Let’s put to the side the past stigmas associated with Fibromyalgia. For many years a majority of physicians did not believe in Fibromyalgia and there are still a few physicians who refuse to recognize or treat Fibro patients. While rounding on patients in the hospital, I have overhead a colleague label Fibromyalgia as the “depressed, overweight, middle age, housewife syndrome”.
Luckily, the medical community is finally coming around to recognizing this chronic pain condition. Current Fibromyalgia research and treatment philosophy resolves around the theory of Fibromyalgia being a mixed component of a central nervous system dysfunction with a chronic myofascial component.
Fibromyalgia is a diagnosis of exclusion, make sure to have labs to rule our other connective tissues diseases first, like Rheumatoid Arthritis, before accepting the Fibro diagnosis.
Below is a list of recommendations we make to all of our Fibromyalgia patients on there first visit:
- Every Fibro patients needs a sleep study to treat any underlying sleep disorders that will directly complicate pain.
- Treat any underlying depression, this can not be understated! Whether with counseling, psychiatric treatment, meditation and if needed medication
- Check underlying vitamin deficiencies that can complicate pain, including Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2 and Vitamin B6.
- Start a daily home exercise/stretching program, Fibro will worsens with inactivity. We have heard every argument from patients that it hurts to much to exercise but it is critical to do some daily stretching/exercise routine. We recommend low impact yoga, pilates, tai chi, aquatic therapy.
- Eliminate all soda’s immediately, totally toxic and can increase inflammatory levels in the body complicating pain.
- Restrict the ‘nightshade plants’ from the diet to limit their inflammatory related issues.
- Limit yeast foods, so many of our patients struggle with this one but it will dramatically improve your energy
- Work with a local physician and consider one of the FDA approved medications for Fibromyalgia: Cymbalta, Lyrica or Savella.
- Consider a workup for gluten allergy.