Fibromyalgia: Natural Home Remedies
Fibromyalgia is a syndrome, a collection of symptoms that consistently occur together. The primary symptom of fibromyalgia is widespread musculoskeletal pain, but there are many other possible symptoms to accompany pain.
It was once very difficult to get a diagnosis of fibromyalgia. Today, if a person has widespread pain for more than three months, they might be daignosed with the syndrome.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
To receive a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, you must exhibit several of the following symptoms:
- Widespread musculoskeletal pain
- Debilitating fatigue
- Sleep disturbances
- Chronic headaches
- Heightened sensitivity to cold and/or heat
- Brain fog
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Numbness or tingling in the fingers and feet
- Memory issues
The National Fibromyalgia Foundation estimates that 3-6% of the world’s population suffers from this condition.
Standard treatments might include cognitive behavioral therapy, exercise to improve sleep and reduce pain, and medications (all of which have risks of side effects). There are a number of home treatments you can try for relief. If you are taking prescription meds, always check with your doctor before using herbs, spices and supplements for healing. Check all your medications for possible interactions.
A healthy immune system is always the first line of defense against disease and inflammation. To promote a healthy immune system, it is important to eat a balanced diet, with as much variety as you can manage, with lots of whole, fresh vegetables and fruits, quality protein and healthy sources of monounsaturated fat. The Zone is an excellent starting point.
FOODS THAT MAY PROMOTE HEALING
- Apples for the malic acid
- Bone Broth
- Raw garlic
FOODS AND OTHER SUBSTANCES TO AVOID
- All inflammatory foods
- Processed foods of any kind
- Processed sugars
TEAS AND OTHER LIQUIDS
While teas with caffeine have useful compounds for the Fibromyalgia sufferer, it is best to consume them early in the day so they do not interfere with a good night’s sleep. Try two cups a day and see if that helps. More might help some of your symptoms but then you might just have other problems from too much caffeine.
- Black tea
- California poppy
- Dang Shen
- Green tea
- Licorice root
- Saw palmetto
- White tea
HERBS AND SPICES
- Lemon Balm
- Pau d’arco
- Reishi tincture
- St. John’s Wort
Essential oils can be administered via a diffuser for inhalation, administered topically in a carrier oil like coconut, or undiluted drops can be added to a hot bath.
- Black Pepper
- Clary sage
- Roman Chamomile
- Sweet Marjoram
- Ylang Ylang
OTHER SUBSTANCES AND SUPPLEMENTS
The cost of having a blood test to determine if you have nutritional deficiencies is likely to be negligible compared to over-consuming expensive supplements that you do not need.
- Check for iodine deficiency and supplement if necessary. Test can be with urine or a patch test.
- Check for low ferritin, folic acid, 25-hydroxy and supplement accordingly (and eat foods rich in whatever substances you need)/
- Co Q10
- Colloidal silver
- 5-HTP, a natural amino acid, may ease symptoms of pain, anxiety, fatigue and stiffness.
- Iron supplements (test before taking any iron supplements because iron overload is very common)
- Magnesium may reduce pain and tenderness.
- SAMe may improve rest and mood.
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin C (deficiencies often found in cancer patients)
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
Water is essential and a main nutrient for the human body. Without it, you cannot survive for many days. Staying hydrated is fundamental for a healthy body, so how much is enough? There are so many differences in people (i.e., how much we sweat), as well as the diets we consume (a lot of water comes from healthy, whole foods), but a general rule is to consume enough water that your urine is clear, but not so much that you dilute your nutrients. If you are taking certain supplements that make your urine yellow, then you can start out with the formula of drinking ½ ounce to 1 ounce of water for each pound you weigh. If you weigh 130 pounds, drink 65 to 130 ounces of water a day. Definitely drink when you are thirsty.
Inactivity weakens muscles and makes them more sensitive to pain. Try low-impact aerobic exercises or cardiovascular exercise. If you are ill, you will want to take it easy, of course, but there is always something you can do to support your body. Do what you can do without making yourself feel worse. Exercise in fresh air whenever possible.
Stay calm. Anxiety undermines health. Practice relaxation exercises, talk to a friend, join a support group. Do what works for you to keep mellow.
OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO
- Check for adrenal fatigue (can be done with a urine test).
- Check for food sensitivities.
- Check for low thyroid and adrenal dysfunction. Either can cause fatigue.
- Consider a sleep test for apnea if you snore or stop breathing many times while sleeping.
- Diatomaceous earth for detoxification
- Either don’t watch TV or work on a computer an hour before bed, or at the very least use blue light filtering. You can use blue light filtering sunglasses.
- Practice relaxation exercises, like Yoga, Tai Chi and Meditation, to minimize stress or depression.
- Rule out possible allergens.
- Rule out infections and toxic overload.
- Chinese Medicine
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Massage (manual lymph drainage and therapeutic myofascial release)
- Tai Chi
- A wholesome, balanced diet
- Regular exercise
- Low stress levels
- Quality sleep