Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by COOKIEMONSTER, Jul 7, 2003.



    What is Fibromyalgia Syndrome?

    Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) is a disorder causing pain, tenderness, and stiffness in the muscles. Almost all people with this condition experience some form of sleep disorder and a wide range of problems referred to as "associated symptoms."

    Symptoms linked to the sleep disorder include fatigue, increased sensitivity to pain, impaired memory, increased anxiety, depression, irritability, and a negative mood. Others may include nerve sensitivity, stomach and bowel problems, allergies, changes in circulation and the ability to regulate body temperature, urinary frequency, vision problems, skin rashes, and skin sensitivity.

    Current official diagnostic criteria are: (1) widespread pain or tenderness in the trunk and limb muscles present at least three months, and (2) excessive tenderness in 11 out of 18 tender points (areas on the body particularly sensitive to pressure).

    What is the Outlook for People With This Health Problem?
    Fibromyalgia Syndrome is a condition, not a disease. It involves a biochemical imbalance in the brain and does not cause the body to deteriorate or become permanently damaged.

    Everyone with fibromyalgia can get better and have fewer symptoms by becoming as healthy as possible with restorative sleep, good nutrition, exercise, and stress management.

    Developing a Healthy Life Plan
    Emphasize Exercise. An effective exercise program includes a daily stretching program for tight muscles, and a three-times-a-week fitness program that increases heart rate and oxygen flow.

    Benefits include:

    increased oxygen to the muscles,
    increased endorphins, the natural opiates in the body that reduce pain,
    increased serotonin production in the brain, which can reduce depression and anxiety, energize the body, and calm the mind to help manage stress.
    Walking, swimming, water exercise, and non-impact aerobic and stretch-and-tone classes can be beneficial when practiced in moderation. It is important not to overdo when beginning an exercise program in order to present flare-ups of symptoms.

    Practice Good Nutrition

    A diet low in fats, sugars, and chemicals and high in complex carbohydrates such as vegetables, grains, and fruits helps to improve energy, mood, and motivation. A high-protein breakfast can increase energy while high-protein and low-fat meals at breakfast and lunch can improve mental alertness.

    Acidic foods such as tomatoes or citrus fruits promote alertness during the day but may interfere with rest.

    A high-quality multivitamin and mineral can help. Take vitamins with breakfast or lunch.

    Learn to Manage Daily Stress

    Effective stress management can help eliminate headaches, insomnia, tight muscles, rashes, high blood pressure, anxiety and depression.

    Stress management training generally includes identifying:

    small and large stresses in your life,
    effects of stress on your body and health,
    sources of stress that produce physical symptoms for you,
    techniques to manage anger and to communicate, and
    relaxation techniques you can use to regain control over your body and relax your muscles at will.
    Seek Help in Managing Pain

    Pain management programs teach you how to gain control over your pain by reducing factors that magnify or aggravate your pain. You an expect:

    techniques for reducing anxiety, stress, and depression,
    instruction in managing your symptoms in a way that fear of a flare-up will not increase symptoms,
    ways to reduce pain and suffering by understanding your response to symptoms, setting goals, and focusing on progress instead of problems,
    improvement in your ability to carry our daily activities without increasing your pain,
    help in coping with losses related to FMS and planning a productive and satisfying life even though you may not get rid of all the pain.
    Concentrate on Improving Sleep

    If you have poor sleep, you are probably going to have to change some of your habits. Consider the following short-term measures:

    Make getting a good night's sleep a priority.
    Watch your choice of foods and beverages.
    Eating raw or spicy foods before bed can interfere with sleep as can dieting or going to bed hungry. Choose a bedtime snack that is high-carbohydrate, low-protein, and low in sugar.
    Try not to smoke after 6:00 p.m. and try to reduce your daily intake of nicotine.
    Avoid alcohol at bedtime. It fragments sleep and contributes to restlessness.
    Learn and practice relaxation exercises to help you fall asleep or to return to sleep when you awaken during the night.
    How Occupational Therapy Can Help You Deal with the Problems Associated with Fibromyalgia
    Occupational therapists are trained in both physical and psychiatric rehabilitation and can offer you a wide range of services to help you physically and emotionally.

    An occupational therapist can help you see whether the way you carry out your daily routine is helping or hindering your healing.
    Occupational therapists teach stress management, assertiveness training, values clarification, time management, and planning/pacing skills, all of which can help to reduce stress, anxiety, and fatigue.
    If your job or home activities are increasing your neck, back or arm pain, an occupational therapist can watch you at work and make specific recommendations for reducing the strain on your body.
    Occupational therapists can provide specific therapy and exercises to help ameliorate hand, shoulder and neck pain problems. They can also create custom splints to reduce stress on tendons.
    The purpose of this fact sheet is not to offer medical advice. To discuss your particular problem or condition, contact your primary physician. Information may be reproduced for purposes of education.

    Information is taken from "Fibromyalgia Syndrome: Getting Healthy", a 60-page guide to getting well through lifestyle and behavioral methods by Jeanne L. Melvin, an occupational therapist and psychotherapist
  2. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    A diet high in complex carbs and low in fat is not what we need.

    Love, Mikie
  3. beckster

    beckster New Member

    I am not up on the diet stuff. Can someone tell me what the udate on that is? Thanks a lot.
  4. Iggy_RN

    Iggy_RN New Member

    Being diagnosed with mycoplasma Pneumonaie, Newer research indicates other issues not just biochemical. Just read Nicholson's research about mycoplasma here in the library, as well as other research articles. Iggy