Supplemental Care For Fibromyalgia

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Supplemental Care -- For Fibromyalgia

Indeed Fibromyalgia is a very real condition that can significantly impact the quality of life for its millions of sufferers due to the fatigue and body pain associated with the disease. What can you do from the inside out to help ease the pain and perhaps overcome the condition?

Ray Sahelian, MD, a physician in private practice in Marina del Rey, California, and author of numerous books provides great information about natural approaches to relieving the symptoms of fibromyalgia.

Mix-and-Match Strategies

Unfortunately, no one knows exactly what causes fibromyalgia, and there is no one magic pill you can take to cure it. According to Dr. Sahelian, your best bet is to mix and match a variety of approaches to control your symptoms. An empathetic health-care practitioner with experience in treating fibromyalgia can help you sort through the many conventional and natural treatment alternatives to determine the combination that works best for you. Starting from the inside out...

Check for food allergies. Dr. Sahelian cites a study in which 17 people with fibromyalgia eliminated foods such as corn, wheat, dairy, citrus and sugar from their diets. After two weeks, nearly half reported a significant reduction in pain. Most also noted relief from headache, fatigue, bloating and breathing difficulties. When foods were reintroduced, some participants once again experienced pain, headache and gastrointestinal distress.

Help from the Outside

In addition to diet changes, Dr. Sahelian is a big believer in the value of lifestyle changes for fibromyalgia. Specifically, he suggests...

  • Keep moving. Although this is not likely to be your first inclination when you are feeling achy and tired, Dr. Sahelian emphasizes that exercise is more effective than medication in easing symptoms. Consistent, gentle, low-impact activity such as walking is best for relieving pain and stiffness. Avoid the temptation to overdo, which can backfire. In particular, Dr. Sahelian recommends yoga.
  • Try acupuncture. In 1997, a National Institutes of Health panel determined that this ancient Chinese practice may provide relief from pain associated with fibromyalgia. A list of accredited acupuncturists is available at the Web site of the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
  • Use muscular manipulation. Some fibromyalgia sufferers benefit from modalities such as chiropractic... osteopathy... massage such as lymphatic drainage (a technique that drains excess fluid from the tissues throughout the body) and Swedish techniques... or physical therapy.
  • Get focused. Hypnosis, a focused state of concentration, is another alternative for pain relief. Options include self-hypnosis (in which you repeat a positive statement or mantra over and over) and guided imagery (in which you create relaxing images in your mind). Other relaxation methods include biofeedback, meditation and deep breathing exercises.
  • Change your ways. Stress can aggravate fibromyalgia symptoms. Consider cognitive behavioral therapy or other stress management techniques to gain control of the stressors in your life.

Tried and True

To cope best with fibromyalgia, the tried-and-true advice still holds: Follow a balanced diet, get a good balance of rest and exercise, practice effective stress management techniques and avoid unhealthy habits such as smoking, drinking and excessive caffeine intake. There may be no cure, but there are plenty of steps you can take to control symptoms and live a full life with fibromyalgia.

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This article was provided by Bottom Line's Daily Health News. Bottom Line's vast network of leading mainstream, alternative, and complementary practitioners brings you the information you need to make informed decisions about your health.

Reprinted with permission of:

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