6 Key Pieces in Your Fibromyalgia Treatment Plan
Step by Step
Given the many options for managing fibromyalgia, it may be tough knowing where to begin. Choosing from the dozens of available medications, finding the most effective self-care remedies, and knowing what lifestyle changes work best for you may feel confusing. But it's important to try everything possible until you get better control of your fibro pain and fatigue. And you may feel less overwhelmed if you start with baby steps. Craft a simple fibromyalgia treatment plan that includes a handful of strategies, then add other treatment and self-care options from there. Reassess your plan regularly.
Eat Right, Feel Better
Although there's no hard proof that the foods you eat will make your fibromyalgia symptoms better or worse, a handful of studies do suggest that dietary changes may help some -- if not all -- people with fibromyalgia.
Take It Easy
Staying ahead of fibromyalgia fatigue requires more than the right medication regimen, diet, and sleep schedule. It means learning to recognize when you're pushing yourself too hard and backing off sometimes -- something that's not always easy to do.
Sidestepping stress completely is like trying to stay dry when you go swimming: impossible. But when the stress of your situation gets out of control or becomes constant, it can make coping with fibromyalgia even harder and rob you of much-needed sleep. Luckily, even if you can't entirely avoid stress, you can take it down several notches if you try.
As tempting as it may be to simply hit the couch whenever fibromyalgia pain and fatigue have you in their grip, it's important that you don't become completely sedentary. In fact, studies show that a regular exercise regimen helps improve fibromyalgia pain and fatigue, but becoming completely sedentary may just make them worse. The tricky part is learning how much and what type of exercise will work best for you.
Work with the Right Doctor
Finding the right doctor or specialist to diagnose and treat your fibromyalgia is an important first step in finding a medication treatment plan that will work for you. The second step? Developing a very close relationship with your doctor. For that, you need someone who not only has experience working with other fibromyalgia patients but also will take the time to listen to you and consider you an equal member of the team.
Talk About Your Fibro
Bottling up your fibromyalgia pain and fatigue, along with the stress and emotions that can come with them, is only likely to make your fibro symptoms worse. Find people you can talk with about your condition. And don't rely solely on family and friends to be your ear. Find a local or online fibromyalgia support group, or schedule sessions with a behavioral therapist or counselor.