The second most prevalent disorder that affects the muscles and bones, fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that primarily causes radiating pain and fatigue. Its symptoms can’t be diagnosed via tests, so the disorder is often misunderstood for others. Previously, many individuals questioned the validity of fibromyalgia as it can’t be quantified through standard tests. However, today, it is a more widely accepted medical concern due to extensive research. Therefore, the stigma associated around it is gradually fading.
A characteristic symptom of fibromyalgia is tenderness in specific body parts, i.e., even light pressure can trigger pain. This could be because of the chemical imbalance in the brain which leads the nerves to misread the pain signals and intensifies the level of discomfort. Tenderness might be accompanied by a range of additional symptoms such as depression, headaches, insomnia, or sleeping for unusually long periods, anxiety, tiredness, concentration problems, etc.
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Some of the factors responsible for fibromyalgia could be an existing or former illness, physical or emotional trauma, stress, and genetics.
Tips for managing fibromyalgia
Living with fibromyalgia means that you have to take an active role in maintaining your health, especially because this chronic condition has no cure. Here are some measures that you should take to effectively deal with fibromyalgia.
- Medical intervention – If you have dealt with chronic tenderness in the muscles and bones for more than three months, then ensure to consult a doctor immediately. They will diagnose your condition accurately, and at the same time, prescribe you with medication like painkillers, anti-seizure, or antidepressants to alleviate any bothersome symptoms. The doctor can also offer you with vitamin D supplements as several patients living with fibromyalgia lack this nutrient. Inadequate levels of vitamin D in the body can often worsen the condition, so it is imperative to ensure that your body gets all the vital nutrients.
- Exercise – One of the best ways to feel active is to exercise. It is quite natural that because of fibromyalgia, you might feel exhausted to pursue any physical activity. However, evading workout will only worsen your condition. You don’t have to take up a strict fitness regime. It could be as simple as a brisk walk, light jogging, cycling, or swimming. Following such low-impact exercise plans will help your body overcome weakness and pain.
- Balanced diet – Although there are no special diets recommended, individuals living with fibromyalgia should focus on having foods that are rich in nutrients. So, have a plenty of vegetables and fruits with plenty of water. Try to avoid foods that promote inflammation in the body. Also, maintain a log to record entries about foods that possibly aggravate your symptoms every time you have it.
- Stress management – Constantly being anxious or depressed can drain your energy levels and can significantly impact your condition. Therefore, it is necessary to unwind on a daily basis. It could be a short trip, dinner with friends, or just spending time with loved ones. So, make it a point to observe and improve your mental health. This will also help mend your erratic sleeping patterns.
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Apart from the solutions mentioned above, you can also try massages, acupuncture, meditation, yoga, physical or emotional therapy, etc.
Remember that the key to living well with fibromyalgia is to adopt a comprehensive approach persistently.