FIBROMYALGIA AND CHRONIC FATIGUE COMMON TREATMENTS


There are various medical / conventional and naturopathic treatments available for both chronic fatigue and Fibromyalgia and however before treating either, it is very important to get to the root cause of these symptoms. Issues such as underactive thyroid, candidiasis and anemias should be ruled out and treated if they are part of the problem.


1. Conventional therapies
2. Naturopathic approach to fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue

CONVENTIONAL THERAPIES


Traditional treatments are geared toward improving the quality of sleep and reducing pain. Sleep disorders that frequently occur in FMS patients are treated first because they may be a strong contributing factor to the symptoms of this condition. Medications that boost your body's level of serotonin and norepinephrine (neurotransmitters that modulate sleep, pain, and immune system function) are commonly prescribed in low doses, such as amitriptyline, cyclobenzaprine and Cymbalta.

Ambien, Lunesta, clonazepam, and trazodone are just a few of the medications that may be used to aid sleep. Ultram may help with the pain, although stronger opioids may be needed for treating moderate to severe pain. Muscle relaxants, anti–epileptics (such as Neurontin and Lyrica) and other drug categories may be prescribed as well.


Professional Counselling

Consulting a trained professional will help most patients build effective coping skills. A supportive counselor can help you cope with the prospects of long–term illness, as well as the anxiety, depression, grief, anger and guilt that often accompany chronic illness. A competent therapist, using problem-solving techniques and standard psychotherapy and counseling methods, can help you work through these issues. In some cases, a therapist may recommend a combination of medication and psychotherapy.

Because chronic illnesses like Cronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) impact the entire family, not just the patient, you may want to consider family education and counseling. Consulting a behavioral health professional may be helpful to address changes in family dynamics related to living with CFS.


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, is often prescribed to help chronically ill patients cope with illness and develop behaviors and strategies that help alleviate symptoms. It has been successful in helping patients with cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer, and recent studies indicate that CBT can be useful in treating some CFS patients. CBT is frequently prescribed as part of therapeutic process; it helps patients learn to manage activity levels, stress and symptoms. Optimally, CBT can help you better adapt to the impact of CFS and improve your level of function and quality of life.

In addition to medications, most patients will need to use other treatment methods as well, such as trigger point injections with lidocaine, and other more natural therapies such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, acupuncture, acupressure, relaxation / biofeedback techniques, osteopathic manipulation, chiropractic care, therapeutic massage, or a gentle exercise program.


NATUROPATHIC APPROACH TO FIBROMYALGIA AND CHRONIC FATIGUE


The Naturopathic approach to fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue at our clinic is based on first identifying the root / underlying cause that is causing these syndromes. Once our naturopathic doctor has completed your assessment, she may suggest a combination of therapies such as acupuncture, dietary and lifestyle modifications, vitamins and herbal supplements, depending on your health. The therapeutic interventions mentioned below are some of standard natural treatment options * that may be used if indicated with your health issues.

For a proper assessment and treatment, and to get a proper diagnosis of the underlying factors and related to your specific health concern, please call us at 416 913 4325 to schedule an initial naturopathic appointment. Alternatively, you can email us at info@naturesintentionsnaturopathy.com to schedule a visit as well.

Here are simple natural health tips that may be helpful for Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome:


Nutrition

Increase your intake of water to at least 1.5 to 2 liters a day in order to improve elimination of toxins from the body as well hydrate the body.

Eliminate all food allergens from the diet. These can be identified by a simple blood allergy test provided at our clinic. The most common allergenic foods are dairy, soy, citrus, peanuts, wheat, fish, eggs, corn, and tomatoes. Try an elimination diet by removing the suspected allergens from the diet for two weeks. Reintroduce one food every three days. Watch for reactions such as gastrointestinal upset, mood changes, flushing, fatigue, and worsening of symptoms. A rotation diet, in which the same food is not eaten more than once every four days, may reduce sensitivities.

Decrease your carbohydrate intake, increase your intake of good quality protein and good essential fats in moderation. Yeast overgrowth in the body is quite often the cuplrit with Chronic fatigue syndrome, and a diet high in sugar and refined foods will worsen the symptoms.

Eliminate inflammatory foods such as refined foods, sugar, saturated fats (meat and dairy products), alcohol, and caffeine.

Eat whole foods such as vegetables, whole grains, fruits, protein, and essential fatty acids (cold-water fish, nuts, and seeds).


Physical Therapies that are beneficial for Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Physical therapies such as Massage Therapy and Acupuncture have been shown to be very beneficial in reducing the pain and discomfort related with these ailments. These therapies may be advised, if indicated. Additional home treatments such as warm baths with epsom salts and essential oils may also be beneficial to soothe and relax sore and aching muscles.


Acupuncture & Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is one of the most common rheumatic disorder, where patients experience a wide variety of symptoms, including fatigue, pain, stiffness, aches and muscle tenderness, along with sleep disorders, intestinal and digestive troubles. The diagnosis of fibromyalgia can be confirmed when 11 out of 18 specific points on the body are tender to pressure. Interestingly, some of these tender points closely correspond to the location of specific acupuncture points on the body.

Based on Traditional Chinese medicine, an imbalance or stagnation in the flow of qi ( energy) can create symptoms and signs of fibromyalgia. Qi is the vital energy that supports the functions of the body and flows through meridians (specific energy channels) providing nourishment for the entire body. When Qi is abundant and freely circulating throughout the body, there is health and pain-free living. when Qi becomes “blocked,” or the supply is inadequate, pain, stiffness and other symptoms related to fibromyalgia can appear.


How can our naturopathic doctor help treat Fibromyalgia with Acupuncture?

Once our naturopathic physician has completed a health history assessment for you, she will perform a Traditional Medicine Tongue and Pulse Diagnosis in order to find out where qi within the body has blocked, or imbalanced, along with a comprehensive physical exam to rule out any underlying nutritional imbalances. She will then develop an individualised treatment plan tailored to address the meridian pathways that are out of balance in your case specifically. The goal of the treatment plan would be to address the symptoms pain and discomfort, while addressing the root cause and underlying imbalances.

Naturopathic Medicine and Traditional Chinese medicine along with Acupuncture can provide a safe alternative in the effective treatment of fibromyalgia. Along with acupuncture, natural herbal formulas, dietary recommendations and stress management exercises may also be recommended to promote balance and health for you.

In November 1997, the national institute of health (NIH), stated that acupuncture could be effective in treating fibromyalgia. Not only can it treat the pain and discomfort, but it can also address the underlying problems that have caused the imbalance. Subjects who received acupuncture experienced an overall improvement in fatigue, anxiety and the hypersensitivity associated with fibromyalgia.

If you have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and are interested in treating it naturally and effectively with Acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Naturopathic Medicine, please call us at 416 913 4325 to schedule a consultation or email us at info@naturesintentionsnaturopathy.com

* DISCLAIMER: The information on this article is the property of Dr. Sushma Shah, Naturopathic Doctor, and is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure any diseases or promote any services or products mentioned on the website.

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