Early signs of fibromyalgia include -
- excessive exhaustion
- muscle pain
- stiff joints
- chronic headache
- abdominal discomfort
Although, fibromyalgia is not a degenerative or a terminal disorder, its progressive symptoms can result in depression and a sense of loneliness. Moreover, it’s often overlooked and its symptoms are ignored, remaining undiagnosed for years. It mostly affects women and can lead to painful menstrual cramps and rheumatism at an older age.
Though allopathic measures have been credited to provide an answer to every medical problem, in the case of fibromyalgia, your usual prescription drugs may not be effective in dealing with it alone. Hence, most doctors suggest lifestyle improvement as a major key to dealing with FMS.
Given below are some tips to maintain a good lifestyle to manage FMS:
While dealing with FMS is the first step towards its treatment. Don't ignore it as a mere fatigue problem. Accept your diagnosis and proceed to manage it.
Strengthen your willpower and decide that you will fight against your weakness. Self care is the best care.
Identify your stresses
Spot those areas in your life that tend to pressurise you. It could be your boss, your job, peers, or a deadline to finish a particular task. Work towards dealing with such stresses that involve exertion and make you emotionally vulnerable. Be optimistic. Plan out a weekly schedule, that not only involves going to work but also has time allotted for de-stressing yourself. Deep breathing, meditation and soothing music are excellent relaxants.
Exercising is an understatement when it comes to FMS. Your stiff joints and muscle fatigue owe to a lack of good, regular exercise and probably a bad posture. Early morning walks, jogs, basic stretches, swimming aerobics and especially Yoga, can minimize pain and keep you refreshed throughout the day. Indulging in your favourite sport is also a good idea.
FMS patients should include a good amount of leafy greens, fruits, pulses, eggs, and milk in their diet. Minimizing caffeine intake will promote better sleep. Avoid excessive carbohydrates such as cereals and bread, and cut down on junk food. Drink more fluids, vegetable and fruit juices, and increase your intake of magnesium and iron rich foods. Avoid consuming artificial nutritive supplements.
As mentioned above, reducing caffeine intake is important to maintain good sleep cycle. Do not indulge in late night conversations or watching disturbing films at night. Chalk out a schedule for completing projects and work assignments. Avoid last minute hassles, and staying up all night to meet the deadline.
Build a support network
Ensure you have trustworthy friends to talk to and confide to when feeling low and depressed. Do not bottle your emotions as it will increase your sense of isolation. Be a part of support networks and helpline. Set up an appointment with your local counsellor to vent out your worries.
Getting diagnosed with fibromyalgia isn't the end of the world. Overcoming it is possible if you prepare yourself and keep a positive mindset.
Written by: Healthplus24 team
Date last updated: June 25, 2013