What Doctors Don’t Tell You About Managing Fibromyalgia
Updated: Aug 6, 2019
By Gillian Brod
Do you have Fibromyalgia, or are you just a highly sensitive individual? Do you know someone who has Fibromyalgia or sensitivities and want to learn more about how you can help them? If so, this article is for you!
There is so much to know about Fibromyalgia and symptom management that it can be so overwhelming… not to mention everyone diagnosed can have different symptoms and at different severities! Here is a cheat sheet of little, but effective changes you can make to help you manage symptoms better. Please check out the links included with each item on the list for an idea of what changes you can make!
Laundry Detergent: Opting for a scent free detergent can make a huge difference as heavy smells can sometimes trigger symptoms... and that is only half of it! Most detergents (especially the big brands) contain fake fragrances and toxic chemicals! ...STAY AWAY!!
Perfumes and Colognes: Again, with scents... lots of brand name body sprays contain chemical fragrances which, again, can trigger symptoms and are completely toxic. If you are someone who likes to wear a scent I recommend switching to essential oils. These are not only all natural, but actually have added benefits with aromatherapy. If you are interested in learning more, we do have multiple Young Living representatives in our office that can give you loads of info, and also set you up with an essential oil kit and uses for each oil. Please see this link to find out more about Young Living as a company, and please feel free to contact our office to get connected with a rep!!
Foods: Gastrointestinal symptoms are hugely common among fibro folks. I highly recommend looking into your diet and trying to modify for your body as best you can. This concept is pretty simple... the foods we eat are the nutrients that fuel our bodies. If we are not being mindful of the foods we are consuming, our bodies WILL let us know with a physical symptom (or multiple!)! In managing your symptoms, food is key!! In my experience, there is no perfect diet that solves this issue for every one of us. What I recommend is experimenting with an elimination diet. This method involves cutting out foods (specifically inflammatory foods) for 3 – 6 weeks and slowly adding them back in one at a time to figure out which foods affect you in which way. Using a journal to log your progress (which foods give which symptoms-the good and the bad) can be very helpful in keeping track of all your reactions and in refining your diet. Here is a link describing this in more detail, as well as giving you an outline of how to execute the elimination diet. Also, see this list of inflammatory foods and of ANTI-inflammatory foods for your reference and learning.
Clothing and Bed Linens: This is for all of you hypersensitive folks, like me. During a flare up sometimes it can be so intense that certain fibers of clothing can be too rough on the skin and irritate or be painful. If you are going through this, firstly, I feel for you and my heart goes out to you. Secondly, I recommend taking the time to either go through your clothing and check your tags for soft cotton clothing or if you are willing to invest in yourself, purchasing organic cotton clothing.
SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT UNDERGARMENTS: These items are ones that clothe our most sensitive areas, so if you are going to make the switch to organic cotton clothing, be SURE to address your undergarments first. And ladies, eliminating painful underwires and synthetic fibers from your undergarment collection can do wonders if you struggle like I did to get through a day in uncomfortable clothing. Bed linens are the same deal… if you buy high quality sheets not only will your skin thank you, but your whole being will thank you because your sleep may improve as well! ...And let’s be honest, we are all happier people when we get our good z’s! The more you can eliminate the man-made fibers in your clothes, the happier your skin will be!
Heating Pads and Bags: Heating pads can be a life saver for those days when your body just aches. There are many sizes you can get to fit your body’s needs. Heat can soothe your sore muscles and joints, and also help to relax your body and get ready for sleep. I included a DIY for bean bags that you can heat up in the microwave for spot treatment (if you are into that sort of crafty money saving goodness.) ;)
Baths and Foot Soaks: Epsom salts can save your life! I love using foot soaks and baths with Dr. Teal’s products. Epsom salts can be used to relax the body and aid in pain management. I use the Dr. Teal’s Therapeutic Solutions Soothe & Sleep Foaming Bath in Lavender in the shower before sleeping to calm my body and soothe the day’s aches and pains away. I also have the Dr. Teal’s Pure Epsom Salt Soaking Solution which I use when I really want to spend the time soaking in the bath. You can also add some essential oils to your Epsom salt foot soaks or baths for added aromatherapy benefits!
(Disclaimer: Please know that I personally have not tried all of these items myself, but if I have not personally, they come either highly rated by the public or someone I know and trust has recommended them. All are only recommendations.)