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Fibromyalgia – What You Need to Know (Part 2 of 3)

by Loretta Lanphier, NP, CN, HHP, CH

(The Best Years in Life) Imagine waking up every morning feeling worn out, achy, and depressed. The fatigue never seems to go away, and anxiety is a constant companion because you just don’t understand what is wrong with you. You’re scared and confused. If it’s this bad now, what will tomorrow bring? This is the experience many people describe who now know that the mysterious symptoms they were suffering from have a name: Fibromyalgia (FM). Once you can put a name to it and begin to understand it, there is hope of managing it and getting your life back. Part 2 of a 3 part series.

Treatments Available for Fibromyalgia

There is no known 100% cure for fibromyalgia. The goal of conventional therapy is to manage and lessen symptoms. The FDA has only approved three specific drugs for fibromyalgia. In June 2007, pregabalin (Lyrica®), an anticonvulsant drug, became the first to be approved. A year later duloxetine (Cymbalta®), an antidepressant, became the second. The most recent addition to this list is the antidepressant milnacipran (Savella®), which was FDA approved in January 2009. Unfortunately, none of these medications are effective for the entire scope of symptoms and disabilities associated with fibromyalgia (Argoff 2002). Many patients either fail to respond or develop significant side effects to these drugs, especially since they are required to be on them long-term (Braz 2011).

The best course of action for most with fibromyalgia seems to be a combination of detoxification, healthy diet, exercise, dietary supplements/herbs and quality sleep.

Exercise is essential as well. Many have found swimming or water exercises to be especially helpful. Stretching is key, as well as proper warm up and cool down periods. Everyone is different, so try several different types of exercise and use what works best for you. Just remember to pace yourself and be consistent. Exercise should not be painful. If you are experiencing pain, try changing the type, intensity, or duration of your activity.

Getting adequate sleep is very important in the fight against fibromyalgia. Sleeplessness is a typical characteristic of the disease. Research seems to indicate that many patients suffer worse symptoms when they don’t get enough sleep. A pattern of poor sleep over time may even make the risk of developing fibromyalgia greater. Avoid stimulants such as caffeine, especially in the evening or before bed. Consistent exercise is known to help stabilize sleep patterns as well. Some find it beneficial to go to bed and get up at approximately the same time every day. Also, try to make your bedroom as sleep-friendly as possible. Dark, quiet, cool and comfortable are the buzz words here. Bedrooms should be bedrooms, not offices, conference rooms, or entertainment centers.

 

Gut Health, Cleansing & Detoxifation Help for Fibromyalgia

There is very little available in the way of mainstream medical treatments available for fibromyalgia that are successful. This is a possibly a good thing, since it has motivated both patients and health providers to look for natural alternatives. A recent study from Mayo Clinic stated that approximately 98% of fibromyalgia patients polled used some form of alternative or complimentary therapy to ease their symptoms.

Detoxification, Cleansing, Digestion

The importance of gut health — detoxification, removal of toxins and working on the digestive tract — in my opinion, is imperative. This is something that is often overlooked even by natural health practitioners, but something that can prove very successful in fibromyalgia treatment.

Gut health determines what nutrients are absorbed and what toxins, allergens, and microbes are kept out. It is also directly linked to the health of the entire body. In fact, good intestinal health can be defined as the optimal digestion, absorption, utilization and assimilation of food.

Your gut’s nervous system has been termed as the “second brain”. The gut contains more neurotransmitters than your brain and actually contains a brain of its own. Called the “enteric nervous system”, it is a very complex piece of your body’s biology that is wired to your brain in intricate ways. Your gut-brain and your head-brain continually send messages to each other, and if this message system is interfered with, your health may become impaired.

Food Allergies. Food allergies can undermine anyone’s health and well-being. Eliminating foods that you are sensitive to is an appropriate beginning step. Some of the more popular offending foods are gluten, dairy, corn, peanuts, red meat, hydrogenated oils and foods high in yeast. A healthy diet of organic vegetables, berries, green drinks, cold-water fish, pasture-raised poultry, organic rice and healthy oils such as olive oil and coconut oil can be very helpful.
Candida & Parasite Cleansing. Testing for Candida over-growth and parasites will most likely show as positive in most people and especially those with fibromyalgia. This can be addressed with an effective Candida and parasite cleanse that includes a combination of anti-fungal and antibacterial botanicals. See
Candida Cleansing.

Digestive Tract & Liver Cleansing. Most with fibromyalgia report digestive difficulties. Irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea, bloating and gas are often reported. Using an oxygen-based cleanser along with an herbal liver cleanse can be very effective. I recommend doing several digestive tract and liver cleanses back-to-back and then at least three times yearly. Repopulating the gut with a spore-bearing probiotic such as Latero-Flora is very helpful in improving immune system function. Taking a digestive enzyme with every meal usually helps with bloating and gas. See The Importance of Full Body Cleansing.

Lymphatic Drainage. When the lymphatic becomes sluggish, the consequences can be very serious. When the lymph system gets sluggish (due to illness, surgery, toxic overload or lack of activity), lymph fluid begins to back up. The results can be swelling, joint pain, nausea and fatigue. Stagnant lymph may be stored in lymph nodes for a long period of time but eventually becomes too toxic for the body to handle well. A sluggish lymphatic system not only affects the building, repair and waste disposal systems, but the body’s defenses against foreign substances are also impaired. Effective ways to keep the lymph moving are rebounding, dry skin brushing and deep breathing exercises.

Adrenals & Stress Reduction. The adrenals also play an important role in the immune system, and are responsible for the balance of hormones throughout the body. Strong, efficient adrenal glands are vital to both genders and during all cycles of life: for young people, through the child-bearing years, into menopause, and beyond. Many suffering from fibromyalgia usually experience high stress levels in trying to deal with a health concern that seemingly has not definitive answers. High stress levels can result in adrenal malfunction which results in hormone imbalance. See Stressed and Fatigued? Check Your Adrenals.

Be sure to stay tuned for:

Part 3 - "More Natural Health Suggestions for Firomyalgia"

See also:

Fibromyalgia – What You Need to Know (Part 1 of 3)

Use Natural Help for Fibromyalgia

Addressing Fibromyalgia Without Mainstream Medicines

This article was originally published at http://www.exhibithealth.com/general-health/fibromyalgia-what-you-need-to-know-46/

About the Author:

Loretta Lanphier, NP, CN, CH, HHP is a Naturopathic Practitioner, Clinical Nutritionist, Clinical Herbalist and Holistic Health Practitioner as well as Founder/CEO of Oasis Advanced Wellness. As a stage III cancer survivor since 2000, she understands the necessity of providing the body with what it needs to repair and heal. Loretta is dedicated to helping people create lasting changes in their health and well-being through whole body nutritional balancing, physician strength supplementation and up-to-date natural health education and modalities. Loretta is Editor and contributor to the worldwide e-newsletter Advanced Health & Wellness and her new health and wellness blog Exhibit Health.  She is also a co-moderator of our Yahoo Health Group focused on cancer, Oleandersoup.

 
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