Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder that affects a surprising number of people!
- Back in 2005, it affected roughly 2% of the U.S. population–or around 5 million people. That number has increased since.
- The ratio of fibromyalgia among women and men is 7:1. That means that women are 7 times more likely to develop the disorder.
It’s not just a common disorder, but it’s one that can be surprisingly detrimental to a good life. Did you know that working-age women who were hospitalized as a result of their fibromyalgia were 10 times LESS likely to go back to work? Even if they did return to work, they had a 400% LESS chance of retaining their job for more than a year after being hospitalized.
The average working adult with fibromyalgia misses about 17 days of work every year–compared to the average person’s 6 days of missed work. When tested on their quality of life, the average fibromyalgia patient rated it as a 4.8 (out of 10). That’s pretty rough living!
There is no “cure” for the chronic disorder, but there are many treatments for fibromyalgia. Understanding your options is an important way of dealing with the disorder as effectively as possible!
Medications for Fibromyalgia
When considering treatments for fibromyalgia, here are a few commonly-used medications:
- Pain relievers — Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Tylenol, and many other OTC pain relievers can be used to treat the pain of fibromyalgia. It is NOT recommended to try narcotics and strong prescription painkillers, as they can be addictive–leading to a worsening of the pain in the long run.
- Anti-seizure drugs –– Drugs like Gabapentin can help to reduce the symptoms of fibromyalgia, as it can help to reduce the pain caused by the disorder. There is an FDA-approved fibromyalgia drug called pregablin (sold under the brand Lyrica), that may be effective at reducing the chronic pain.
- Antidepressants –– These are useful to not only manage the pain of the fibromyalgia, but also prevent the depression that is often the long-term result of chronic pain. Prozac, Duloxetene, and Savella are all antidepressants that are recommended to patients by doctors.
These medications provide a way to treat the disorder, though they won’t be a cure. However, as with all medications, they come with serious drawbacks–namely, side effects!
All medications (even aspirin and Ibuprofen) can cause serious side effects if they aren’t carefully. The stronger the medication, the more serious the side effect. If you are considering medication, check with your doctor first to make sure it’s the right choice for you!
Alternative Treatments for Fibromyalgia
There are a few natural treatments for fibromyalgia to consider, such as:
- Massage — This can help to reduce the pain and deal with the fatigue caused by fibromyalgia.
- Therapy –– Therapy can help you to develop successful strategies for coping with the pain, as well as prevent depression from getting the best of you. Talking with a therapist is highly recommended for those suffering from fibromyalgia.
- Acupuncture –– Manipulating the energy (qi) points in the body has been proven to help reduce pain and manage stress, making acupuncture an effective alternative treatment for fibromyalgia.
- Yoga –– Yoga relaxes the muscles, loosens the joints, improves mood, and fights depression. All of these positive benefits of Yoga will help to counteract the negative effects of the disorder, helping to improve your life with fibromyalgia.
- Exercise –– Exercise is one of the best treatments for fibromyalgia if you’re trying to deal with it the natural way. Exercises reduces stress and floods your body with hormones that dull pain. It can seriously reduce the musculoskeletal pain of your fibromyalgia, and you’ll find that it can improve your quality of life.
- Manage stress –– Fight to control the stress in your life, because stress will only make things worse! Stress–emotional, mental, and physical–will flood your body with hormones that will increase the sensations of pain. Stress management techniques, meditation, and deep breathing are all good ways to keep your stress under wraps.
- Sleep more –– In many cases, fibromyalgia can cause sleep disturbances, affecting the quality of your sleep every night. It’s vital to spend more time sleeping, so get more naps, sleep in more, and get to bed earlier.
Follow these tips, and you’ll have a much easier time managing your fibromyalgia!
Supplements for Fibromyalgia
There are a number of supplements that can help you manage your fibromyalgia, such as:
- 5-HTP — 5-HTP is a nutrient that your body needs in order to produce serotonin, the “feel good” chemical that helps to reduce pain and combat depression. Taking this supplement may also help to improve the quality of your deep sleep, as it limits the pain you feel as you are sleeping.
- Melatonin — To address the sleep disturbances caused by your fibromyalgia, try melatonin. It is an OTC hormone that improves sleep quality and helps you feel tired before bedtime. It may help to reduce the pain of your fibromyalgia, but it’s mainly used as a treatment for the fatigue caused by the disorder.
- St. John’s Wort —While this herb hasn’t yet been proven to help fibromyalgia specifically, it is known to treat depression. It’s effects are comparable to antidepressants, specifically SSRI medications like Prozac and Zoloft.
- Vitamin D –– According to a number of studies, people suffering from fibromyalgia often have lower Vitamin D levels. For example, in the UK, 43% of women suffering from the disorder had “very low” levels of Vitamin D, compared to 19% of healthy women. Getting more Vitamin D can help to manage the disorder by reducing inflammation in the body. The vitamin helps to reduce the production of inflammatory cytokines, thereby reducing the pain caused by inflammation in the body. The best source of Vitamin D isn’t from a bottle, but it’s from direct sunlight. With 30 minutes of sun every day, you can get all the Vitamin D you need!
If you’re looking for a powerful supplement to help you deal with your fibromyalgia, glutathione may be your best option. Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant that can help to retard the pain response caused by fibromyalgia, as it helps to reduce the oxidative attack on the body. It reduces inflammation around the joints and muscles, thereby preventing the problem that leads to the chronic pain that you feel.
Glutathione has been proven fairly effective at dealing with problems like arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, and a wide range of autoimmune disorders, and it retard the pain response caused by fibromyalgia.
Well Wisdom has a top-notch glutathione supplement that you would do well to consider. The supplement masquerades as a simple Whey Protein Powder, but it contains cysteine, an amino acid that is necessary for the production of glutathione in the body. It’s hard to find cysteine in regular food, which is what makes this supplement so powerful.
It’s an all-natural, 100% healthy supplement that will give your body what it needs to produce glutathione, combatting the pain of your fibromyalgia and improving the quality of your life!