Fibromyalga (FM)

Chronic pain and fatigue affects nearly 100 million Americans.  When the time is taken to diagnose the cause, it is often diagnosed as fibromyalgia (fm), but studies indicate this is an accurate diagnosis a mere 34% of the time. Fibromyalgia is a nervous disorder involving the way the central nervous system processes pain.  Unfortunately in today’s age of western medicine, too many doctors throw pills at patients, and in the case of FM, they often dismiss the symptoms as being ”in your head” or a product of depression.  

Contrariwise, it is not all the doctors fault.  There is not a test that will definitively determine that someone is suffering from FM, and many of the symptoms are similar to a myriad of diseases.  Doctor’s have to rely on a patient to be completely honest with them about what is going on in their body, where it hurts, etc.  This can be difficult for someone to do if they are seeing a third specialist who seems just as lost as everyone else about what is happening in your body.

So what are the symptoms of FM?  Global pain is the number one symptom.  Global pain means that literally everything hurts; your entire body is sore all the time.  Global pain can make your whole body sensitive to touch, lights, even vibrations from your favorite subwoofers.  It feels like a deep muscular pain, or burning, all along your body.

Global pain is often accompanied by fatigue, brain fog, IBS, and sometimes depression.  Over sensitivity, both physical and emotional, is another symptom.  It is because of this that an accurate diagnosis of FM is usually made after eliminating the other similar possibilities, assuming you and your doctor have taken the time to go through the trial and error.  Many people just give up or end up being treated more for depression because of the frustration they feel with the circus the doctors put them through and the constant assumption by those around them that the pain is all in their mind.
I have stated more than once that food is the most abused anxiety medication.  Take someone who is tired, always in pain, knows everyone thinks they are faking it, feels guilty they need abundant rest, feels unfulfilled with the life they are living, and has very poor stress management.  There is a very small chance this kind of person is eating a healthy, plant filled diet they prepare themselves.  Most likely this person is turning to frankenfoods, frozen convenience meals, processed sugars for “energy”, stimulants, and “guilty pleasure” sweets.  This only makes the condition worse, as well as sets you up for many other diseases.

As with any disease management diet, step one is detox.  You have to remove the poisonous foods from your body so that your gut can actually utilize nutrients and remove waste without any undue stress, or more importantly, pain.  This can be accomplished with juicing, bone broth soups only for a week, or through a program your doctor recommends.  As you begin to eat solid foods again, pay attention to how you feel.  Do some foods make you sleepy after you eat them?  Is your stomach upset?  Is there pain in your abdomen?  Everyone’s body is different so you have to take control when it comes to your diet.  Many FM sufferers are sensitive to MSG, wheat, preservatives, eggs, dairy, soy and corn.  Usually your doctor will start with eliminating gluten, though that may just be because it is the newest scapegoat fad.  Pre cut fruits and veggies are a great addition to your grocery list.  They are often a bit more expensive but can make eating healthy when you feel too tired to slice a pound of veggies much easier. Eating small meals throughout the day will help heal your digestion from overuse and does not require as much energy to digest, meaning more can be given to your brain, muscles, etc.

Resources:
Dr. Brady
Dr. Axe
http://www.webmd.com/fibromyalgia/guide/fibromyalgia-the-diet-connection