Fibromyalgia Lifestyle Management
Fibromyalgia, a syndrome characterized by chronic muscular pain and fatigue, is not well understood by the medical establishment. Though doctors are quick to treat their patients with a handful of antidepressants and other related medicines, the science behind their use is largely muddled. Because there is no “one cure” for the syndrome, most sufferers find better success through lifestyle management. Changing your habits may not put your fibromyalgia into dormancy, but it can make a big difference in how you experience your symptoms.
One of the most effective ways to battle fibromyalgia is through consistent exercise. Most patients dealing with chronic pain would rather do anything but work out, but the long-term benefits of low-impact aerobic exercise are well established. Walking, bicycling, and swimming are among the top exercises, but choose any workout that gets your heart-rate up without putting too much stress on your joints.
Because of the pain involved in getting an exercise routine off the ground, many fibromyalgia sufferers give up before giving it a fair chance. The goal at the beginning should be to get a consistent schedule going. If that means starting with 10-minute workouts and building from there, then there’s nothing wrong with that. Challenge yourself to complete a workout of some sort each day, and you will soon find it much easier to push up the session lengths.
Fibromyalgia sufferers must make sleep a priority if they want to diminish their symptoms. The easiest way to get more sleep is to settle into a routine. If you tend to stay up late, try giving yourself a strict bedtime. You may feel like a little kid when you have to turn the lights out at 11:00 PM, but a regular sleep schedule can make a big difference. Get into the habit of not just going to bed at a certain time but waking up at a certain time as well. Watch your intake of caffeine and alcohol as these substances can disrupt your sleep pattern.
A major component of a healthy, recovering fibromyalgia lifestyle is diet. Most experts recommend sticking with a low-fat diet with a healthy assortment of whole grains and vegetables. Keep in mind, however, that some fats are good for continued health. Supplement your diet with omega-3 fatty acids. These can be found in fish, though they are also available in tablet form.
Managing Your Lifestyle
Most agree that the biggest key to success for fibromyalgia sufferers lies in finding what works for you. Anecdotal evidence and research studies can give you a starting point, but don’t be afraid to experiment. In time, you may be able to find the combination of nutrition, exercise, and sleep that gives you positive results.