Holistic Approach Treats Fibromyalgia Pain and Fatigue
Henri Roca, MD, Medical Director at Greenwich Hospital’s Center for Integrative Medicine in Cos Cob, Connecticut suggests fibromyalgia pain and fatigue could be treated by taking a holistic approach that incorporates more than just pain medications to manage symptoms of pain and fatigue. Dr. Roca says there are a variety of contributors to the disease that should all be addressed.
Dr. Roca explains the cause of fibromyalgia is not known. Focusing on balance in the body could eliminate triggers that cause diffuse pain, fatigue, bowel dysfunction and other symptoms of the disease.
“There’s not a singular reason why people get fibromyalgia,” explains Dr. Roca. “Nothing in the body is independent from anything else. We work to find the balance.” Hormone imbalance, gastrointestinal dysfunction and nutritional deficiencies could all act as triggers that decrease quality of life and interfere with daily activities for individuals suffering from the disease.
Natural ways to Relieve Fibromyalgia Pain
Dr. Roca suggests natural ways to relieve pain associated with fibromyalgia, saying the most important is to keep moving, even if it is just a little at a time. Stretching in bed, Yoga, Tai Chi and moving in warm water can relieve pain and keep muscles strong.
If you don’t want the side effects of pain medication, or if they don’t work, Roca says natural approaches that change the way the brain perceives pain can be effective. “You can learn to separate yourself from the pain rather than perceive pain as part of who you are” with techniques that include acupuncture, biofeedback and hypnosis.
Fibromyalgia, Stress, Hormones and Inflammation
There may be a combination of factors that trigger fibromyalgia pain. Taking a holistic approach to treatment includes looking at nutritional deficiencies in the diet, food sensitivity and even viral and bacterial causes of symptoms. “Stress may not cause fibromyalgia, but it can make it worse. If you have inflammation or nutrient depletion, stress will intensify it,” explains Roca.
The cause of fibromyalgia is poorly understood. Men and younger people can also be affected. Roca believes exposure to environmental toxins could be linked to the disease. The primary symptom is chronic pain that is diffuse or migrates to different parts of the body. For more information, and to listen to a September 28, 2010 podcast, visit the hospital’s website.