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Ten Things that help Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia continues to baffle doctors and researchers, and we the sufferers are still discovering more about it as we live it daily.

As research into this debilitating condition continues it’s imperative that we share with eachother whatever little that we learn. We know that it is not a degenerative condition BUT I would call it life threatening; Life threatening because it takes over every aspect of our lives leaving us trying to live in whatever little way we can. So… with this in mind I thought I would share with you ten things that I think aid fibromyalgia and particular symptoms. I’d also like to ask for your help in adding more to the list by telling me what works for you. (WARNING: some of this may seem corny so go brave). Here we go:

Friends by William Christiansen
Photo by William Christiansen

1. Other fibromyalgia friends

With any illness support is crucial in coping. But given that fibromyalgia is invisible and so misunderstood, not only is support important but being able to share with and learn from other sufferers. This is my number 1 because it is what has made all the difference in my fight against this condition. No one else can understand what you’re going through like another sufferer can.

2. Pregabalin (also called Lyrica)

Now I imagine this causing a little debate among my support groups. Every sufferer is different so there is no one remedy for fibromyalgia and its myriad of symptoms. Pregabalin is what manages my pain now in the day and in the night it helps me to get the closest semblance to sleep I’ve ever had. (N.B I don’t suffer from any side effects. In any event, I already have all those symptoms listed on the side effects!)

3. Epsom salts

An old family remedy, Epsom salts are among my favourite of things, ever. Among other benefits it reduces inflammation, helps muscle and nerve function and removes toxins from the skin. Soaking in the bath with warm water and some cups of Epsom salts eases muscle tension and pains immensely. That, and the combination of a goof muscle rub and Pregbalin….ouu happy days are here again! J

4. The occasional drink

I say ‘occasional’ with great reservation having adopted the very British way of social drinking with a strong liking for the wonderful pub culture. I know alcohol affects all sufferers differently so go easy on this one if you decide to try. In moderation, the social drink settles my nerves and makes me less anxious about any pains or flare ups I’m having. It also sometimes helps with those nagging insomnia woes. My favourite social drink you ask? a bottle of Corona or a lovely glass of Summer Red.

5. Bed room activity

Ok, more reservation again! (Imagine me hiding behind my pillow saying this) It was my physiotherapist who had explained the importance of exercising which causes our bodies to produce endorphins that help deal with pain. I can hear you complaining already about the lack of motivation and how difficult it is to exercise. I know it is. Debilitating exhaustion and pains make it so hard. BUT, if you have a supportive, loving partner who is patient with you, there’s no reason why you can’t exercise in bed…as often as possible. My therapist said your body should generate sweat so as to get those endorphins kicking!

6. Love and support

Sometimes we just need a little moan right? To know that someone is there to listen and just be there. Love and support from family and friends is important. They may not always understand and I know this causes significant problems in some families. It’s tough suffering like this in isolation. Try to be around people who will support you, love you and be there for you. Avoid like the plague anyone who doubts what you’re experiencing, calls you lazy or generally doesn’t support you.

Photo by Colin Dunn
Photo by Colin Dunn

7. Vitamin D

I’d be lying if I said vitamin D was a favourite thing of mine. I hate taking vitamins. But it seems most sufferers, like myself tend to suffer from vitamin D deficiencies. For years I’ve had to take calcium supplements and now vitamin D. It’s already hard with painful muscles, they must be aching so much more because we’re not getting the calcium they need to be stronger. Vitamin D helps our bodies to absorb calcium. Such deficiencies can make our muscles weaker.

8. Duloxetine (also called Cymbalta)

Another drug that’s stabilised my condition. Used to treat chronic and nerve pain, this antidepressant is also prescribed for sufferers who grapple with depression and anxiety. It’s among the more pleasant medicines I’ve had so far.

9. A pleasant routine day time activity

That’s a really long headline isn’t it? But I didn’t want to shorten it. You see, I know with crippling exhaustion levels some of us struggle to get out of bed daily. Some days we can’t do it, I understand. Other days, we need a reason to force us up and out of bed. A pleasant reason. It can’t be something like exercise or cutting your mother-in-law’s toenails. For me it’s going to work at my current job. It’s been so new to me, I like the people I work with, helping them daily and just the overall benefits of working with the company. I lie in bed in the morning, after slipping my radio nob up, I think about what the day holds, and I slowly sit up, then find myself excited about how I’m going to dress for work. Say it together with me – PLEASANT, ROUTINE, DAY TIME ACTIVITY. Also, it forces me to get the exercise I need. Rushing to catch the bus and train, up and down the office. Sure my fuse is almost blown at the end of the day and I can do little else, but I’ve realised I was so much more sick when I was stuck in bed day after day, not going out interacting with people and stretching my muscles. Join a charity and volunteer for a few hours, give after school lessons, help someone with their baby once a week. I dunno, whatever makes you happy, do it!

10. Happiness

I know this can be a tough one. But enjoy the fleeting moments of happiness when they come daily. Smile, help someone else, laugh at yourself, smile again…when we are happy our symptoms are so much better. Happiness keeps the dreaded fibromyalgia at bay.

Gentle Hugs 🙂

potofcallaloo
Alisha Nurse is a curry-loving writer & comms professional who holds a Master of Arts Degree in Journalism (International) from the University of Westminster, London. Get in touch with any feedback or questions via the contact form in the 'About' section.

5 thoughts on “Ten Things that help Fibromyalgia

  1. I have both Fibromylagia and Polymylagia. I started to take an enzyme called Serrapeptase, 80, 000 iu. Well I thought , here we go again…. I knew a variation had been withdrawn… But the tabs I use can be bought from Amazon and Holland and Barret. I started them in September when I couldnt get out of bed , was in tears with the pain . I wanted to die, Id had enough…. I could not have had enough strength to write this, apart from the body pain , the Fibro fog would have set in. Well , I have to say I am a new woman . I cook , clean , do the washing. All I ask is “just try it ” It is not a strong antidepressent. But you look it up for yourself…………. And ” Good Luck “

  2. Oh my God thank u for saying it I know how hard it in the beginning dealing with all the that is happening to your body an the next year or so trying to figuring it all out an trying to find meds that work for u But here’s the skinny not every med works for everyone so lots of trial an error But there are things u can do to help yourself like she said an it works having some kind of routine make yourself get out of bed u have to exercise start small yoga is great take a walk if you don’t move you will lose your muscle tone. An it hurts more when U do move . I found changing my diet was huge an taking vitamins not just d 3 but Magnesium for muscle cramps multi vitamin b complex for more energy I became more Aware of your stress level I use essential oils for Aromatherapy an there’s a great muscles rub lavender helps me sleep better Epsom salt bath are amazing an the list goes on but it’s nice to see I’m not the only one who choses not to let there illness Control then . So thank you for saying you can have a life

    1. Thanks so much Janice. I’m so glad that you’ve found what works for you too. Very well said on all points, especially the importance of moving around. We need to share that message of hope to others too.

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