Understanding Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia awareness.

Understanding Fibromyalgia

Understanding Fibromyalgia and knowing what works to heal the body is key in dealing with this pain syndrome

What is Fibromyalgia?

The Mayo Clinic describes fibromyalgia as “ a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain processes pain signals.”

Who gets Fibromyalgia?

Anyone can get fibromyalgia, but statistics show that women are affected more than men by fibromyalgia.

Many times fibromyalgia can show itself after a trauma, surgery, infection or an accident.

People who have tension headaches, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety and depression are more likely to suffer with fibromyalgia.


Widespread pain– a dull ache is how most people describe fibro pain. Researchers believe that the brain’s pain receptors in those with fribromyalgia are more sensitive and tend to overreact to pain signals.

Fatigue– people with fibromyalgia often awaken tired even though they have slept. Many suffer with sleep disorders like sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome

IBS– irritable bowel syndrome often goes hand in hand with fibromyalgia

Depression-dealing with constant pain and fatigue can lead to depression

Headaches-migraines and headaches are common in people with fibromyalgia

Fibro Fog–  a common complaint from fibro sufferers is the impairment of the ability to focus, pay attention or concentrate for long periods of time

How to be diagnosed?

There is no one test to diagnose fibromyalgia, but it’s usually diagnosed by a rheumatologist. If the individual has had overall body pain which has lasted for more than three months and reacts to at least 11 of 18 tender points which are located all over the body, then fibromyalgia is indicated.

Take your life back

Dealing with fibromyalgia can be challenging at times, but there are a few things you can do to help cope with your pain.

Proper nutrition is so important and reducing inflammation in the body is key. Testing for food allergies, sensitivities and candida is a good place to start. Eliminate gluten, dairy, nightshades (peppers, eggplant, tomatoes and potatoes) and sugar from your diet as they are acidic to the body.

Keeping the body alkaline is a sure way to reduce inflammation in the body. An alkaline diet will keep tissue supple and reduce inflammation, which is the cause of many diseases like arthritis, fibromyalgia and irritable bowel disorders.

The best way to test your pH measurement of acidity or alkalinity is easy. Purchase some pH paper at your local health food stores and test your urine. Readings below 7.0 are considered acidic, while higher readings (above 7.0) are considered alkaline.

Staying away from acid forming foods like dairy, sugar, and processed foods is a sure way to lessen inflammation in your body.

Ways to alkalize your diet:

Vegetables – Having 75% of your plate being green vegetables is a great rule of thumb to keep your body more alkaline. Foods like kale, avocados, leafy greens, cucumber, Brussel sprouts, and zucchini are some excellent foods to introduce into your diet.

Lemons– Add freshly squeezed lemon juice to your morning water

Water– drink plenty of filtered water during the day and switch from coffee to green tea

Sugar-Reduce consumption of sugar, sodas and refined carbohydrates

Meditation– Thirty minutes of meditation or mindfulness a day, has shown to reduce pain and anxiety for those with fibromyalgia.

Hypnosis– Hypnosis is a wonderful tool to learn about your past and you may have an underlying trauma or issue that is causing your fibromyalgia. The field of mind body medicine and epigenetics is showing us how our thoughts and beliefs can affect our health and well being and that we can change our genetic code by changing our diet, thoughts and environment.

Gentle Exercise– Walking, swimming, yoga or qigong are excellent ways of aligning our breath with gentle exercise which can help with pain management.

Understanding fibromyalgia and its many sides can help in dealing with it. Find a caring practitioner, embrace a healthier diet and some form of exercise or stress reduction to keep the body healthy and happy.

For more information on dealing with fibromyalgia and dietary consulting email me at info@deliciousalternatives.com


About the Author

Written by: Shirley Plant
Shirley Plant is a nutritionist and the author of Finally… Food I Can Eat, a dietary guide and cookbook for people with food allergies, and those looking for healthy, tasty recipes. Shirley offers dietary counselling and menu planning through Delicious Alternatives.

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