What is Fibromyalgia?
Ayurveda View of Fibromyalgia
According to Ayurveda, fibromyalgia is an imbalanced state of Vata energy. The physiological principle at the basis of nervous system stability and activation is called Vata. A state of Vata imbalance means the pitta (metabolism) and Kapha (immunity) are also thrown out of balance.
What is the cause of Fibromyalgia?
Experts still have a lot to learn about the cause of the disease. But scientists are finding evidence that points to a likely suspect: neuroinflammation, or inflammation in the brain.
“We still don’t fully understand what causes fibromyalgia. But brain scans of patients with fibromyalgia show this neuroinflammation,” says pain management expert Benjamin Abraham, MD. “We can see that the pain nerves are inflamed and irritated.”
Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
- Muscle pain, burning, twitching, or tightness.
- Low pain threshold or tender points.
- Draining fatigue.
- Trouble concentrating and remembering, called “fibro fog”
- Insomnia or not sleeping well.
- Feeling nervous, worried, or depressed.
Ayurvedic Treatment of Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a complicated disease, and there probably isn’t a single cause, Dr. Abraham says. Still, most fibromyalgia experts agree that neuroinflammation and related brain changes are important factors in the illness.
Unfortunately, people with fibromyalgia are still sometimes told it’s all in their heads. The inflammatory evidence shows that’s half true — the answer might lie in patients’ brains, but not in their imagination.
New research findings might also point toward new treatments: Some people with fibromyalgia have seen their symptoms improve after taking medications that target neuroinflammation, Dr. Abraham says.
Home Remedies for Fibromyalgia
Getting enough sleep is crucial for managing the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Being well-rested helps combat the fatigue that accompanies the condition.
Practices that can help people get good-quality sleep include:
- minimizing daytime naps
- going to bed and waking up at the same time each day
- limiting light and noise at bedtime
- avoiding screen time just before sleeping
- leaving 2–3 hours between eating a heavy meal and going to bed
- avoiding alcohol and coffee before sleeping
A 2017 review trusted Source found a clear link between fibromyalgia pain and poor sleep quality. The researchers called for the development of sleep strategies to help people with fibromyalgia.
Some people with fibromyalgia may find exercising difficult at first, but building up gradually and persisting can bring benefits. As muscle strength builds over time, pain and discomfort should decrease.
People with fibromyalgia should speak with a doctor before starting an exercise regimen. A physical therapist can help set up a suitable program.
A Cochrane systematic review concluded that doing regular aerobic exercise, including swimming, walking, or cycling, is likely to improve health-related quality of life for people with fibromyalgia. It may also lead to better physical function and reduced pain, fatigue, and stiffness.
A neurological study found that a 15-week exercise program partly reversed an unusual type of brain activity that affects people with fibromyalgia when the brain is at rest.
The participants also reported a decrease in symptom severity, although there did not seem to be a link between the two factors.
People with fibromyalgia can tire more easily than people without the condition, and it is important to rest when necessary. Trying to do too much exercise or too many activities can increase pain and fatigue, so moderation is key.
By pushing themselves too hard when they are feeling fit, people may trigger more days when they feel unwell.
Eating a balanced and healthful diet, exercising, and reducing the use of caffeine, alcohol, nicotine products, and illegal drugs can help reduce stress and improve mood.
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)Trusted Source, scientists have been investigating the effectiveness of dietary supplements in relieving fibromyalgia symptoms.
These supplements include:
- vitamin D
- S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAMe)
Some people also recommend using topical products containing capsaicin, which is the substance in chili peppers that makes them hot.
However, more evidence is necessary to confirm that these are effective.
People should check with a doctor before using any supplements, as these can sometimes interact with other medications or have adverse side effects.
Many people report that stress makes their symptoms worse. Studies have identified links between trusted sources between psychological distress and fibromyalgia.
Suggestions for managing stress include:
- doing yoga and other types of exercise
- journaling or other hobbies
- keeping in touch with friends and family as much as possible
- joining a support group for people with fibromyalgia
The CDCTrusted Source state that reducing stress through yoga, massage, and meditation may help people with fibromyalgia.
They also note that cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can help people change the way they think about their pain and stress factors, which may help them manage their symptoms.