There is a member in the studio that has Fibromyalgia and here is some of the research that I have done that may help you too or a friend. Below you will see that there may be some herbs to help with some of the symptoms such as Magnesium. Read on.
Aches and Pains
Fibromyalgia is more than a few aches and soreness around your body. Its overwhelming characteristic is long-standing pain throughout the body that is often described as a deep, radiating ache. The pain can increase with activity, cold or damp weather, anxiety, and stress. It can sometimes improve throughout the day and get worse later in the evening.
Where Does It Hurt?
For the pain to be considered “widespread” and related to fibromyalgia, it must occur in all four quadrants of the body—above and below the waist and on both sides of the body. Fibromyalgia is often associated with “tender points,” various points on the body that are sensitive to firm pressure.
Fibromyalgia has been diagnosed using 18 tender points located all over the body. This diagnostic method was often criticized because it did not account for other symptoms unrelated to pain, such as fatigue or cognitive problems. The diagnostic criteria were updated in May 2010 to be inclusive of all symptoms.
Fatigue & Fibromyalgia
Along with pain, a majority of fibromyalgia sufferers have sleep disorders that cause chronic fatigue to the point of exhaustion. Some experts believe that fibromyalgia prevents a person from entering the restorative part of the sleep process, which is one of the main characteristics of insomnia. Sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome have also been associated with fibromyalgia-related fatigue.
Cognitive and Physical Symptoms
Fibromyalgia has also been known to cause cognitive problems, such as difficulty concentrating or remembering information. This is known as the “fibro fog.”Physical symptoms can include tingling or numbness, headaches, dizziness, and digestive problems such as irritable bowel syndrome.
What Causes Fibromyalgia?
There is no known cause for fibromyalgia, but preliminary research suggests genetics are involved. And studies have found abnormal levels of several brain chemicals that are common among people with fibromyalgia:
Serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood
Tryptophan, an amino acid that helps make serotonin
Substance P, a protein involved in transmitting pain signals from the nerves to the brain
Fibromyalgia Treatment Options
For mild fibromyalgia suffers, symptoms can go away with simple destressing and lifestyle changes. Studies show that improved fitness, especially aerobic exercise, can relieve fibromyalgia symptoms. Several other options have been successful to varying degrees:
Fibromyalgia Alternative Treatments
Acupuncture is a practice of traditional Chinese medicine that involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body in order to balance the flow of energy. Acupressure is similar, but applies pressure to the same points rather than using needles and can be self-administered. Both techniques have had mixed results in studies. They may be able to reduce pain and improve sleep for some people, but their level of effectiveness is not clear.
Chiropractic care uses various techniques to correct misalignment of the spine and other joints in order to relieve pain and other symptoms. Chiropractors may also incorporate stretching and massage techniques.
Mindfulness is a type of meditation practice that teaches you to concentrate on the present moment. It often incorporates relaxation techniques, deep breathing, and yoga-style stretching. Studies have shown mindfulness meditation can significantly reduce fibromyalgia pain.
Herbs and Supplements
Several over-the-counter herbs and natural supplements have shown promise for fibromyalgia patients:
Magnesium is a mineral found in many foods. Studies have shown that fibromyalgia patients tend to be deficient in magnesium and that taking a magnesium supplement can reduce pain.
Capsaicin is a chemical found in spicy peppers. It is available in a cream that is applied directly to painful areas of the body. Studies have found that capsaicin can reduce fibromyalgia pain and that it reduces levels of substance P, a chemical involved in the body’s pain response.
Melatonin is a hormone the body uses to regulate sleep cycles. It has been found to improve sleep in people with jetlag and insomnia, but evidence for its effectiveness in improving sleep in fibromyalgia patients is unclear.
Valerian is an herb that can improve sleep, reduce anxiety, and relax muscles. There have been no studies of valerian use for fibromyalgia, but it has shown promise for other diseases.
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