You’ve all heard this old joke, right? Guy goes to the doctor and says “Doc, it hurts when I touch here,” poking the spot with his finger. Then he says “It hurts when I touch here, here and here too,” poking other spots. Doc looks at him and says “I know what’s wrong. You broke your finger.”
Ha. Very funny, unless you have fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia sufferers only WISH they could blame it on a broken finger. They have pain in many places, all over their bodies, for no reason that we understand. There are lots of theories involving nervous systems that are too sensitive to pain or misinterpret normal sensations as pain, elevated levels of certain neurotransmitters related to pain, and low levels of other neurotransmitters. The evidence is mounting though that fibromyalgia really IS a real disorder and there are some medications that seem to make a difference to some sufferers.
Before you flame me for my statement above, please understand that I happen to be one of those that knows my patients with fibromyalgia suffer real pain. The medical establishment is slow, however, to recognize newly described disorders and the jury seems to still be out for the medical system as a whole. I know this is a source of endless frustration for fibromyalgia sufferers.
We don’t have any drugs that are great for fibromyalgia or that consistently relieve pain or restore function. There are only 3 drugs that have been approved for the treatment of fibromyalgia: Cymbalta, Lyrica and Savella (sorry but I don’t know how to add the nifty c-in-a-circle so please remember these names are copyrighted). As anyone with fibromyalgia will tell you, they don’t always give fabulous results and have pretty significant side effects sometimes.
There aren’t any super-great supplements for fibromyalgia either unfortunately! However, I do have some suggestions that have helped my patients. First of all, the foundation is critical. Please check here and follow the link for your age and gender to see the foundation multivitamin or pack for you. Fish oil has anti-inflammatory effects and B-complex helps relieve stress. Vitamin C is important for healthy soft tissues and healing after injury. Boswellia has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties too.
Much as I wish it were otherwise, I don’t think we’re going to see one pill fix fibromyalgia. Like so many other complex problems in medicine (and in life!), it’s going to require time, patience, persistence and a willingness to step outside the box and try different approaches before we finally get it right.
Thanks Michelle for the great topic suggestion 🙂