Today Nikki from Brainless Blogger shares how she treats Fibromyalgia. Please remember that Nikki and I are not medical professionals and cannot give medical advice. We are just sharing our experiences and opinions. Check out Brainless Blogger and be sure to follow her on Facebook and Twitter.
I was diagnosed when I was 20 years old having had been undiagnosed for several years prior. I was born with hypermobility syndrome and the FM developed from that.
Treatment, in the beginning, was nothing. The rheumatologist stated I was too young for medication and gave me no advice at all. I am turning 40 this month so you can imagine in the 20 years since I have tried many things on my own. And many things didn’t work well for me. In there somewhere I developed comorbid conditions like migraines, which went chronic. And then quite spontaneously when I hit my mid 30’s I must have become old enough for medication because I was put on Lyrica. It worked moderately. Yay!
Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission to fund my coffee drinking habit if you use these links to make a purchase. You will not be charged extra, and you’ll keep me supplied in caffeine. It’s a win for everyone.
With quite a bit of weight gain. Boo! The pain clinic doc I now see took me off of it due to the fatigue it causes and put me on a slow-release tramadol 200mg in order to facilitate an exercise routine. I also tried Cymbalta and apparently am in the statistically few the warning label ‘may cause suicidal thoughts and actions’ was made for. Since apparently, I am ‘sensitive’ to antidepressants those are no longer treatment options for me for any pain.
Basically, the things I do are:
· Pace: avoid that boom and bust cycle.
· Mindful meditation: Find it great for stress reduction.
· Magnesium: Use magnesium oil and Epsom salts as well as liquid magnesium, all the easy to digest magnesium methods. Magnesium citrate does not do well with my IBS-D. (with calcium as I have some bone loss issues)
· Rhodiola for fatigue: A must mention because it is extremely beneficial. 100-200 mg.
· Vitamin D 5000 iu as prescribed by the pain clinic, so I take it. No idea if that makes a difference but I am Canadian so can’t hurt in the winter, eh?
· The slow release tramadol for pain management.
· Sleep management is very important and my insomnia is well habituated since my FM started in my youth. Right now I am on zopiclone and trazodone in order to sleep half decently.
There has been an improvement in the management of pain… for the fibromyalgia only. As in, coping with the pain. Exercise has been difficult and painful, but I find it is helping with muscle weakness. I hope to continue this process and see if it does help with mood and pain as suggested. The Rhodiola is really helping with fatigue and the mental fatigue that comes with fatigue. I cannot tell you about the magnesium yet, but I hope to see a benefit soon.
Pacing, when not working, definitely works well. Never exceeding my limits and busting into a flare. When working, well, harder to even stay in my limits (I have other forms of chronic pain to deal with). 20 minutes of meditation is all one needs to help lower pain perception… I am working up to that, but it is very relaxing and does reduce stress.
Sleep medication is necessary for me but it is necessary we all manage our sleep to get improved sleep. Whether that is herbal or sleep hygiene. The slow-release tramadol takes the edge off the pain to help me exercise at the current tiny capacity I can, but it isn’t that strong and doesn’t work for a flare. It is all they are willing to treat me with and I am fine with that because anything else could potentially cause rebound headaches with the migraines. Like everything seems to with migraines.
For mental wellbeing treatment of all my pain, my psychologist has me doing a journal. In it, at the end of the day, I write in 1 thing I accomplished and 1 goal for the next day. These can be anything and everything. I write 3 things I am grateful/thankful for that day or just overall. I write my fibromyalgia pain level, my migraine pain level, and my mood. And do an analysis of my mood thoughts if necessary.
This is my current fibromyalgia routine. It works moderately well for me. In general, I have substantially more issues with my comorbid like chronic migraines and others adding to the overall situation. Treatment doesn’t quite work so well on that end. And led to depression. I wouldn’t change my FM routine, rather progress with it.