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Diet and Exercise for Fibromyalgia

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Can Diet and Exercise Alleviate Symptoms of Fibromyalgia I have been experiencing what I believe to be severe symptoms of Fibromyalgia since my hysterectomy. Can a change of diet alleviate symptoms?

First of all, go ahead and make an appointment to see your doctor to confirm the diagnosis of fibromyalgia. Assuming that’s what it is, ask for a referral to a dietitian with experience working with patients with fibromyalgia for specific dietary advice. In the meantime, here are some responses from HysterSisters who have had some success battling the pain and fatigue of fibromyalgia:


“I have fibromyalgia and sleep apnea, and I hurt and am tired all the time. I do work full time and everything I do is an effort. I used to love to cook and garden, but now I just try to get a meal on the table as fast as I can. I plant less and less each year. I have had fibro for over 10 years now and sleep apnea for three or more. A nurse that I happened to sit next to on a flight from Boston to Phoenix told me of a book that helped her, and I picked it up last weekend. The name of the book is From Fatigued to Fantastic. I believe the book deals with diet for the most part and eliminating foods that trigger fatigue. I am also on Vioxx for the fibromyalgia, and I do believe it helps the pain.”


“Sorry to hear about the fibromyalgia. I was diagnosed with the same four years ago, although I rarely have symptoms now. Balancing my hormones, for me, was a major factor in minimizing the pain. My pain was worst on Premarin, but on Estratest HS it was less. My best results by far have been with the natural hormone replacement. Adding natural progesterone has been Godsend. Also, and I know it's hard to think of this, but exercise has helped immensely. I was so fearful to start. I was too stiff to even contemplate it. But, going easy on the treadmill at first, I slowly built up. This morning I did 71 floors on the stair-climber, and a mile on the treadmill. I also did strength training. There's something about the aerobic exercise, oxygenating the tissues, that really helps me to feel better.”


“Exercise for fibromyalgia is definitely the way to go. I was diagnosed several years ago. I was in pain constantly. I even had to go to an occupational therapist to learn how to be able to sleep comfortably with this. I am not a pill popper, but sleep is one of the key things in controlling this disease. Do whatever you need to do to get the proper sleep at night. I found that taking Benadryl before bed helped me. It is actually one of the drugs that docs use for this disease. Check with your doctor. Anyway, I started doing yoga. The combination of stretching and breathing amazingly worked to take care of my pain. I can move things now that I never thought I would. Yoga can be for anyone. There are many good books; Yoga for Dummies is an excellent one. I had my TAH on 5/23 and, with my doctor's blessing, started yoga again at the six week point. It took me a little while to get back into it, but I feel great. My body actually looks forward to doing it every day, and I was always one who hated exercise. I highly recommend this for anyone with fibromyalgia, and just to promote good general health all around. I still have pain from time to time, but I can deal with it easily now, and it goes away as fast as it came. It's nothing like it was before. I also can sleep now without taking any medication.”


“Fibromyalgia may be a syndrome related to neurotransmitters in the brain that have become unbalanced. So I think anything that helps stabilize nerve transmissions would help. B vitamins, for instance, are linked to nerve development--especially B6, which is important to nerves and to serotonin production. Magnesium is a mineral linked to nerve health as well. In addition, if you can drop your cortisol levels, then there's improvement. That's another reason why exercise and yoga/meditation work well for many. It lowers stress and cortisol. Also, the autonomic nerve system is impacted by fibromyalgia, so exercise might help regulate that. Fibromyalgia often appears at menopause, so some are trying HRT as a way to help--which makes some sense with the neurotransmitter theory because ovarian hormones and neurotransmitters are all connected--especially estrogen and the two neurotransmitters they think are involved, serotonin and epinephrine.”


“I have fibromyalgia. My surgery was the 23rd of July (TAH/BSO), and I knew that my fibro symptoms would be increased as a result of the surgery. I had endometriosis and adhesions with many prior surgeries. It's not unusual to find women with endo who also develop fibromylgia, migraines, and IBS, etc. It all goes together. Right after the surgery, my symptoms were not too bad, but now they are really kicking up. You need plenty of quality rest, and exercise is imperative. I have spinal stenosis also, which makes walking long distances difficult; however, I am trying to walk every day again. Relaxation and meditation are wonderful for you in terms of pain control and sleep. Yoga (gentle stretching) is great also. Be gentle and start slow! Finally, look around for the most recent books on fibromyalgia. They validate your concerns and feelings and give you tools to live a healthier lifestyle.”


“I’m sorry to hear how you are feeling. I hope by now you have found some relief. I just wanted to tell you about something that has helped my mom with her fibromyalgia. It is an anti-oxidant called OPC-3. When she started taking it, she was in bad shape and had been for years. She was not able to work or live the active life she was accustomed to. OPC enabled her to get her life back. About a month after she started on OPC, she was out in the yard digging with a shovel and planting flower bulbs, which is something I hadn't seen her do in years. The OPC that she takes is in an isotonic form for the best absorption possible.”

This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.

07-16-2003 - 06:08 PM


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