Fibromyalgia and Alternative Treatments


Fibromyalgia and Alternative Treatments

 

Today I want to discuss a topic that many of my close friends call major pain…fibromyalgia.  Fibromyalgia is a neurosensory disorder characterized by widespread muscle pain, joint stiffness, and fatigue. The condition is chronic (ongoing), but pain comes and goes and moves about the body. The disorder is often misdiagnosed or unrecognized and is and often complicated by mood and anxiety disorders.

According to the American College of Rheumatology diagnosis criteria,

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fibromyalgia affects about 3-5% of women, most of whom are between ages 20 and 50, but only 0.5- 1.6% of men. Some experts feel the actual rate is much higher. Fibromyalgia is more prevalent in adults than children, with nine times more women affected than men. People with fibromyalgia are most likely to complain of three primary symptoms: muscle and joint pain, stiffness, and fatigue.

There is no known cure for fibromyalgia; therefore, the goal of treatment is successful symptom management. Treatment usually requires a combination of pharmaceutical therapies, appropriate exercise, proper sleep hygiene, and good nutrition. As of early 2009, the only drug specifically approved for treatment of fibromyalgia by the United States Food and Drug Administration was pregabalin (Lyrica), an anticonvulsant whose mechanism of action in the treatment of fibromyalgia was not completely understood.

Antidepressant drugs that alter the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain help improve symptoms of pain and disrupted sleep in many people with fibromyalgia.

Our bodies are meant to be alkaline, and our highly acidic diets put enormous stress on our systems.  When you eat foods that create acid in your body, most of the toxic waste is eliminated from your body by the bladder and bowels, and some is eliminated by breathing and through the skin.  However, some of the waste is stored in protective fat cells, and some is absorbed into the blood stream and carried throughout your body.

The key to dealing with almost any disease, and especially fibromyalgia, is to eat an alkaline diet and drink alkaline ionized water.  While converting to an alkaline diet is often a struggle, drinking ionized water is simple and very effective.   That doesn’t mean you can drink alkaline ionized water and continue to fill your body with acidic foods. While I don’t have fibromyalgia, I do have gout, and I found that starting with the water allowed me to experience the benefits of being alkaline, which encouraged me to slowly convert to a more alkaline diet as the benefits became more and more obvious.

I talk with people frequently who have struggled with fibromyalgia for many years.  Several have found that they can experience almost total relief from fibromyalgia on an ongoing basis simply by drinking alkaline water and being more mindful of their diet. Nothing works for everyone, but I have talked with too many fibromyalgia sufferers who have found relief by drinking the water to simply discount it as “hocus pocus”

Secondly, eating a diet high in vegetables and fruits (preferably organic), and lower in meats and grains is another established approach to alkalizing the diet; however, most people don’t do this on a regular basis.  NSA Certified supplements are a great source for those who do not get their daily intake of fruits and vegetables. Robert Young, Ph.D., author of The pH Miracle, reports that drinking alkaline water “neutralizes stored acid wastes and gently removes acids from the body”.

Lastly, deep breathing and relaxation breathing exercises for stress management can dramatically alter the body’s acid/alkaline balance by oxygenating and eliminating carbon dioxide and aerosol wastes. However, breathing exercises won’t be much help if you’re breathing polluted air. Cleaning up your indoor air quality by using a world-class air purification system can reduce pollutants of all kinds including acid producing components and provide a better environment for deep breathing. Cracking windows for ventilation can sometimes be a superior air cleaner as recent studies have shown that outdoor air is many times cleaner than indoor air. More involved programs of acid/alkaline balancing should be done in conjunction with a knowledgeable health care provider. If you would like to research this topic further, there are many popular books available on acid/alkaline balance and diet. The pH Miracle by Robert O. Young, Ph.D., and Shelley Redford Young; and Alkalize or Die by Theodore Baroody, M.D. are two respected resources.

Fibromyalgia is a complex disorder in which many factors play a part. Acid/alkaline balance is not a “magic bullet” by any means. However, many people can experience significant benefits by taking a good look at their overall acid/alkaline picture and by making sometimes very simple changes to diet, lifestyle, self-care, and home environment.

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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  Products referenced are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. These statements are not intended to be medical advice. Consult your health care practitioner for specific medical advice and treatment.