Living With Fibromyalgia

Living With Fibromyalgia

Living With Fibromyalgia
To live with fibromyalgia, work with your doctor to find a treatment that works for you and then stick to it. This will likely include regular exercise, reducing stress and getting plenty of sleep. A support group can provide ideas for how to manage the condition along with general encouragement.

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    Smoking cigarettes can increase the pain you feel due to fibromyalgia, a condition that makes muscles and other body parts more tender and responsive to stress. A 2002 study of 223 women with fibromyalgia found that those who smoked experienced more pain, numbness, trouble functioning, and overall severity of symptoms than the women who did not smoke. Smoking lowers the level of oxygen in your blood, which can increase the sensation of pain. And nicotine is a mental stimulant that can increase your perception of physical pain, which can cause you to experience fibromyalgia symptoms more acutely.
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    Fibromyalgia is a disorder that causes chronic muscle and soft tissue pain, widespread tenderness, general fatigue, and non-restful sleep. Fibromyalgia often affects people with lupus. In fact, fibromyalgia causes most of the pain experienced by those who have lupus. Fortunatley, there are a variety of lifestyle changes that can ease and manage the pain and symptoms that fibromyalgia causes.

    Here are some tips to help keep fibromyalgia symptoms under control:

    •Stay active - You may believe that limiting your daily activities helps to reduce pain and fatigue, but actually the opposite is true. You can schedule short daily rest times to help you keep up with your day, but spending too many hours resting may make your symptoms worse.
    Manage your stress - Stress can trigger physical symptoms such as headache, increased pain, and muscle tension, so try to keep your stress under control. Of course, there are some stressors that you can control and others that are simply out of your hands. Focus on what you can control and direct your energy toward future growth.
    Exercise - Research has shown that light stretching activities such as Tai Chi and yoga can help relax muscles and improve some of the pain associated with fibromyalgia. Moderate or intense exercise for about 30 minutes helps the brain release endorphins - substances that make you feel good and experience a "natural high."
    Socialize and eat a healthy diet - A supportive social network and a healthy diet can also help to ease feelings of emotional and physical discomfort and promote an overall sense of well-being.

    If you feel you need more help in managing your fibromyalgia, your doctor can assist you in devising coping strategies.
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    A , OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology), answered
    The worst question my partner may ask me is, "Are you really experiencing that much pain!" Besides dealing with the pain and fatigue of fibromyalgia, you may also have to deal with the frustration of having a condition that's often misunderstood.  In addition to educating yourself about fibromyalgia, you may find it helpful to provide information to your partner.
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    A , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered
    You know the old saying: Honesty is the best policy. Being candid with your family about your fibromyalgia can help reassure them. Instead of pretending that you don't have a chronic illness, explain what fibromyalgia is and what you need from them in terms of support. A policy of honesty and openness can help to demystify fibromyalgia, which should make it seem a lot less scary to your family.

    Likewise, listening to your partner and letting him or her express frustration or sadness will help matters, too. Open communication can help you to discover ways to accommodate your condition while growing together as a couple.

    When one partner develops fibromyalgia, things get even trickier. Your income may drop if you can't work or have to cut back your hours. Some days you may be too tired or in too much pain to help out around the house. At other times, you may not be up to taking part in favorite activities that you once enjoyed as a couple. And, yes, that may sometimes include sex.
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    A Rheumatology, answered on behalf of
    Doctors should not dismiss fibromyalgia, saying that they don't believe in it. Fibromyalgia is not a religion to believe or not believe in. Even though the symptoms can be vague and hard to diagnose, fibromyalgia is a recognized medical condition. If your doctor cannot find any other reason for your symptoms but does not believe in fibromyalgia, you may want to either educate your doctor or find a new one.
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    A , Neurology, answered
    Fibromyalgia can have a profound impact on everyday life. A national survey of women with fibromyalgia reported in the journal Women's Health Issues found that:
    • Two in five women with fibromyalgia had difficulty doing heavy household chores, such as cleaning floors, vacuuming, or raking leaves.
    • One in three had difficulty carrying a bag of groceries.
    • One in four had difficulty shopping.
    • Climbing stairs was a substantial problem for one in four women.
    • One in five had a significant problem walking one or two blocks.