For those of you just joining in, I am starting a new weekly blog support group for those--like myself--who have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia Syndrome and/or other "invisible chronic illnesses," and their friends and family, to come together and share their stories, suggestions, advice, successes (and failures), humor, and whatever feels "right."
Did you know that September 14-20th was National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness week? If you answered no, don't feel bad, you're not alone. There just is not enough attention given to these conditions, but together we can spread the word and make a difference. Here's a surprising fact: 96% of illness is invisible. Think that seems wrong, just think about it for a minute...FMS, CFS, Lupus, RA, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure...the list is endless.*
I'd love to hear from any of you out there who are trying a homeopathic approach. I've been drinking the new acai juice from Wal-Mart...tastes horrible but does seem to give me a little more energy--although no noticeable benefit for pain or cognitive clarity. If you can stand the taste, I'd recommend it, even if all you get is a little extra energy to make it through the day it's worth it.
I've been in a "flare-up" again for a couple of weeks now. The first clue, aside from the horrible fatigue, was the mouth sores (ulcers) and the "hazy" vision & cognitive impairment (caused from the fibro-fog). I sometimes get confused and attribute the symptoms to allergies or sinusitis, but the mouth sores always clue me in to the flare up that's coming. I finally broke down and called the doc's office Friday to make an appointment. My husband's been bugging me for days to call because I've been "hurting" so bad, but [and I'm sure anyone with Fibro and other similar conditions can relate] I hate going to the doctor because I just feel like it's going to be more of the same...trying to determine what's wrong, prescribing different meds to see if something will help, only to find it doesn't...it just seems like there's nothing they can do so why waste my time and theirs (don't get me wrong, I love my doctor, but he'll probably be the first one to concede that medicine can only offer so much help).
But, there is ALWAYS hope, and the medicine does often help some of the symptoms to become more tolerable and/or manageable. So I do recommend you see your doctor regularly, even if nothing more than to say "hey, I hurt."
I've recently been reading some diet tips on foods to avoid that will trigger fibromyalgia symptoms. Here's what I've found:
Eating "Heavy" / "Filling" Carbohydrates will increase insulin, decrease blood sugar, and bring out fibromyalgia and hypoglycemia symptoms (40% of all men/women/children diagnosed with Fibromyalgia also have low-blood sugar (hypoglycemia).
Unfortunately, these "heavy" / "filling" carbohydrates include just about every "good" food out there--all of which I consume in quantity--such as pasta, white bread, wheat bread, spaghetti, whole wheat spaghetti, white rice, brown rice, mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, corn, whole grain cereals, whole wheat cereals, breakfast cereals, bananas, carrots, mangoes, instant oatmeal, watermelon, dried fruit, orange juice, fruit juices, raisins, baked beans, pinto beans, navy beans, kidney beans, fava beans, black beans, potato chips, corn chips, Pepsi cola, coca cola, cake, cookies, candy, ice cream, and more. And that goes for pizza, tacos, and tortillas as well, and anything with hidden sugars within them. So pretty much anything "good tasting."
All of these carbohydrates will increase insulin and lower your blood sugar because they have what's been termed as a "high glycemic load." Carbohydrates with a "high glycemic load" breakdown into a tremendous amount of sugar within your body and should be avoided as they make fibromyalgia symptoms worse.
So what can we eat? Here's a link to a holistic article which provides some very sound advice regarding a Fibromyalgia diet:
In short, it recommends eating a high-fiber diet that includes plenty of servings of raw and steamed vegetables and increasing your intake of greens, as well as the inclusion of ample servings of lean protein, such as that found in fish, poultry, and fresh raw nuts/seeds.
Also advised is the eating of four to five small meals daily rather than three larger ones. This is believed to ensure that you have a steady supply of nutrients available for proper muscle function.
Avoid processed foods, and foods that are high in saturated or hydrogenated fats, such as dairy products, meat, and margarine. Saturated fats interfere with circulation, increasing inflammation and pain.
Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and sugar. These substances enhance fatigue, increase muscle pain, and can interfere with normal sleep patterns.
Believe it or not your diet can affect your health to the extent or increasing and/or decreasing symptoms and/or pain. Try altering your diet for two weeks--even if it is something as simples as just reducing your carbs and sugar intake by half--and see how you feel? Give it an honest go, if you cheat, you'll only be cheating yourself. If nothing else you might drop a few pounds in that two weeks. If it means even a little relief, I'm willing to try anything.
BUT ALWAYS discuss any diet plan with YOUR DOCTOR FIRST, so talk with him/her about it...I don't know of any doctor that would be against decreasing sugar and [bad] carbs and increasing raw vegetables and "healthy" foods.
REMEMBER, JUST PUT ONE FOOT IN FRONT OF THE OTHER, ONE DAY AT A TIME.
For more detailed information about Fibromyalgia Syndrome visit http://www.fibrocenter.com/symptoms_abou... or talk to your doctor.