Natural Fibromyalgia Treatment

Many people believe that Fibromyalgia is a "made-up" condition. I've heard countless times from people with Fibromyalgia that they have been told "it's all in your head", even by medical professionals. This is not true. What you are experiencing is real. 

 

In 2010, the prevalence of Fibromyalgia in Canadians over the age of 12 was estimated to be 1.5%. While this percentage does not sound extremely high, it equates to about 444 000 Canadians affected (1). It's very likely that you know someone suffering from this condition, whether you know they have it or not. 

Living with Fibromyalgia can be frustrating and discouraging. You may spend many days in bed or in excruciating pain, longing for the days when you could do your normal day-to-day activities without this constant reminder that your health isn't what it used to be. You may have lost your job or your ability to care for yourself and your family. On top of it all, there are an overwhelming number of  treatment options available for Fibromyalgia and it can difficult to know which are right for you.

 

I've lived with chronic pain most of my life.  While this pain is nowhere near how I imagine Fibromyalgia to feel, I can understand how frustrating it can be when pain is stopping you from living your life. I love working with people to manage their pain and stop it from controlling their lives. I am constantly inspired by how involved, educated, and persistent people with Fibromyalgia are. Despite past experiences, people with Fibromyalgia are always trying to make sense of their condition and find ways to manage it. I would love to be a part of this journey. 

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a condition characterized by widespread chronic pain. Many other symptoms occur with pain, including fatigue, memory impairment, and disturbed sleep. At times, people can pinpoint a particular event that seemed to bring on their Fibromyalgia. Examples of such triggering events could include physical trauma, surgery, infection or psychological stress. These triggers can also make fibromyalgia symptoms worse. 

 

There are several theories as to why the pain occurs. The most popular theory is that pain signals sent from the body to the brain are processed differently, resulting in amplification of the pain sensation (2). Research has showed that there are many metabolic abnormalities that occur in fibromyalgia, including abnormalities in the functioning of mitochondria (the components of cells that produce energy), the immune system, the inflammatory response, among others. While research is ongoing and we have some pieces to the puzzle, there is still much to learn about fibromyalgia.

Common Signs & Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

  • Widespread pain, including pain above and below the waist on both the right and left sides of your body

  • Stiffness

  • Sensitivity to touch

  • Fatigue

  • Memory impairment

  • Cognitive difficulties, including difficulty with attention and concentration (also known as “fibro-fog” or “brain fog”)

  • Sleep disruption, including difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep, and non-refreshing sleep

  • Sensitivity to temperature change

Many patients with Fibromyalgia also suffer from a number of other conditions at the same time.

These could include:

  • Myalgic encephalomyelitis (also known as chronic fatigue syndrome)

  • Migraines and other types of headaches

  • Irritable bowel syndrome

  • Interstitial cystitis and other urinary tract conditions

  • TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder

  • Painful menses 

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

Naturopathic Treatment for Fibromyalgia

Although there are common symptoms that many people with Fibromyalgia share, each person experiences this condition differently. Some individuals experience more brain fog, while others find the pain to be the most debilitating, and still others struggle with fatigue as the most challenging aspect of this condition. Since everyone experiences Fibromyalgia slightly differently, I treat each person individually based on their presenting concerns.

 

There are a number of treatment options available to address the symptoms of Fibromyalgia. Identifying and removing symptom triggers is often the initial goal in formulating a treatment plan. Dietary counselling is major component of treatment. This could include investigating possible food intolerances and finding a healthy, wholesome diet that prevents pain flares and eases digestive concerns. Lifestyle changes are also very important in managing Fibromyalgia symptoms. Stress management, sleep hygiene, and pacing of activities are foundations of healing, which will relieve current symptoms and decrease the frequency of symptom flares. Additional treatments could include the use of supplements, botanical medicine in the form of teas or tinctures, traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture, cupping, homeopathy, and the use of hot or cold water (also known as hydrotherapy). Treatments are selected for each individual based on efficacy, patient preference, and safety. 

Dr. Melyssa Hoitink, ND

The Lakeside Clinic

Phone: (705) 726-0923

Email: info@thelakesideclinic.com

Location:

570 Bryne Dr., Unit F

Barrie, Ontario, Canada

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© 2019 by Dr. Melyssa Hoitink, ND