This is a republish of an article I wrote in 2011. I found it VERY interesting to look back on how I was feeling then. I have come so far. My stomach was killing me almost all the time then. I could hardly eat, yet I was carrying significant weight. part 2 of this Digestive Connection to Fibromyalgia is on its way……
If you have CFS or fibromyalgia, chances are pretty good that your diet or digestion has played a role in how you feel. It may seem obvious, but managing pain, fatigue, digestive issues, headaches and even depression have a direct corolation to refined carbohydrates, fats, chemicals, protein sources, sufficient vegetables and fruits and more. Even the timing of when you eat, how much you eat or don’t eat will have a huge affect on how we feel. These are all things we’ve known for some time. What I did not realize was how intertwined the digestive connection is to fibromyalgia management, depression and seratonin levels, stress, and colon motility.
I found this out the good old fashioned way…by experience! The last few weeks I’ve been through “the mill” of testing with both medical doctors, and holistic practitioners, in hopes of figuring out why the terrible pain I’ve been having on the right side of my abdomen and in my ribs for months now, could be connected to this bigger picture called Fibromyalgia, or if I have something else going on. When you have FM, sometimes there are so many issues going on with your body, that it’s difficult to separate what’s connected to your condition, and what’s totally unrelated. I must say I was reluctant to “bug” my doctor, because l wanted to be sure this was real, worth investigating and shining a light on. [click to continue…]
I was on a social site last night and read a comment from a Fibro Friend who asked: (paraphrasing)
“Does anyone else on here put off going to the doctor. Sometimes I wait too long to go, because I think I need to have a really good reason. I have a foot injury and still have not gone”
This really got me thinking about the relationships we have ( or don’t have) with our healthcare providers.
Why in world would a person feel like they should only get in to the doctor unless it was very serious? Has our healthcare system reduced us to such poor self care standards?
It really pisses me off!! To be fair, it might not be her doctor, it could be something else like this…
When I probed a little more I found out that she was reluctant to go because she was tired of being told the same thing at every appointment, and that there was nothing they could do for her. I think we can all relate to that at one point or another. Haven’t you felt that helpless feeling of discouragement, when you were first diagnosed, or were looking for help?
Listen, if a healthcare provider tells you there’s nothing they can do for you, unless they are sending you home to die and you are terminal, I would consider getting a new provider.
Something can always be done.
There’s always new things to try, both in medications, natural therapies, diet, exercise, meditation and a combination.
Taking Control of Your Body & Chronic Illness Management
Here are some ways to Empower you to take control of your healthcare. After all, who is paying who? Who is CARING for Who? Your doctor is there to take good care of you and it’s important to build a good relationship with her/him.
- Open communication. Unless you can be honest with your doctor, and feel comfortable telling her/him all your concerns, your doctor may not have adequate information to treat you with. All the blood tests, MRIs and physical exams cannot replace explaining how you feel, what your wishes are, and how you’ve been complying (or perhaps not and WHY not) with their treatment. Sometimes we are reluctant to tell the doc we stopped taking a med because of how it made us feel, or about side effects we are having because we just want to “tough it out”. Ask questions. Thats their job to make you feel better.
- Believe it or not, this one may sound a little strange but if you can take an interest in your doctor a little at every appointment, they will be more likely to feel a little friendship with you. Yes, they are taught to keep an emotional distance for their protection, but there is nothing wrong with friendly conversation about their kids, vacations, golf etc. Try it, it helps, especially with those colder bedside manner types.
- See your doctor regularly. I see mine every 3 months. Some chronically I’ll see their doc every 6 mos, and if you are going through a particularly rough time, once a month to what he or she asks. Never feel like you need a “reason” to see them. They manage our care and especially if you are on medication it’s required that you be checked out
- Get to know the doc’s staff. If you know the receptionist by name,techs, nurses by name, and take time to make them feel like more than just an employee, but a person, they will be more likely to treat you well, squeeze in an appointment etc.
- Your healthcare and medical records are yours, and depending on your state privacy laws nobody can see them unless you give permission. Your health is a confidential matter, so you can feel safe telling your doctor anything, especially when it comes to matters of depression. For God sake tell your doctor about your depression so it can be helped and monitored. Almost all chronically ill are depressed at some points.
- Lastly, you and you alone are inside your body right? So would it not make sense to take charge of its care? Let me illustrate with a short story: Back in 1989 it took me two years to find out what was wrong with me. I had been sick for several years, and there was no such thing as Fibromyalgia or CFS back then. My primary care doctor sent me to a Neurologist who put me in the hospital, and pumped me full of IV prednisone for a week. A month later I was diagnosed with MS. Me being a very busy young mother in shock, felt totally at the mercy of the docs and a bad HMO…for about 3 years. Then I began to wake up and take control of my case. I did research, looked for natural alternatives, as well as the best ways to manage my pain and stay on top of it. In 2002 I was “Un-diagnosed” from MS finally, and diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. Had I not PUSHED for that to happen, that diagnoses would still be on my medical records.
- Moral? Empower yourself with education!! Know your illness and your body and get tuned in to listening to it. Don’t let doctors push you around if it does not feel right to you. There are many ways to helps us nowadays, take advantage and be informed! Learn as much as you can about your condition to diffuse uncertainty and put you in the drivers seat.
Are you feeding your cells? There is no debate that good nutrition helps you feel better when you’re in pain, especially when your immune system is compromised.There are so many ways so get good nutrition into your body, but if you’re not feeling that great, you may not have the energy, or the forethought to prepare healthy meals and take lots of supplements. The fastest and simplest way to get LOTS of POWER PACKED nutrients into your body is with either juicing, or making your own GREEN SMOOTHIES. You might be doing this already, and if you are, I commend you!!
If you have not bought a juicer, we recommend a super simple gadget that’s budget friendly too, called the Nutri Bullet. You can pick it up at Wal Mart or go directly to the site by the same name. The Vita-Mix is the granddaddy of juicer-blenders, and does the same thing but costs 5 times the price. The difference is that you’re making individual servings with the Nutri bullet, as far as I can tell. The greens, fruit and seeds or nuts are completely liquified, but you’re getting 100% of the LIVE raw nutrients that instantly feed your cells!
I never thought GREEN Smoothies could taste so incredibly good! We’ve (the family) been making them for breakfast for about a week, and I can totally tell the difference in my energy levels, and weight loss. Yes, we have done healthy shakes for years, which have mostly been protein drinks. I decided to do a little research into exactly why green smoothies are so good for you. [click to continue…]
I am beginning to feel the warm shine and embrace of happiness again. I have not been able to say that for many months. I feel true DESIRE for something positive for the first time in a long time. I want to LIVE, and I want to be WELL. It feels so good to feel a creative spark of any kind right now. Be it little, I am grateful for any feelings of desire to take care of myself and feel deserving of a healthy, happy life again!
The relentless chronic pain of Fibromyalgia and its accompanying depression can take you down into a dark hole. It’s one that you feel like you might not have the strength to ever climb out of.. ever. (most days). After all I have been through since 1988, I never thought I would get back here, but I did. Over the years, life has been a series of many more good days than bad days, and for that I am eternally grateful to God. I took control of this nasty condition early on, and learned to manage it through the mind-body connection coupled with a host of trial and error natural and traditional methodologies.
I was on the best run of feeling really well for 4 years straight from January 2007 to Fall 2010, and thought I had “turned a corner”. I had found the things that helped me feel better, and the things that I needed to avoid. I still fought with migraine headaches, and a few not so good days, but for the most part I was a completely different person compared to the woman who was walking with a cane in the early 90’s, and being shown a very bleak future by doctors. [click to continue…]