Fibromyalgia Symptom Round-up

With over 200 symptoms or co-morbidities, fibromyalgia symptoms can vary from person to person.

With 18 trigger points across the body, one of the most defining symptoms of Fibromyalgia Syndrome is widespread pain. It is also characterized by extreme fatigue, sleeping issues, headaches, and a myriad of other symptoms. It can be difficult at times to ascertain whether you have yet another weird symptom of fibromyalgia, or you truly have something else wrong. And the symptoms vary from one person to the next.

Research suggests that “the brain of a fibromyalgia patient amplifies pain signals” and  that it “is a complex condition whose definition and measurement extend far beyond charting patient-reported pain levels on a numeric scale.” It’s no wonder there are over 200 symptoms and/or co-morbidities that have been attributed to this syndrome. Continue reading “Fibromyalgia Symptom Round-up”

Fibromyalgia Awareness Day

This year’s theme “Helping yourself…while helping others” reminds us that you feel better when you help others living with FMS.

May 12th each year has been designated as Fibromyalgia Awareness Day. This year’s theme “Helping yourself…while helping others” reminds us that you feel better when you help others living with FMS. Although I was diagnosed with it in 2000, I have just in the last few years started sharing my journey. I started my blog to share my strategies for life with fibromyalgia and to inspire others to seek healthy lifestyle changes and find joy in their lives, despite those challenges they might be facing. Continue reading “Fibromyalgia Awareness Day”

Six Tips for Relieving Pain Naturally

I have adopted many lifestyle changes over the years that I truly believe have lessened the impact fibromyalgia has on my life.

Fibromyalgia syndrome is a condition thought to affect up to 400 million people worldwide, or 5% of the population, according to the National Fibromyalgia Association. It is characterized by widespread pain and fatigue, with 18 key trigger points in the body. There are also a myriad of other symptoms, and I would venture to guess that none of us have the same symptoms, the same level of pain, or achieve pain relief from the same things. Fibromyalgia is still somewhat of a medical mystery with no silver bullets or miracle cures on the horizon.

For years I have considered myself a “high-functioning fibrowarrior” because despite my flares, I somehow manage to push on. I have my share of pain, flares, and exhaustion. Let’s just say there is much less jumping and much more creaking when I get out of bed in the morning. And yes, I spend time in bed curled up with a heating pad. My flares seem to last longer the older I get. But the flares are fewer and far between. Continue reading “Six Tips for Relieving Pain Naturally”

The Challenge of Slowing Down

I have had difficulty accepting that I cannot do what I once could. I am not the same person I once was.

the challenge of slowing down

Life in general requires overcoming challenges and obstacles of many types. Life with fibromyalgia introduces its own share of challenges: lack of energy, lack of sleep, chronic pain being the most prevalent.  These things can change who you are and how you approach life. What once was a simple task, such as getting out of bed in the morning, can now be a daily struggle.

In the years since my diagnosis, my biggest challenge has been SLOWING DOWN. I have had difficulty accepting that I cannot do what I once could. I am not the same person I once was. Type A personalities, like myself, prefer to be in the game rather than sitting on the sidelines.

Adopting health strategies such as a clean diet, regular workouts, and supplements, has helped lessen the daily pain and limited my “flares” of my fibromyalgia. It has allowed me to maintain a moderately active lifestyle. And then I begin to think: Maybe I am OK. Maybe I am in some sort of remission. Maybe I can push myself just a little harder. And that thinking usually ends in a crash and burn, i.e. fibro flare and bed rest. Slowing down, resting allows the body to recover from the stresses put upon it. Without a recovery period, we can do our bodies more harm than good. Continue reading “The Challenge of Slowing Down”

Is it Fibromyalgia or Something Else?

Chronic, widespread pain. Fatigue. Insomnia. Depression. Headaches. These are the common symptoms most people associate with Fibromyalgia Syndrome or FMS. But this syndrome is complex, its symptoms mimic other conditions, and it’s not easily diagnosed. There are well over 60 different symptoms that have been associated with this condition, some of which are comorbid or overlapping conditions. Muscle, skin, joint, cognitive, sensory, neurological, sleep-related, and the list goes on. For people like me, it can be difficult at times to determine if it’s just one of the myriad of things associated with FMS or if it’s something new. Sometimes it’s a guessing game: Is it Fibromyalgia or something else?
Continue reading “Is it Fibromyalgia or Something Else?”

Top 10 Things I Learned from Living with Fibromyalgia

I didn’t choose a life with fibromyalgia, it chose me. Many days I wish I was my old self, pain-free and full of energy. Yet, until a cure is found, this me has been the norm for close to 20 years now. I have learned to cope and live, and even thrive.

Scott Hamilton said, “The only disability in life is a bad attitude.”

And so I want to share my top 10 lessons from life as a fibro warrior.

Continue reading “Top 10 Things I Learned from Living with Fibromyalgia”

Benefits of Yoga for Fibromyalgia

Help fight your fibro-fog! Yoga improves your mind’s ability to process information.

The thought of exercising when you are in the throes of pain and fatigue may seem counterintuitive, but that’s exactly why you should get moving. Research shows that regular exercise can reduce pain and improve overall health. There are additional benefits for fibro sufferers. But too strenuous of an exercise can certainly trigger a flare and set you into that vicious cycle of pain and fatigue, leaving you with no energy for working out. If this sounds like you, consider the practice of yoga to help ease the symptoms of fibromyalgia.

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Continue reading “Benefits of Yoga for Fibromyalgia”