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I have fibromyalgia, what can I do to feel better?

The first step you should take to feel better and improve your quality of life if you have fibromyalgia is to find a doctor who understands how to diagnose and treat this condition. Many people with fibromyalgia suffer needlessly because they do not receive the proper care.

You can also take steps on your own to help manage your symptoms on a daily basis and live a live a healthier, more satisfying life with fibromyalgia. For example:
  • Get plenty of sleep. Insomnia can worsen pain and other symptoms of fibromyalgia. If you're not sleeping well, tell your doctor.
  • Exercise regularly. Studies show that regular physical activity can help you to manage fibromyalgia symptoms.
  • Eat a balanced diet. Be sure to include plenty of vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds, lean protein, and fish. These foods are all rich in healthful nutrients.
  • Control stress. It worsens fibromyalgia symptoms. Practicing relaxation therapies such as meditation and yoga can help you manage stress.
  • Prevent fibromyalgia flare-ups. Stress, cold weather, and exercising too hard are just a few factors that can cause fibromyalgia symptoms to worsen. Identify your triggers and avoid or control them.
  • Rethink your job and work environment, if necessary. If you need to rest more on the job or work fewer hours, talk to your employer. Some people with fibromyalgia find it necessary to change to jobs that are less taxing or stressful.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Let's assume that you've found a doctor who understands fibromyalgia -- which can be a challenge -- and that you're taking any medications he or she has prescribed on a consistent basis. Taking further steps on your own can go a long way toward improving your fibromyalgia symptoms.
  • Identify what makes your fibromyalgia flare up. For some people, it's stress. For others, it's cold drafts. Anticipating, and avoiding, the things that trigger your flare-ups can help you manage fibromyalgia symptoms.
  • Get regular exercise. Fatigue and pain may make you reluctant to work out, but exercise is one of the best forms of medicine for fibromyalgia.
  • Soothe your symptoms. Warm baths and hot wraps can help reduce muscle soreness.
  • Get plenty of sleep. A good night's rest can often be elusive for people with fibromyalgia, which can worsen fatigue and intensify other symptoms. If you're wide-eyed at night, adopt better sleep habits, such as avoiding caffeine at night and sticking with a sleep schedule. Your doctor may recommend medications that can help you sleep, too.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.