15 Mistakes Fibromyalgia Patients Make

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Everyone makes mistakes, but there are some missteps that can make it even harder to cope with fibromyalgia. Dealing with the effects of fibromyalgia (FMS) can be hard enough as it is but there are certain things that patients can do that will enhance their symptoms.

Dealing with the constant, daily pain of fibromyalgia can be tough. But the task can be even tougher if you fall into some common traps. It is important to learn what not to do in order to prevent  not needed fibromyalgia flare-ups. After all, treatment for fibromyalgia is not just in medicines. It’s a lifestyle. Learn to avoid following mistakes in order to deal with fibromyalgia in a better way.

1. Not talking about your illness

Getting sick is normal. Everyone catches the occasional cold or virus and eventually recovers, but being chronically ill is different. It’s like one day you caught the flu and never recovered. After a while, it becomes difficult to talk about: either you feel ashamed because you may not be the same person anymore, or you might not want others to think of you differently.

There are so many reasons why people don’t talk about their illness. Opening up about your hardships and triumphs is difficult. You start to mourn your old self, whoever that may have been. If someone opens up to you about their illness, there are many ways you can make it easier for them. Offering your help makes illness easier to accept and shows you care about them. For Venting, discussions, support and Q/As join our friendly community “Living with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Illness”

2. Not adapting to chronic illness

It might seem counter intuitive, but according to experts, you can live a full and meaningful life despite having compromised health. According to Copen, once you find the right doctor, medication and support, you can learn to cope successfully with your limitations as long as you remember that you’re not just dealing with your physical well-being; instead, you’re learning to cast your relationships, emotional and spiritual health and physical health in a different light. “Eventually, you adjust to a new normal.

3. Getting frustrated and depressed

Many people with chronic illness become depressed. In fact, depression is one of the most common complications of chronic illness. It’s estimated that up to one-third of people with a serious medical condition have symptoms of depression.

A chronic illness can make it impossible to do the things you enjoy, and it can eat away at your self-confidence and a sense of hope in the future. People with chronic illness often feel despair and sadness. In some cases, the physical effects of the condition itself or the side effects of medication lead to depression, too. Read More on Helping friend with depression

4. Failing to appreciate the impact of mental illness

Previously when considering pacing, people made the mistake of only really thinking about physical activities. It took them long time to realize just how draining mental tasks are for them. They were also spending way too much time on social media every day. Things like reading, writing and even watching TV are energy-draining for them. As soon as they incorporated more rest and restorative activities into their day, they began to feel better.

5. Sticking with a wrong doctor in fibromyalgia

We would all hope that our primary care physician would be able to refer us to a proper doctor to help with conditions like fibromyalgia. Believe it or not, there are physicians out there who still think that fibromyalgia patients are making up the symptoms, probably because there’s so little known about the condition. Look for a specialist, such as a rheumatologist, who focuses on fibromyalgia. Also Read An apology by the doctor to her Fibro’s patients

6. Denying that you are sick

Many patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia will visit one physician after another trying to find a different opinion. While getting a second opinion is fine, avoid a third, fourth, or more diagnoses. Stop denying your condition as it wastes precious time to find a solution. Dr. Baethge recommends reading all you can about fibromyalgia. “Education is a key,” he says.

7. Poor diet

Unhealthy diet contributes to approximately 678,000 deaths each year in the U.S. he typical American diet is too high in calories, saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars, and does not have enough fruits, vegetables, whole grains, calcium, and fiber. Such a diet contributes to some of the leading causes of death and increases the risk of numerous diseases. Read more on Fibromyalgia Diet here

8. Letting fibromyalgia get to you

Patients with fibromyalgia have to modify their lives in order to re-discover balance, joy, and stability they had before FMS came into their lives. There are many treatments, tips, and ideas that are available to them.  The main key is to not give up and settle for less. Support systems, alternative treatments, and determination will pay off in the end. You, too, can find your life again, despite fibromyalgia.

9. Not exploring alternatives

There are many alternative treatments for fibromyalgia that are not considered conventional medicine. For instance, Dr. Baethge says, “Yoga is not considered an alternative treatment for fibromyalgia. We use stretching exercises as a mainstay of therapy.”

Other forms of treatment include Warm Water Exercise,Biofeedback, Playing Video Games, meditation, Epsom Salt Bath and tai chi, Chocolates, another Chinese martial art technique. Also try Weighted blanket. If you don’t feel that your doctor is doing all he or she can to help with your symptoms, don’t be afraid to switch doctors.

10. Not reaching out others for help

Grin and bear it. It’s a phrase I tell myself all too often. After a while you just get sick and tired of telling people what is wrong. Most of the time they don’t understand it, and the other time they need an explanation. Finding a confidant is the best thing. It is best not to go through it alone. Even if you have to search for someone who truly gets you

11. Feeling guilty

“It’s reasonable to become depressed,” says Dr. Baethge. “Any normal person who hurts all the time is going to feel that way.” Don’t beat yourself up about being depressed, angry, frustrated, or scared. And feeling guilty on top of being depressed is simply going to make the pain worse.

12. Not moving because it hurts

Yoga, swimming, and walking have all been shown to be of benefit in managing chronic pain, and it’s really important for fibromyalgia. Some people even forgo medication and try to get by on exercise alone to help with pain. “They tend to do pretty well, they’re high functioning.

13. Expecting too much from medications

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved three drugs for fibromyalgia: Lyrica (pregabalin), Cymbalta (duloxetine), and Savella (milnacipran). These drugs don’t work for everyone and they come with their own set of side effects. They can also be quite expensive. Work together with your doctor to come up with a good treatment plan. This plan will probably include other forms of treatment besides medications. After all, treatment for fibromyalgia is not just in medicines. It’s a lifestyle.

14. Refuse to use off-label drugs

Off-label drugs are those medicines that are approved for one condition but are frequently given for another. Examples of this are antidepressants. Some people get dramatic relief with both older and newer generations of antidepressants. e willing to consider something that your doctor prescribes as long as you are given an explanation of the drug and understand any side effects that may occur. Ultimately, you have to decide if it is worth the risk.

15. Sugar Carving

Excessive use of sugar also flare up fibromyalgia symptoms, avoid eating sugar, as it help in easing fibro symptoms. Read more on here.

Related Article: How to handle a Fibromyalgia Flare up

Reference:

  • Nine Mistakes People with Fibromyalgia Make via health rising
  • 5 MISTAKES I HAVE MADE IN MY RECOVERY FROM FIBROMYALGIA & CFS via February Stars
  • 5 Things I Wish I Didn’t Do While Treating My Fibromyalgia and CFS via The Mighty

For support and Discussion join the group “Living with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Illness”

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