Chances are you know someone dealing with a chronic illness, such as an autoimmune disease like arthritis, MS, lupus, cancer or maybe even fibromyalgia. If you are dealing with any of those chronic conditions or one we didn’t list, I want you to know you are not alone. A lot of our viewers are experiencing the same symptoms you are.
You’ve probably experienced frustration as you’ve come to terms with your diagnosis (or lack thereof) and have researched yourself to death trying to decide how to deal with your symptoms.
A lot of our viewers have been able to reverse some or all of their symptoms and live a vibrant life. We reached out to some of them to find out what has worked for them and, although I don’t have a “cure” for you per se, I do know a few things that may help to bring you a little closer to a life of more energy and less pain.
One thing I know is that YOU HAVE POWER over your own health. You don’t have to wait for anyone to tell you what to do – in fact, there are many steps steps you can take to better your life and the lives of those you love.
Today we’re going to dig into Fibromyalgia specifically, because it’s something we hear about far too often in our community and I want to provide some insight to hopefully help you on your path to pain-free living.
What Is Fibromyalgia?
According to the American Autoimmune Related Disease Association (AARDA):
“Approximately 50 million Americans, 20 percent of the population or one in five people, suffer from autoimmune diseases. Women are more likely than men to be affected; some estimates say that 75 percent of those affected – some 30 million people – are women.”
It is estimated about 5 million Americans suffer from fibromyalgia.
Symptoms of fibromyalgia include:
- unexplained fatigue
- muscle weakness
- pain on a daily basis
- food intolerances
However, the underlying cause is largely unknown.
A Note From One Of Our Reader’s – Here’s Kathy’s Experience
“My experience with fibromyalgia began with a very traumatic childbirth incident almost 30 years ago. At the time many doctors believed fibromyalgia was just a combination of other issues or “all in your head.” Finally a rheumatologist was able to diagnose the cause of my constant all-over pain and extreme fatigue. The diagnosis of fibromyalgia was a relief, but then the journey to find solutions began.
As a young mother at the time, each day was a difficult challenge. Without the support and understanding of my husband I would not have been able to cope. Fibromyalgia often comes with co-existing problems. Severe depression and joint problems accompanied mine.
Some things that have helped me over the years: Effective treatment for depression managed by a reputable doctor; extra rest – each person with fibromyalgia must learn to recognize their own breaking point and STOP even if others might judge them as weak or lazy; gentle stretching daily, especially in the morning when fibromyalgia pain and stiffness can be the worst; heat in the form of a warm shower or bath, moist heat packs or a heating pad; teaching my children to become more independent and capable of taking care of their basic needs (e.g. my children started doing their own laundry at age 8); very gentle massage either by a partner or professional; and maintaining a healthy weight with a diet of natural, raw, organic and affordable foods where possible – this included avoiding white sugar, white flour, and dairy products for me.
I’ve learned we each live with our own challenges the best we can – and we all have them. I believe life is a gift. We can be as miserable or accepting of our own issues as we choose. I choose to be happy!”
Can we take a moment to give Kathy a hand? She’s learned to take control of her health and is living proof that healing and recovery are possible.
Please note that I am not saying that everyone will have the same experience. But Kathy’s is a story of hope and my wish for you is that you can find some tools here today that may just work for your individual individual body and circumstances. I believe healing is possible and at this moment, I am sending you love and light towards a brighter future full of abundance – and that includes prayers for your optimal health!
13 Ways To Naturally Control Pain And Fatigue
Turmeric is a root herb with the active ingredient curcumin that has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. Studies have shown it to be an effective method of pain relief for some people. It may be particularly beneficial to those who also suffer from depression. Current research has even found that turmeric not only offers pain relief, but may also help lessen symptoms of depression more effectively than Prozac.
If you want to try it out, fresh turmeric is great juiced or you can use in powder form in juices and smoothies. You can also supplement with up to 2000 mg of curcumin, just make sure you are buying from a quality source (no fillers). If you are on other medications, consult with your physician before using supplements.
#2 Fenugreek Seeds
Fenugreek seeds are used in traditional medicine for their healing and cleansing properties. Indian healers called them a “warm” remedy and they seem to be particularly useful for joint pain. All you have to do is simply soak the seeds overnight and munch on them throughout the day. Although they might seem slightly bitter at first, they get sweeter as you chew on them.
Ghee is a clarified version of butter. During the ghee-making process, any water and milk solids are removed leaving only the butterfat, which is nourishing and full of rich health benefits. It may surprise you, but a lot of people who are sensitive to butter (or lactose) can tolerate ghee just fine.
Ghee is a great source of healthy fats, which are key in protecting joints, skin, hair, nails and helping the immune system function properly. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory and may help with pain and swelling in the body. What makes it so great for cooking is that, like coconut oil, it can tolerate high temperatures without losing nutritional integrity.
You can buy ghee at health food stores or make it yourself in a crockpot! Most people say it is cheaper to make it yourself and it isn’t very difficult.
#4 Dandelion Greens
Did you know those pesky little weeds on your lawn have actually been used for hundreds of years by native healers and herbalists to treat all sorts of ailments? Dandelion greens are packed with vital nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, calcium and copper. They contain more protein per serving than spinach (14% daily value) and have been shown to help boost energy levels and remedy fatigue. They are also incredibly powerful for detoxification.
Eat fresh dandelion greens daily. I love adding dandelions to my juice recipes. You can also put them on salads or in wraps and sandwiches.
#5 EMF Protection
Our modern society is bombarded with WiFi, cellphone radiation, microwaves, television and dirty electricity everywhere. The body of evidence is mounting and shows that some people may be particularly sensitive to EMFs (electromagnetic frequencies). Those with EMF sensitivity may experience chronic pain due to overexposure to EMFs.
Do you live close to a power plant or cell phone tower? Are there large electricity boxes located near your home? Do you or the people in your home spend a lot of time using WiFi? Do you feel relief when you are out away from technology, like at the beach or deep in the woods?
Minimizing EMF exposure is a good idea for anyone, but especially those who may be sensitive and suffering due to the frequencies. I’m not saying to ditch the technology – for most people that isn’t realistic. But there are some steps you can take to help reduce symptoms that may be associated with EMFs.
Tips for minimizing EMF exposure:
- Turn off the WiFi at night and put any cell phones out of your bedroom or on airplane mode.
- Remove any/all electronic devices from your bedroom. Many people with fibromyalgia feel particularly awful in the morning. Give yourself the best chance for good rest by staying away from electronics during the hours you sleep.
- When talking on your cell phone, use the speakerphone as much as possible so you don’t have to hold it right next to your body.
- If you still have a home phone, get rid of the cordless variety. These emit EMFs even when not in use.
- Get rid of the old televisions. Flat screen LCD style televisions have lower emitting frequencies than the old-school tubes your parents grew up with.
- Spend time every day outside with your bare feet on the ground. Earthing is a powerful technique for combating EMFs and managing pain.
- Invest in EMF filters.
#6 Gentle Exercise
Exercise doesn’t sound fun when you’re in pain, I know. But making sure you’re moving your body GENTLY on a daily basis will help with circulation and also produce endorphins, which are the body’s natural painkillers.
Instead, try gen and low-impact exercises like walking, swimming or biking. Stretching and gentle yoga is also excellent. Whatever you choose to do, start slowly at about five minutes a day and work your way up to half an hour (or more)!
Additionally, there are many wellness centers opening up that focus on low impact yoga, massage and acupuncture in conjunction with each other to bring people pain relief and healing.
#7 Massage Therapy
Getting massage therapy treatments before beginning an exercise program may help to prepare your muscles for the new increase of movement. The combination of regular massage therapy and exercise routine has shown to help reduce pain levels in those with fibromyalgia.
During your search, find therapists that are familiar with fibromyalgia. Schedule massage appointments 1-2 times a month for best results. Refrain from laying on your stomach for a long massage if this aggravates your pain. Instead, try laying on your side with your neck supported during parts of the massage.
Bonus: to get more effective pain relief, ask your Registered Massage Therapist to use pure magnesium oil during the massage as this will further relax muscles and alleviate pain.
#8 Eliminate Gluten
Gluten sensitivity is one of the most common food intolerances in those with fibromyalgia (and all autoimmune diseases for that matter). Although studies haven’t linked gluten problems directly with fibromyalgia diagnosis, they have shown that fibromyalgia patients frequently show gastrointestinal symptoms. This includes IBS, SIBO, celiac disease and reflux. What this means is that healing the gut may be a major step in overcoming symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Grains and gluten can be highly inflammatory to the digestive tract. They contain anti-nutrients called lectins, enzyme inhibitors and phytates, which can irritate the lining of the intestines, inhibit the breakdown of food, decrease absorption of vitamins and minerals and even cause problems including the ones listed above.
Almost everyone is on the gluten-sensitive spectrum somewhere. That’s because today’s wheat (and grains) are far from the the original composition that our grandparents enjoyed years ago. Those with chronic illnesses who choose to cut out gluten and replace it with the healthier foods often experience nothing but positive results, including:
- less bloating
- better digestion
- clearer skin
- weight loss
- more energy
- overall better health
It’s worth a try – plan at least a 3-week period where you live gluten free and see if it helps! It will be worth all the effort if it makes you feel better.
#9 Eliminate Sugar
People with fibromyalgia have chronic low energy and often turn to things like sugar or caffeinated beverages (full of sugar) for a pick-me-up. Chronic migraines and headaches, a common problem for those with fibromyalgia, also become a reason people turn to caffeine for relief.
Although drinking soda can make you feel good temporarily, it may be causing more harm than good. Dr. Teitelbaum M.D. says that, in some people, sugars may actually cause fibromyalgia or make existing fibromyalgia pain even worse.
“Sugar aggravates low blood sugar and adrenal problems, yeast (Candida) overgrowth, and nutritional deficiencies that worsen fibromyalgia.”
Dr Teitelbaum found that within 10 days of coming off sugar, a lot of his patients felt better. So, you might want to start reducing your sugar intake as much as possible, with the goal of eliminating it eventually. Simple sugars, such as those found in fruits and veggies are, fine of course. The main bad guys are white and refined sugars found in baked and processed goods, breads, dressings and sauces.
Your sugar cravings might also be caused by yeast or candida overgrowth – another common problem for people with fibromyalgia. Probiotics are extremely beneficial in helping to balance and heal your gut. With so many people with fibromyalgia also experiencing gastrointestinal issues, taking a good probiotic only makes sense.
#11 Acupuncture (or Acupressure)
A study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings shows acupuncture can relieve fatigue and anxiety in fibromyalgia patients for up to 7 months after treatment. Acupuncture may be especially effective after going through something that severely aggravates symptoms such as surgery, an accident, or other physical trauma.
#12 Emotional Processing
This is a powerful emotional healing technique that can help the body release negative emotions, pain, and toxic thinking. It is said to improve the immune system and increase energy flow throughout the body. In fact, a lot of emotional pain can manifest itself physically.
Processing these emotions with a trained facilitator can bring relief to some people. For others, symptoms of fibromyalgia begin after a traumatic or emotionally devastating event. Releasing and processing these emotions from the body has the potential to also help relieve and possibly eliminate symptoms. If emotional processing is unavailable in your area, studies have shown that psychotherapy or cognitive behavioral therapy can also be very effective.
A lot of people with fibromyalgia have certain deficiencies, like Vitamin D and Magnesium. The best way to find out what you’re deficient in is to go to a trusted doctor and ask to have a blood test done to find what deficiencies may exist. (I would recommend an integrative medicine doctor or naturopath) Otherwise, choosing supplements can be a big guessing game and cost you a lot of money.
It is important to have a good support group when struggling with any chronic illness. Whether it be family, friends, a community support group or online, surround yourself with positive people who understand what you’re going through. Because fibromyalgia is not visible on the outside, it is vital to have friends who understand.
I know it can feel hopeless sometimes. But YOU are incredibly strong. Remember, we’re in this together.
Juice Recipe for Fibromyalgia
- ½ head purple cabbage
- 4 collard green leaves
- 2 limes
- 1 bunch alfalfa sprouts
- ¼ jalapeno pepper (de-seed for less heat)
- 1 cucumber
- 4 stalks celery
- 1 green apple
- 1 tsp d-ribose (optional)
- Feed through your juicer
- Drink within 15 minutes of juicing
For those painful chronic symptoms, we suggest using myKore Essentials pure magnesium oil for natural and effective pain relief. Within 2-3 simple sprays and a few minutes, inflammation goes down and soreness starts going away.