Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterized by muscle pain and fatigue. Millions of people suffer from this disorder, most commonly affecting women of reproductive age. Neuro-inflammation aka inflammation involving the nervous system is linked to fibromyalgia. This inflammation of the nervous system can cause individuals to become super sensitive to even the slightest of touch. This is due to the fact that individuals with Fibromyalgia have elevated levels of substance P and decreased levels of serotonin and norepinephrine. Substance P is a neuropeptide important for sensory function in pain perception. In simpler terms, substance P is the sensation of pain. Serotonin and norepinephrine are hormones with numerous functions. One of those functions is to help with pain relief. Fibromyalgia does tend to occur in family members suggesting a genetic component is also involved.
The most common symptoms associated with Fibromyalgia:
- Deep muscular pain
- Difficulty sleeping
- Stiffness with muscles, tendons, or ligaments
- Pain can be wide spread or localized
- Brain Fog / Memory problems
- Jaw pain
- Hyper-Sensitivities to lights, loud noises, and smells
- Food sensitivities
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Whole foods diet: avoiding sugar, refined carbohydrates, alcohol, and processed foods. A whole foods diet has shown to help individuals reduce aches and pains, improve mood, and increase energy levels. Common food sensitivities for individuals with fibromyalgia include: Gluten and Dairy.
- Magnesium deficiency has been found in a high number of individuals with fibromyalgia. Magnesium is an important nutrient in the production of ATP. ATP is our chemical energy!
- Increase intake of omega 3’s. Omega 3’s have an anti-inflammatory effecton the body. Since fibromyalgia has been linked to neuro-inflammation, a good natural anti-inflammatory is recommended.
- Relaxation techniques: meditation is a great practice that can help reduce stress levels and have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body. Only 5 minutes a day can have a profound benefit. Get into a comfortable position and close your eyes. Take a deep breath through your nose for 3 seconds, hold that breath for 2 seconds, and exhale for 4 seconds. Repeat for a total of 5 minutes.
- Regular sleeping habits: This can be most difficult, especially for individuals with fibromyalgia. Try your best to improve your sleeping habits. Don’t eat 2 hours before bed, pitch black room, and don’t use electronics 1 hour before bed. Try for 8 hours of good quality sleep on a nightly basis.