Fibromyalgia can cause all kinds of discomfort and lifestyle issues, but there are natural remedies that can give you the relief you deserve!
Fairly recently recognized as a true health condition, fibromyalgia is an inflammatory musculoskeletal condition that causes a number of unpleasant symptoms. Some of the primary symptoms include:
- Widespread muscle and joint pain
- Disrupted sleep
- Anxiety & depression
- Digestive upset
Essentially, those suffering from fibromyalgia ache all over. Unfortunately, because the pain of fibromyalgia originates primarily from the body’s tissues, physical movement, especially strenuous activity, can really aggravate the pain. Currently, it’s not understood what causes this condition, but scientists do believe that highly stressful or traumatic events such as car accidents, repetitive injuries, or infections can lead to the development of fibromyalgia.
While there currently isn’t any medical cure, medical treatment is currently centered on pain relievers and anti-inflammatories, which haven’t shown to be very effective. Fortunately, there are some effective natural remedies and dietary methods that can be practiced to help alleviate the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Eat Anti-Inflammatory Foods: Because fibromyalgia is an inflammatory condition, eating fresh, whole foods, especially those high in antioxidants can go a long way in helping reduce or even eliminate the pain from inflammation. Some of the top anti-inflammatory foods include green tea, raw cacao, dark green vegetables, cruciferous vegetables, ginger, garlic, turmeric and healthy fats (grass-fed butter, coconut oil, fish oil).
Avoid Toxic Foods & Ingredients: In our modern world, this can be easier said than done, as there are so many highly processed foods and ingredients in our food supply. It’s essential to avoid at least the most harmful ingredients that are commonly found in highly processed, nutrient deficient foods. These include ingredients such as non-nutritive sweeteners (like aspartame), preservatives, coloring agents (dyes), processed sugar and carbohydrates (starches such as maltodextrin), and toxic oils (vegetable oils and trans fats).
Be Hydrated: Being dehydrated only fuels the fire for the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Eating a proper diet coupled with getting enough water helps the body to properly distribute the nutrients through the body and also helps remove toxins that cause havoc and fuel inflammation. The best fluid is obviously clean water, but herbal tea, unsweetened kombucha, and other such natural beverages can also be included. It’s a good idea for fibromyalgia sufferers to avoid caffeine, which can exasperate symptoms.
Limit Carbs & Sugars: The most important thing is to greatly minimize or eliminate processed carbs and sugars (aka “white” sugar and carbs). Once these foods have been removed from the diet, it’s also a good idea for fibromyalgia sufferers to reduce overall sugar load on the body each day. While foods such as fruit or local raw honey aren’t bad, too much day in and day out can be too much sugar coursing through the veins, which can fuel inflammation and serve to worsen existing symptoms.
Eat Whole, Fresh, Balanced: The best diet for those suffering from fibromyalgia is a diet that is based only on foods that are whole, fresh, and prepared by traditional means. The base of the diet should be healthy fats, vegetables, and quality proteins. Secondarily should be whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds, while the smallest category should be fruits and “sugar” foods such as raw honey. A diet that follows this guideline will be high in nutrients, fiber, healthy fats, and protein; it will be low in sugar and will be devoid of toxic foods and ingredients.
Quality Sleep: Ensuring that you get optimal sleep can greatly help reduce or manage symptoms. Things such as meditation before bed, removing lights from the bedroom, or using essential oils such as lavender can help bring about a restful night’s sleep.
Stress Management: Many fibromyalgia sufferers are under a lot of stress, which only serves to worsen symptoms. Managing stress can go a long way in reducing the intensity of symptoms. Activities such as a relaxing bath, a walk, yoga, meditation, or other such techniques can be an effective way of reducing stress to treat symptoms.
Deep Breathing: Practicing deep breathing can help to not only reduce stress levels, but it also helps increase blood flow to all areas of the body. Doing so helps oxygenate and supply vital nutrients to all tissues as well as aiding in the removal of toxins.
Infrared Sauna: Sitting in an infrared sauna can do wonders not only for helping to eliminate toxins that worsen inflammation, but it is also a great way for helping to reduce chronic pain. Additionally, because physical activity can worsen pain for fibromyalgia suffers, sitting in an infrared sauna can be a great activity to burn calories and condition the cardiovascular system.
The best thing fibromyalgia sufferers can do is to live a well-balanced, natural lifestyle full of wholesome, nutrient-dense foods, combined with a low stress, happy attitude. While realistically perfection won’t be possible, following these guidelines as much as possible can at least go a long way in reducing the severity of the symptoms.