Living well with Fibromyalgia
Living with fibromyalgia is a challenge; however, the symptoms can be reduced by working actively and by managing healthy practices.
Your doctor or consultant is the most important person or rather a resource. Talking to the doctor about the measures to low down the pain can be of extreme help. In addition, a person suffering may also have to adopt some lifestyle changes to reduce the symptoms.
Support groups and medications are also beneficial. Here are some tips one can follow to live well with the disease.
A healthy and active lifestyle may help in decreasing the pain. Research studies show that in addition to medicines, aerobic exercise such as walking or water exercise reduces the pain to a large extent. However, the person should always consult with his/her doctor before starting any exercise regime. Following are some tips for fibromyalgia patient:
- A patient is advised to start slowly, but he/she should move a little more than yesterday. This is called progress.
- Try not to overdo the exercise and don’t increase your activity too quickly.
- Start with a gentle exercise and work your way up.
- Tracking progress is also important. The patient should note down exercise routine they are following and benefits after that.
- Soreness after exercise will decrease with time but don’t over strain your body
- Take enough sleep
- Learn about your physical limitations
Not getting enough sleep is a common problem. Fibromyalgia comes with poor sleep and pain. Each symptom worsens the other one.
Some general tips for people suffering from fibromyalgia to help them sleep better are:
- Sticking to a sleeping schedule is one thing that helps in getting a refreshing sleep. A person should always try to go to bed at the same time and also wake up at the regular time. People suffering from fibromyalgia should maintain the sleep schedule on weekends also.
- Keeping your room too warm and too cool may often cause sleep disturbances. Maintain an optimum temperature of your room to sleep better.
- Avoid caffeine as the night approaches. Caffeine has a wake-up effect that lasts for a longer period. Thus, coffee, tea, colas or chocolate beverages should be avoided before sleep.
- People suffering from fibromyalgia should also avoid alcohol. It might seem to give a "sleepy effect" but as soon as the alcohol level in the blood drops, it causes an opposite effect. The person may get wide-awake.
- Exercising in the afternoon may make you sleep more deeply. However, the effects are opposite if a person exercises before bedtime.
- Naps are important for people with fibromyalgia. If you want to nap, take it. The person can set an alarm for 15-20 minutes, but don’t snooze it longer as this can make sleeping at night harder. Naps work as a power booster sometimes.
- Treat yourself to a comfortable bed and sleeping clothes like pajamas. Avoid having a tick-tock clock or any white noise machine in the bedroom.
- Develop a relaxing routine like taking a hot water bath and listening to soft music before sleeping to relax your body.
Researchers say that there is no perfect diet chart for people suffering from this condition. Before making any changes in diet, the person should consider talking to their doctor. Talk to your doctor about any food you want to eliminate or add to your diet chart. Also, be sure to tell your doctor about any nutritional supplements you are taking.
In addition to physical needs, people also need emotional care. Coping with fibromyalgia is challenging but with love and support of dear ones, people can get better.
The person suffering from fibromyalgia should try to reach out his/her family for help. It is very important to work closely with your healthcare professional to improve your condition. There are some feelings and frustration that only another person suffering from the same condition can understand. In such cases, the person should join fibromyalgia groups available by various modes.
The patient could:
- Join groups that exist all over the world by online mode
- Learn more about fibromyalgia by connecting with other people
- Get ideas from other people and family to manage the condition
- Manage stress emotionally and physically
- Accept his/her condition and learn to get better with it
- Reframe his or her thoughts towards positive things in life
- Take inspiration from other people
In addition to these tips, the patient can also try:
- Meditation and Yoga
- Deep breathing
- Cognitive behavioral therapy