Fibromyalgia Treatment

Fibromyalgia Treatment

Fibromyalgia Treatment
Because no underlying disease process is known, doctors aim to treat the symptoms of fibromyalgia. A healthy diet and getting regular, low-impact exercise like yoga, walking or water aerobics are key to maintain your health with fibromyalgia. Your doctor may also prescribe pain medication and recommend support groups or counseling.

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    Ask your primary-care physician to refer you to a doctor who specializes in treating fibromyalgia. Rheumatologists are generally thought to have the most expertise in diagnosing and treating fibromyalgia. Rheumatologists specialize in caring for diseases affecting the joints, muscles, and bones. Other options include doctors who specialize in pain management.

    If your primary-care physician can't refer you to a doctor who specializes in fibromyalgia, consider joining a support group for people with fibromyalgia and ask other members for referrals.
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    A , Internal Medicine, answered
    Because no underlying disease process is known, medical treatment is aimed at treating symptoms of fibromyalgia. It can involve muscle relaxants, medications to relieve pain, and low-dose antidepressants to help mood, fatigue, and sleep. Three drugs have been approved expressly for treating fibromyalgia: pregabalin (Lyrica), an anti-seizure medication that blocks pain signals from the central nervous system, and the antidepressants duloxetine (Cymbalta) and milnacipran (Savella).

    One of the most effective treatments for fibromyalgia is to take very good care of yourself. A routine of gentle stretching exercises and low-impact aerobic exercise, like swimming or cycling, is very important in relieving stiffness and preserving muscle tone. Adequate sleep, naturally, is also essential to minimizing fatigue. Many women with fibromyalgia have benefited from acupuncture and massage therapy as well as from practicing biofeedback, relaxation, and stress reduction. Finally, the value of psychological support can't be underrated when dealing with an often puzzling chronic condition. You may find a fibromyalgia support group in your area through the National Fibromyalgia Association.
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    Research suggests that mildly to moderately intense walking may dial down fibromyalgia pain and fatigue. How much patients benefit will depend on several factors, including age, fitness and activity levels, the severity of the fibromyalgia symptoms and whether the activity worsens or improves fibro pain and fatigue. Patients should keep in mind that it’s probably best to do mini walks here and there rather than to take one long walk.

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    Doctors usually recommend a multi-pronged approach to treating fibromyalgia that may include medications to relieve pain, help correct sleep problems and improve overall functioning. Support groups and psychological counseling may also be recommended to help people with fibromyalgia cope with symptoms of their condition. Doctors also encourage people with fibromyalgia to make healthy lifestyle choices such as exercising regularly, maintaining a regular bedtime and using stress-reduction techniques. Alternative therapies, such as massage or acupuncture, can also help manage fibromyalgia symptoms.
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    You may experience an increase in blood pressure as a side effect of taking certain medications for fibromyalgia. In most cases, the increase in blood pressure, if any, is modest. Your doctor will monitor you after you start taking any new medicine. If you have a significant increase in blood pressure, your doctor may recommend switching to a different medication. If your physician prescribes a medication for fibromyalgia, tell him or her if you have high blood pressure or if you are currently taking medication for high blood pressure.
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    A , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered
    Depression and anxiety are very common in people with fibromyalgia. The fibromyalgia itself -- which causes intense chronic pain over much of your body, interferes with sleep, and affects your ability to concentrate -- can eventually lead to depression. It's an incredibly frustrating condition, so it's not surprising that it can cause depression. It's also possible that the chemical imbalances in your brain that bring on pain sensitivity and other fibromyalgia symptoms can also cause mood changes.

    Whatever the cause, if you experience low moods that last for a few weeks, talk to your doctor about getting help. Some antidepressants may help with fibromyalgia pain and depression. Certain kinds of therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, have been shown to be particularly effective in helping people with fibromyalgia, reducing your chances of developing depression.
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    A healthy diet can improve your symptoms associated with fibromyalgia. Studies have shown that individuals who perform regular exercise and eat well have elevated moods. Additionally, keeping a food journal can help you identify specific food triggers for your symptoms.
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    A , Medical Toxicology, answered
    Whether a health insurance plan covers a particular medication depends on a number of factors. One key factor is whether the medication is FDA (Food and Drug Administration). In addition to FDA approval, insurance companies will consider research and best practice guidelines in making coverage decisions. Each plan is different, so it is best to check with your own plan to determine whether a medication is covered or not.
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    There is no cure for fibromyalgia, but it isn't a life-threatening condition, and it won't cause any permanent damage. Even better, it can often be controlled with the proper treatment, and many cases get better as time goes by. Regular exercise and a combination of medications can help minimize the symptoms associated with fibromyalgia. Keeping stress levels low and staying on a regular sleep schedule can make a big difference as well. Researchers continue to study fibromyalgia in hopes of learning more about the disorder and some day finding a cure.