Fibromyalgia. A symptom of stress? A neurochemical imbalance? An autoimmune disease?
Well, doctors believe all three could be involved in the development of this chronic pain condition. However, there is a new theory being explored… At that is the connection between PTSD and FMS. With both conditions displaying similar symptoms, researchers are now delving more into this theory. And recommend that those that have FMS should also be screened for PTSD.
In both conditions, there is a dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal pathway that leads to abnormal cortisol secretion. As a result, people with both conditions are more likely to experience ongoing high stress levels, exacerbating the symptoms.
Now, both conditions still need to be treated separately. As PTSD causes a person to have recurrent flashbacks, nightmares and intense social anxiety.
Still, it does point to a rather interesting theory that may need to be explored further…
For those with FMS, there are some effective strategies that can assist in helping you with the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ days, and come to terms with the diagnoses.
Boosting Creativity when you Experience the Dreaded ‘Brain Fog’!
The dreaded brain fog. Most people have experienced it. However, those with Fibromyalgia can experience this all day, every day, without even over-doing it to begin with. You wake in the morning feeling like the brain is cloudy. You try to reach for a good word or paragraph, and it feels like the brain just does not want to click over. You stare at the screen hoping for inspiration. You might try taking a break, and still this fog swirls in the recesses of your brain. And just when you think you have broken through, it comes crashing back.
Brain fog can prevent writers from being able to concentrate, and even string coherent words together. This can be worsened by medications that are required to manage your other symptoms, or simply from the lack of deep sleep.
With all this in mind, how we can break through this vicious cycle?
We need to guide our brain to focus. This can start with keeping a daily schedule, or maintaining a diary on what you want to get done. This includes break time, research, mindfulness meditation, a workout, and meals. Starting your day with a plan kickstarts the brain into action. Even better if you start off with a glass of lemon water, and a quick workout, or a 5 to 10-minute mindfulness meditation sequence to bring focus on the present, instead of dwelling on what you cannot change.
Watching relaxing scenery while meditation music is playing is an ideal way to practice mindfulness with deep breathing. Focusing on your breath while watching relaxing images reduces the incidences of the mind wandering. Mindfulness Meditation opens the mind up for new opportunities, clears the brain of frustration, rejuvenates the senses, and enables better focus.
Doctors are not sure what causes brain fog, besides from constant pain, lack of sleep, deficiency in endocannabinoids, lacking serotonin… Well, the list goes on. Managing these symptoms first may reduce the amount of ‘brain fog’ you experience.
|For some people the pain and fatigue can feel like when you have worked yourself really hard, so that you feel totally exhausted, and you ache all over that you struggle to get up. It is all about managing your symptoms and time to get the best out of life. Talk to your family and friends and explain what you are going through.|
Stretching and foam rolling daily is a great way to relieve tension. A build-up of tension can that lead to an increase in pain levels.
Maintaining a healthy diet and exercise plan is paramount to helping you manage the pain, fatigue, headaches, and other symptoms. Re-examine your lifestyle. Eating the right foods and doing regular exercise will help ease the pain, lift your mood, improve sleeping patterns, and release endorphins, which help with your overall well-being. Exercise will warm up your muscles, and ease the stiffness associated with pain.[SA1]
Pain and fatigue may make it difficult to exercise. However, one of the worst things you can do is NOT exercise. Instead, aim for light walks, power yoga, 15 to 20-minute light cardio and strength training sessions are ideal choices to get the body moving, without too much strain.
Although your doctor can prescribe medications, supplements can also help. Vitamin B is great for lifting your mood, encouraging motivations, and reducing stress and anxiety.
Omega-3 fatty acids are particularly good to strengthen the immune system, help with reducing inflammation that leads to more pain, and keeping the brain healthy to fire off those neurotransmitters.
Here’s my top Supplement Choices to Take Every Day:
- 1 hemp seed tablet
- 1 tryptophan every second day
- Two Spirulina
- Alternate between antioxidant NAC and Curcumin
- One magnesium
- Pacing yourself throughout the day is one of the best ways to combat all symptoms of FMS. Having breaks every 30 minutes or so to get a breath of fresh air, stretch, toilet break, or just take some time to appreciate what you have done already.
- Reading other people’s works may trigger of some great ideas. And when you have a great idea, night or day, write it down, so when the dreaded fog returns you already have things in place to combat writer’s block, or just those times you need more inspiration for the work you do. Some of the best corrections I have made have occurred when I wasn’t even intending on writing. I might have been watching something, or just in my own head having a conversation, and something springs forth. I quickly jot it down for later reference.
- Gather a range of ideas in multiple formats. Even just using a thesaurus to learn new words can clear the brain of repetitive actions, and can trigger off a host of other ideas. Speak to people about new ideas, and brainstorm together. Make recordings or videos of what you want to include. Conduct a range of research before you begin your next project so you have plenty of information to bounce off.
- Create outlines. Some authors go off-the-cuff, and just write without a plan. I would recommend authors and writers with Fibromyalgia to write a plot and chapter or section outline. This chapter outline is particularly useful using word excel.
Chapter outlines play a part in the all-important schedule aspect. Every day you can go to your chapter outline, and you know exactly what you need to write about. From there, you can conduct more research, add as you go, and move chapters around as you progress through the book or article you have written.
This tip can apply to all walks of life. Plan! Plan! Plan!
A diagnosis of Fibromyalgia does not mean your life is over. It just means you need to adjust certain things to make it more manageable. Learning more about your condition and how it impacts you is crucial to establishing a routine that helps you through the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ days.