Monday, July 30, 2012

Manage It Monday

I have several clients and friends/family members who suffer from Fibromyalgia, a chronic disease that causes pain and swelling in more than a dozen points all over the body and affects millions of people. And from what I’ve read, it is most common among women aged 20-50, with an array of mild to severe symptoms that can be debilitating.

Prevention Magazine online today has an article on how managing your diet with certain foods may provide some pain relief. I’m no doctor, but I do always like to look for natural remedies before taking prescribed medicines – NOT that I’m against prescription drugs, but I do prefer to try other alternatives first whenever possible. I’ve posted it below, along with the website link.

Additionally, here are several websites where you can read more about Fibromyalgia, its causes, symptoms and treatments.

U.S. National Library of Medicine:

The Mayo Clinic:

National Fibromyalgia Association:

National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association:

Wikipedia (scroll to bottom for links to many resources:

WebMD (slideshow of Fibro-friendly exercises) (CHECK WITH DOCTOR BEFORE UNDERTAKING ANY FORM OF EXERCISE!!!!)

If you Google Fibromyalgia and exercise you will also come up with many demonstrations on YouTube. Once you clear it with your doctor, you might want to consider beginning with some simple, basic stretching exercises.

I hope and pray that you may find some information today that will ease your struggle (or help someone you love with their struggle) against this terrible disease.


Coach Linda

5 Ways To Control Fibromyalgia With Diet

New research shows that picking these foods may ease pain

Eat for Pain Relief
Fibromyalgia, a chronic disease that causes pain and swelling in more than a dozen points all over the body, affects as many as 5 million people. Because doctors are still unsure of the cause of fibromyalgia, treatment can be frustrating (and often a process of trial and error). “Fibromyalgia symptoms are only about 30% amenable to current pharmaceutical strategies on the market,” says Kathleen Holton, PhD, MPH, lead author of Potential Dietary Links in Central Sensitization in Fibromyalgia. That’s why many patients are taking matters into their own hands and experimenting with alternative treatments, including dietary changes. Forty-two percent of fibro patients reported that symptoms worsened after eating certain foods, and though much of the research is in its preliminary phases, there’s some evidence that simple diet tweaks may ease fibro pain. Read on to get five food rules for fibromyalgia patients. Just be sure to consult your doctor before drastically changing your diet.

1. Load Up On Vitamin D
Many adults are deficient in vitamin D to begin with, but this sunshine vitamin can be vital to fibro patients. "Vitamin D deficiency can mimic some of the symptoms of fibromyalgia. All patients should be screened for deficiency," says Holton. Studies show that vitamin D deficiencies can cause bone and muscle pain, and upping levels of this hard-to-get vitamin may help. A 2008 study found that pain patients with low levels of vitamin D required almost double the dose of painkillers as those with adequate levels. Holton recommends taking a supplement, especially during the wintertime.

2. Avoid Additives
Common food additives, like monosodium glutamate (MSG) and aspartame, can act as excitotoxin molecules, a chemical group that has the ability to activate neurons that increase sensitivity to pain. Anecdotally, easing off these additives can help, and one very small study of four patients found that eliminating MSG and aspartame resulted in a reduction of fibromyalgia symptoms. The research is far from definitive, but it may be worth trying if you notice your symptoms worsen after Chinese takeout or too many diet drinks.

3. Say Yes To Fish
Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty fish, like salmon, walnuts, and flaxseed, are known to reduce inflammation and help prevent cardiovascular diseases. However, their soreness-reducing traits may also help pain patients. A 2007 study found that after just 3 months of supplementing omega-3 fatty acids, symptoms such as morning stiffness and painful, tender joints decreased. Though this study did not include fibromyalgia patients (it included rheumatoid arthritis (RA), irritable bowel syndrome (IBD), and dysmenorrheal patients), the results show promise. Fibro patients often have co-morbidities such as IBD and RA, so omega-3s may benefit them as well. Try adding salmon or walnuts to your diet, or, if you don’t like those foods, try adding flaxseeds to your cereal or oatmeal.

4. Nix the Caffeine
Because sleeplessness is commonly associated with fibro, it may be tempting to fuel up on coffee to get through the day. This, however, may be a mistake. "Some patients use caffeine to compensate for not sleeping well, which can lead to a circular problem where the ‘solution’ of taking caffeine to stay awake is actually causing the problem of not sleeping at night," says Holton. Caffeine can set you up for a crash and, if sipped later in the day, may disrupt sleep schedules. Holton recommends antioxidant-packed decaffeinated green tea as a healthier alternative.

5. Veg Out
Some researchers speculate that oxidative stress may be a cause of fibro symptoms. Oxidative stress occurs when the body doesn’t produce enough antioxidants to battle cell-damaging free radicals in the body. Most fruits and veggies are packed with important antioxidants, like vitamins A, C, and E, which fight free radicals to keep your body normalized. Certain studies also show a raw, vegan diet can improve symptoms, but that’s difficult for most people to follow. If you do choose to eat meat, though, opt for a small portion of grass-fed beef. "It is an excellent source of iron and vitamin B12, both nutrients which are extremely important in keeping your pain-processing nervous system healthy," says Holton.


Copyright 2012, "Coach Linda Bush" All Rights Reserved. The materials contained on this website are provided for general information only and do not constitute any form of medical or health care advice. We assume no responsibility for the accuracy of any particular statement and accept no liability for any loss or damage that may arise from reliance on the information contained on this site. Links to other websites from these pages are for information only and we accept no responsibility or liability for access to or the material on any website which is linked from or to this website.

1 comment:

  1. I have a few friends with this. And I've learned from them that this can also be such a misunderstood disease. You've provided lots of great advice here, thanks Linda!