(ĐTĐ) – Fibromyalgia is a condition affecting around 6% of the population in the US. It affects both men and women, although almost 90% of those suffering are women. The condition causes chronic pain to develop across the body, but doctors are still unsure why. For this reason, Fibromyalgia is categorized as an idiopathic condition. How do you know if you have this debilitating condition? What are the signs of Fibromyalgia?
Individuals who are suffering with Fibromyalgia oftentimes deal with life-altering changes. Some days are harder than others, as the severity levels of the condition also vary. Some days the sufferer may be able to enjoy a totally normal life while other days it seems impossible to even do something as simple as get out of the bed.
In addition to the physical pain that Fibromyalgia causes, there are also a number of other consequences of the condition, including an increased risk of mental conditions such as anxiety and depression.
There are a number of medications that a doctor can prescribe for a Fibromyalgia patient. As with any type of drug for any condition, some work better than others. In many instances it is the combination of several different medications that prove to be most beneficial to the patient.
One of the very best medications that the doctor can prescribe is a drug known by the name of Amitriptyline. This medication is an anti-depressant, however, numerous research studies have concluded that it is also beneficial in the treatment of many different types of pain. Doctors around the states prescribe it to patients in conjunction with other medications, and in most cases it is beneficial.
With the use of Amitriptyline, Fibromyalgia patients can find themselves with less pain, more energy and much less fatigue, better sleep and more flexible joints. The medication works to stop herpetic neuralgia and to stop migraines. It does this by increases the amount of natural substances found in the brain.
There are side effects associated with the use of the drug, however. The doctor will evaluate your specific situation against the side effects to better determine if the mediation is right for your needs. The side effects are minimal for most users of the medication, but they can include dizziness, trouble eating, anxiousness and others.
Amitriptyline is most effective when given in a 50 mg dosage, however, most patients benefit greater when the amount is started small and gradually increased with time. Starting the use of Amitriptyline with a 10 mg dosage is usually recommended by most physicians.
Along with the use of this medication, doctors recommend Fibromyalgia patients make a number of lifestyle changes to appease the condition. This doesn’t necessarily mean that life is over, and there are still many ways that you can find life enjoyable even as you live with Fibromyalgia. Those changes include those with the diet (we will talk about this later on,) exercise, deep breathing techniques or mediation, yoga, and many others.
Water based exercises are recommended since they provide a full body workout. But, this is just one of the many ways that you can add physical activity to the agenda and benefit the condition. There are many different exercises that work well for fibromyalgia patients.
Again, the doctor is the best person to provide you with information on the changes that should be made to increase livelihood while dealing with Fibromyalgia.
Foods that Intensify Fibromyalgia Pain
Although doctors are still unsure what causes Fibromyalgia, one thing they do know is that there are a number of different things that can increase the pain associated with the condition. This includes a number of different foods. For people with Fibromyalgia, avoiding these foods in the diet is a must. When these foods are eliminated from the diet and combined with other treatments, Fibromyalgia pain can be effectively managed.
Let’s take a look at some of the foods that should be eliminated from the diet to gain the upper hand of fibromyalgia pain.
Not only should Aspartame be avoided if you have Fibromyalgia, some doctors think that it is a substance that actually causes the condition to develop. Aspartame stimulates the visual and audio receptors in the brain, and since people with the condition are sensitive to those receptors, intense effects are usually noted. There are number of complications that can result with the use of Aspartame, including conditions that lead to blindness, increased risk of infection, restless leg syndrome, anxiety, depression and others. Aspartame is probably a name very familiar to you, and perhaps one even currently being consumed. The product can be found inside of diet soda, candy, chewing gum, etc.
Gluten can be found inside a number of foods that most people consume on a regular basis. Those foods include wheat, barley and rye products like whole-wheat bread and pasta. Glutens can cause the pain being experienced to intensify immensely.
Caffeine can be found inside of beverages such as tea and soda, but it is also inside of some candies, energy drinks and even diet aids and pills. Consumption of caffeine while afflicted with Fibromyalgia can cause exhaustion and waste precious energy. People with the condition that have eliminated caffeine from their diet have reported great benefits, including fewer headaches and an increased amount of energy.
In the Diet
Now that we’ve covered some of the foods that you want to avoid, let’s take a look at the foods that should be included in your diet.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are always beneficial to the body. The more colorful your plate, the more you are doing for your body, and the pain and side effects associated with Fibromyalgia. Keep in mind that you do not want to eat tomatoes or some of the flesh vegetables as these foods can actually intensify the effects of Fibromyalgia.
Broccoli, spinach, cauliflower and kale are all good choices, just as you can benefit by eating beets and even okra. Keep in mind the foods that we have mentioned avoiding earlier. You should be sure that you consume three servings of vegetables each day. Fresh fruits are also something that you should consume, but only sparingly. One to two servings of fresh fruit is recommended each day. You should buy fruit that contains only natural sugars and no artificial ingredients. Fruit contains natural sugars, thus keeping them at a minimum will reduce problems that can occur with too much sugar being consumed. Apples, oranges, pears, bananas, kiwi and cantaloupe are all great fruit choices.
The menu should include lean meats such as fish and chicken, as well as nuts and seeds.
By following a menu that is recommended by your doctor, the symptoms of Fibromyalgia can be greatly decreased. Many people find that making small, gradual changes is much easier than trying to do it all at one time, however, this is something that is entirely up to you. As long as these foods are eliminated, and those that you need are gained, you will find the awesome benefits that come along with it.
You are Not Alone: Celebrities with Fibromyalgia
When you are suffering with a condition that is as debilitating as Fibromyalgia, it can make you feel isolated and alone. You feel like there is no one out there who understands what you are going though, and that no one else in this world is experiencing it. Chances are there are people all around you with the condition, however, and you do not even realize it. The fact of the matter is that there are thousands of people with the condition in the US, and you are far from being alone. There are a number of forums, discussion groups and support groups out there that can help you feel less isolated as well as help you gain the support you need to deal with the condition in an effective manner. It is a good idea to take advantage of those groups as they are needed. You can learn plenty about the condition as well as gain new friends along the way. In addition, having the support of family and friends can aid you greatly in the treatment of Fibromyalgia and how you deal with that condition.
There are also a number of celebrities are currently affected with Fibromyalgia, and chances are, you were not even aware that they had the condition either. Take a look at some of those celebrities and ensure that you do not feel like you are the only person in this world that is dealing with the condition.
Morgan Freeman is one of the greatest actors of our time, and he is also a Fibromyalgia patient. Freeman believes a car accident resulted in the condition, which occurred in 2008. Morgan is open about his Fibromyalgia, but he refuses to let it slow him down and continues to enjoy his career and a plentiful life.
If you are a fan of soap operas, Suzan Flannery is probably a name that you are familiar with. The actress stared on the show Bold and the Beautiful. She was suffering with the condition long before accepting the role, but retired from her career as a result of the symptoms in 2007. She is active in avocation of Fibromyalgia these days.
Sinead O’Conner is an English singer that is most known for her 1990 rendition of Prince’s ‘Nothing Compares to You.’ The singer took a break from her career to deal with the pain of Fibromyalgia, but returned some time later to continue after stating she had it under control.
Florence Nightingale changed the world of nursing. She is the first ever nurse, and today the image of Ms. Nightingale is embellished in a pin upon every nursing student at graduation. Florence Nightingale was also a sufferer of Fibromyalgia.
Michael James Hastings
‘The West Wing” actor retired from his career to deal with his Fibromyalgia pain. He now serves as a spokesman for the condition and can be seen in commercials, publications and more.
Jo Guest is a former model as well as a spokesman for Fibromyalgia. She retired from modeling in 2007 after the pain of the condition interfered with her day-to-day life.
Rosie Hamlin was popular in the 1960s with the band ‘Rosie.’ She was considered one of the best singers of her time. She no longer tours because of Fibromyalgia, but openly discusses the topic frequently.
Paula Abdul was an 80’s pop sensation with hits like ‘Straight Up’ and ‘Forever Your Girl.’ Before her rise to fame in the 80s, Abdul was also a Los Angeles Lakers cheerleader. After a few years under the limelight, Abdul returned to the spotlight, and is one of the current hosts of reality TV show phenomenon ‘American Idol.’ Although Abdul has not publically talked about Fibromyalgia, it is suspected that she is affected with the condition.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, Fibromyalgia can be managed, if you know the right techniques to manage the condition. It is something that takes many adjustments, and no one will ever say that it is easy. But, it can be done if you are willing to put forth the effort that it takes. You’re not alone in dealing with the condition, and there is a lot of support out there if you want to take advantage of that support.
The list of celebrities above suffering with fibromyalgia is just the beginning of the names of people who know all too well what you are going through. There are many celebrities that have chosen to remain quite about their condition and not bring it to the attention of the public.
If you have Fibromyalgia, it certainly puts a damper on things. But, you can live a normal, productive and happy life with this information as well as the advice of your doctor. Put it to good use and do not allow Fibromyalgia to bring you down. There is hope if you are ready to take advantage of the help that is available.