(written in 2011 many more changes since this was written I have been pain free from lupus and fibromyalgia for 2 years!)
Every week I get several emails asking me what I am doing to treat fibromyalgia syndrome. It is easy to see why when considering it takes years to get diagnosed and then years to find a treatment option that actually works for each fibromyalgia patient! The one thing that is so frustrating with having a chronic illness is the “trial and error” phase when you are trying a treatment and you get all excited it is going to work and then the huge let down when something does not meet that expectation. So this post is my journey through treatments that have failed and treatments that have been successful. I would like those of you reading to tell your journey as well in the comment section of this blog post. I think if we all come together we can help others that are struggling to find a treatment option that will work for them!
Our limitations and success will be based, most often, on our own expectations for ourselves. What the mind dwells upon, the body acts upon. ~Denis Waitley
I have to say I am truly grateful for what I know now about the human body and that I know now that the mind and the body are connected and you can not treat one and not the other. I went 12 years just treating my physical body and continued to decline. I was told by my Doctors that it was just the progression of fibromyalgia and that I just needed to accept it. I did for a while then one day I was introduced to the movie “The Secret” which is about The Universal Law of Attraction (Just a basic introduction of it) and it change my way of thinking and made me hungry to learn more about how I can use my mind as part of my treatment. Now I am very careful with my thoughts knowing that “What you think about, you bring about.” Before I knew this all I thought of was how painful my day was going to be! When I changed that one negative thought and replaced it with a positive thought which is gratitude that I have been granted a new day, that is where my healing process began and I started searching for answers!
he best and most efficient pharmacy is within your own system. ~Robert C. Peale
When I was first diagnosed I wanted everything and anything to stop the unrelenting pain I was in. So doctors were happy to write me prescriptions and I was happy to take them! Paxil, Bentyl, Norco, Soma, mobic, Atenolol, Hydrochlorothiazide, Topamax, fentanyl patch ect. ect. ect. You would think I would not be in any pain and numb from all of that but it got to the point that the medications became the source of the pain which sounds crazy but I developed rebound pain. The entire time I thought my condition was getting worse it was rebound pain and medication side effect that were making my health decline. So with my doctors help I went off all of the medications slowly one at a time. It took over a year and it was a very painful process. When you have lowered your own bodies tolerance threshold to pain with pain medications, when you come of medications it is like the worst flare you have been in. Eventually my body recalibrated it’s pain threshold and I began to feel better then I had in years. I still have pain everyday but it is nothing like it was!
“Unfortunately, everything the experts tell us about diet is aimed at the whole population, and we are not all the same.” ~ The Scientist Magazine
Every morning I wake up and have a big glass of lemon water. Due to the digestive qualities of lemon juice, symptoms of indigestion such as heartburn, bloating and belching are relieved. By drinking lemon juice regularly, the bowels are aided in eliminating waste more efficiently thus controlling constipation and diarrhea. The lemon is a wonderful stimulant to the liver and is a dissolvent of uric acid and other poisons, liquefies the bile, and is very good for Sufferers of chronic rheumatism and gout. After I drink my tall glass of lemon water I prepare the fruits and vegetables that I will be juicing for breakfast. This starts my day off on the right foot and gives me the nutrition and energy I need for the day ahead. A lot of people have told me they have tried juicing for fibromyalgia and other chronic conditions and it did not help them. You can’t give up so fast! It took you years to get your body in the bad shape it is now. It is going to take a while to start seeing it improve.
“Diet is the essential key to all successful healing. Without a proper balanced diet, the effectiveness of herbal treatment is very limited.”~ ~Michael Tierra
We have been told our entire life to “eat healthy” but what you think might be healthy could be making you more ill and produce more pain. Anyone with a chronic illness should avoid processes foods. If you are eating highly processes foods your body and health condition will continue to decline.
Processed food include
- canned foods with large amounts of sodium or fat
- breads and pastas made with refined white flour instead of whole grains
- packaged high-calorie snack foods such as chips and candies
- frozen fish sticks and frozen dinners that are high in sodium
- packaged cakes and cookies
- boxed meal mixes that are high in fat and sodium
- sugary breakfast cereals
- processed meats
- Fast food (fast foods are full of MSG and chemicals)
- Sodas (Diet is worse because if chemical sweeteners
Basically anything that comes prepackaged is processed. When grocery shopping I stay on the outer rim of the grocery store where are the fresh veggies and meats are. Down those middle isles are foods full of things that our body was never meant to consume. If you can not pronounce the ingredients on the ingredients section on the food box you buy, chances are your body can not digest it and it will just make you feel horrible. Also I try and buy as many organic foods as I possibly can within my budget. Non organic food is full of pesticides, antibiotics, and hormones.
Water is the driving force of all nature. ~Leonardo Da Vinci
Something so simple but so important! I drink only water and a lot of it! I sometimes have unsweetened tea but mostly water! Water makes up more than two thirds of human body weight, and without water, we would die in a few days. The human brain is made up of 95% water, blood is 82% and lungs 90%. A mere 2% drop in our body’s water supply can trigger signs of dehydrationWater is important to the mechanics of the human body. The body cannot work without it, just as a car cannot run without gas and oil. In fact, all the cell and organ functions that make up our entire anatomy and physiology depend on water for their functioning.
- Water serves as a lubricant
- Water forms the base for saliva
- Water forms the fluids that surround the joints.
- Water regulates the body temperature, as the cooling and heating is distributed through perspiration.
- Water helps to eliminate constipation by moving food through the intestinal tract and thereby eliminating waste – the best detox agent.
- Water helps to regulate metabolism
Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it. ~Plato
On somedays this is not easy on me. I hate to move when I am not feeling well but gentle exercise like walking and swimming have been a huge part of why I can manage my symptoms without medications. Exercise is one of the most important treatments for fibromyalgia. Regular exercise will strengthen your muscles, increase blood flow to the muscles to promote healing, and increase your endurance. It also may reduce the risk of tiny injuries to the muscles that may cause more pain. Exercise seems to increase the amount of pressure that a person can tolerate at tender points. It may also help you sleep better and improve your overall sense of well-being. When introducing exercise into your life remember it is not a sprint. It is a marathon and start out with just mild stretching every morning. If you do to much at once you will be in A LOT of pain.
If you can’t sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there worrying. It’s the worry that gets you, not the lack of sleep.
I had to become emotionally healthy in order for all that good nutrition to start working. This means being authentically me and learning to say “No” to people and letting go of any past anger and resentments I had. I now live each day with purpose and passion and embrace challenges as learning experiences. I had to let go of having to be in control all the time. Who cares if my apartment is not perfect? Who cares what other people say or think about me? Who cares that I do not have the most up to date clothes and hair style? The truth is NO ONE CARES and neither should you! This world is so consumed with impressing others and what I needed to do was start impressing myself! So I did! It is not selfish to take care of yourself physically and emotionally! You will be better for others if you take care of you first. You deserve it and so does your body! Treat your body like the miracle it is!
The body is your temple. Keep it pure and clean for the soul to reside in.