Sunday, May 13, 2007

Treating Fibromyalgia Naturally

Fibromyalgia is an increasingly common condition that is characterized by long-term, body-wide pain and tender points in joints, muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues. The National Fibromyalgia Association reports that as many as 10 million people have fibromyalgia, and over 80 percent of those diagnosed are women.

Fibromyalgia can mimic rheumatoid arthritis without the swelling and deformity of joints seen in rheumatoid arthritis. Ironically, this is unfortunate since people with this disease look perfectly healthy while feeling so ill.

By far, the chief complaint of fibromyalgia is pain followed closely by fatigue:

*Muscle and joint pain on the neck, shoulders, sternum, lower back, hips, shins, elbows, knees.
*Sleep disturbances
*Body aches
*Reduced exercise tolerance
*Chronic facial muscle pain or aching

It is not known what causes people to develop fibromyalgia. Preliminary studies have hinted that there may be a genetically inherited disposition to develop the disorder, but that is not conclusive.

The clinical management of fibromyalgia leaves much to be desired. Until recent research showed that the pain was real, many doctors referred people with this disorder for psychiatric care. Since fibromyalgia isn't a bacteria, virus, or germ, doctors have a hard time dealing with something they can't see. Some patients are helped by anti depressants, but many are not. Traditional treatment options are few.

Fortunately fibromyalgia is one condition where alternative medicine can definitely help. Naturopathic doctors feel the fundamentals of disease are malnutrition, toxins, and stress on the immune system. Things like mercury in tooth fillings, industrial chemicals in the products we use, and various other toxins in our environment magnify each other and affect the immune system so that eventually it does not function properly.

A holistic approach will seek to boost your immune system through detoxification, proper diet, and supplements in combination with treatments such as chiropractic, acupuncture, and massage. Many people have found relief in these methods. Fibromyalgia isn't a life sentence of pain and fatigue.

Statements made in this article may not be approved by the FDA, and should not be taken as professional medical advice.