Fibromyalgia- identifying some of the key symptoms

10 October 2018  |  Editor

Prior to 1980, fibromyalgia was called fibrositis, as it was believed that inflammation in our connective tissues was causing the characteristic, widespread pain associated with this condition. Post 1980, the name changed to fibromyalgia as the conclusion was drawn that there was no such inflammation present, and instead the condition was a 'centralised pain state' and our central nervous system was the root cause.

However, regardless of the technicalities, most practitioners aren't convinced that some degree of low grade inflammation isn't involved and, regardless of the official standpoint, the main aim should be to focus on reducing the symptoms that trouble our clients most.

Generally, the main symptoms that affect those suffering from fibromyalgia include:

  • low mood or anxiety,
  • fatigue,
  • troubled sleep and compromised digestion.

By focussing on key nutrient support, using bitter herbs for the stomach and liver or calming herbs to support our mood and ability to sleep, we can often have a good go at managing many of the most distressing symptoms.

Fibromyalgia- identifying some of the key symptoms

Diagnosing fibromyalgia can be a tedious process. There are no definitive blood tests and you may already have been back and forward to your doctor many times, to no avail. In order to diagnose it, a number of other conditions must firstly be ruled out, which is made more complicated by many of the symptoms being shared with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and the menopause.

In the meantime, in order to help guide you in the right direction, some of the common symptoms of fibromyalgia to look out for include:

  • Widespread muscle pain, spasms or tightness
  • Fatigue and an intolerance to exercise
  • Disturbed sleep or waking feeling unrefreshed
  • Poor memory and concentration
  • Teeth grinding
  • IBS symptoms (e.g. bloating, abdominal pain, alternating bowel habits)
  • Urinary changes such as increased urgency
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Sensitivity to changes in temperature, light, strong odours and noise
  • Muscle or joint stiffness
  • Numbness or tingling of the extremities, such as the hands, feet and limbs
  • Anxiety or low mood

You will have had the majority of these symptoms for at least 3 months, and experience pain in at least 11 of the 18 'trigger points' associated with this condition.

Top product picks for Fibromyalgia

With a formal diagnosis taking an average of 5 years, treating the most problematic symptoms is often a good place to start, rather than waiting on an official diagnosis.

Some key product recommendations include:

Atrosan Devil's Claw (see product)

Atrosan Devil's Claw is a licensed herbal remedy for the symptomatic relief of rheumatic pain, muscle aches and joint pain. Devil's Claw works as a natural anti-inflammatory and can be used to help manage more widespread, low-grade inflammation. lt can safely be used alongside conventional pain relief medications and is suitable for long-term use.

Atrogel (see product)

Atrogel Arnica Gel is a topical pain relief remedy. Made from fresh arnica flowers, when applied topically Arnica can help to calm aches and pain and can be used in combination with oral pain relief medications or remedies. lt is not contraindicated with any drug medication.

Milk Thistle Complex (see product)

Digestive disturbance (especially concerning the liver) and conditions such as fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue often go hand. Our Milk Thistle Complex combines artichoke, dandelion, boldo and peppermint to help give your client's stomach and liver some much-needed support.

Magnesium (see product)

Magnesium is an important element when it comes to support for those with fibromyalgia. Magnesium levels can easily become depleted with a lack of fresh foods, heightened stress and with the use of medication. Magnesium is important for supporting our mood, nervous system (including pain perception}, and the proper functioning of our muscles and joints.