Fibromyalgia is characterized by widespread pain and fatigue, with no known cause, a variety of different symptoms, and no one-size-fits-all treatment. I consider myself very fortunate in that I do not take medicine, I rarely take sick days, and I have managed to carry on with changes to my lifestyle. Today I am going to offer you my top tips with links to more reading on each tip.
I have had fibromyalgia for over 20 years, but no longer take medication. I have found my life style changes have really helped reduce the flares and allow me tolerate the pain much better. While I do still have flares, they are less frequent. I have found, however, that as I get older sometimes it takes longer to recover from one. I have had flares last up to almost a month. So Alleve and epsom salt baths can become my constant friends.
I am a typical Type “A” personality who likes to be independent, to accomplish things, and is rarely sitting still. So to be sidelined by a flare-up of the pain and fatigue that come with fibromyalgia was very discouraging for me, especially when my kids were little. I spent several years taking different medications only to find I experienced side effects from nearly everything. So I began reading and adopting healthier habits and a more holistic approach to my health.
Top three tips
Here are my top tips for coping with fibromyaglia:
- What you eat really does matter. I often say eat crap, feel like crap. I follow a Paleo/Mediterranean inspired diet that is gluten and dairy free, and low in sugar and processed food, and high in fruits and veggies, nuts, and healthy fats. This helps me feel my best, avoid stomach issues, and reduce inflammatory responses in my body. Here is my top post on nutrition: What to Eat with Fibromyalgia
- Movement is medicine. I cannot run anymore, but I can walk. I cannot do cross-fit these days, but I can do pilates or yoga. Daily movement is important for my mind and body. I take daily walks to get outside, breathe fresh air, appreciate nature, and clear my head. I do yoga, pilates, or use a stationery bike to keep my muscles strong and flexible, to reduce stiffness, and to maintain my weight. I have several posts about my journey with yoga, but here is a link to Why I Practice Yoga for Pain
- You can’t do everything, but you can do something. Pushing myself too hard often triggers a flare. I enjoy my walks, hikes, and gardening, all in moderation to avoid flares. I have learned to give myself permission to rest and ask for help when needed. Here are my Top 10 Things I Have Learned Living with Fibromyalgia and 10 Quotes to Inspire
Whether you have fibromyalgia, some other chronic pain or fatigue condition, or perhaps know someone who does, I hope you are able to glean a little bit of information or inspiration from my tips.
May 12th is recognized as Fibromyalgia Awareness Day. For the month of May several bloggers from Fibro Blogger Directory have joined together to share their top tips and spread awareness about Fibromyalgia. Please check back here next week to read the group post. I will also be sharing tips and past posts on Twitter all month long.