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Spotlight on Fibromyalgia

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Beating Neuropathy Radio

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Welcome back to Beating Neuropathy and Chronic Pain! This week, our first show of 2013, we'll be focusing on fibromyalgia.
 
Fibromyalgia is classified as widespread aches, pains, and sensitivity to touch that persists from 3-6 months. It presents similarly to myofascial pain syndrome, which occurs after sleep disturbance, stress, or magnesium deficiency. The biggest difference between this and fibromyalgia is that myofascial pain syndrome will disappear in a short period of time, while fibromyalgia lasts significantly longer.
 
Fibromyalgia must be a diagnosis of exclusion. Lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and other conditions must be ruled out first. One significant finding is that approximately 50% of patients with fibromyalgia have underlying thyroid disease. This is often overlooked since more than just TSH levels must be tested. Thyroid disease, particularly autoimmune hypothyroidism, can produce fibromyalgia symptoms.
 
Fibromyalgia sufferers must look beyond short-term relief. Like neuropathy, drug-only therapy for fibromyalgia, such as antidepressants, can worsen and extend the symptoms. A plant-based (vegan), gluten-free diet can make a big difference. This kind of diet can eliminate allergens (dairy, eggs, gluten) which exacerbate symptoms. Consider taking magnesium (magnesium malate) orally, unless you suffer from kidney disease. Make sure you are not taking supplements which interact with your medications. Although fibromyalgia can come with exercise intolerance, moderate exercise can help improve symptoms. After taking magnesium, exercise intolerance can improve or disappear.
 
Please keep your great questions coming through email and Facebook! Or call our office at 781-659-7989.

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