhelming a natural medicine to calm you is invaluable. Lavender oil is easier to find but you could use fresh lavender tea bags for the scent in a pinch.

The strategy behind natural medicines for fibromyalgia is to stimulate what some people call the reptile part of our brains. One chiropractor I know believes aromatherapy can be used to retrain this part of the brain to handle pain correctly.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Fibromyalgia and a Cure

Some people in the medical field are ambitious. They may want a large grant or a disease named after them selves. They may want honor from colleagues. None of this really, has anything to do with finding a cure for a disease.

It reminds me of the story of Robert Stroud. He started of life as a semi-literate man who was sent to prison. He was sent to prison for crimes that would be plea bargained away in this day and age. Stroud spent 43 years in solitary confinement.

During this time he discovered his own intellect. In prison classes he awed his teachers by passing tests. Many of the tests were passed the first time he took them. Stroud became a self taught mathmetician, astronomer, engineer, linguist, ornithologist, and biologist.

He also was the discoverer of many of the cures of disease of birds and canaries. Stroud taught himself criminal law. He wrote a 200,000 word book on the penal system.

At this point either you are saying I get it or what is your point. The point is that brain power is what will find a cure for fibromyalgia. Speculation can only bring smiles and smirks. A cure is the answer.

Many questions remained unanswered. Like what is the relationship between fibromyalgia and the complaints of pain in the skin? Are there older diseases which cause similar problems that are more destructive? Allergies seem to figure into Fibromyalgia for some people. What would that relationship be?

At some point I will write more about cause and effect. I also will be looking more into what can be done with old world medicine or what we are calling today alternative medicine.

I also want to explore what this group of symptoms may have been called in the past and what may have been done to treat it. Unfortunately it is slow and there is only so much time and energy when you have Fibromyalgia.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


One of the best things I have spent my money on was something to help the oxygen in my body. In all honesty I am not sure I understand it all. As close as I can get the solution binds with free radicals in my body to make oxygen. That $35.00 was the best money.

I have never gotten to the number of drops recommended on the bottle. What I can say is I can feel it when I skip putting a couple drops in a bottle of water.

I got it at my local vitamin and supplement store.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Fibromyalgia Pain: Muscles

Many people describe fibromyalgia pain as tension in their muscles. It feels like your muscles are tired after working out. The only problem is you were not working out.

Other people describe a tingling in their muscles. Some people who have arthritis and fibromyalgia describe it as feeling like arthritis in muscles instead of joints.

Relief can be had with some of the same techniques you might use for any other pain. I have used topical creams and over the counter pain medications.

I have used hot baths with Epsom salt in it with some relief. This is a trick athletes use for muscle fatigue. It helps draw out lactic acid that has built up. One friend sits in a bath chair under the shower as hot as she can stand it.

After a car accident that aggravated the fibromyalgia, physical therapy helped for awhile. Massage and heat seemed to be the most effective.

I learned to recreate those things at home. I had a vibrating pillow. I also had a board that vibrated and heated that was very helpful.

I had found the board years ago at a garage sale. I got the pillow one year at Christmas. I am s cheap it hurts. Being careful with money is becoming more and more important the sicker I get.

Of course these things only took the edge off the muscle pain. In the beginning I knew nothing. I was glad for any relief I could get.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Fibromyalgia Treatment

I have learned to keep an open mind concerning fibromyalgia treatment. In the beginning I thought all the alternative therapies were silly. At some point I was willing to try anything though.

Imagine my surprise when some of those therapies worked. At some point even just taking the edge off the pain was enough.

Experts on pain agree that Physical Therapy is a Fibromyalgia Treatment that deserves close examination. Physical Therapy helps with muscle tone and flexibility. Physical therapy has been helpful when I have been in pain, especially during the winter months.

Other fibromyalgia treatments to consider are water therapy, light aerobics, applying heat or cold, acupuncture, and chiropractic manipulation either by hand or machine.

I have had good results with a chiropractor using a machine to apply the manipulation and have had relief from pain.

Some people have also found some relief with massage. Of course you need to tell the masseuse that you have fibromyalgia so you can ease into this and other treatments.

Friends have shared with me their success in using massage chairs when having problems with pain. Since you can buy a system to put on your own chair or a chair that has massage in it I suppose it is cheaper as well.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Fibromyalgia Natural Medicines

Few people think about the quality of sleep in relation to natural medicines. Surprisingly sleep is one of the first things the doctor who diagnosed asked me about.

Without realizing it the pain and stress of fibromyalgia can affect the amount and quality of your sleep. Since one of the symptoms of fibromyalgia is fatigue then sleep becomes even more important.

A significant number of people with fibromyalgia have sleep apnea. I did and I never noticed it. Don’t be surprised if you doctor recommends you get a sleep study and at least check.

One possibility is medication to help you sleep. Another choice might be what is called a CPAP machine. The doctor associated with the sleep study will make recommendations to you.

Different organizations recommend different things you can do for your sleep that should be included in any discussion about natural medicines. One of those things is to make your bedroom comfortable by reducing the noise and adjusting the temperatures in the bedroom.

Another thing is to try different sheets, blankets, and even night time clothing to find out what will be the most comfortable for you. I change bedding and clothing for different seasons and this helps my sleep

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Is Lack of Sleep a Symptom of Fibromyalgia?

Since one of the symptoms of fibromyalgia is the overpowering fatigue, it is important to get the best possible sleep. One of the areas to look into is sleep disorders.

Although this may not be the ‘answer’ to autism it might lead you to an important tool in the battle to remain as functional as possible for as long as possible.

Being up at night, because you sleep so lightly, is not normal. You also should also not wake up hurting and tired. You may want to check with a sleep specialist. You may not even realize that you are having a problem with sleep.

I know some people who have checked with their spouse or children and found out how badly they snore or grind their teeth at night. These are also good reasons to check with a sleep specialist.

The sleep specialist and their staff will be able to do a thorough work up at the first appointment to see if you might have a problem with a restricted airway.

It is also typical to have to spend a couple of nights at a sleep center for more testing. Sometimes this can be done in one night but typically it takes two nights.

Of course not all people with fibromyalgia will have sleep disturbance as one of the symptoms. Sleep disturbance has been found in a large number of people with fibromyalgia. It was also one of the first things that the diagnosing doctor told me to check.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Fibromyalgia at Home Or at Work

I find as my disease progresses I have to have a plan for what I want to accomplish every day. Some days I would not get up if I did not have a family and job that I love waiting for me.

The way I eat and exercise help. I am also careful to drink enough water. As much as possible I cut out junk foods for a variety of reasons I will go into in later posts

I have also learned to let my teenagers help me as much as possible. It also gives me the opportunity to spend time with them and let them see me work with my limitations. I believe this is good for them.

I am also careful to take my medications and keep my doctor’s appointments. I deserve it. This will also help me live and work longer.

Another technique I use is to plan things for days when I know I will not be able to keep up. At work I have work saved that is methodical and routine for when I have trouble thinking with the fibro fog. At home I have movies and small work I can do while I supervise my children.

At work I also am on a very flexible schedule. I may work seven days a week when I feel well enough. I also may only work a few hours a day on a bad day. On a good day I can and do work longer. I don’t work to exhaustion though.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Fibromyalgia and Exercise

One of the hardest things for me to do is fibromyalgia exercises of any kind. I can come up with every excuse under the sun not to exercise. I want to explore as many reasons to exercise as possible.

When I hurt is probably the worst time for me to be able to exercise. Everything just hurts so badly. I have to remind myself that any exercise during this time is better than none. I also remind myself that exercise will give me a little boost of energy for my day.

One the other hand when I am not in pain the problem is entirely different. When I don’t hurt, I am anxious to get to work and try to catch up. If not that then I want to do things around the house that I have been putting off. I don’t want to stop and take the time to exercise.

Exercise when I feel good helps keep me flexible. It also helps build endurance as I can exercise for longer when I am not in pain. Loss of flexibility and endurance is a problem the longer I go on with fibromyalgia. I move around less and less. I have to use the chance on the days I can.

As with anything else you should start exercising with the advice and permission of your doctor. Fibromyalgia exercises which are good for flexibility and endurance are stretching, walking, yoga, water aerobics, and some strength training. There is even some evidence that exercise especially helps those people who have fibromyalgia and stiffness or restless leg syndrome.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Benefits of Eating a Healthy Diet for Fibromyalgia

One of the diets many people, including myself, use for fibromyalgia is composed of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, lean meats, and low fat dairy. This type of diet is designed to keep energy levels high. It also may help you lose weight which my help the fibromyalgia symptoms.

Ideally you are eating high protein, low fat meals with regular snacks in between. The snacks should be high fiber and/or fruit, but no more than 100 calories. In this way you are actually eating six times a day. This also keeps your blood sugar smoother throughout the day. You want to make sure you do not get overly hungry.

Many people with fibromyalgia also find that it is beneficial for them to eliminate certain preservatives or additives from their diet. Two of those additives are MSG and nitrates. You will find these in hot dogs, bacon, and of course Chinese foods. Read the labels. I was very surprised at how many foods I found with MSG in it.

A sweetener that some people with fibromyalgia have problems with is aspartame. Some people find a certain amount of relief when they eliminate this sweetener. It may be worth a try when you are trying to take off the edge of your pain.

Another sweetener that gives some people problems is sugar. Sugar in some shape or form seems to be in everything. At least try to eliminate it from snacks and candy.

Monday, January 11, 2010

9 Fibromyalgia Symptoms and Signs Facts

These are some of the most important things to know about Fibromyalgia symptoms and signs. When you know these you are well above the curve.

1. Fibromyalgia overlaps with other diagnoses. It has some of the same symptoms and signs of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Lupus.

2. More women than men have Fibromyalgia. No one is sure why this is so but it is.

3. Medical personnel think there are two types of fibromyalgia. One type people just seem to have. The other people seem to get because of some type of stress or other disease.

4. Which came first the chicken or the egg? Medical personnel don’t know if depression comes before Fibromyalgia or because of it. Either way antidepressants seem to help with the pain and are one of the first medications prescribed.

5. Medicine is bitter, so is exercise. Exercise helps with the stress that contributes to Fibromyalgia and stress that comes from having Fibromyalgia. Whether stretching exercise, water aerobics, or whatever type of exercise get up and move.

6. Learn about tender points. You probably already know more than you realize.

7. A rheumatologist usually makes the diagnosis. People who have fibromyalgia usually are between 20 and 55, but children can have Fibromyalgia.

8. Do not be surprised it you have to go to several doctors to get a diagnosis. This is common. You will probably have to have a lot of medical tests too. Try not to become frustrated and stressed when you have to repeat tests.

9. Major symptoms of Fibromyalgia are muscle pain, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, sleep problems, memory problems, and problems moving in the morning.