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Fibromyalgia

 

The following is the standard-of-care information about fibromyalgia from http://www.webmd.com/fibromyalgia/default.htm

 

Fibromyalgia syndrome affects the muscles and soft tissue. Symptoms include chronic muscle pain, fatigue, sleep problems, and painful tender points or trigger points, which can be relieved through medications, lifestyle changes and stress management.

 

 

Symptoms of fibromyalgia include:

 

  • Chronic muscle pain, muscle spasms, or tightness

  • Moderate or severe fatigue and decreased energy

  • Insomnia or waking up feeling just as tired as when you went to sleep

  • Stiffness upon waking or after staying in one position for too long

  • Difficulty remembering, concentrating, and performing simple mental tasks ("fibro fog")

  • Abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, and constipation alternating with diarrhea (irritable bowel syndrome)

  • Tension or migraine headaches

  • Jaw and facial tenderness

  • Sensitivity to one or more of the following: odors, noise, bright lights, medications, certain foods, and cold

  • Feeling anxious or depressed

  • Numbness or tingling in the face, arms, hands, legs, or feet

  • Increase in urinary urgency or frequency (irritable bladder)

  • Reduced tolerance for exercise and muscle pain after exercise

  • A feeling of swelling (without actual swelling) in the hands and feet

 

Managing the symptoms of fibromyalgia or related ailments is not easy. So, many patients turn to alternative therapies for relief of pain and sleep problems. They may use Chinese herbs or over-the-counter supplements such as 5-HTP, melatonin, and SAM-e.

 

Because so many people -- not just those with fibromyalgia -- are using alternative therapies, Congress has formed the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). It is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and it helps appraise alternative treatments, including supplements, and define their effectiveness. This organization is now creating safe guidelines to help people choose appropriate alternative therapies that may help their symptoms without making them ill.

 

In spite of the recommendations of using non-pharmaceutical approaches to fibromyalgia being discussed on WebMD, we cannot discuss these in Texas on this standard-of-care website.  For more information on what the literature shows about fibromyalgia, you may visit the natural medicine website.

 

This site is under the authority of the Texas Medical Board.