Fibromyalgia Symptoms & Treatment
Fibromyalgia is a common chronic condition that causes pain throughout the muscles, ligaments and tendons. There are also several specific tender points which cause pain when slight pressure is applied. It is similar to arthritis, but does not cause inflammation or damage to the painful areas.
The cause is not known, but it is believed to be a result of a theory called “central sensitization”, meaning that some people have lower physical thresholds and increased brain sensitivities to pain. Certain factors, such as abnormal sleeping patterns, injury, infection and metabolism may also play a role in causing fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is easy to diagnose from clinical criteria. The causes are multifactorial and hence comprehensive approach to assess diagnosable risk factors and specific treatment for all the findings is medically necessary.
Symptoms vary and can be triggered by stress, physical activity and the weather. Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Pain throughout the body (head, back, chest, elbows, hips)
- Increased sensitivity
- Irritable bowel syndrome
Doctors usually diagnose when a patient has experienced pain in a minimum of 11 different pressure locations for at least three months.
Treatment focuses on relieving the symptoms of this chronic condition, specifically, treating the identified risk factors or metabolic findings. Your doctor may prescribe analgesics, antidepressants, muscle relaxants, pregabalin or sleeping pills to help make it more manageable. Maintaining a healthy and balanced life with little stress, regular exercise and plenty of sleep can also help prevent symptoms.
Our dietary recommendations for reducing symptoms include:
1. Avoid gluten and dairy products
2. Avoid sugar and hydrogenated oils
3. Avoid Omega 6 oils such as safflower, sunflower, soybean and corn oils
4. Eat Omega 3 anti-inflammatory foods such as salmon, mackerel and sardines
5. Green tea and chamomile tea are soothing and helpful