Do you have a deep muscular ache? Do you feel fatigued all the time? Do you have sleep disorders?
In addition to this, do you have constipation alternating with diarrhea? Do you feel bloated? Do you frequently get tension-type headaches? Do you suffer more in cold weather? If you are a woman, do you have menstrual problems, painful periods, swollen extremities or symptoms suggestive of PMS? Are you depressed all the time and sensitive to loud noises and bright lights and feel stressed out?
If you have answered yes to the first three and yes to many of the questions above, the chances are that you would have visited your allopathic physician and he/she would have investigated you and told you that you have a condition called as Fibromyalgia.
What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterized by a combination of widespread pain in the muscles, tendons, ligaments, fatigue, and multiple tender points on the body.
The American College of Rheumatology estimates that 3 to 6 million people are afflicted with this disease in the US. Fibromyalgia is more common in women, especially between the ages of 30 and 50. 90% of cases of Fibromyalgia occur in women in the US (NIH, The National Women’s Health Center).
A Vegan diet can help:
According to Dr. Amy Lanou, Ph.D, the nutrition director of Physicians committed for Responsible Medicine, which is a non-profit organization based in Washington DC:
“Switching to a vegan diet pulls away some of the most common suspected disease triggers, including dairy products, MSG, shrimp, food colorings and sulfites.”
Researchers have discovered that female fibromyalgia patients who consumed a vegan diet experienced a significant reduction in muscular pain, reduction in depression and improved sleep quality.
The vegan diet, which primarily consists of raw fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes, also helped weight loss and better control of blood cholesterol.
Diet for Fibromyalgia patients:
Allopathic physicians all agree that patients with Fibromyalgia need a diet rich in:
- Coenzyme Q10
- Malic acid and magnesium
- Proteolytic enzymes
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin C with bioflavonoids
- Vitamin B complex
- Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)
- Vitamin B12
They also agree that foods must be adequate in calcium, magnesium, potassium, selenium and zinc, DL-phenylalanine (DLPA), essential fatty acids (rich sources are black currant seed oil, flaxseed oil, and primrose oil), Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), L-Leucine plus L-isoleucine and L –valine, L- Tyrosine, Melatonin, naturally occurring multivitamin and mineral complex plus and natural carotenoids. Only a vegan diet can provide all these nutrients in an adequate quantity.
- Regular exercise to increase muscle strength and endurance.
- Massage therapy. Search out the trigger point areas using a massage tool.
- Moist heat is helpful for relaxing muscles. Warm showers worked well for me.
- Acupuncture and hypnosis.
- Gentle yoga sessions to relax and lengthen tight muscles.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy and pain management therapy.
- Meditation, prayer and biofeedback therapy.
Herbs and natural supplements:
Some vitamins and minerals are considered as alternative therapy for Fibromyalgia and they include B-complex vitamins, omega –3 and 6 fatty acids. Sam-E, St. John’s wort and Kava are a few herbs that sometimes offer marginal relief.
Mangosteen is a fruit that grows only in areas of Southeast and Central Asia and was used traditionally by native peoples in these areas to treat a number of conditions including pain. Studies and chemical evaluation has shown that the mangosteen contain analgesics, anti-inflammatory agents and Cox-2 inhibitors, all of which are pain relievers.
There are many remedies in Homeopathy for Fibromyalgia and it is better for the patients to go to an experienced Homeopath and take a constitutional remedy. Some remedies that work marvelously are listed below:
Arnica: is generally prescribed for pain, tenderness, and stiffness. Arnica cream or gel can also be used topically.
Bryonia: helps ease pain that increases with movement and is better when resting. It also helps with the constipation.
Hypericum: is useful for the unbearable prickly pain that radiates along nerve pathways, is worse with movement, and worse when touched. This remedy is especially effective for pain in the extremities.
Rhus toxicodendron: is for the individual who feels better after moving around.
The orthodox system treats Fibromyalgia victims with painkillers, muscle relaxants and physiotherapy and it is sad to see that dietary changes are seldom advocated. Fibromyalgia is a disease that responds adequately to diet, yoga and lifestyle modification.
References and links:
Dr. Rajesh Vishwanathan, MBBS, became disillusioned with the impersonal and aggressive allopathic system and trained and qualified in Yoga, meditation, Naturopathy and Homeopathy. He dreams of Integrating Allopathic medicine with the Alternative systems of healing.