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Staying Healthy with Fibromyalgia
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Staying Healthy with Fibromyalgia

My mom struggles with Fibromyalgia. Many times she has been unable to walk long distances because of the pain and has resorted to taking her cane, wheelchairs or buggies to get places. This is a women who walked up to one and a half to two miles a day and did aerobics almost daily. This is the type of illness that sneaks up on you when you least expect it. Some days for her are great, and others, not so much. 

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread pain. Symptoms include fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. Some believe Fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain processes pain signals. The cause of the disorder is unknown, but risk factors include traumatic injury, rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune disorders, such as lupus, and genetic factors. There is no cure for Fibromyalgia, but diet, exercise, acupuncture, and behavioral therapy can help relieve symptoms. 

Diet

The diet for Fibromyalgia is simple. You need foods that are high in antioxidants and amino acids, foods that contain coenzyme Q10, fruits with a low glycemic index, and anti-inflammatory vegetables. A full list provided by Vital Motion can help you come up with a diet plan. You also want to avoid foods that contain artificial sweeteners and processed foods while minimizing your gluten and yeast intake as well as caffeine.

Exercise

Starting low and going slow helps keep symptoms from flaring up while exercising. As suggested by the Mayo Clinic, exercises should include low-impact aerobic activities such as walking, swimming, biking, and water aerobics. A good workout time goal would be 30 minutes three times a week. Strength training may also be helpful but hasn't been as extensively researched. Other options include anything slow moving with deep breathing like yoga and tai chi. Medications, talk therapy, and stress reduction can also help control symptoms.

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