You see, in 2008 my entire life came to a screeching halt after I was diagnosed with FMS. There are good chances that I had this condition many years before I was aware of it. Oh, I was aware...the excruciating pain definitely caught my attention, but it didn't have an official name.
The truth about fibro is that there are no medical tests to detect it. Instead, rheumotologists and neurologists usually require much time before "ruling in" or "ruling out" Primary Fibromyalgia. In my case, the specialist ordered over 30 tubes of blood work to test me for everything and anything remotely similar to FMS. (Lyme Disease, Lupus, Hypothryoidism, etc.)
While my rheumotologists was thorough, he missed one important factor; nutrition. What the average doctor may not know is that food sensitivities, such as Celiac Disease, can cause a wide range of similar symptoms to Fibromyalgia. For example, brain fog, extreme fatigue, sleeping problems, depression, aches and pains, and digestive distress.
Had my rheumotologist tested me for Celiac Disease or a food sensitivity, I believe it would have added a hidden link to the puzzle. Instead of jumping into medicine with negative side effects, we could have first cleaned up my diet and made simple changes, including going gluten-free. What we consume on a daily basis has a direct impact on our overall body and mind. Depending on our personal lifestyle, it could be for the better or worse.
However, my journey to healing was not an easy path to walk. It was more like an uphill battle with huge potholes and roadside delays along the way. Quite frankly, it was the darkest, loneliest, rock bottom season of my life. Most days were filled with tears, fears, and nonstop pain.
It was as if I were living in a maze. I was lost and couldn't find my way out of the black pit. My body and mind were held hostage. I watched in horror as my health deteriorated right before my eyes. This nightmare felt like hell on earth, except it was not a bad dream...it was my reality.
One prescription led to another. Over time it turned into a potent cocktail of chemicals in which I experienced severe interactions. I struggled with appalling symptoms ranging from headaches, bloating, backaches, inflammation, insomnia, excruciating pain all over, depression, anxiety, cognitive impairment, racing heartbeat and palpitations, high blood pressure, urinary urgency, frequency, and pelvic pain, fatigue, gastrointestinal issues, nausea, fever, chills, and lack of concentration.
My road back to recovery was an arduous process. The steep climb up the rocky mountain took much effort, determination, and perseverance. In my opinion, the biggest step it required was for me to commit to the long haul. I had to make up my mind that my health was worth it. My family was worth it. The quality of my life was worth it. My time, energy, suffering, years lost, and all of the anguish was worth it if it meant that I would eventually regain my wellness.
We can not compare one another's healing testimonies because each person has their own unique body, medical history, medications, sensitivities, metabolism, habits, lifestyles, family dynamics, beliefs, attitudes, and central nervous system. Therefore, what may work great for one person may not work identically for another.
However, I do believe there are helpful strategies that were successful for me that can be equally successful for others. It's truly a matter of trial and error. In my own experience, some natural options worked wonders, while others failed. All of the natural alternatives are non-medical approaches to wellness.
Let me make it clear that I am not a physician, nor am I giving medical advice. The information I share in this blog post (and my entire website) is not meant to prevent, treat, cure, or diagnose an individual. It shall not take the place of a medical evaluation, diagnosis, and/or treatment. Furthermore, this information shared here is based on my own personal experience and my own opinions.
Here are some natural alternatives that helped me to regain my health, despite Fibromyalgia:
1) Clean & Organic Diet - Eliminated GMO's, MSG, artificial sweeteners, fast food, fake food, and junk food. (Do your own research and check it out.)
2) Gluten-Free - In May 2011, after being debilitated for six solid weeks, I discovered by accident that I may have Celiac Disease. Long story short, I didn't have medical insurance and could not get tested. The next best step was to simply go gluten-free. In reality, it was not easy, but required intense research. Ultimately, going 100% gluten-free dramatically improved my health. (Read your labels, including lip gloss, toothpaste, coffee, condiments, supplements, medicine, and everything that you consume.)
3) Professional Massage Therapy - Prior to suffering chronic pain, I believed that professional massage therapy was a luxury and didn't want to invest in it. During my recovery, I had a change of heart once I gained more insight into how therapeutic massage therapy is for the body and mind. Massage therapy helps to relax restricted muscles, increase circulation, reduce stress, relieve headaches, strengthen the immune system, and improve flexibility. Ultimately, this financial investment into my own health was worth every single penny!
4) Pure Essential Oils - For over 25 years, I've worked in the beauty industry and discovered amazing DIY recipes using pure essential oils for body scrubs, facials, and homemade beauty products. When I researched essential oils, I discovered that not all of them are created equal. My professional massage therapist was a major resource of help and filled with a wealth of knowledge pertaining to essential oils. In my own experience, a superior brand can be most effective. Yes, it truly does make a big difference! Along my healing journey, I actively used pure essential oils for a wide variety of concerns. In my own opinion, Frankincense works well for my aches and pains. Clary Sage is awesome for helping me relax and sleep. There is truly an essential oil for every single concern and I use my essential oils daily. These healing oils have been a life-savor to me!
5) Gentle Stretching & Physical Activity - The average person suffering chronic pain, an injury, or Fibromyalgia may feel challenged with physical activity. Their level of pain may prevent them from getting much exercise. It's common to want to remain in bed when you hurt all over and lack energy. However, during my own recovery back to wellness, I forced myself to practice gentle stretching and exercise. Of course, this does not mean lifting weights, joining a gym, or causing yourself more physical pain, unless you truly can handle it without causing yourself a flare up. The key is to pace yourself.
Today, my message to you is that there is hope for healing and health. There are so many natural options to consider for wellness. Think outside the box. It may be a gradual process to restore your health, but I believe it's obtainable and can be life-changing. After all, I am living proof that it's possible to thrive, despite Fibromyalgia!
For those who have found holistic solutions to chronic pain, I'd love to hear what works well for you. Feel free to comment or send me a message through the contact information up above. If you want to read my entire Fibromyalgia journey, it's available in my captivating memoir, Harvest of Hope: Living Victoriously Through Adversity. Here is the link: http://www.amazon.com/Harvest-Hope-Victoriously-Overcoming-Unrelenting/dp/0991076818/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1424207051&sr=8-2