At A Glance: The post briefly describes about fibromyalgia and its causes and further explores diet, nutrition, supplements, and lifestyle habits to manage the symptoms of fibromyalgia effectively.
Fibromyalgia is a condition characterised by chronic pain and tender-to-touch feel all over the body. The condition is fairly common, with around 2 to 4 percent of the population affected every year; women are more likely to develop the disorder than men. While the prevalent symptoms are fatigue, widespread musculoskeletal pain, and tenderness, the condition also creates tremendous mental stress, disruption in sleep pattern, and mood swings.
What causes fibromyalgia?
- Genetics is one of the reasons to develop fibromyalgia as the condition tends to run in families.
- An illness such as a viral infection can also trigger the condition
- Besides, the disorder can occur after a stressful event that can be a physical trauma such as an accident or an emotional trauma such as losing your loved one.
How does it affect your life?
People with fibromyalgia often have an impaired quality of life. Many complain about pain most of the days, forcing them to restrict their daily life activities severely. Besides, the symptoms affect their work-life too.
What is the treatment?
Certain diseases do not have a complete cure, and fibromyalgia is one of them. There are no specific treatments for this disorder; however, fibromyalgia symptoms can be very well managed.
Read on to know some helpful tips that can help in the management of the condition naturally.
Manage Fibromyalgia Naturally With Healthy Habits
Though there is no complete cure for fibromyalgia, you can manage the symptoms through lifestyle changes along with some natural remedies including,
It is quite common for patients with fibromyalgia to get tired quickly, even after an easy workout or minimal chores. Hence, you must always listen to your body and stop physical exertion when fatigue hits you. It is essential to understand that rest is equally important as physical exercise to manage fibromyalgia effectively.
It is also common that fibromyalgia patients are easily discouraged from doing exercise because of pain and fatigue. However, going without physical activity will cause adverse effects on the body and subsequently can increase musculoskeletal pain.
According to Cochrane’s systematic review, regular exercises like walking, swimming or cycling will not only improve overall wellbeing but increase physical functions as well. Eventually, this will result in improved physical health, less stiffness, fatigue, and pain.
3. Reducing Stress
Many studies reveal that there is a direct link between psychological distress and fibromyalgia. High levels of stress is often a primary cause for aggravation of symptoms. Hence, stress management is of high importance to manage fibromyalgia symptoms.
Patients can resort to various stress-relieving methods such as practising yoga, increasing social connectivity, and sharing and expressing their concerns and feelings among support groups. They can also try different forms of stress-busting exercises that will not only add variety but can make exercise more enjoyable as well.
Ayurveda highly promotes massaging as it increases blood circulation and aids in removing toxins. Besides, massaging can treat and relieve pain, reduce muscle soreness, and relax the muscles. Also, studies show that massage on a daily basis has shown improvements in depression, anxiety, and especially pain in patients with fibromyalgia.
5. Dietary Habit And Supplements
Having a balanced and healthy diet along with moderate exercise is very beneficial for patients with fibromyalgia. Also, one must avoid alcohol, nicotine, and substance abuse to reduce stress. According to the NCCIH, some dietary supplements are helpful in fibromyalgia; the list includes:
- Fish Oil: – It contains anti-inflammatory properties and helps reduce pain as well as inflammation.
- Vitamin D3: – Nowadays, it is very commonly seen that patients with deficiency of Vitamin D suffer from autoimmune conditions, including fibromyalgia. Ensuring sufficient amounts of Vitamin D will strengthen the immune system and improve cognitive functioning. Vitamin D is found in fatty fish, fish oil, liver, and egg yolks. An easier and less expensive way to get vitamin D is to expose yourself to sunlight allowing your body to produce vitamin D3.
- D-Ribose: – D-Ribose is a naturally occurring sugar molecule that is a part of the primary source of energy to your body cells. Most often, patients with fewer D-Ribose have coronary artery disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, and fibromyalgia as well. Thus, Ribose supplements help in improving the energy levels of the body. Further, they improve sleep patterns as well.
The Journal of Neuroscience notes that meditation is extremely useful in reducing pain. Accordingly, with regular meditation, patients who have fibromyalgia experienced a reduction in pain. Besides, the patients were able to sleep well too.
Beneficial Foods To Manage Fibromyalgia
1. Eat Fish of Cold-Water and foods rich in Vitamin D
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, Vitamin D helps reduce pain, and most patients with fibromyalgia have a deficiency of this nutrient. Hence taking food items like tuna, sockeye, eggs, salmon, or cod liver oil helps.
2. Eat Leafy green or Nuts rich in Magnesium
Food items rich in Magnesium citrate are quite effective in managing the symptoms of fibromyalgia. A study in 2013 confirms that they are very effective if given along with amitriptyline or tricyclic antidepressant. Magnesium is available in food items like seeds, yogurt, nuts, dark chocolate, leafy greens, bananas, and avocado.
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3. Avoid food items that are rich in glutamate
Glutamate is a neurotransmitter that transmits messages to other nerve cells. Glutamate primarily stimulates other brain cells and is supposed to be maintained at a particular level. Research shows that fibromyalgia patients had abnormally high glutamate in a part of the brain called the insula, the area that handles pain and emotion.
Hence, people with the condition should avoid foods containing glutamate. When such foods are avoided, the intensity of pain is reduced significantly. Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is the most commonly occurring form of glutamate in food. It is best to avoid such food products.
4. Opt for whole foods and avoid processed foods
Processed food items contain preservatives, additives, flavour enhancers, less fibre, and refined carbohydrates such as white flour, pasta, or rice. While opting for carbohydrates such as quinoa, whole wheat berries, brown rice, or sweet potato releases energy slowly, the patient feels energetic for a long time.
Also, certain additives and flavour enhancers contain Aspartame and MSG, which are excitotoxins. These excite brain cells, causing increased pain in the patients. Hence you must avoid processed foods.
The bottom line
Fibromyalgia is a chronic problem, difficult to handle, and can lead to depression, widespread chronic pain, and impaired quality of life. The symptoms can be managed well with conscious lifestyle habits and dietary discipline, along with medication and nutritional supplements.
Edited by love4wellness | Image: canva.com