It Is Fibromyalgia Time
This article is just in time for my flare up during our early fall season, every year at this time my symptoms return to remind me my Fibromyalgia has not left me. During our summer season here in Pennsylvania I am almost symptom free, but soon as the early fall weather begins my symptoms begin to increase making my life more of a challenge. Many people do not realize this is a form of arthritis, no wonder many of the same treatments helps to reduce the symptoms. This is caused by overactive nervous system, people experience from mild to severe symptoms. With arthritis x-rays shows up, then why does Fibromyalgia not show up on x-rays too?
The Early Signs
Everyone does not experience this exactly in the same way, some will experience most of the early symptoms while others may only experience some. The reason this takes forever to diagnose is all the physician’s has to go on is your symptoms, this means your physician’s must have tests done to determine what you do not have. It took 20 years before I knew what was the reason for all my misery, living in a small country town I was sent from one specialist to another with the diagnosis never being clear what was the cause for my health decline. At 35 years old this was a nightmare for me, even though my symptoms started way before this age I was still able to work and function well enough to get by. By my mid-thirties I was unable to function well enough any longer to earn a living, my symptoms started out with anxiety and depression before causing me physical health problems as well. The majority of people usually experience chronic physical pain as their first symptom, even though for a long time the medical association claimed this affected primarily females today it is obvious both genders are experiencing this form of arthritis.
Chronic Widespread Pain
Fatigue Physical & Mental
My Pain Is Real
The pain people experience is very real, what makes people skeptical about our pain is we appear to be very healthy on the outside. On the inside is a completely different story, our pain on bad days is so sensitive many of us cannot even sleep because just the weight of our bodies on our pressure points cause us much pain. The pressure points in our bodies are where our pain begins, often it feels like our pain is in our joints even though it is not. Extreme painful stiffness is another good pain indication you are experiencing Fibromyalgia, on cold days I am so stiff it hurts with every move I make. On bad nights I am lucky to sleep 3 hours at one time before having to get up and stretch to relieve my pain temporary, the less you sleep the more intense your pain and symptom will be the next day for you.
Chronic Widespread Pain
Very Sensitive To Touch
Mild To Severe Symptoms
Sharp Or Stabbing Pain
Triggers ( Weather, Over Activity, Stress )
When you have an over active nervous system, you will experience a wide variety of symptoms, I have experienced going from tingling and numbing to burning pain all in the same day. Muscle cramps some nights are so severe the wake me up from my sleep, sometimes they will last so long they will bring tears to my eyes. Your quality of sleep has a huge impact on your nervous system severity, especially the muscle cramps. Stress is the major trigger for your nervous system symptoms, the more anxious you are from stress the less you sleep which increases your level of severity. Relaxing is extremely difficult for people with a flared up nervous system, being anxious and tense will also increase your pain levels as well.
What Is Sleep?
The most challenging symptom for me even today is falling and staying asleep, I will go for sometimes weeks at a time with less than 5 hours of sleep per night. Then I become so exhausted I sleep most of the next day, no matter how much sleep I never feel rested and energetic. I never experience a day where I am not pushing myself to do the things I need or wish to do that day, the best attitude to have with sleep is to accept this is the way you are going to be and learn to live with it to the best of your ability. Some people do experience much better sleep living in a warmer climate, people where I live who is able to spend their winters in Sunny Warm Florida claim to feel so much better. Most of us do not have the luxury of going south during the cold winters, we just have to do our best to get through the winter season.
Unless you experience true fatigue, you have no idea what it truly is, when you feel so exhausted to just move from one room to another you are experiencing true fatigue. Being physically exhausted really sucks, but even worse when you are experiencing physical and mental fatigue at the same time it is enough to drive you crazy. Brain fog is what you experience when you are so fatigued mentally you cannot even think well enough to remember your own phone number or other simple memories you should know. On these kind of days I have no choice than to rest as much as possible until my energy level improves, on these days even balancing my checkbook is almost impossible for me.
Interferes With Daily Functioning
Interferes With Your Career
Personal Relationship Problems
Feelings Of Extreme Weakness
I am very sensitive to certain things which triggers my symptoms, if I start a new activity and over do it the first few times I pay the price that night and often the next day, another thing which really bothers me is light from oncoming vehicles driving at night. I do avoid night driving as much as possible, this will cause me headaches and even blurred vision. Weather changing dramatically quickly really bothers me, fall season is terrible with warmer days and cooler nights this is my worse time of the year for me. Spring is much the same as fall, the dropping from day to night triggers my symptoms and these cause me severe sleep problems during these seasons here in Pennsylvania.
Weather Dropping Temps
Digestive Sensitivity (Gluten & Dairy )
Over the years I have found what works for me the best, the majority of my treatment plan is more natural health medicine rather than synthetic medicines. I was on high doses of synthetic pan medication for years which has damaged some of my organs, I do recommend going with natural medication as much as possible before taking any synthetic medications. The only synthetic medications I use are cymbalta, doxepin and prednisone, Cymbalta is for pain and anxiety, doxepin is for sleep and prednisone I must take for my organ damage. The only other synthetic medication I would use is lyrica, lyrica is for nerve pain.
Pace Your Day
I have had a very positive experience using alternative medicine rather than synthetic medicines before starting these I was taking over 10 different medications per day several times per day. This much medicine is not good for anyone, way too many side-effects plus organ damage is high on medicines for pain relief. Often these synthetic medicines only numb the pain which really is only causing you more possible problems not knowing how much pain your body actually is in. Gentle stretching yoga and meditation are my best friends, my main exercise is my stationary bike and walking nature trails. I also enjoy using aromatherapy, these are what works best for me.
Yoga (Gentle Stretching Hatha )
Supplements & Herbs
With any autoimmune disease a healthy diet with some supplements and herbs if you desire is a good diet plan, most people with Fibromyalgia often is low on certain vitamins and minerals. Everyone should be tested regularly through blood work to be sure if their vitamins and minerals levels are up to par. The majority of people with fibro experiences low levels of vitamin D and B12, you should not just take these unless you know for sure your levels are low.
Omega 3s (Fatty Fish Or Fish Oil )
St John Wort
A healthy diet is more important now than ever in your entire life, I have experienced dramatic improvement since changing my diet. The diet is not an easy one to adjust too, but once you start feeling better, it will motivate you. For me I had to eliminate all gluten and dairy from my diet, even eating gluten-free I must limit how much of them I eat at one time. Processed foods are our worse enemy and the most difficult to give up for most people, being low on energy convenient food is very tempting. Going back to the old diet of vegetables, fruit and lean protein. Your protein must be grass-fed, if your protein source eats grains (gluten), it is just like you eating gluten yourself. This diet really does make a difference in your life, in two weeks you will begin to feel better.
What Is On My Mind Today
I have shared with you the things which has improved my life over the years, you will still experience bad days but your good days will be much better. There is no cure for what we have to live with every day, but learning how to manage it the most efficiently will improve how we feel. I do feel if your follow this lifestyle change plan you will be healthier and happier, it is by no means easy to give up the foods we love especially those yummy processed snack foods.