Are you currently suffering the symptoms of menopause? If they include symptoms like muscle stiffness and soreness, tenderness around the knees, elbows, hips and other joints, or numbness and pain in the feet or hands, then you might have the start of what is known as fibromyalgia.
What is it?
It is not a disease as such but a condition that affects the joints and soft tissue such as the muscles, and also includes fatigue typically. Additionally, it affects mostly girls, which leads many physicians to believe it might be related to menopause. The reason many physicians and many others believe that fibromyalgia is associated with menopause is that nearly all sufferers aren’t just girls, but women over age 40 (roughly 80% based on statistics). So how are they connected?
That remains to be seen, but many researchers believe that an imbalance in hormones is partially to blame, despite the fact that they can’t find proof of which ones especially as of yet. Current focus is on the brain chemicals that control sleep cycles and mood, hormones released by the adrenal glands that are sensitive to estrogen, and possibly even changes in hormones.
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This connection is probably because most women who suffer fibromyalgia are approaching menopause, have recently had a baby and are over 35 years old, and girls who have had a tubal ligation or a hysterectomy. The worst part about fibromyalgia is that there’s no cure as of yet, only remedies that may help alleviate the symptoms. Treatments vary according to varying symptoms but include specific exercises specific to affected regions, pain relieving drugs or muscle relaxants to help alleviate distress, and in some instances injections of analgesics to certain places.
There are other therapeutic treatments like massage therapy, heat treatment, and a new treatment called hydrotherapy which involves moves in the water which help with circulation and do not involve putting pressure on the joints as with other kinds of exercise. Some doctors and health experts believe diet can play a part in helping prevent fibromyalgia, eating more holistic foods which are packed with nutrients such as phytochemicals and antioxidants, as an example.
Eat more organic foods like fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, as well as dried fruits. Drink loads of water every day, which lots of individuals hear about but don’t follow through on, make it a habit. Some dieticians think that reducing your intake of sodium rich foods and completely eliminating additives such as monosodium glutamate (MSG’s) and artificial sweeteners such as Aspartame can help relieve symptoms of fibromyalgia. Recent studies reveal that the custom of eating a vegan diet might even help alleviate symptoms.