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 , 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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    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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    Some of the same treatments a doctor can prescribe to relieve pain related to fibromyalgia may also help to reduce sensitivity to light and sound. Many people who have fibromyalgia find that they can't tolerate bright lights or loud sounds. No one is sure why this occurs, but some scientists believe that having fibromyalgia may amplify the senses. That includes the sense of touch, which may be why pain is the major symptom of fibromyalgia.

    Scientists are studying light and sound sensitivity in people with fibromyalgia. Some believe that medications commonly prescribed for treating fibromyalgia pain, such as Cymbalta, Savella, Neurontin, and Lyrica, may help to relieve sensory overload from amplified sound and light. Talk to your doctor about treatment options if you have fibromyalgia and feel especially sensitive to light and sound.
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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 , 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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    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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    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.

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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 , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered
    Many people with fibromyalgia wake up feeling stiff all over, which can make it especially difficult to get out of bed. But once they're up and around, and moving their limbs, the stiffness often fades. If you have persistent problems with joint or muscle stiffness, ask your doctor about strategies such as exercise or taking certain medications that may bring relief.
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    A combination of medication and stretching exercises can be used to treat muscle spasms and fibromyalgia. Often, pain and muscle spasms occur at the same time with fibromyalgia. These spasms usually occur in the parts of your body that you use the most: your neck, shoulders and feet.

    There are medications available to treat muscle spasms. Talk to your doctor or healthcare provider about options, both prescription and non-prescription, that can help.

    If you experience a sudden muscle spasm, gentle stretching can help. A physical therapist can teach you proper techniques for gentle stretching so that you can practice at home.
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