Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain-based illness of unknown origin and cure. It effects approximately 3-6% of the world’s population. It is said to effect far more women than men, but there are definitely men who suffer with it too. It appears in-discriminatory in race, education level and socioeconomic demographics.
I have struggled with this illness for most of my life. I have also put a lot of work into my wellness journey. In 2017 I was the most well I had been since I was 17 years old.
For the concise, all in one place story of my journey and all that I do see my book Melissa vs Fibromyalgia: My Journey Fighting Chronic Pain, Chronic Fatigue and Insomnia. Please note that this is an affiliate link, if you make a purchase I will make a small commission at no extra cost to you.
For a brief run down of what Fibromyalgia is, the symptoms and some treatments see below.
What is Fibromyalgia?
On the University of Maryland Medical Center website, Fibromyalgia is explained in this way: “Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterized by pain in the muscles, ligaments, and tendons; fatigue; and multiple tender points on the body.”
And on the same page, they list the signs and symptoms of Fibromyalgia:
- Widespread pain and stiffness
- Fatigue [and]/or trouble
- Paresthesia (tingling)
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Skin sensitivity
- Heightened sensitivity to noises, bright lights, smells
- Pain after exertion
- Memory lapses/difficulty
- Restless leg syndrome (RLS)
However, the trouble is that Fibromyalgia seems to be very unique to each person: how it comes on, what symptoms are present, what helps said symptoms.
There is also a debate as to whether trigger points are present in Fibromyalgia or part of a separate issue called Myofascial Pain Syndrome. A lot of the above symptoms overlap with a lot of different conditions.
Some Associated Physiological Abnormalities
Research has found alterations in neurotransmitter regulation, immune system function, sleep physiology and hormone level control. A lot of research suggests that Fibromyalgia is the result of central nervous system dysfunction – specifically an overactive nervous system, stressing and exhausting the brain (Dennis W. Dobritt, Fibromyalgia – A Brief Overview).
Getting Diagnosed with Fibromyalgia
This great article from Fibro Daze explains why it takes so long to be diagnosed with fibromyalgia, the process and the Widespread Pain Index and Symptom Severity Scale.
Long story short, it takes a long time to be diagnosed – years on average and multiple doctors – because it is a tricky illness with no widely accepted test and because a multitude of other illnesses must be ruled out. This is particularly difficult because Fibromyalgia tends to co-exist with a multitude of other conditions. It is a disease of mimicking and misdiagnosis.
There are a multitude of treatment options on offer. Some of them help a little, some help a lot, some help one person a lot and another person a little – therein lies the difficulty.
I have been sharing my journey for the past several years because I want to help you cut down the time it takes you to find what helps you. I have carefully researched, trialed and written about all of the treatment options I have tried.
There are few certainties in treating Fibromyalgia but here are some from a seasoned Fibromyalgia fighter:
- Treatment will require multiple options
- One option can help me incredibly and you not at all and vice versa
- Sleep is king. Tackle sleep first. With medication if you must. This is a widely agreed finding from key doctors who treat Fibromyalgia including Dr Liptan, Dr Teitelbaum and Dr Vallings.
- You can impact your quality of life.
- Coaching can help you on your journey. See how you can work with me here.
Treating Fibromyalgia: Manuals
I wrote about My Top Five Books for Fighting Fibromyalgia in this post. Start with Dr Teitelbaum and Dr Liptan – both of these doctors have Fibromyalgia themselves and treat people with Fibromyalgia.
What Works for Me
Treating Fibromyalgia Naturally
Why I’m Treating the Fibromyalgia as Naturally as Possible – Natural Remedies for Fibromyalgia
Natural Pain Relief: Supplements for Fibromyalgia Energy
Essential Oils for Pain Relief and a Pain Cream I am Loving
Natural Pain Relief: Supplements for Fibromyalgia Pain
Natural Pain Relief: Herbs for Infusion or Tea for Fibromyalgia
Giant Meditation Post
Yoga for Fibromyalgia with Handy Links
Pregnancy with Fibromyalgia
Check out “pregnancy” and “parenting” in the categories box (below or beside this post)for articles to help you have the best pregnant possible despite Fibromyalgia.
All My Articles on Fibromyalgia
Look at “fibromyalgia” in the category box for all of the articles that I have created to help you fight Fibromyalgia. You may also like Fibromyalgia 101 Workshop as an introduction to fibromyalgia, diagnosis, and treatments, this is a free workshop that introduces you to the Fibromyalgia 101 Foundational Micro Course program.
My Journey: 2019
As of 2019 I am currently enjoying my third postpartum period. Both the pregnancy and this time have been so much more tolerable thanks to LDN and all the things I have enacted to be more well. I am so thankful every day.
I am hopeful and I am excited as to what the future brings as I finish the time of my life where I am up at all hours of the night with babies.
My hope for you is that you keep fighting for yourself. Don’t wait for a doctor to do it for you. But do work with your doctor, find another if they won’t.
For more information
Try my FREE micro course You vs Fibromyalgia: Arm Yourself with Knowledge: it is a six section micro course designed to get you started in your journey.