Treatment of Fibromyalgia
Alternative, Complementary and Holistic Approaches to Treating Fibromyalgia
Holistic approach in the treatment of fibromyalgia focuses on the individual case history to relieve underlying problems. A healthy diet, a light exercise program, stress alleviation and an interest in personal health are the cornerstones of the holistic treatment program for fibromyalgia.
Physical therapy, relaxation techniques, herbal remedies, nutrition and diet therapy, exercise therapy, massage therapy, deep heat therapy, and biofeedback are all helpful in some cases. Massage therapy is particularly beneficial for improved muscle function and pain relief. Stress is one of the underlying problems of fibromyalgia. Stress Management is covered in detail elsewhere. If you are diagnosed with fibromyalgia, it is wise to seek out a health care provider who has specific experience in the management and treatment of this condition.
As in many other diseases, fibromyalgia involves multiple facets. So, an integrative approach is required in successful management of this disease as the following real life case history demonstrates:
Chronic pain sufferers, especially those with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, tend to be deficient in magnesium. Magnesium supplementation has produced very good results in treating fibromyalgia.
Common painkillers such as aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen are not usually effective at relieving the pain of fibromyalgia. Other approaches, including attention to diet, exercise, and nutritional supplementation, are more likely to be of benefit.
Many different disorders can cause symptoms similar to those of fibromyalgia, including anemia, depression, hepatitis, and Lyme disease, among others. Anyone who experiences muscular pain and/ or fatigue that persists for longer than a week or two should consult a health care provider. There may be an underlying medical disorder that requires treatment.
Because malabsorption problems are common in fibromyalgia, all nutrients are needed in greater than normal amounts, and a proper diet is essential. Colon cleansing is recommended to rid the gastrointestinal tract of mucus and debris, and so improve nutrient absorption.
Food allergies can exacerbate the discomfort of many disorders. Determine hidden food or chemical hypersensitivities by appropriate tests. Many fibromyalgia sufferers also have irritable bowel syndrome. It is recommended that a comprehensive digestive and stool analysis be done for parasites.
Many professionals believe that the central cause of the pain of fibromyalgia is a low level of serotonin. Thus, it is beneficial to raise serotonin levels and improve sleep quality along with providing adequate nutrition. 5-HTP has shown considerable benefit in treating fibromyalgia in double blind studies. Although 5-HTP can be effective on its own, a combination therapy involving a combination of 5-HTP (100 mg), St. John's wort extract (300 mg, 0.3-percent hypericin content), and magnesium (150 to 250 mg) three times per day may be even more effective. (Caution: Some concern exists about the safety of 5-HTP. Please read the safety warning carefully.)
Mental and Emotional Health
Counseling is strongly advised with fibromyalgia patients. They need to learn to strike a healthier balance between work and relaxation along with establishing a slower pace, a healthier rhythm, in all of their activities. Learning to say no is vital to this process of healing.
If someone in your family or friend is suffering from fibromyalgia: It is very important to be understanding and sympathetic to those suffering from fibromyalgia. Not believing that the afflicted person is in pain can add to their stress and worsen the condition. For the young, it is important that teachers are informed and understand that the student, even though looking perfectly healthy, might not be able to participate in sports or other activities.
Join a local fibromyalgia support group. You can find a local fibromyalgia support group through the Fibromyalgia Network, an organization based in Tucson,
Arizona. Their phone number is (602) 290-5508.
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