Symptoms of fibromyalgia can be responsible for various complications in the body if it is left untreated.
People who are diagnosed with fibromyalgia find it very difficult to even get out of the bed.
Morning stiffness is something that is commonly seen in fibromyalgia patients. Due to the effect of fibromyalgia mobility in individuals is lost due to which they gain lots of weight easily.
There are supplements available that can be helpful for weight reduction. When it comes to fibromyalgia, it is also necessary that other factors should be considered before you start with new medications.
The question that people usually have in mind is whether phentermine is safe for them or not.
There are researchers that provide enough information to say that phentermine is an effective supplement for weight reduction in fibromyalgia patients.
People use painkillers and other medications to treat or suppress pain symptoms of fibromyalgia. Some people also go for natural ways to treat problems related to fibromyalgia.
- Reasons for weight gain in fibromyalgia
- Reducing weight using phentermine supplements
- Phentermine as an appetite suppressant in fibromyalgia condition
- Side effects and safety measures from using Phentermine
- Unexplained Nausea and Weight Loss in Two Cases of Longstanding CRPS
- Lunch and Snacks
- How to Lose Weight When You Have Fibromyalgia
- 1. Treat the Pain As Best As You Can
- 2. Treat Depression and Any Emotional Symptoms
- 3. Get Help for Fatigue, Insomnia and Other Sleep Problems
- 4. Learn How to Eat Healthy to Reduce Symptoms
- 5. Start Cutting Calories to Drop Fat
- 6. Begin Exercising Slowly
- 7. Learn How to Deal with Setbacks
- You Can Lose Weight With Fibromyalgia
- What is Fibromyalgia?
- What are the Symptoms Associated with the Disease?
- How to Deal with Fibromyalgia?
- Why a Fibromyalgia Sufferer Experience Weight Gain?
- How can Exercise Help in Weight Loss?
- Can Diet Help Fibromyalgia Sufferer to Reduce Weight?
- How Alternative Therapies Help in Reducing Weight?
- What’s Stopping You?
- Comprehensive Plan
- Conventional Approach to Pain
- Nutrition Interventions
- Healing Arts
- Hidden Infections Can Cause Pain!
- Fibromyalgia & Hashimoto’s Connection
- Hypothyroidism And Fibromyalgia
- The Possible Link Between Fibromyalgia And Hypothyroidism
- An Overview Of Fibromyalgia
- Hypothyroidism And Your Thyroid Gland
- What’s The Connection Between These Conditions?
- Advice For A Better Treatment Protocol
- How Fibromyalgia Can Cause Weight Gain
- People with fibromyalgia often experience weight gain due to several factors that are directly, and indirectly, related to the disease itself.
- Fibromyalgia Symptoms HOME
- Fibromyalgia and Weight Gain
- Why FMS Causes Weight Gain
- Fibromyalgia Diet
- Fibromyalgia Exercise
- The Relationship Between Fibromyalgia and Weight Gain
Reasons for weight gain in fibromyalgia
There are many reasons why a person having fibromyalgia can gain weight easily. These factors are something that can be identified or seen evidently but difficult to control.
People go for some supplements that can help them in reducing weight. Some of the reasons for weight gain in fibromyalgia are as follows:
Reduction in physical activity
When fibromyalgia symptoms are seen in the individuals, the pain becomes difficult to handle. The day to day activities of the person will be affected. People will look for help from friends, family members and partners to even do their own work.
Due to these reasons, there is a high possibility that the affected individual can become obese and that is when they will need supplements like phentermine.
People with fibromyalgia will look for options and natural ways to ease the pain in their body. This can sometimes lead to a situation where they consume more food.
This can be determined as another reason to gain more weight in the body. From researchers, it can be seen that phentermine is very effective on people who are planning to reduce weight.
This is considered to be another reason why people gain more weight. There are a few factors that prevent fibromyalgia people from getting good sleep.
Pain and fatigue are the main reasons for it. Disturbed sleep can be one of the reasons why there can be several changes in the metabolism of the body making the person gain more weight.
Stress from fibromyalgia can be another reason that can make you gain more weight. When depression and anxiety affects a person serotonin secretion in the body is also disturbed.
Imbalanced serotonin and other hormone secretion in the body can be responsible for making the person gain more weight.
Reducing weight using phentermine supplements
When it comes to weight reduction phentermine plays a major role. There is evidence that proves that phentermine is capable of reducing weight to a greater extent.
In the case of fibromyalgia, the question is still unanswered. Some of the positives outcomes seen by fibromyalgia patients after using phentermine are as follows:
Reduction in pain symptoms
After continuous usage of phentermine, people have seen a significant reduction in pain symptoms in the body. Though the actual purpose of phentermine is to reduce the weight, it has given promising results in reducing the painful symptoms of fibromyalgia individuals.
Ability to carry out day to day activities
Phentermine has helped fibromyalgia individuals in getting relief from pain symptoms. This has helped them gain good confidence in doing their day to day activities without any problems.
Weight was one of the factors in fibromyalgia individuals that prevented them from being normal and doing all the works.
Every activity that a fibromyalgia individual do will give them difficulties and strain. With phentermine, fibromyalgia individuals were able to get a significant amount of weight reduction in a short period of time.
Phentermine as an appetite suppressant in fibromyalgia condition
People who would like to keep or maintain their body structure thin and energetic can go for Phentermine supplements. These supplements are now available in various ways.
It is considered to be one of the effective supplements in suppressing appetite. Before you start with phentermine supplements it is good to have a discussion with your doctor.
People with fibromyalgia have a problem in doing physical activity due to which it can be very difficult for them to maintain a slim body.
Phentermine not only acts as a supplement for weight reduction but it also acts as a tool to reduce pain symptoms in fibromyalgia patients.
There were studies conducted to identify and understand the significance of phentermine. From the study, it was found that phentermine is safe and helpful in reducing weight.
Also, there were no clinical problematic events identified by people who had phentermine supplements.
Side effects and safety measures from using Phentermine
There have been continuous claims to say that phentermine can change you from fat to fit. It may not be suitable for all fibromyalgia patients. It is purely dependent on body condition.
That is the reason why it is suggested to consult your doctor first before starting any new medication.
Though there were some studies conducted to prove the fact that it is good at reducing weight, there were also other side effects identified.
Some people have been identified to be allergic to phentermine and below allergic or negative reactions were identified:
- Makes you feel hyperactive and restless
- Sleep problems
- Breathing problems after regular consumption of the supplement
- Disturbance in thoughts
- Constipation and diarrhea problems.
Some of the symptoms can even be critical in fibromyalgia patients. People who are not used to new medications should definitely consult your doctor before starting any new medication.
This can be helpful in getting an idea of how to handle weight problems. There are also natural supplements available that can be very helpful in reducing weight.
People who don’t find any proper significance from phentermine can always go for natural supplements that can provide you desired results without any side effects.
Unexplained Nausea and Weight Loss in Two Cases of Longstanding CRPS
Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a highly painful, limb-confined condition that arises usually after trauma . The objective of this letter is to highlight unusual presentations of nausea and rapid, dramatic, but then stabilizing weight loss associated with CRPS, which we observed in two of our patients. These are the only noted cases of this type among 190 cases of Budapest CRPS seen at our center since 2007 when a specialized service for this condition was set up.
Other investigators have reported that patients with CRPS report with some regularity gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms including weight changes . In laboratory studies, we had previously demonstrated abnormal intestinal permeability in some patients , and other investigators have reported alterations in the GI microbial flora in patients with long-standing disease . To our knowledge, to date, there have been no case reports describing any association between distressing weight loss and CRPS. We hope that our communication can perhaps give an opening for other clinicians who might have encountered similar cases.
The first case is of an 18-year-old female who suffered from relapsing/remitting CRPS involving the right shin and ankle, originally diagnosed by her orthopedic surgeon since she was 8 years old. Her CRPS episodes in the past had appeared to respond well to guanethidine blocks. She also suffered from abdominal pain, and constipation for a similar time, and from mild asthma and an overactive bladder. Following the last episode of CRPS, 9 months prior to presentation, she reported unusual nausea and weight loss with a reduction in her body mass index (BMI) from 22 (54 kg) to 13.7 (35 kg) over approximately 9 months, the rate of which was thought to have slowed by the time of presentation. She was thoroughly investigated by a Consultant Gastroenterologist. Investigations reported as normal included small bowel magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), MRI brain, psychiatric assessment for eating disorders, upper GI endoscopy, sigmoidoscopy with biopsies, gastric physiology, armband tests for metabolic requirements, liver functions, vitamin and mineral assays, and neurophysiological tests. Gastric emptying tests showed that she had delayed gastric emptying, but which by itself was not thought to explain the weight loss. Her medications included cetrizine and inhalers for asthma (salbutamol, fluticasone, and salmetrol). She consulted our unit with the perspective of identifying an autoimmune cause for her condition , but following routine assessment when she was in a remission phase and fulfilled criteria for Budapest not otherwise specified , we were unable to recommend meaningful additions to her prior therapy, and she was discharged back to her regional tertiary care Pain Team. After she was seen at our unit, she was commenced by an outside gastroenterology team on high caloric dietary supplements, and Prucalopride, a prokinetic. This significantly improved her long-standing constipation, and over a period of approximately 6 months, she reported an increase in weight to 41.4 kg.
The second case is of a previously fit and well 42-year-old man who developed CRPS following a scaphoid fracture. Before being referred, he was trialled on first-line medications in accordance with CRPS treatment guidelines without any benefit . The pain significantly interfered with his sleep, mood, and ability to work and interact socially. He had lost approximately 16 kg in weight over a period of 6 months following onset of CRPS (a reduction from BMI 24 to BMI 18) and had repeated emergency admissions for severe nausea and vomiting. During that time, his medications included amitryptiline 75 mg nocte, gabapentin 300 mg TDS, and morphine sulfate slow release 30 mg BD. On presentation, 14 months after disease onset, he met the research Budapest criteria for CRPS on examination . Outpatient rehabilitation treatment did not seem to help him; however, we noted that he failed to attend most appointments because of his disability. He experienced some benefit from an increase of his slow-release morphine to 90 mg per day. He did not wish to attend a multidisciplinary pain management programme due to the distress of being in a group but was interested in undergoing a spinal cord stimulation trial. After referral, the consensus opinion of the multidisciplinary spinal cord stimulator assessment team after assessment was that he was not suitable for spinal cord stimulator treatment because he had independent psychological issues. He was very distressed, and his psychological problems seemed to severely hamper his ability to cope with his condition. He felt that it was his pain only precluding him from eating in a normal way. A consultant neurologist excluded underlying neurological causes. The following investigations initiated by an outside gastroenterology team after his first presentation at our unit were normal: short synacthen test, MRI abdomen, liver function tests, kidney function tests, iron studies, vitamin B12, and thyroid function tests. A cause to his weight loss problem was not identified. At the time of writing this letter, his weight is static; however, he continues to suffer from unchanged severe pain, and nausea and vomiting. It has remained unclear to the treatment team whether his weight loss problem was primarily due to a yet unidentified intestinal dysfunction or might have been largely caused a stress response in conjunction with the experience of having CRPS. His general practitioner wrote several letters highlighting a striking deterioration of this previously well young gentleman.
Although recent research has pointed toward an involvement of the GI system in some patients with CRPS , severe rapid weight loss has not specifically been reported. The weight loss in the two described cases was not explained by abnormal physiological tests and was unlikely solely caused by the medications, although a contribution from the combined intake of a strong opioid, tricyclic antidepressant, and gabapentinoid in patient 2 cannot be excluded. In our group of patients with CRPS seen since 2007, unexplained weight loss has been a very rare, time-limited yet very distressing complication. Unexplained weight loss is sometimes caused by psychologically defined eating behavior , but alternative explanations such as functional changes in the intestinal system should also be sought . We would welcome a wider discussion on the prevalence of and potential causes for distressing, unexplained intestinal symptoms in CRPS.
Goebel A . Complex regional pain syndrome in adults. Rheumatology 2011;50:1739–1750. Marinus J Moseley GL Birklein F et al. Clinical features and pathophysiology of complex regional pain syndrome. Lancet Neurol 2011;10:637–648. Schwartzman RJ Erwin KL Alexander GM . The natural history of complex regional pain syndrome. Clin J Pain 2009;25(4):273–280. Goebel A Buhner S Schedel R Lochs H Sprotte G . Altered intestinal permeability in patients with primary fibromyalgia and in patients with complex regional pain syndrome. Rheumatology 2008;47:1223–1227. s.l.: Oxford University Press. Reichenberger ER Alexander GM Perreault MJ et al. Establishing a relationship between bacteria in the human gut and complex regional pain syndrome. Brain Behav Immun 2013;29:62–69. Goebel A Blaes F . Complex regional pain syndrome, prototype of a novel kind of autoimmune disease. Autoimmun Rev 2013;12(6):682–686. Blaes F Schmitz K Tschernatsch M et al. Autoimmune etiology of complex regional pain syndrome. Neurology 2004;63:1734–1736. Harden RN Bruehl S Stanton-Hicks M Wilson PR . Proposed new diagnostic criteria for complex regional pain syndrome. Pain Med 2007;8:326–331. Turner-Stokes L Goebel A . Complex regional pain syndrome in adults: Concise guidance. Clin Med (Northfield Il) 2011;11(6):596–600. Bouras EP Lange SM Scolapio JS . Rational approach to patients with unintentional weight loss. Mayo Clin Proc 2001;76:923–929. © 2013 American Academy of Pain Medicine
Hey Hey Hey!!!
I am so excited to announce that I am over 50 pounds down since I started my weight loss journey! Yep. 53 to be exact. 🙂 If you read my post about how I lost the first 40 pounds, then you know that I am losing all my weight without strict dieting and very limited exercise. I have fibromyalgia, so unfortunately, I can’t stick to a regular workout regimen. The only “exercise” I do regularly is go on 1/2 mile walks at least once or twice a day. This is more for managing my overall pain level and clearing my headspace than it is for actual exercise. On days when I have it in me (and feel like it) I will do pilates, moderate weight training and ab work. I can count on one hand the number of times I actually “exercise” every month, if you want a clearer picture of how frequently I really do that.
I reached the number on the scale that I thought I wanted, but now that I’m there, I still don’t have the look I want. Just another reason why the scale is a liar and you should just toss it out altogether. Unfortunately, I have a hopeless addiction to mine, so I’m hoarding it for now. My goal, at this point, (and what it should have been all along) is to feel great, clear headed and have defined abs. Since I shared my own tricks on how to lose weight I have had lots of questions about what exactly my diet consists of. Well…. at this point I am eating a somewhat vegetarian diet but adding chicken, eggs and fish (not often) in there. I will tell you that it took me a loooooong time to get to a point where that’s all I wanted to eat. While it took awhile to adjust to those eating habits, it’s going to last a hell of a lot longer than any yo-yo or other diet fad I’ve seen and tried in the past. That was the point though. I didn’t force myself to change my ways all at once. I identified what it was I didn’t like and came up with (what I thought) was the best way to change it. I didn’t like how groggy and sluggish I felt; or how jacked up my digestive system got when I ate certain foods. So I found what worked for me.
Okay okay. So back to the point. What I eat. I figure, the best way to tell you is to make a list and link my favorite foods for meals and snacks where I can, or at least give you a quick rundown of what’s in it. Here we go!
-Old fashioned rolled oats (NOT quick oats) with stevia and berries.
-Rice Krispies with whole milk (it’s what my kids drink, so I do too every couple of weeks)
-Grapefruit sprinkled with coconut sugar
-Toast with mashed avocado and a fried egg – I like my mashed avocado with salt, pepper and little granulated garlic and my egg over medium
-Scrambled eggs and bacon/ham
– Plain greek yogurt – add a tablespoon of honey or agave and top with berries
Lunch and Snacks
Sandwich – white bread, avocado or mayo spread, onion, tomato, lettuce, lunchmeat, and provolone is what I always make.
Spring Green or spinach salad – I use a small handful of greens and go all out with my toppings: egg, sunflower seeds, onion, tomato, black beans, chickpeas, cucumber, cheese… You can literally throw whatever you want into a salad, they aren’t all bad 😉 I use Olive Garden dressing on mine because it’s my favorite… You can add it to your bill for (I think) $5.
Leftovers from dinner (this are listed below) 😉
Fruit and veggie plate
Egg Salad – love it on a romaine leaf, you can eat it like a taco!
Tuna Salad – I use tuna canned in water, drained. Add mayo, dill relish, salt and pepper. I also eat this like a taco on romaine.
Tortilla Chips and salsa
Apple and any kind of nut butter
Babybel cheese round
Cheddar and mozzarella cheese stick
Boom Chicka Pop – The most amazeballs kettle corn EVER!
Chicken nuggets – I cut the chicken into nugget sized pieces, coat with flour, dip in egg and add to a bag of flour, salt and pepper and shake. Then I fry them in coconut oil until browned and cooked through.
Fajitas – chicken fajitas are my fav. I use this seasoning and follow the direction on the back. I also use corn tortillas, but flour tortillas work too
Chicken breast – pound till its an even thickness across the breast. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and cook in coconut oil on the stove top. I make 6-8 breasts at a time so that I can use it for sandwiches, salads or leftovers for another meal.
Steak tips – soak tips in a marinade of equal parts BBQ, Worsteshire and Teriyaki sauces overnight and cook on the grill
Spaghetti squash with meat sauce (I only ever use sausage in my meat sauce, but you can use hamburger too)
Zoodles – Spiral zucchini noodles as small as you can and place in colander. Cook pasta of choice and strain the water SLOWLY over the noodles in the colander. Let the pasta sit on top and soften the noodles. Mix together with pesto (basil, olive oil, salt and pepper puree) and parmesan.
Halo Top Ice Cream – Strawberry and Chocolate are my favorite. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a protein packed pint of ice cream that is no more than 380 calories (highest I’ve seen) for the ENTIRE PINT. Sometimes…. it’s my dinner. 😉
Skinny Cow Ice Cream – peanut butter chocolate is my fav
Cool whip and strawberries – I cut the strawberries into halves or quarters and mix it with the cool whip
Angle food cake with cool whip and strawberries – I kinda have a thing for cool whip and strawberries… 😉
Banana bread – My husband is a banana bread connoisseur and swears this recipe is THE BEST. Any time I make a different one, he always knows. I think the secret is in the greek yogurt. 🙂
Trail Mix – Monster Trail Mix from Target is the bees knees, it’s got m&ms in it 🙂
Outshine Fruit Bars
So there you have it. I really don’t go crazy with what I eat, I just eat slowly and only until I am satisfied; even if that means wrapping up the second half of my sandwich for later. Portion control is key when losing weight. I eat things that make me feel good and energized as opposed to sluggish and tired. As for drinks, I drink mostly water, sometimes with lemon, and have the occasional cocktail in the evenings. I try to keep soda to a minimum and only ever drink Coke Zero, Fountain Pepsi, or Root Beer. I hope that my list of go-to foods helps you with your weight loss journey too!
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1492shares June 13, 2018 | 15 Comments
I also have fibro. I am curious if you put on extra weight due to medication or lifestyle reasons. I know some medications cause insane weight gain so I’ve found other solutions to avoid using them for a variety of reasons. Plus diet and lifestyle changes actually worked better for me. My huge issue is learning to change my eating habits when I’m in pain. I tend to binge eat to soothe the pain when it’s high and I still struggle with that. My weight bounces up and down between two-three sizes on a semi-regular basis so it’s a struggle to find the right balance. Apple cider vinegar really does help though, I’ve found. I love kombucha! And improving my gut health by treating it like leaky gut did amazing things for me. Congrats on your journey to a healthier lifestyle!
I definitely think medication had something to do with my initial weight gain. I was pregnant twice, very close together and then put on a new medication shortly after I gave birth to my second daughter. It didn’t make me gain more weight, but it definitely didn’t help me lose any after her birth either. I’ve never heard of kombucha, it looks like something I should try. I started looking into symptoms of leaky gut but hadn’t made any changes yet. Knowing it’s working for someone else with fibro definitely gives me the motivation to!
Have a great weekend!
Hi Danielle. Your post has totally changed my mind about losing weight. I also have fibromyalgia and have gained about 40 pounds as I can’t exercise either because of the pain or the extreme fatigue and pain I will feel for days after exerting myself. I actually took notes on both of your posts about losing the weight and i am heading to the store. Thank you for writing this post and taking the time to share your experience. You truly touched my life. I can do this!
I can’t wait to see where your journey takes you Julie! I’m sure you will have lots of success! My doctor switched up my meds and I gained 15 pounds back in the last two months, so I’m diving in again and pairing it with intermittent fasting too, a 16 – 8 rotation. 16 hours only water and 8 hours of “eating time”. I am usually feeling too sick to eat in the morning so I do an 11-7 eating period. So far, I’m down 3 pounds. Fingers crossed we can do this!
Have a wonderful evening!
I’m a man with Fibro and my doctor recently put me on an elimination diet. As I read your list of foods you eat, I’m sitting here saying out loud, “Nope, can’t have that. Nope, not that one. That either. Are you kidding me?! She eats that and still lost weight?!!” For me, it’s not just the weight, but doc wants me to get inflammatory-causing foods out of my diet. Nonetheless, your success does inspire me.
Hi Kevin! Thank you so much for reading. 🙂 I am not super familiar with an elimination diet as I’ve never tried it myself, is it similar to Whole 30? That said, in this post I went into in depth detail about how I changed the way I ate and how much I ate in a way that was (hopefully) applicable to everyone’s lifestyle/dietary needs. Adjusting those two things, I believe, was the key to my success. It is most certainly possible and you might actually have an advantage in your limitations because there’s no question about should, when or how much you can eat of a particular food. I seriously limit the amount of carbs and sugar I eat because they seem to make me flare ups more than not. Definitely keep me updated on your progress! I love hearing success stories 🙂
Zoodles look great! I wanna try this tonight! Thanks for the recipe.
They are soooo good! Let me know what you think!
How do you do with flour bread? I flare bad with it.
Hi Diana! I tend to flare more with white bread I’ve discovered, so I switched to a nut and grain bread. I’ve also been trying some new “flourless” recipes but haven’t found any super yummy yet. When I do, I will share for sure!
I hope you have a great week!
Wanted to share with you something I discovered that has helped with my pain from Fibromyalgia and Neuropathy.
I began to realize that my pain would dramatically increase, with even the slightest fluid retention in my feet. At first I just asked for add’l pain meds because the swelling was very minimal. Then I thought, I’m going to starting looking at my salt (sodium) intake. WOW!!, were my eyes opened to how much sodium is in almost all prepackaged food. Anything fast food, anything in a box – even my coconut/almond milk was loaded with it. And cheese – forget it!
So I began to get my sodium intake down to nearly nothing. Amazingly I felt so much better that I often required much less meds. It also meant I didn’t have to take a prescription diuretic (one less medication).
I’m not saying this is easy, it not. However, my pain was dictating my entire life and the sacrifice was worth it.
Just hoping this could help someone else as it did me.
Thank you so my for sharing! I hadn’t really thought much about that, but it definitely makes sense. Thanks again!
I am a breast cancer survivor with Fibromyalgia and have gained 60 pounds over the years. I have been trying Weight Watchers Free style for about a year and only can lose about 5 pounds! I was homeless and living out of my car and hotels for 3 years since working a steady job became impossible with my pain. I just remarried 7 months ago and now starting to feel less stressed and able to eat better. No sugar and no caffeine is most helpful for me! I see from other comments that the water bloating is painful as I have found in my legs. I went off my meds because of the side effects and stomach issues and just take Aleeve D when my leg pain is really bad, it reduces the water, reduces the pain and helps keep my bladder from leaking. I use it when I want to go do something so I can get through the day.
You have inspired me not to give up! The scale is evil so you are right that it’s just about feeling better!
I am a breast cancer survivor with Fibromyalgia and have gained 60 pounds over the years. I have been trying Weight Watchers Free style for about a year and only can lose about 5 pounds! I was homeless and living out of my car and hotels for 3 years since working a steady job became impossible with my pain. I just remarried 7 months ago and now starting to feel less stressed and able to eat better. No sugar and no caffeine is most helpful for me! I see from other comments that the water bloating is painful as I have found in my legs. I went off my meds because of the side effects and stomach issues and just take Aleeve D when my leg pain is really bad, it reduces the water, reduces the pain and helps keep my bladder from leaking. I use it when I want to go do something so I can get through the day.
You have inspired me not to give up! The scale is evil so you are right that it’s just about feeling better!
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I am so excited we found each other! It’s so nice to hear that you’ve been eliminating some of the pain you have by adjusting your meds. As good as they can be, taking lots of meds sucks. I can’t wait to hear more about your journey!
How to Lose Weight When You Have Fibromyalgia
Losing weight with fibromyalgia can be a struggle, but it does’t have to be.
In the United States, there are at least five million adults who struggle with the debilitating disease of fibromyalgia. Many of these sufferers are also overweight or obese.
Often, being overweight or obese is a symptom of the disease itself. In other words, the chronic pain, muscle aches and stiffness associated with fibromyalgia make it a challenge to stay active, and it can be difficult to shop for and prepare healthy meals with these symptoms as well. Some sufferers even turn to stress eating and general overeating because of depression and other emotional symptoms related to the disease.
But if you struggle with fibromyalgia, its important to know that you can lose weight despite the symptoms you face. You just need to get the right help and adopt the right habits. This step-by-step guide will help you navigate a healthy and effective weight loss plan while also paying attention to and dealing with the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Remember that you can reach your weight loss goals, even in the face of fibromyalgia.
Losing Weight With Fibromyalgia: The Step-by-Step Guide
1. Treat the Pain As Best As You Can
Pain and fatigue will be the two biggest things that hold you back from your weight loss progress, and pain should be treated first because it can often be the cause of additional fatigue. There are several ways to treat fibromyalgia pain.
First, remember that it’s best to treat pain with non-medication solutions. Physical therapy and massage can work wonders for many sufferers. It can strengthen your muscles and increase your range of motion. Your physical therapist may be able to teach you some self-massage methods as well.
Next, consider trying biofeedback. This is a process that helps you monitor and control your own body’s functions. It is a taught procedure that shows you how to notice changes in your body’s heart rate, breathing and pain levels in order to reduce muscle tension and pain on your own.
Acupuncture is another option for pain improvement. This procedure can improve blood flow and alter neurotransmitter levels in your brain.
Finally, if you haven’t already, talk to a reputable doctor about your options. Depending on your pain levels, they may prescribe medications to reduce symptoms. Just be sure to always follow the guidelines from your doctor. Some medications can only be taken in the evening once you’re in for the night because of associated symptoms.
2. Treat Depression and Any Emotional Symptoms
Depression is a common symptom of fibromyalgia. This is often because patients feel guilty for being so inactive and constantly in pain. It is essential to treat depression, anxiety and other mental and emotional symptoms before moving on to the other steps for weight loss because these symptoms can often hold patients back from attempting to eat right and exercise for weight loss.
First, many people who suffer from fibromyalgia will benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT. This form of therapy helps patients to identify dysfunctional patterns of thinking and develop new routines and techniques that can take care of negative thoughts.
Meditation is another way to calm the mind and release stress and anxiety. A racing mind, constant negative thoughts and other nonproductive thinking patterns are often the result of our fast-paced world. Meditation and daily mindfulness can help you slow down and clear your head.
In some cases, antidepressants may be prescribed to help reduce depression and increase the hormone, serotonin. Many of these treatments for depression can also help with pain.
3. Get Help for Fatigue, Insomnia and Other Sleep Problems
Chronic fatigue and other sleep problems are associated with fibromyalgia as well. Many of the remedies for pain and depression should help with fatigue, but the problem is that fatigue can often cause individuals not to partake in these habits because they’re just too tired.
That’s why treating fatigue is actually so essential, though, and the way to do it is to start slowly and work in small increments. If you would like to meditate, try doing it for just 5 minutes at a time. If you would like to try some self massage techniques, just do one for a few minutes instead of trying to do them all over the course of an hour.
Treating fatigue can help you treat the other symptoms of fibromyalgia, but treating the other symptoms of fibromyalgia will help you treat fatigue as well. In other words, you need to do everything at once, and you’ll begin to see progress in all areas. The key is to go slowly.
4. Learn How to Eat Healthy to Reduce Symptoms
Eating a healthy and nutritious diet is one of the best ways to reduce the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Often times, pain symptoms are related to inflammation, for example, and inflammation is greatly influenced by the foods that you eat. In addition, junk foods tend to make anyone feel crummy, so the sooner you can cut those out, the better.
First, remember that vegetables and fruits should make up the majority of your diet. Lean meats like chicken and turkey breast and fish can be eaten in moderation as well. If you are a vegetarian, try to eat more beans and nuts, or eat eggs if those are included in your diet.
In addition to vegetables, fruits and lean meats, focus on whole grains. These will keep you fuller for longer and aid in digestion. You should also drink at least eight, eight-ounce glasses of water every day. Just staying hydrated is a great way to treat fatigue.
Finally, talk to your doctor about dietary supplements. Sometimes a lack of vitamin D or a lack of the B vitamins can contribute to chronic fatigue.
5. Start Cutting Calories to Drop Fat
You’ve begun eating healthy, and this switch has likely already make some positive changes in your weight. Now, it’s time to take control of your caloric intake.
In order to properly lose weight at a healthy rate, you need to cut approximately 500 calories from your diet every day. But to know what your target caloric intake should be, you first need to know how many calories you burn on a regular basis. This number is called your AMR or active metabolic rate. You can calculate this number by finding a AMR calculator online that will take into consideration your gender, age, height and activity level.
From your AMR, subtract 500 calories, and this should be your target caloric intake on a daily basis. Reducing your diet by 500 calories per day will help you to lose at least one or two pounds each week.
Also remember that slow weight loss is okay. In fact, this is the best kind because it’s more maintainable than quick weight loss. And when you have fibromyalgia, you’re not going to get fast weight loss. Realizing this as soon as possible and preparing for slow to moderate progress is good so that you’re not disappointed when the fat doesn’t melt off overnight.
6. Begin Exercising Slowly
Exercise should be started slowly. Don’t dive into a three hour per day workout routine because it won’t be sustainable. Many people who suffer from fibromyalgia find that slow physical exercise like tai chi, yoga, light Pilates and swimming are the best types of exercise because they are gentle on your muscles and joints.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you don’t have to have the same level of exercise intensity every day. Because there are “good days” and “bad days” with this disease, it’s essential to pay attention to how you feel and meter your exercise on this. Do more when your body lets you.
It’s mostly important to stay consistent, so if it’s a bad day, it’s okay to back off, but try to go through the motions. Even if you just do a few stretches, it’s progress. Exercise will be good for burning extra calories and helping you lose weight, but it will also be good for reducing pain and depression.
7. Learn How to Deal with Setbacks
Last but not least, it’s important to learn how to handle failures. Success is not a straight shot to the top. On the contrary, success is often a meandering path that takes you forward and backward. If you cannot learn to deal with going backwards sometimes, however, you may end up quitting early sabotaging your long-term success.
Dealing with setbacks is about realizing that you’re only human, and you’re going to make mistakes. Be gentle with yourself, and keep your eye on the prize. Don’t continue to screw up just because you made one mistake. Realize your mistake, forgive yourself for it and move on in a more positive direction.
You Can Lose Weight With Fibromyalgia
Losing weight when you have fibromyalgia may seem impossible at first. Crippling pain and fatigue coupled with all of the other debilitating symptoms that go along with this disease hold thousands of men and women back for even attempting weight loss.
But just because it’s going to be a challenge-ridden process doesn’t mean that you can’t lose weight when you struggle with fibromyalgia. Use the seven steps outlined above, track your results, and remember that even slow progress is better than none at all. In time, your successes will accumulate, and you’ll spur yourself to continue the worthwhile work that you’re putting in.
Losing excess fat to achieve and maintain a healthy weight is a good goal to have, and doing all of the things listed in this guide will only provide positive benefits for you. Start today with this plan, and jump on the path to success. Your weight loss goals are within your grasp; you just have to reach out and grab them.
So what’s stopping you from losing weight with fibromyalgia? Tell me your challenges in the comments.
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If you love this, please share this post with your friends! 🙂
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What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a chronic musculoskeletal condition characterized by generalized pain or pain at tender points.
In the United State, approximately 5 million people are suffering from this disease.
Fibromyalgia affects people of all ages with largely affecting middle-aged people and women.
It is a very common and highly research disorder. Yet, the actual reason for the disease is still unknown.
What are the Symptoms Associated with the Disease?
Fibromyalgia disorder is generally characterized by severe pain, stress, depression, headache, disturbed sleep, etc.
Pain is a characteristic feature of fibromyalgia. The pain can be widespread all over the body or may be present at specific locations referred to as tender points.
The pain is too deep in the muscles with burning and sharp sensation.
Fibromyalgia sufferers experience difficulty while sleeping and wake up many times due to severe pain and restlessness. The patients feel exhausted and tired.
The intense musculoskeletal pain drains out all energy from the patient’s body that makes him/her feel depressed.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
40-70% of fibromyalgia patients suffer from irritable bowel syndrome that includes diarrhea, constipation, and gas.
Approximately 50% of the sufferer experience skin sensitivity to temperature fluctuation, noise, medications, etc.
Many patients suffer from memory problems also called fibro fog.
Other symptoms such as dizziness, stiffness in legs, anxiety, etc are also seen in many fibromyalgia patients.
Women have yet other symptoms such as pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS), pelvic pain, etc.
How to Deal with Fibromyalgia?
There are medications available to treat the symptoms of the disease and not the disease itself. No cure for fibromyalgia is available to date.
Pain-killers, anti-depressants, and other drugs are prescribed by doctors and physicians.
Why a Fibromyalgia Sufferer Experience Weight Gain?
Another most interesting problem that fibromyalgia patients suffer is an increase in their weight.
Many fibromyalgia sufferer experience weight gain with putting on almost 25-30 pounds extra in the first year of diagnosis.
It is still not clear as to where this weight gain comes from. Some researchers comment that in fibromyalgia, the hormone leptin which is responsible for appetite signaling may send false hunger messages to the brain and make the patient eat more.
Other researchers suggest that thyroid may also become dysfunctional leading to slowing down the ability of the body to burn calories and thus weight gain.
Various reasons behind this weight gain can be:
The medicines prescribed for treating the symptoms of fibromyalgia may lead to weight gain as their side effects. These medicines, alter the hormones, decrease metabolism and increase appetite.
2- Decreased Metabolism
Decreased metabolism means slower numbers of calories are burned on a daily basis and thus potential weight gain.
Studies have shown that various hormones such as thyroid, serotonin, etc) are responsible for decreasing the rate of metabolism.
Researchers have found that fibromyalgia and thyroid autoimmunity are linked to each other.
Insulin also plays a great role in weight gain. Fibromyalgia can cause more insulin activity that leads to more weight gain.
3- Decreased Physical Activity
Due to severe pain all over the body, the sufferer feels too stressed and fatigue that lowers the physical activity.
The patient feels like he has no energy left to even do his daily tasks thus decreasing the physical activity.
4- Disturbed Sleep
Many studies have suggested that disturbed sleep is also related to increased body weight.
Sleep deprivation leads to increased appetite, alter metabolism. A decrease in energy usage.
5- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
50% of fibromyalgia patients suffer from IBS. A study conducted in the U.K. suggested that chronic pain and inflammation can also be linked to weight gain.
How can Exercise Help in Weight Loss?
Exercise is always helpful to everybody. Everyone should take out time from their busy schedule and do some physical activity.
Exercise can certainly help in maintaining the proper weight even if a person is a fibromyalgia patient. It is regarded as a therapy for fibromyalgia.
Exercise increases the physical activity that boosts energy in the body and burns calories.
Aerobic exercises such as walking, swimming and cycling three days a week can help fibromyalgia sufferer for treating the disease and in decreasing pain.
There are many studies that prove exercise to have a positive effect on the fibromyalgia patient.
Due to excessive pain, it is very hard for some fibromyalgia patients to convince for any type of exercise.
Severe pain makes daily activity very difficult to manage to lead to very less or no physical activity. This leads to obesity, which by itself is a disease.
Regular exercise not only keeps people in shape but it also reduces sleep disturbances, stress, and fatigue.
Physician or doctors should always motivate fibromyalgia patients for any physical activity such as yoga, aerobics, stretching, etc. Of all the types of exercises available, aerobic exercise is the most recommended one.
It is advisable to start with 5-10 minutes of walking or cycling and then gradually increasing the intensity of the exercise and work out.
The exertion of any type should be avoided during exercise because it might increase pain.
Aqua exercises can also prove beneficial workout and may reduce stress on joints.
Beginning with a low-intensity exercise and gradually increasing speed helps burning more number of calories.
If a patient has a positive approach to regular exercise, he/she can make his/her life better to live even with fibromyalgia.
A fibromyalgia patient should always consult a fitness trainer and his/her physician before starting any exercise because any wrong move can increase the intensity of the pain.
According to a study published in the Archives of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, there is a strong relationship between physical fitness and fibromyalgia.
It was found that higher physical fitness levels were linked with less severe symptoms of the disease in women.
Can Diet Help Fibromyalgia Sufferer to Reduce Weight?
Diet plays an important role in everybody’s life and physical well-being. In the case of fibromyalgia, planning a complete and healthy diet becomes extremely necessary.
Various studies have been conducted to date to see the relationship between food and sufferings of fibromyalgia patients.
Studies confirmed that food can be a reason for many skin allergies in the patient suffering from fibromyalgia. Avoiding food items that may contain allergens can be a solution.
When it comes to obesity and fibromyalgia, the nutritionist should be consulted who can plan a healthy diet for the sufferer that help in reducing weight without getting any allergies.
A food that is efficient in burning calories and that do not add too many calories is helpful in maintaining correct body weight. Having three meals a day with a healthy snack keeps the weight under control.
Eating good protein such as lean meat, skinless chicken, fish, eggs, dairy products, and legumes can be beneficial.
All vegetables are a good source of good carbohydrates that have a high fiver and very low sugar content.
Eating vegetables, fresh fruits and eating plant oils such as olive oil can help in obesity. Fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants that help in fighting against diseases.
Turmeric and ginger are natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatory in nature. Consuming these on a daily basis help in reducing pain and skin diseases.
Avoiding deep fried, oily food, preserved and packaged food and sweetened beverages can help in reducing any extra calories. Having very light dinner early in the evening helps in getting proper sleep at night.
How Alternative Therapies Help in Reducing Weight?
Alternative therapies such as acupuncture, relaxation, meditation, deep breathing, etc have been proved to reduce pain in fibromyalgia patients.
These approaches also reduce stress, fatigue, depression and enhance sleep. These are non-medicated therapies that relax the body and fills the body and mind with positivity.
For some patient massage therapy works a lot. It strengthens the muscles and tones the body. It reduces heartbeat rate, anxiety, fatigue and relieves pain.
Meditation also helps in keeping the body and mind relaxed and helps in reducing anxiety and depression. The stress-free body tends to work out well and feels motivated.
Moist heat and moist heating pads are also known to burn fat and also relieve pain and anxiety.
What’s Stopping You?
Losing weight can be a big problem for any individual if it is not dealt with correctly.
Fibromyalgia sufferer might think it to be next to impossible with severe and crippling pain all over the body.
But, if tried with full determination and the positive mindset it is not that hard to achieve.
Losing excess fat with a correct diet plan and clean eating, doing regular exercise and feeling positive all the time helps to reach the goal sooner.
Changing lifestyle to a healthy and cleaner one helps doing most of the daily activities even with fibromyalgia.
Eating clean and healthy carbohydrates, avoiding gluten and sugary products help maintain a sound body.
Regular exercise even for 15 to 20 minutes keeps the body active and full of energy. Thus it is never late to start working out for your own self.
Burning extra fat reduces pain and sleep restlessness by itself.
Sara Mittler, a trained yoga instructor confesses, “When my fibromyalgia symptoms were raging, I quit teaching yoga. It took everything I had to push past the pain and attend a yoga class. And even then, I had to spend half the class in child’s pose. My joints just couldn’t handle it.”
Start Building Your Own Anti-Fibromyalgia Kit Today!
Fibromyalgia patients who push past the pain and regularly workout may find that despite maintaining a healthy diet, it’s impossible to lose weight. Common problem ares like the stomach, only add onto body image issues.
Yet reducing weight holds an elusive promise—the pain itself might be reduced, if they could just manage to cut those excess pounds. But why can’t they just burn off the weight and start living a normal life again? Many patients find themselves stewing in self-repulsion.
But it’s not the patient. It’s the fibromyalgia.
Where Does It All Begin?
Fibromyalgia can often be traced back to four main problems: hormonal imbalances, poor gut health, thyroid imbalances, and toxic build up. These combined health issues can really mess with the metabolism and make it really damn difficult to knock off those extra pounds:
1. Hormone Imbalances
Several studies suggest there may be a link between various hormonal imbalances and fibromyalgia, but whether these imbalances are a cause or an effect of the chronic pain condition is yet to be determined. Studies show that when fibromyalgia patients with specific hormonal imbalances were given supplemental hormone levels, symptoms were not lowered, suggesting that hormonal imbalances are just part of a more complex problem.
Many fibromyalgia patients have low levels of cortisol, a hormone which affects adrenal function and contributes to muscle aches and weakness. Lowered cortisol levels also cause sleep disturbances and cognitive impairments.
You don’t need a scientist to tell you that lowered energy and muscle pains are going to make it really hard for you to be as active as other people. Studies show that sleep deprivation can alter metabolism, affect appetite, cause adrenal fatigue, and decrease energy expenditure, which all contribute to weight gain, while making it extremely difficult to lose weight.
Some studies show that around 30 percent of fibro patients have low levels of the insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) growth hormone. IGF-1 promotes the growth of muscle tissue and bones. Common symptoms of those who lack sufficient levels of this hormone include muscle weakness, fatigue, and cold intolerance, as well as muscle, memory, and concentration problems. The inability to use muscles that are constantly in pain and already fatigued, along with concentration problems, make weight loss close to impossible—regardless of a healthy and active lifestyle.
2. Digestive Disorders
Studies show that 73 percent of patients with fibromyalgia report gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms. Over half of Irritable Bowel (IBS) patients also suffer from fibromyalgia, and 50 percent of fibromyalgia patients report that their bowel worsens during exacerbations from their joint disease.
As we’ve seen before with issues of pH balances, nearly every type of health issue is related to digestive issues and inflammation in the digestive organs. A U.K. study showed that chronic inflammation is linked to weight gain and the difficulties of losing weight. By healing the inflammation in the gut, balancing their pH, and eating healthy, patients are taking giant steps towards self-healing and weight loss.
3. Thyroid Issues
“The number one issue I see in most of my fibromyalgia patients who are trying to lose weight is a hypothyroid,” notes Dr. Nathan Wei, a board-certified rheumatologist with more than 35 years of practice and clinical research experience, and Director of the Arthritis Treatment Center. “I am surprised how many patients come to me with a fibromyalgia diagnosis without having taken a thyroid test.”
Hypothyroid issues slow the metabolism and make it hard to burn off calories and lose weight. A 2004 study found a link between thyroid autoimmunity and fibromyalgia. Hypothyroidism and other thyroid issues are not so easily detected, and Western doctors don’t always ask for a proper thyroid panel or know how to properly analyze test results. There are also a lot of similarities between thyroid conditions and fibromyalgia.
Thyroid issues are extremely common. According to national estimates, 10 to 40 percent of Americans have suboptimal thyroid function. Alternative health experts say the issue is being exasperated by cell phone usage and other forms of radiation. A recent Israeli study showed a possible connection between the rise in thyroid cancer and the increased exposure to radiation emitted by cell phones.
4. Toxic Buildup
Research shows that chronic digestive issues usually lead to a weakened liver, which can lead to a toxic overload from pesticides, insecticides, fungicides, and chemicals.
The EPA conducted a program that analyzed human fat samples from cadavers obtained throughout the USA in both 1982 and 1987. In both cases they found four industrial solvents and one dioxin in 100 percent of the fat samples. Nine more chemicals, including three more dioxins and one furan, were found in more than 90 percent of the fat samples.
In general, 83 percent of the fat samples contained polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). U.S. researchers have confirmed the presence of multiple toxins in human fat associated with obesity risk. And it doesn’t seem like this is going to change anytime soon, as the EPA has recently confirmed the presence of chemicals in farm soil across America.
Research has uncovered that these toxic chemicals cause weight gain and weight loss issues because they bind to gene signaling within white adipose tissue. They also induce new fat cells to form while increasing inflammation at the same time. The newly formed fat cells are often damaged by the toxins and cannot perform normal metabolic functions, which includes an inability to make leptin. Leptin is a hormone that regulates energy balance by inhibiting hunger. These damaged fat cells only have the option to fill up with excess fat and toxins. The constant toxic buildup in cells, combined with chronic muscle pain and fatigue, continue to make every day a challenge for those with fibromyalgia.
Fibro: What The Bleep You Can Do
Fibromyalgia patients should be tested for thyroid, hormone, and digestive disorders as well as for toxic buildup. Various practitioners such as Dr. Wei and our own advisors here at Honeycolony, naturopath Michelle Corey and Dr. Dimitris Tsoukalas, author of How to Live 150 Years perform tests to determine very specific issues.
For example, the majority of patients suffering with thyroid issues are unaware, and 90 percent of sufferers have hypothyroidism or an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism). Six different blood markers—TSH, Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies and Thyroglobulin Antibodies—must be checked in order to measure your thyroid gland’s function.
Dr. Wei reports that not only does he test his patients for thyroid and hormone issues, but he also does a food allergy test on them as well. This helps determine what food sensitivities they have. “Many of our patients have specific food allergies. Once they’re aware of them and cut them out of their diet, they start noticing changes right away.”
As far as toxic buildup, Dr. Wei always checks to see what region of the country his patients have lived or spent time in, as every region has its own specific toxins. Personal life choices are also taken into consideration. “A lot of toxic buildup issues depend on what a patient feels like they were specifically exposed to.”
Adds Dr. Tsoukalas, “Fibromyalgia is a multifactorial health problem. Mitochondrial dysfunction, insulin resistance, dysbiosis, low vitamin D and omega 3 to omega 6 altered ratio, are the most common metabolic findings in patients suffering from it. All the above correlate also to metabolic syndrome and high visceral and belly fat deposition.” “Insulin resistance – due to high processed carbohydrates, low activity, lack of macronutrients and especially of magnesium plus metabolic and mental stress – is also a common factor to most chronic diseases and an inflammation promoter. Insulin is a major growth factor, causimg the body to store fat and blocks human’s body ability to burn it.”
Exercise is extremely effective at healing all these issues, but so many patients feel too much pain and fatigue to work out. Dr. Wei also finds that too many of his patients are doing the wrong types of exercise. “Running on the treadmill or a stationary bike just isn’t going to do the trick. Cardio isn’t effective unless it’s mixed with strength training.”
Some exercises are simply an ineffective way to spend your time working out. The increasingly popular high-intensity interval training (HIIT) exercises are extremely effective. Studies show that a pattern of short bursts of vigorous exercise followed by restful interludes is more effective at burning weight than straight cardio workouts. That’s because HIIT workouts build muscle while burning weight, which helps you burn fat even after the workout is over.
Learn more about Benefits of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training):
“Many fibro patients who get waves of inspiration to work out, jump into a big workout and then quickly burn out. It’s best to start slow. Dedicate one or two minutes a day to working out and then gradually build up,” Dr. Wei advises.
Be patient and realistic as you optimize your health and slim down. Don’t forget to boost your gut health with probiotics and digestive enzymes. Use these powerful tools that can help in the battle against fibromyalgia and autoimmune disorders.
Many of you have been asking me about how to relieve pain in a natural and root cause based approach. I’ve written up a new comprehensive post on strategies I’ve found to be the most helpful for my readers and clients in this week’s post.
Pain is a complicated and multifaceted issue, with many potential root causes, and therefore, many potential treatments. For example, a person may be in pain because of an injury, migraines, a structural abnormality, nerve damage, fibromyalgia, an autoimmune process, or because of an increased sensitivity to our environment…
Each pain disorder requires a unique, comprehensive treatment plan. The comprehensive approach to treating migraines is going to vary from the approach to treating a broken arm. 🙂
I can’t focus on every type of pain disorder with Hashimoto’s in this article, but I would like to provide some strategies that will help reduce pain in most pain disorders and specific resources for the most common types of pain disorders present in Hashimoto’s.
This article will focus on fibromyalgia, future posts in the works will cover carpal tunnel syndrome, migraines and I’ve already written about overcoming menstrual pain.
Conventional Approach to Pain
The most common conventional approach to pain is utilizing pain medications. Opiate medications and NSAIDs are the most common types of pain relievers used. Most medications have their time and place. As a pharmacist who is trained in both medication therapy management and functional medicine, I believe that instead of glorifying or demonizing medications, health professionals, and patients need to be educated about appropriate medication use AND complementary therapies that can eliminate or reduce the need for medications.
Opiates work by disconnecting our pain receptors from the pain signals, making us “forget” that we’re in pain. For many people, while these medications are effective “band-aids” for pain relief, they can also be habit-forming. The passing of the beloved artist Prince is a recent tragic example of what can happen when a person becomes addicted to opiate pain medications. Interestingly, Synthroid was the #1 prescribed drug in 2013 and 2014 in the United States. In 2015, Synthroid dropped to #2 and was displaced by Vicodin, an opiate painkiller.
Opiate medications are a constant source of controversy, on one hand, they are overused, and people become addicted to them and suffer ill consequences. Many times, these people had other choices for addressing their pain but were not informed.
On the other hand, people who are terminally ill, seriously hurt or injured, and others who may benefit from opiate medications often don’t get access due to the medical community’s fear of the medications.
NSAID medications (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) are often a first line treatment for pain disorders, and they do help with reducing pain and inflammation. Unfortunately, they are also associated with numerous side effects, most significantly leading to gut dysfunction, including an increased likelihood of ulcers. For short-term use, the occasional headache or acute injuries, they can be very helpful- however, the longer we take them, the more likely we are to suffer adverse reactions.
We also know that pain medications don’t get to the root cause of the pain condition, and thus we need to take a comprehensive approach to reducing pain in the body.
No matter the cause, reducing inflammation in our bodies will always help reduce pain and promote healing. You don’t have to use NSAIDs to reduce inflammation!
Supplements for Pain
In May of 2015, I did a survey of my readers with Hashimoto’s, to identify some of the most helpful interventions specific to reducing pain.
While there is no “natural Vicodin”, up to 65% of my readers with Hashimoto’s reported a reduction in pain by taking Curcumin/Turmeric supplement. I’ve written about this anti-inflammatory spice in the past, and adding it to your daily regimen may help relieve your pain. (Be sure to get the extended release kind of Curcumin supplement that stays around in the body. The spice on its own gets cleared out too quickly to be an effective pain reliever).
The supplement Betaine with Pepsin also helped another 40% reduce pain. I wrote an entire post on this specific supplement a few months ago.
Other treatments that were not in my survey that I’ve found very helpful for helping with pain and inflammation with my clients include; Wobenzym, cannabis oil (sorry, don’t have links for you because it’s only legal in some states), magnesium, and Omega-3 Fatty Acids.
Additional interventions reported to be most helpful for pain by my readers include the following:
A whopping 62% of people reported that removing nightshade vegetables from the diet helped to reduce their pain. Nightshades include; tomatoes, potatoes, bell peppers, eggplants, tomatillos, Goji berries and the herb ashwagandha. As a side note, even if you’re not in pain, hot, capsaicin-containing peppers have the propensity to cause leaky gut, so they too could potentially contribute to autoimmunity. Side note number 2: black pepper, the seasoning is not a nightshade. Just has a similar name. 🙂 It may be hard to part with these foods, but for some, they can make a world of a difference. Try a nightshade free diet for 2 weeks to see if that makes a difference for you.
Low FODMAPs Diet-48% saw improvement in pain with the low FODMAPs diet, typically used for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth also helped people with pain.
Autoimmune Paleo Diet (which removes grains, nightshades, and eggs, but not FODMAPs) helped another 50% of people with pain. (Some of them didn’t have pain as an initial symptom, which is why the 50% may seem low).
Massage-62% of readers found that massage helped their pain (side bonus? 80% found it beneficial for mood as well). So if you’re in pain and struggling with depression, I urge you to treat yourself to a massage. Pharmacist’s prescription. 🙂
Acupuncture helped 61% of people with pain relief. I used to have a huge needle phobia- this is one reason why I went to pharmacy school and not medical school or nursing school! Part of me was afraid of the pain, another part of me afraid of contracting diseases with contaminated needles- but the needles used in acupuncture are teeny tiny and you can barely feel them. Furthermore, they are not reused so you don’t have to worry about getting germs from them.
I used acupuncture +chiropractic care + nutrition in the past to help recover from carpal tunnel.
Hidden Infections Can Cause Pain!
Treating the gut infection most commonly known for causing ulcers, Helicobacter Pylori helped reduce pain for 50% of people. I often see this infection in clients with chronic pain and migraines. This infection combined with NSAIDs is a double whammy risk for ulcers. A natural protocol I like to use is mastic gum and DGL for 60 days + cabbage juice (before you protest that cabbage is a goitrogen, please read this post on common Hashimoto’s food myths).
I also wanted to mention that my clients often test negative for H Pylori on standard lab tests, but the stool antigen test utilized by functional medicine lab tests like the BioHealth 401H test is more likely to uncover this infection.
Treating SIBO, or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, helped 51% of people reduce their pain- Remember this point, I will be talking about my theory shortly… (I don’t have the time to outline SIBO treatments in greater detail in this post, but I’ve written about treatment protocols for SIBO in my book, and also do a deep dive in my Hashimoto’s Self-Management Program.)
Fibromyalgia & Hashimoto’s Connection
I want to spend a little time sharing some interesting connections I’ve pieced together over the last few years. Fibromyalgia, a type of chronic pain disorder, tends to go hand-in-hand with Hashimoto’s. Up to 33% of people with Hashimoto’s may have fibromyalgia, and autoimmune thyroid disease is thought to be a contributing factor to the development of fibromyalgia!
Sometimes people with Hashimoto’s are misdiagnosed with fibromyalgia, and sometimes people with fibromyalgia are told that their thyroid is responsible for their pain… but in fact, they may have fibromyalgia, and thus they don’t receive the proper treatment and suffer needlessly.
Either way, there is a lot of confusion about both conditions.
It angers me that a few years ago, fibromyalgia wasn’t even considered a “real disease” by many. Patients were told that it was just in their heads!
Part of the confusion, like with Hashimoto’s, is that many of the symptoms are nonspecific. In fact, many fibromyalgia symptoms overlap with Hashimoto’s. You may have fibromyalgia if you have the following symptoms:
- Tense and tight muscles, muscle spasms and chronic muscle pain
- Brain fog (also known as “fibro fog”) and depression
- Fatigue and lack of energy
- Insomnia/unrestful sleep
- Numbness/tingling in extremities
- Multiple sensitivities (foods, cold, meds, smells, noise, bright lights)
- Pain after exercise
- Irritable everything! (anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome, irritable bladder)
- Migraines/tension headaches
- Jaw and facial tenderness
- Feeling like your hands/feet are swollen when they are not
While there are lab tests that can be done to diagnose Hashimoto’s, fibromyalgia diagnosis can be more complicated.
SIBO is an important root cause to consider when dealing with both Hashimoto’s and Fibromyalgia. One study found that 100% of people with fibromyalgia had SIBO, while another study found 50% of people with hypothyroidism had SIBO. My hypothesis is that the people with Hashimoto’s who responded that treating SIBO and the low FODMAPs diet reduced their pain also had fibromyalgia.
I believe that factors that can reduce stomach acid, like H. pylori, SIBO, and methylation issues that steal our trimethylglycine away seem to contribute to both fibromyalgia and Hashimoto’s…
In addition to the interventions I discussed above, additional things I’ve found to specifically help my clients with fibromyalgia include reducing overall inflammation, optimizing thyroid hormone levels, neurofeedback, Betaine with Pepsin and/or the Homocysteine Factors supplement (which contains Trimethylglycine, B12, and methyl folate).
I hope that this helps you on your journey to becoming pain-free! Remember- you can do it!
Hypothyroidism And Fibromyalgia
Thyroid Advisor April 26, 2018
Last Updated on April 2, 2019
The Possible Link Between Fibromyalgia And Hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism is one of the more common endocrine disorders, referring to a problem causing the Thyroid Gland to produce an inadequate level of Thyroid hormones.
The Thyroid Gland is responsible for the regulation of overall metabolism within the body – not only metabolism that refers to the digestive function, but also cellular metabolism. A healthy Thyroid Gland dramatically contributes to the overall wellbeing of the body.
Up to 2% of the global adult population is affected by Hypothyroidism1, which can lead to a number of unpleasant symptoms and also lead to difficulties with the daily life of the affected patient.
Autoimmune Thyroiditis is the most common type of Hypothyroidism in the general population, which is caused by the patient’s immune system going awry and mistakenly attack healthy cells of their Thyroid Gland.
Many recent studies have pointed out possible connections that may exist between Hypothyroidism caused by an autoimmune reaction, which can usually be traced back to Hashimoto’s Disease and other types of autoimmune diseases.
While not considered an autoimmune disease by all publications, Fibromyalgia is a particular condition that is often linked to Hypothyroidism, sharing similar underlying physiological factors, as well as causing a range of symptoms that are similar.
In this guide to understanding the connection that may exist between Hypothyroidism and Fibromyalgia, we will take a closer look at how the symptoms of these two conditions are similar, how each of the conditions is diagnosed, and also consider why scientists and medical experts are currently exploring the fact that a connection might exist between these health ailments.
An Overview Of Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia, a condition sometimes referred to as Fibromyalgia Syndrome in medical practice causes a number of symptoms in an affected patient that may cause them to experience a disruption in various parts of their life.
The particular symptoms associated with Fibromyalgia usually include fatigue, sleep disruptions and pain.
While the disease has become widely recognized in the modern day, there is still a lot of details that remain unclear to the medical industry.
In many cases, Fibromyalgia is described as a disease that affects the central sensitization of the human body2.
If this suggestion is true, then a number of factors will be involved with the disease, including the genetic makeup of a patient. Additional factors, such as immunological elements of the patient’s body, their endocrine system, and other biological features may also play a part in the development and risk of this disease.
The disease currently has no known cure, which is why a physician’s primary role in the treatment of Fibromyalgia is to provide relief of the symptoms that a patient is experiencing.
The goal here is to alleviate the pain and inflammation associated with the disease, while also providing improvements in the sleep-related symptoms caused by Fibromyalgia.
Another important goal is to provide an overall improvement in the patient’s physical function, which is often reduced through the physiological effects of Fibromyalgia.
Different treatment protocols have been suggested to assist with delivering the goals of a management program for a patient with Fibromyalgia.
Recent updates3 to the general recommendations for the management of this disease have suggested that current drugs that may be utilized for the treatment of the condition include Duloxetine, Amitriptyline, and Pregabalin.
Hypothyroidism And Your Thyroid Gland
Hypothyroidism is amongst two relatively common Thyroid Gland disorders, with the other disease being Hyperthyroidism. When a patient is diagnosed with Hypothyroidism, it means their Thyroid Gland is not producing enough hormones to support the functions these hormones are responsible for. Hypothyroidism is a relatively complex condition, as numerous issues may cause the development of this disease.
The condition may be caused by an impairment of the Thyroid Gland, leading to a reduction in the overall production of T3 and T4 hormones.
In some cases, however, the disease may also be caused by the inadequate release of TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone), which is released by the Pituitary Gland in response to the body’s need for Thyroid hormones.
In the majority of cases where a patient is diagnosed with primary Hypothyroidism, the cause of the disease can be linked to an autoimmune reaction4.
This means the immune system produced antibodies and then sends these antibodies toward the Thyroid Gland, where they start to attack the Gland’s healthy tissues as if the cells are pathogenic invaders within the body.
The diagnosis of Hypothyroidism5 is often complex, as medical experts have found that the older methods of testing for the disease does not yield the best results.
In most cases, a physician will start by requesting a series of blood tests from the patient to determine levels of Thyroxine and Thyroid Stimulating Hormone present in their blood circulatory system.
This can provide an overview of the overall status of the patient’s Thyroid function. When TSH levels are high, and the level of Thyroxine in the patient’s bloodstream is low, it is an indication that they have an underactive Thyroid; thus fitting the criteria for the diagnosis of Hypothyroidism.
Once diagnosed, a physician will need to determine the best approach to providing the patient with a treatment plan. Treatment usually include6 the administration of synthetic Thyroid hormones to help improve overall metabolism by restoring normal levels of these hormones in the patient’s body.
The most common pharmaceutical drug used to treat Hypothyroidism at the moment is known as Levothyroxine, which is a synthetic replacement for the Thyroxine that is lacking within the patient’s body.
For many patients, a few adjustments to the dosage of Levothyroxine they are consuming is needed during the first few months after they are placed on a treatment plan.
A physician usually starts a patient off on a low dose, and then increase the dosage as the time goes by, carefully monitoring the effects of the Levothyroxine through frequent blood tests.
What’s The Connection Between These Conditions?
Hypothyroidism has been connected to many autoimmune diseases. The disease itself is also often caused by an autoimmune reaction, which usually leads to the diagnosis of Hashimoto’s Disease.
Some studies have also confirmed that there seems to be a link between Hypothyroidism and Fibromyalgia, two diseases that are often seen together in many patients.
According to one report7, up to 27 million of patients diagnosed with Hypothyroidism is also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.
There are different theories regarding how these conditions may be connected. One particularly popular theory is that the connection resides within the hypothalamus of the patient’s brain. The hypothalamus is a gland that forms part of the human endocrine system.
This gland is responsible for many functions in the body, including the regulation of hormone secretion by other glands, and more. This theory believes that the hypothalamus become suppressed, and this is essentially what causes the patient to develop these conditions.
There are some guidelines provided to assist with ensuring the treatment of Hypothyroidism in a patient with Fibromyalgia does not cause the development of complications.
In particular, a patient with Fibromyalgia who is suspected of Hypothyroidism should not be provided with Thyroid hormone medication prior to an official blood test.
Results presented by the blood test should indicate a low level of Thyroxine in the patient’s blood, while Thyroid Stimulating Hormone levels should be high – in such a case, the patient can be diagnosed with Hypothyroidism as well.
Additionally, it should be noted that a patient with both Hypothyroidism and Fibromyalgia should only be providing Levothyroxine as a treatment protocol.
Blood tests should frequently be obtained to ensure the dosage that the patient is taking does not cause Thyroid Hormone levels to become too high or suppresses the secretion of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone.
Should such signs be observed, then the dosage of Levothyroxine being administered to the patient should be lowered.
When improvements in Thyroid levels are not as expected, then the dosage may be increased, but only under close supervision from a licensed physician.
Not obtaining blood tests regularly to monitor the effect of the Levothyroxine medication can lead to the development of Hyperthyroidism, which may cause the patient to experience further adverse side-effects, instead of a relieve in the particular symptoms they are suffering from.
Treatment with Levothyroxine for Hypothyroidism can be utilized together with a treatment plan provided to assist with the management of Fibromyalgia. Thyroid supplements are often used by those with hypothyroidism and hashimoto’s to help support their thyroid.
Medication should be cross-referenced to ensure interactions do not occur, however.
The dosage of individual medicines may need to be frequently altered until the right dose of treatment is achieved to help the patient get back to experiencing the joys of life, instead of succumbing to the disabling effects of their illness.
Advice For A Better Treatment Protocol
Due to the possibility that a patient diagnosed with Fibromyalgia may experience worse symptoms due to the simultaneous presence of Hypothyroidism, and vice versa, it is important for patients with either of these conditions to be aware of this relationship.
A patient with Fibromyalgia who experiences more severe symptoms is advised to undergo TSH tests to determine if their Thyroid Gland may be compromised and producing too little hormones. On the other hand, a patient with Hypothyroidism may also consider obtaining a physical examination from a healthcare provider who has prior experience in dealing with patients diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.
This is especially important when the patient is experiencing symptoms associated with Fibromyalgia, such as chronic lower back pain and fatigue, as well as feeling weak and tired after getting up in the morning.
When the possible relationship between these two conditions are taken into account during both the diagnostic process and throughout the treatment plan, a patient may be provided a more effective treatment option that helps them overcome the obstacles they are facing due to their health status.
For example, when both Fibromyalgia and Hypothyroidism is present, but a patient has only been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, symptoms may continue to be worse, even with treatment, as Hypothyroidism can cause similar symptoms, and would not be affected by the pharmaceuticals used for the treatment of Fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia is a condition that affects approximately double the number of individuals affected by Rheumatoid Arthritis and can cause disabling adverse effects.
The disease is often considered to be autoimmune in nature and has now been linked to Hypothyroidism, a condition where the Thyroid fails to produce adequate concentrations of T3 and T4 hormones.
By better understanding, this possible connection, patients with either of these conditions can be screened for the associated disease, which may provide more data on why symptoms experience are more severe than what is expected.
This may also help to provide a more effective treatment approach and better assist a patient in improving their overall quality-of-life.
1 Mario Skugor. Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism. Cleveland Clinic. August 2014. http://www.clevelandclinicmeded.com/medicalpubs/diseasemanagement/endocrinology/hypothyroidism-and-hyperthyroidism/
3 Sanam Kia and Ernet Choy. Update on Treatment Guideline in Fibromyalgia Syndrome with Focus on Pharmacology. MDPI Biomedicines. 8 May 2017. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5489806/
7 Mary Shomon. Hypothyroidism and Fibromyalgia – What’s the Connection? VeryWell Health. 13 February 2018. https://www.verywell.com/the-thyroid-fibromyalgia-connection-3231681
How Fibromyalgia Can Cause Weight Gain
Posted on 31st January 2018
In this blog, we look at the relationship between fibromyalgia and weight gain and provide information on how and why it happens, along with helpful tips on how you can try and prevent it if you suffer with the condition.
Fibromyalgia is a long-term chronic pain syndrome that, unfortunately, is incurable and causes widespread pain for sufferers on a daily basis. As well from the debilitating effect it can have on the everyday lives of so many, most sufferers also endure the additional challenge of coping with weight gain.
Fibromyalgia leads to hormonal imbalances, affecting levels of cortisol, thyroid, serotonin and insulin, as well as the production of growth hormones. As a result, the metabolism slows down and weight gain often naturally follows.
Fatigue associated with fibromyalgia can also lead to an increase in weight. Fibromyalgia initiates a wake-like disturbance in the brainwave pattern during sleep, which means sufferers do not get sufficient restorative rest. Sleep apnoea – pauses during night-time breathing accompanied by snoring – is an additional problem, along with restless legs, which further increases tiredness.
A recent study found that a lack of sleep leads to higher hypocretin production, which has a direct effect on appetite levels. When hypocretin neuron levels are high, they not only lead to fatigue, but also to overeating. In addition to fatigue, the extreme and constant pain caused by fibromyalgia inhibits the ability to exercise, which means many patients are unable to partake in any form of exercise and, as a result, are increasing their risk of gaining weight.
Prescribed drugs taken to treat fibromyalgia-related depression can also cause an individual to gain weight, increasing appetite, fluid retention and affecting hormone levels and, therefore, metabolism.
It’s imperative to maintain a healthy, balanced diet in order to minimise the amount of weight gain caused by fibromyalgia. However, we understand that this is often easier said than done, therefore, we have put together a brief list of tips to help. Take note of the following and your chances of gaining weight as a result of your fibromyalgia diagnosis will be reduced:
Goals: It’s important that you set a realistic goal or set of goals, as you will be more optimistic about achieving it.
Diary: Try to keep a food diary. Comfort eating is a natural reaction to being in pain. Noting down what you eat and when will help to keep your bad habits under control.
Healthy is key: Stay away from faddy, quick-win diets. Instead, embark on a healthier eating regime that is sustainable.
Lean meats: When eating meat, opt for skinless chicken and turkey, which are lean meats with a high source of protein.
Eat more of certain foods: Increase your intake of foods that are rich in fibre and low in sugar, such as vegetables. Eat plenty of fresh fruit but try to avoid dried varieties, as they can contain sugar and preservatives.
Good fats: Omega-3 fatty acids are important in a healthy diet and can be found in cold-water fish. Other good sources of fat include almonds, avocados, fish oils, and olive oil.
Bad fats: Avoid where possible fried foods, highly processed foods, white flour, sugar, and alcoholic or carbonated beverages.
Light exercise: On days where you feel like you can, taking part in light exercise will help to burn a few calories and keep you as active as possible. Try to take part in gentle exercises, such as walking, stretching, and yoga. If possible, try to gradually increase the amount of walking you do per day, even if it’s only by a few minutes or steps. Remember to stop when you feel like you’re in pain or may have took on a little too much; over exercising will do more bad than good.
At Brian Barr Solicitors, we handle compensation claims for a wide variety of fibromyalgia patients, therefore, understand the condition well. This being said, however, it is important to remember that we are not medical experts, so if you’re worried about gaining weight as a result of fibromyalgia, we would recommend that you talk things through with your doctor. Although we are not able to provide medical advice, we are able to offer sound legal advice to those of you who have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia as a result of an accident or injury. To speak to one of our experts, call us for free on 0161 737 9248 or .
We do not endorse any research, studies or sources mentioned within our blogs and comments. Furthermore, we do not endorse any medical advice provided, and would strongly recommend anyone seeking medical advice to contact their local healthcare provider.
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Fibromyalgia and Weight Gain
People who are diagnosed with fibromyalgia often experience weight gain. But what is the nature of the relationship between fibromyalgia and weight gain – and how can it be prevented?
More On Fibromyalgia Side Effects and Conditions
Why FMS Causes Weight Gain
Fibromyalgia often causes weight gain in individuals due to a number of factors that are both directly and indirectly related to the disease itself.
Fibromyalgia leads to hormonal imbalances, affecting levels of cortisol, thyroid, serotonin and insulin, as well as the production of growth hormones. Because of this hormonal imbalance, metabolism slows down and weight gain often follows.
Fatigue associated with fibromyalgia also leads to increased weight. Because fibromyalgia initiates an arousal disturbance in the brain wave pattern during sleep, the individual can’t get enough quality sleep; the individual can also suffer from sleep apnea (pauses during night time breathing and snoring) and restless legs (tingling in the legs), which increase tiredness.
A new study found that a lack of sleep also leads to higher hypocretin production, which is important in sleep and appetite levels. When hypocretin neuron levels are high (due to environmental and mental stressors), they lead to an increased state of arousal, leading not only to fatigue, but also to overeating.
In addition to fatigue, many fibromyalgia patients experience chronic pain, which can also inhibit their ability to exercise.
Drugs taken to treat fibromyalgia-related depression can also cause the individual to gain weight. Antidepressants like Prozac and Zoloft increase appetite, fluid retention, and can affect hormone levels and therefore metabolism.
It’s imperative to maintain a healthy, balanced diet in order to minimize fibromyalgia weight gain.
Here are some helpful diet tips:
- avoid eating animal fats, such as red meat. Instead, eat leaner meats like skinless chicken, turkey and fish, which are also excellent sources of protein
- increase your intake of foods that are rich in fiber and low in sugar, such as vegetables
- eating plenty of fresh fruits, like raspberries and strawberries is also helpful. Avoid dried fruits, as they contain preservatives
- Omega-3 fatty acids are also important in maintaining a healthy diet and can be found in cold-water fish. Other good sources of fat include almonds, avocadoes, fish oils, as well as olive and corn oil
- eat three meals a day and try to have one to two nutritious snacks daily
Avoid fried foods, junk foods, white flour and sugar, and alcoholic and carbonated beverages.
Although fibromyalgia can lead to intense pain and fatigue, it’s important to keep fit as best as you can in order to avoid unhealthy weight gain.
Beginning your own fibromyalgia exercise program is a great way to achieve this goal.
Start off with simple exercises, like stretching, walking or biking.
Begin your walking routine with a five-minute walk the first day; then add 1-2 minutes daily, gradually moving upwards to a target of 60 minutes (or whatever amount you feel comfortable and able to maintain). Once you’ve reached your target amount, make sure you walk for this amount of time three to four days a week.
Bicycling is another great workout option. An exercise (stationary) bike lets you work out year-round whatever the weather; plus, you can keep track of your mileage easily and this can help you reach your workout goals more efficiently.
Keep in mind that some muscle soreness is common when you first start exercising, but that sharp pain could mean you’ve overworked your muscles.
The Relationship Between Fibromyalgia and Weight Gain
Unfortunately, it’s easy for chronic pain patients to gain weight. Chronic pain patients are often in too much pain to get up and cook a healthy meal or exercise, so the pounds can add up after years of battling chronic pain. However, could it be possible for the chronic pain conditions like fibromyalgia to cause weight gain in the first place?
Fibromyalgia is still a mysterious illness that chronic pain experts are trying to understand. According to various studies, there may be evidence that fibromyalgia could cause weight gain, but the reason why has not yet been determined. The average fibromyalgia diagnosis happens to women in their 40s, so some theorize that instead of fibromyalgia causing weight gain, menopause is to blame. When estrogen release is slowed down during menopause, the body’s metabolism may also slow down. However, some studies make a case that the condition itself may slow the metabolism and cause weight gain.
When evaluating weight gain after a fibromyalgia diagnosis, the physicians at The Pain Center of Arizona may look at the side effects pain medication. Since fibromyalgia is different for everyone, patients may have to try a few different medication pairings before they find one that treats their pain most effectively. A number of pain relieving medication can cause weight gain. If weight gain gets out of control or causes additional pain, talk to your physician. We may be able to switch up your prescription to a drug that does not cause weight gain. Additionally, patients can opt for pain relieving trigger point injections as alternative to medication. These injections can cause longer-lasting relief with little to no side effects.
Aside from pain medication alternatives, patients can take measures to control their weight while managing their fibromyalgia. Our physicians recommend eating a healthy diet full of essential vitamins and minerals. However, we’ve found that it may be easier for patients to gradually get away from sweets starting out by only switching out a few foods for healthier alternatives and gradually adopting a healthy diet. Finally, our physicians can recommend simple exercises for patients who are just starting out. It may be difficult to exercise when dealing with fibromyalgia pain, but it’s important to note that when following an exercise routine, it gets much easier the more you do it. Many patients have found success doing gentle flow yoga and moving up towards low-impact activities like walking and doing weight-bearing exercises.
If you suffer from chronic pain due to any condition or injury, find hope at The Pain Center of Arizona! Our dedicated team of board certified pain management physicians will work with you to treat your pain, increase your functionality and quality of life, and get you back into life! We have locations across Arizona, including the Phoenix metropolitan, Northern and Southern areas! We take multiple insurance plans; to see if we take yours! To make an appointment and take the first step toward getting back into life, call us today at 1-888-PAINCENTER. We hope to see you soon!
The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.
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