Last month, I asked several of my fellow bloggers to share their best tips for reducing fibro symptoms. At the end of the post, I invited readers to chime in with their own tips. This post highlights some of their responses.
We all know there is no cure for fibromyalgia – at least not yet – but there are steps we can take to try to reduce and manage symptoms. Until the research can tell us more about fibromyalgia and the best way to treat it, I think it’s a valuable exercise for us to share what’s working and what’s not, so we can learn from each other. These sharing posts are a way to do that.
Once you’ve read through the responses, I’d love for you to leave your own tip in the comments section answering the following question: What helps you the most to reduce your fibro symptoms?
From Beckie Abbott:
“My most helpful changes have been no red meat – this decreased the intensity of my pain fairly substantially – and adding d-ribose for more energy. I began feeling energy improvement after 2 1/2 weeks.”
From Michael Guidera, MichaelGuidera.com:
“During my 20 years of fibro, I tried many therapies, lifestyle and nutritional changes, and supplements with varying levels of remediation. Now, 10 months into a year-long protocol of flotation therapy combined with some psychotherapy, pain levels and psychological symptoms are way down, and physical and mental functioning is increasing apace.
“I had been using float tanks for more than 25 years. It had helped for stress, but made little impact on my fibro. Things improved within a few months once I changed to the protocol outlined in “Case studies on fibromyalgia and burn-out depression using psychotherapy in combination with flotation – rest: Personality development and increased well-being.” Adapting their program and floating systematically has, for the first time since it began, given me a reason to think this hideous disease will soon be in my past.”
From Jackie Hartman:
“The biggest change I’ve made is going vegan. It has totally eliminated my fibro fog. I also have less pain. It still flares up with the weather, but it is much more manageable. Also for pain I’ve found compression helps – compression arm sleeves, pants. Now if only I could find something for energy!”
From Lisa Kabalu:
“I found adult colouring books, and it has made a huge difference to me. Not only does it help me to deal with stress, as it completely relaxes me, but it also gives me a sense of achievement. I colour away my stresses, and I am distracted from pain, plus it gives me something to focus on instead of moping about feeling sorry for myself.”
From Jmia Kaith:
“Fibromyalgia is so complex . What makes it flare is also stress and too much stress hormone in your body. You need to live a stress-free life. Meditation, yoga. Many pain drugs only take the edge off pain. Even the pain is so complex. Be gentle to yourself, and know your limits. Zinc and magnesium are good to take. Also a gluten-free and sugar-free diet all help. It’s trial and error. If you don’t get enough sleep each night, pain will increase.”
From Margaret Karen:
“It’s not just one thing – it takes many to manage this and stay out of a flare. Low-dose naltrexone has reduced the pain and increased my energy significantly. D-ribose also helps with energy. An anti-inflammatory diet – sugar, nightshades and many other foods cause joint pain, so I tend to eat a grain-free AIP [autoimmune paleo] diet. Last but probably the most important is stress management. If I don’t keep my stress levels in check, the immediate response is pain, which of course adds to the stress. Very gentle yoga and meditation are great for stress management.”
From Ann Martin:
“I went from being a highly active person to being almost completely bedridden due to pain and fatigue. I worked hard to get my movement back, and it took years. I will never be back to where I was, but what has worked for me is exercise for muscle strength and learning to say no to stress. Like many of you, I feel guilty if I cannot do something, but I am learning to focus on what is good for me, and if something is causing me stress, I try to get rid of it.”
From Adriane McCullagh:
“Please search tank flotation! It helps me so much. Like meditating in a pool!!!”
From Terry McSweeney, Fibromyalgia Pathways:
“As with each of us, my research is ongoing. So far I have found that having a strong support system is a priority. Because of my husband and other family and friends, I am able to have a positive attitude, which keeps me hopeful. I no longer am silent about having fibromyalgia, which is liberating and allows me to be truthful with myself and able to support others with fibromyalgia.”
From Lisa Milne:
“I, too, have so many other conditions that impact fibro. The main meds that work for me are Neurontin at the max dose (be prepared for other doctors’ questions) and Mobic 15mg.
“Otherwise, it is very much like others. I get a 1 1/2-2 hour deep-tissue massage every week, myofascial release every week, acupuncture and chiropractic as needed.
“I am a serious morning person, so I plan all appointments by noon, try not to overload myself, take 4-6 hours to rest, read, watch TV, online shop, etc. I say no a lot, nap when sleepy, try to walk slowly for an hour at a time two times a week, eat a somewhat healthy diet (I bake and love sweets), make plans with at least two friends a week and mostly try to cut myself some slack when I can’t do something or get confused or make mistakes. [Also,] marijuana. Daily.”
From Renny Pomeroy:
“After trying all the prescription meds and having nothing work and praying for an answer, I decided to try medical marijuana. It is the only thing that relieves my pain and helps me sleep. It is high CBD, low THC, so I do not get high, which was one of my deciding factors. I take it in butter form in gel caps. I still have flare ups, but when that happens, I add hot baths to the mix. Still looking for help with the fatigue. I’ve also vastly improved my diet, but I really have no appetite these days.”
From Angela Pridmore:
“I am so pleased to say that most of what I do has been said. Eating and drinking clean, pay for it if you do not! Pace each day. Read, stretch, prepare some food, dishes, cleaning a little at a time, for everything. If you have a busy day, you pay. I conserve some energy the day before going out with my friends and also the day after.
“Plan, plan and more plan. Organize your wardrobe, clothes, shoes, etc. Only keep what is comfortable. Buy clothing that needs little care such as ironing. I wear nice pajamas or long maxi dresses during the day at home. It saves my good clothes, and I feel better, too.
“Do not shower or wash you hair just prior to going out. Plan that too. Have Epsom salt baths with lavender oil whilst listening to meditation music or white noise or even listen to a book. My hands suffer with a lot of pain and [loss of] dexterity, so no ‘real’ books unfortunately. Please treat yourself with care, love yourself, be good to yourself, be a little selfish, too.”
From Claire Toone:
“My main way of dealing with fibromyalgia is a terrific support group. It has helped me so much as I am no longer ‘on my own.’ I cried when I left the first meeting, and it has been the best thing for me. I have a great group of friends, and I know I can ring, text, email, etc. when I need support or help. My other thing is pillows. I have a v pillow, body pillow and ordinary ones, and use them to support my arms and knees. They take the pressure off the joints.”
From Beverly Runnels:
“I am a 30-year sufferer of fibromyalgia, and that should tell you that I have tried thousands of ideas to help me. I was bedridden for a year because I tried to ignore my syptoms. That doesn’t work for anyone. Now I pace my life and try to live my new normal. I got my diagnosis at age 48, and I am now 78, but doing much better than I was 30 years ago.
“I do supplements and herbs and no prescription drugs. I do chlorophyll once a day and probiotics that are 20 billion per capsule. Coconut oil keeps me lubricated, and life is better now. … I had good support from my husband and friends, and no one else to care for but myself. I feel very blessed, and when I look back over the years, I feel better today than I did when I first got sick. I can function now, and that means everything to me.”
From Megan Schartner, LiveKen:
“For me, listening to my body and pacing my activities has been a lifesaver. A big part of that is regular meditation or downtime during the day and giving myself permission to have days off when I need to.”
From Valorie Snider:
“I recently found a new product on the market called My Pain Away Fibro Cream. It is endorsed by the National Fibromyalgia Association. I have tried several pain creams, and this one is by far the best one. I also use medical marijuana and Tramadol.”
From Joan Walter:
“My best tip is taking hot baths with Epsom salts. I add lavender essential oil or lavender bubble bath for the added relaxation.”
Now it’s your turn: What helps the most to reduce your fibro symptoms? Leave a comment below!