Friday, December 28, 2007

Coping with Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

yoga or tai chi.

Changes in medication, diet or exercise
A consistent schedule is crucial. Be sure to keep exercise low-impact and moderate, with gradual increases in your exertion level.

Insufficient sleep
Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. A hot bath in the evening can help you relax. If you need help with sleep issues, talk to your doctor.

Onset of allergies
Try to avoid your exposure to known allergens. You may need to talk to your doctor about what allergy medication is best for you.


The more you can learn about your flare-ups the more you can do to mitigate them. In some cases, it may be impossible to identify a trigger.

As you become more familiar with your triggers and symptoms, look for beneficial ways to change your day-to-day life.

Help at home
You may need to arrange for help with housework and taking care of your children, whether it’s through family and friends or by hiring someone.

Changes at work
Many people with fibromyalgia make on-the-job changes, work fewer hours, or switch to jobs that are easier on them physically and/or mentally. Talk to your supervisor about your condition and what accommodations you need.

Moderate exercise
When you're tired and sore, exercise is probably the last thing on your mind. Experts say, though, that regular moderate exercise is critical in managing the pain of FMS. Something simple such as a daily walk can help keep joints loose and improve muscle endurance, both of which can lessen pain.

FMS: Nutrition

A poor diet can make your FMS symptoms worse, so eating well is key. No dietary or nutritional approach is universally accepted for fibromyalgia, but increasing evidence shows that some nutritional changes might improve your symptoms.

To find out what foods may aggravate your symptoms, you can eliminate them from your diet. Experts recommend slowly weaning off of caffeine, avoiding alcohol for at least six months, and removing the following from your diet:


Chemical-laden foods

Refined sugars

White flour

Aspartame (NutraSweet)

Monosodium glutamate (MSG)

Junk foods & processed snack foods

Researchers have found that most people with FMS eat large amounts of carbohydrate-rich foods, and they believe this eating habit could make symptoms worse. Some suggest a diet high in:

Fresh vegetables, especially green, leafy and yellow ones.



Fruits with lower glycemic content, including citrus, apples, berries, cantaloupe and peaches.

Antioxidants, which are found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, vitamins C and E, minerals such as selenium and zinc.

CFS: Coping Strategies

Effectively managing your CFS symptoms can help you be more functional andimprove the quality of your life. Experts recommend several life-style changes, including:

Reduce stress
Take steps to reduce your daily stress level and learn how to better deal with the stress you can't avoid, possibly through relaxation techniques, yoga or tai chi.

Get enough sleep
Practice good sleep habits, such as going to bed and getting up at the same time each day. Limit daytime napping, and allow enough time for sufficient sleep.

Exercise regularly
Exercise often improves symptoms, but you may need to start slow and build up gradually.

A physical therapist may help you put together a good regimen.

Pace yourself, but stay active
Keep your activity consistent day to day. Avoid the temptation to do extra on your good days, because that could lead to more bad days. While some people leave their jobs and quit activities due to CFS, people who stick to moderate, consistent activity levels tend to feel better than those who are inactive.

Maintain a healthy life-style
This includes eating a balanced diet, limiting caffeine, not smoking, getting plenty of fluids, getting adequate rest, managing stress and exercising regularly.


psychfun said...

My Tai Chi Instructor (Qi Gong, Yoga & Meditation too) had MS so bad he was on TONS Of 15 Valium a day in a wheel chair etc and through starting with Tai Chi he slowly got off ALL meds & you would never know he has MS now...even the eye comforting exercises have allowed his optic nerve to stay pink & plump...eye doc can't believe it!

kamdghwmw said...

I love yoga! It does help me to stay limber. Thanks for sharing this info.