What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes localized tenderness, musculoskeletal pain, chronic fatigue, headaches, and brain fog or difficulty focusing. The cause of fibromyalgia is unknown but it may have genetic and environmental components. Fibromyalgia often develops after one or more of the following:
- Psychological trauma
- Physical trauma
Help for Managing Fibromyalgia
There are many treatment options available for fibromyalgia, including vitamin supplementation (including intravenous supplementation), herbal medicine, identifying and treating underlying conditions – including SIBO and hormonal imbalance, medication and integrative therapies. Depending on your individual situation, you may prefer to use a few treatments in tandem with each other. Speak to your healthcare practitioner before trying the following natural ways of managing fibromyalgia in order to find a plan that is right for you.
Find the Root Cause
An ND will work with you to discover the root cause of your fibromyalgia so that you can then treat the primary issue in addition to managing your symptoms. In order to determine the root cause, many NDs will begin by recommending the Four-R plan, which includes the following techniques. 1
- Removal of toxins by identifying potentially harmful foods through an elimination diet
- Replacement of digestive functionality through the use of digestive enzymes
- Re-inoculation of the gut with good bacteria through the consumption of probiotics
- Repairing the gut lining with fish oils, l-glutamine, and/or n-acetyl-d-glucosamine
NDs will also work to explore other potential conditions that may be causing fibromyalgia-type symptoms including chronic infections like Lyme Disease, sleep disturbances, hormonal imbalances, environmental toxins, and nutrient deficiencies.
Look for Mental/Emotional Factors
Fibromyalgia can also be triggered by mental and emotional components such as trauma, chronic stress, and psychological distress. 2 3 An ND can help fibromyalgia patients identify and address these psychological factors in order to empower the patients to begin a self-work plan that may include counseling, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, meditation, and journaling practice.
Acupuncture is a therapeutic treatment that involves the insertion of very thin needles into the skin at certain parts of the body to stimulate points that are thought to connect internal organs to the surface of the body. 4 Although more studies need to be conducted in order to make any conclusive statements, initial research suggests that acupuncture helps reduce the symptoms of fibromyalgia. 5