Fibromyalgia (also known as Fibromyalgia Syndrome or FMS) is a musculoskeletal disorder that causes pain in the fibrous tissues of the body and also leads to tiredness. It is believed to affect around 5% of the world’s population and currently, no one knows what causes it. In this post, we’ll look at fibromyalgia causes and treatment, as well as symptoms and risk factors.
Note: This post contains affiliate links.
What Causes Fibromyalgia?
As with many chronic disorders, the exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown. Studies suggest that the level of chemicals in the brain and nervous system of people who suffer from fibromyalgia are different to those in people who do not suffer from the disorder.
Many researchers believe that these differing chemical levels affect the way pain messages are transmitted in fibromyalgia sufferers. However, the cause of these changes in chemical levels is still unknown.
Other causes that have been linked to fibromyalgia include food sensitivities or allergies, PTSD, stress, allergies to chemicals, hormonal imbalances, Candida overgrowth, history of mono or Epstein Barr, and genetics.
What Are The Risk Factors For Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia can affect anyone. However, the following risk factors make you much more likely to develop this disorder:
Fibromyalgia is very rare in people under 25 and is most likely to develop between the ages of 25 and 55.
Women are seven times more likely than men to develop fibromyalgia.
3) Family History
The children of women with fibromyalgia are much more likely to develop the disorder with studies suggesting that around one in three of these children develop fibromyalgia at some point in their lives.
4) Rheumatic Disorders
People who suffer from rheumatic disorders such as arthritis and tendinitis are much more likely to develop fibromyalgia than people who do not suffer from these rheumatic disorders.
People who experience high levels of stress are believed to be at a higher risk of fibromyalgia.
What Are The Symptoms Of Fibromyalgia?
The main symptoms of fibromyalgia are pain and tiredness, although these are not the only symptoms. The severity and type of symptoms varies greatly between sufferers, with some fibromyalgia sufferers experiencing persistent symptoms and others experiencing more sporadic symptoms. The list below highlights some of the most common fibromyalgia symptoms:
- Tender Points
- Disturbed Sleep
- Fluctuating Body Temperature
- Irritable Bladder
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Painful Periods
- Pins and Needles
- Restless Leg Syndrome
- Memory Issues
- Fibro Fog
How Can Fibromyalgia Be Treated?
While there are many painkillers that can be used to treat fibromyalgia, natural treatments are often much more effective. If you’re currently suffering from fibromyalgia, the list below outlines some simple lifestyle changes that you can make to relieve the painful symptoms associated with this disorder:
1) Exercise Regularly
Regular cardiovascular exercise is one of the best ways to treat fibromyalgia, as it increases blood flow, enhances flexibility and stimulates the release of pain-reducing hormones (such as serotonin).
Since the main symptoms of fibromyalgia are pain and tiredness, low-impact cardiovascular exercises (such as cycling, swimming, walking, and yoga) are often the best solutions.
2) Fill Up On Vitamins, Minerals, and Phytonutrients
Studies have shown that a range of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients (including capsaicin, magnesium, vitamin B12, and vitamin D) can help treat fibromyalgia.
By eating a diet that’s rich in healthy, natural, unprocessed foods (such as eggs, fruits, meats, nuts and vegetables), you can ensure that you’re eating plenty of these nutrients and relieve the painful symptoms associated with fibromyalgia.
3) Chiropractic, Acupuncture, and Massage Therapy
Although there is very little clinical evidence to support chiropractic, acupuncture, and massage therapy as a treatment for fibromyalgia, many sufferers have reported impressive pain relief as a result of these therapies. These types of therapies are believed to be most effective for relieving back and neck pain. Acupuncture can help restore normal balance to your body and provide pain relief.
4) Change of Diet
I know, not what you want to hear. However, many foods can cause inflammation. Gluten can be a big trigger. Also, artificial sweeteners, caffeine, processed foods, soy, and dairy.
I started by doing Whole30 as an elimination diet. Then you can add one food back at a time to see if you have a reaction. Others have been successful with the Auto-Immune Protocol (AIP) and the Wahls Protocol.
Although it’s not clear what causes fibromyalgia, natural treatments are one of the best ways to relieve the painful symptoms and overcome this disorder. So if you’re currently suffering from fibromyalgia and want the pain to stop, start making some positive lifestyle changes today.
Other Posts That May Interest You
The Pain Companion: Everyday Wisdom for Living With and Moving Beyond Chronic Pain by Sarah Anne Shockley
What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Fibromyalgia: The Revolutionary Treatment That Can Reverse the Disease by R. Paul St. Amand and Claudia Craig Marek
The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom by Melissa & Dallas Hartwig
The Whole30 Cookbook by Melissa Hartwig
The Autoimmune Wellness Handbook: A DIY Guide to Living Well with Chronic Illness by Mickey Trescott and Angie Alt
Disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. Medical advice should always be obtained from a qualified medical professional for any health conditions or symptoms associated with them. Every possible effort has been made in preparing and researching this material. We make no warranties concerning the accuracy, applicability of its contents or any omissions.