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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    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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    A , Internal Medicine, answered
    Can low-dose Naltrexone be used to treat fibromyalgia?
    It was recently discovered that low-dose Naltrexone, historically used to reverse opioid overdoses, can treat fibromyalgia and other autoimmune diseases. Watch rheumatologist Natalie Azar, MD, discuss this new, promising treatment for fibromyalgia.
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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 , Family Medicine, answered
    How can I tell if my fibromyalgia treatment is working?

    You will know if your fibromyalgia treatment is working based on how often you have symptoms, how severe symptoms are, and how much it affects your life. Watch family medicine physician Jennifer Caudle, DO, explain how to get optimal treatment.


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    A , Neurology, answered
    Fibromyalgia expert Dr. Winfried Hauser reviewed studies regarding the effects of aerobic exercise as a treatment for fibromyalgia. Here's a summary of the findings published in Arthritis Research & Therapy:
    • Aerobic exercise, including water aerobics, helps reduce fibromyalgia symptoms.
    • There is no difference in benefits if you do aerobic exercise on land or in water.
    • In addition to improving physical fitness in people with fibromyalgia, aerobic exercise significantly decreases pain, fatigue, and depressed mood.
    • Start aerobics at a comfortable level and gradually increase to a target of low- to moderate-intensity exercise for 20-30 minutes, 2-3 times a week. At moderate intensity, you should be able to have a conversation with someone while you exercise.
    • Stick with your aerobic program for at least 4-6 weeks to see benefits.
    • People who continue an exercise program are more likely to have less pain and depression than those who stop.
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    A , Neurology, answered
    When you leave each appointment, make sure you can answer all of these questions:
    • Which of my symptoms are caused by fibromyalgia?
    • What nondrug treatments do I need to focus on?
    • How should I take my medication?
    • How long should the medicine take to work?
    • What side effects should I watch for?
    • When is my next office visit?
    Don't be afraid to say you don't understand why something was prescribed for you. If you don't understand why a treatment is prescribed, you probably won't use it carefully or consistently. Your doctor should be able to clearly explain the reason for a specific treatment.

    Also, if you're interested in hearing about a specific therapy and maybe trying it, ask whether it might be appropriate for you. Most doctors are eager to consider every treatment that might help you get better, so don't feel as if you might be embarrassing her by asking about different treatments.
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    Surgery is not typically used to treat fibromyalgia. This condition causes widespread pain, fatigue, insomnia, and other symptoms. According to one theory, fibromyalgia may be caused by structural abnormalities at the base of the brain. Some doctors have proposed that surgery to repair this abnormality could treat fibromyalgia symptoms. However, studies show that the majority of people with fibromyalgia do not have this brain abnormality. Conventional approaches such as medication and exercise remain the best ways to treat fibromyalgia.
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    A , Neurology, answered
    The two vitamins best studied in fibromyalgia are vitamins D and C. Research looking for vitamin D deficiency in fibromyalgia has produced conflicting results. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Rheumatology found no increased risk for vitamin D deficiency in people with fibromyalgia, and there was no correlation between vitamin D levels and pain severity. Other studies that tested the effects of vitamin D supplementation produced conflicting results for relief of fibromyalgia symptoms, even among people with documented vitamin D deficiency.

    A single small study that treated 12 women with fibromyalgia with vitamin C supplements for 1 month found a reduction in disability with vitamin C that was lost after it was discontinued.
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    Some practitioners of alternative medicine recommend various natural treatments, such as herbs and nutritional supplements, for treating fibromyalgia symptoms. Some of these natural products may hold promise. For instance, there is some evidence that herbs commonly prescribed by practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine may be effective for relieving fibromyalgia symptoms. However, these and other natural treatments require closer study before their true effects are known.

    Check with your doctor before taking any herb or supplement. Even natural medicines can have unwanted side effects, and they may interact with medications you're taking.
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    A , Integrative Medicine, answered

    Light and sound sensitivity are not uncommon in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and fibromyalgia, as it takes energy to sort the pertinent sensory information from the non-pertinent. Adding the medication neurontin (gabapentin) often helps these symptoms. In addition, if taste and smell sensitivity also are present, it is worth looking for carbon monoxide poisoning (from natural gas, gas lights and ovens, etc).