Physiology of Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep disturbances, memory and mood swings. Women are more likely to develop fibromyalgia than are men.

Causes

  • Fibromyalgia tends to run in families, there may be certain genetic mutations that may make a person more susceptible to developing the disorder.
  • Infections are said to trigger fibromyalgia
  • Fibromyalgia can sometimes be triggered by a physical trauma and psychological stress

Symptoms

  • Widespread Pain associated with fibromyalgia is described as a constant dull ache that has lasted for at least three months
  • People with fibromyalgia are often tired and have disturbed Sleep
  • A headache, jaw stiffness, dysmenorrhea (painful menstrual cycle), Tingling and numbness in the hands and feet, Depression, anxiety disorders and Breathing difficulties are few associated symptoms
  • Irritable bowel syndrome is also seen in a few patients
  • Difficulties with memory and concentration, known as “fibro-fog”

Treatment in Allopathy

The aim of the treatment is minimizing symptoms and improving general health. Self-care is critical in the management of fibromyalgia. Painkillers are used to alleviate pain and antidepressants to ease out pain, fatigue and promote better sleep. Physical therapy can improve strength, flexibility, and stamina

Counseling can help to cope up with stressful situations. It is important to maintain a regular sleep routine to reduce fatigue.

Ayurveda and Fibromyalgia

According to Ayurveda fibromyalgia is perceived as a classic Vata imbalance or Vata Vyadhi. Vata is the most easily disturbed physiological humor in the body. Many disorders can occur when toxins or Ama build up in tissues. The accumulation of toxins negatively impacts the mamsa dhatu or muscular tissues. These accumulated toxins give rise to symptoms such as tenderness, pain, and hypersensitivity to stimulation. The buildup of toxins in the body blocks the channels of circulation and diminishes the natural cleansing process of the body thereby creating a vicious cycle of blockage of channels and toxins buildups.

Treatment of Fibromyalgia in Ayurveda

Ayurvedic treatment aims at opening channels of circulation by internal cleansing, improving digestion and prevent reoccurrence of the toxin accumulation this can be achieved by stress-reducing techniques such as yoga, pranayama, and meditation in addition to diet and lifestyle.

Detox and Panchakarma

The first priority of the Ayurvedic practitioner is to remove the toxin build up from the body. Panchakarma techniques such as Vamana(emesis), Virechana (purgation) and Basti(enema)  are often used to get rid of toxins. A special attention is given to the health of the colon, the seat of Vata dosha. Colon cleansing is done with castor oil enemas.

Abhyanga (oil massages)  and Shirodhara (pouring of medicated oils on the forehead) is used to treat insomnia and induce deep sleep. Disturbed sleep is considered to be responsible for worsening of the symptoms.

Diet

Follow a healthy diet and lifestyle to control symptoms of fibromyalgia. A personalized vata pacifying diet plan is prepared as per the combination of dosha. As a general rule the patient is told to avoid refined, processed food items, cold drinks, hydrogenated and refined oils for cooking purposes. It is recommended to increase the intake of fresh fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, coconut oil, olive oil, and ghee. Ayurveda prescribes that food should be taken as per season in a relaxed environment. For proper digestion, it is important to chew well. Avoid heavy meals by following a small portion diet routine. Also, avoid incompatible combinations like eating fish and milk together.

Lifestyle modification

Breathing exercise, yoga, and a brisk walk help in controlling the symptoms of fibromyalgia.

Meditation is a good stress buster. Many studies have found that meditation helps in reducing the pain in the body.

Following a sleep time routine, preferably following ‘early to bed early to rise makes a man healthy and wise’ holds good in this condition as well

Herbal medicine

Ashwagandha powder, Shatavari powder and Bala root powder can be taken with warm milk twice a day known to be effective for fibromyalgia

Dried ginger powder mixed with water is also recommended. Sesame oil body massage with hot fermentation  help to relieve fatigue and pain

Naturopathy and Fibromyalgia

In naturopathy, the patient is not just treated based on the symptoms but as a whole entity. This is important for treating fibromyalgia because many of the symptoms presenting themselves are often seen as unconnected may have deeper connections and related causes.

Treatment of Fibromyalgia in Naturopathy

Naturopathy takes a holistic approach to the treatment of fibromyalgia. It concentrates on removing the toxins from the body, improving digestion and relieving the symptoms.

Detox

A detox can be carried out at a naturopathy center where techniques such as massages, enema, colon hydrotherapy, steam bath, sauna bath, hip bath, mud therapy, abdomen packs, liver packs and kidney packs are given to remove the toxins from the body and revive the digestive system.

Exercise and relaxation

Basically naturopathy emphasis more on relaxation techniques for relief from fibromyalgia

Indulging in meditation, yoga, leisure dancing, aqua aerobics, early morning walk, music therapy and body massages using primrose oil tend to benefit fibromyalgia.

Diet

Consuming fresh food and vegetables preferably farm fresh rich in antioxidants, magnesium, and potassium such as carrots, broccoli, tomato, beetroots, berries, mango, papaya, banana, legumes, potato, yogurt etc are known to be beneficial in fighting stress and benefitting fibromyalgia.

Botanical herbs

Herbs such as Avenal-oat straw, Jamaican dogwood, hops, valerian, black choosy are conventionally used in various concoctions to treat fibromyalgia

Ozone therapy

Ozone therapy is found to be useful in various chronic disorders including fibromyalgia. It consists of the introduction of ozone into the body via various methods, usually involving its mixture with various gases and liquids before injection, with potential routes including the vagina, rectum, intramuscular (in a muscle), subcutaneously (under the skin), or intravenously (directly into veins). Ozone can also be introduced via autohemotherapy, in which blood is drawn from the patient, exposed to ozone and re-injected into the patient.

Prolotherapy

Prolotherapy is another modality of alternative methods  used to treat fibromyalgia in which irritant like oil, hyperosmolar solution, glycerin, lidocaine are injected to the joint space, weakened ligament or tendon to relieve pain, this therapy is given in the intervals of 2 to 3 weeks for several months.

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