If you’re suffering from the pain and achiness of fibromyalgia, you may be feeling frustrated with typical drug options, most of which have minimal effectiveness for the condition. Fortunately, there are many natural approaches to the disorder.
Fibromyalgia is a type of arthritis. Doctors classify it as a syndrome, which means that it is a collection of seemingly unconnected symptoms, with the main one being unaccountable pain in the muscles (myo means muscle and algia means pain). The cause of syndromes is uncertain, but in the case of fibromyalgia, it often starts after an illness, injury or trauma. In addition to pain, there are often many other symptoms.
Here are the diagnostic criteria for fibromyalgia (however you should get a diagnosis from your physician to rule out any other possible conditions):
-widespread pain in all four quadrants of the body lasting for at least three months
-tenderness in at least eleven of the eighteen specified tender points implicated in fibromyalgia
-generalized aches or stiffness of at least three anatomic sites for at least three months
-exclusion of other disorders that are known to cause similar symptoms
Here are some of the best natural ways to address fibromyalgia:
Eliminate Possible Food Sensitivities
Stay clear of foods you may be sensitive to. The most common ones include wheat and gluten-containing grains such as barley, spelt, oats, rye, kamut, amaranth and millet. Avoid milk and dairy products, sugar (in any form since it depletes the immune system—use the herbal extract stevia instead), artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, alcoholic beverages, caffeinated foods and beverages, soft drinks, food additives, colors and preservatives, and peanuts (since the aflatoxins that grow on peanuts worsens symptoms—opt for almond butter instead.) Most of these foods cause or aggravate inflammation in the body.
Use Tarragon in Your Diet
Research in the journal Pharmaceutical Biology found that tarragon has significant analgesic effects. Additionally, it is also a natural anti-inflammatory remedy, which makes it a great choice for fibromyalgia. It is available in extracts as well, which are ideal for getting medicinal doses of tarragon on a daily basis. Follow package directions for the product you select.
Eat a Plant-Based Diet
The lymphatic system of people with fibromyalgia is often congested. The lymphatic system is involved with removing waste matter from the muscles and other soft tissues of the body but it can become overburdened with our typical diet high in meat, dairy, sugar and other inflammatory foods. Fruits, vegetables and sprouts are among the best foods to cleanse the lymphatic system.
Supplement with Magnesium and Malic Acid
Deficiencies in malic acid and magnesium are common among fibromyalgia sufferers. They support the muscular system and energy production at the cellular level. Some nutritional formulations combine the nutrients, making them ideal for using with fibromyalgia. Follow package directions for the product you choose.
Take Ginger to Alleviate the Pain
Use 1 to 5 grams of gingerroot daily to increase circulation to the muscles and to reduce pain. Do not use with blood-thinning drugs as ginger may thin the blood as well.
Drink More Water
Drink eight to ten cups of pure, filtered water or freshly-made vegetable and fruit juices every day.
Add an Enzyme Supplement
Most people with fibromyalgia suffer from poor digestion, which makes nutritional deficiencies common with the disease. After all, if you can’t digest food properly you won’t be able to extract the many essential nutrients out of the food. These nutrients form the building blocks of every cell in your body. Choose a high-quality full-spectrum enzyme supplement and take with every meal to support digestion and nutrient absorption. Follow package directions for the product you select.
Take Bromelain to Ease Inflammation and Pain
Extracted from pineapples, this enzyme normally works on digesting the natural proteins found in the fruit; however, when it is taken on an empty stomach it works on pain and inflammation in the body. Three to 5 capsules of a 5000 MCU potency of bromelain twice daily on an empty stomach is a typical dose for fibromyalgia.