Many readers ask questions about fibromyalgia via email, social media, and comments. Some of these questions are more frequently asked than others, but all of them are great questions! Here are a list of the most common questions about fibromyalgia I receive. This list is actively updated. If you have question that is not on this list, please send me an email and I’ll be sure to get you an answer.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Fibromyalgia
What is fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a complex chronic condition with various symptoms that affect the entire body. These symptoms vary in degree and day-to-day. Common symptoms include lasting, ongoing pain throughout the body, constant fatigue, and abdominal pain. According to the Arthritis Foundation, “the term ‘fibromyalgia’ means pain in the muscles, ligaments, and tendons”.
The condition itself is not life threatening, and does not cause permanent muscle or joint damage.Even though there is no cure for fibromyalgia, the various symptoms can be managed. Some individuals, with the help of an effective pain management regiment, have been in remission for many years. Read more about fibromyalgia.
You have fibromyalgia. Now what?
You’ve been diagnosed with fibromyalgia? Phew! That may have seemed like the hard part, but that is only half the hard part. Celebrate the victory though! Many of us go years without a proper diagnosis, so take a moment to celebrate. Now what should you? Read more about this series.
Are the symptoms I’m experiencing ‘normal’ with fibromyalgia?
This is probably the most frequently asked questions about fibromyalgia and rightly so. There are many symptoms of fibromyalgia, and determining which ones are ‘normal’ isn’t possible. Some people experience a constant upset stomach while others do not. Anxious feelings may be common for some of us, but for others it is not. They are ways to identify fibromyalgia, but the symptoms vary. First lesson I learned – nothing is normal with fibro.
Is fibromyalgia real?
This is another popular questions about fibromyalgia and one of the most important ones. In short: A resounding YES! Despite what some may say, fibromyalgia is real. Even though it cannot be seen, and many of us don’t complain about our daily agonizing symptoms, the illness is real. Read more about this controversial topic in this article.
How can I minimize (and recover from) fibromyalgia flares?
Having a fibromyalgia flare means you are experiencing an increase of pain or symptoms. Just as fibromyalgia varies from person to person, so do flares. These flares often times leave the person without energy and not able to enjoy their normal daily activities. Just as the flare can vary person to person, so does the length of the flare. They have been known to last a few hours, a few days, or a few weeks. Read more about how to recover from flares.
How do I tell my friends and family about me having fibromyalgia?
With many people not believing the existence of fibromyalgia, those of us living with its daily manifestation is hesitant to tell others about it. But should we tell others? And if we decide to do so, how do we tell others? After being asked this questions about fibromyalgia on a regular basis, I decided to write some articles about relationships with fibromyalgia for the international magazine, The Fibromyalgia Magazine. It was a two part series, and the first part is called, Silencing the What-ifs. You can read it here.
Is fibromyalgia an autoimmune disease?
This is a misconception among the fibromyalgia community about fibro being an autoimmune disease. As of this posting, fibromyalgia is NOT autoimmune disease. Though it mimics an autoimmune disease, and scientists are still contemplating it’s actual immune deficiency properties, it is not. Read more about this in this article.
Are there natural ways to relieve fibromyalgia symptoms?
There are various ways to relieve fibromyalgia symptoms which is another popular questions about fibromyalgia. While some find relief from medications, there are some of us that cannot take medications for various reasons. However, there are ways to naturally relieve symptoms. I have an effective daily natural remedy plan, and you can read about it here.
Can I take CBD oil for fibromyalgia?
Cannabis is a popular treatment option due to its effective, natural healing properties. Unfortunately, many of us still live in a state that has not legalized the use of cannabis for medical use. For those of us in those illegal states, we are able to use hemp based CBD because it’s federally legal. (As opposed to marijuana based CBD which is restricted to those states where dispensaries are located.)
Those of us living with fibromyalgia are thought to have a deficiency or breakdown in the ECS causing it to function improperly. Because CBD acts so well on the receptors of the endocannabinoid system, it can increase the amount of naturally-produced cannabinoids and fill in those deficiencies. CBD can even interact with dopamine receptors which regulates behavior and cognition. More about CBD oil and fibromyalgia.
How can I be the best parent while living with fibromyalgia? I feel so guilty.
Parenting while living with fibromyalgia is what I call Fibro Parenting. It takes parenting to a whole new level. There is the constant burden of guilt, and feelings of letting down our children when we can’t do what they would like us to do. First, talk to them about your illness. Here is an article to help with that talk. Second, visit my resources page and then join our Facebook group, Fibro Parenting. Third, and last, keep the discussion open with your kids about your illness. Don’t hide it because it’s nothing to be ashamed of.
What can I eat without flaring my symptoms?
There are many foods to avoid with fibromyalgia, but there are also foods that can help with the symptoms, too. Read all about it on the Fibro Foods & Recipes page (and there is a FREE Fibro Food Guide when you sign up!)
Can I have healthy relationships?
Yes, you can! There is a guilt and hesitation that we take when engaging in new relationships. It can be a new friendship, meeting a new neighbor, or another parent, but the hesitation is ever present. How can we have a healthy relationship with this constant shadow of fibromyalgia lingering with us?