Besides pain, anxiety and mental “fog,” fibromyalgia patients may also suffer from chronic fatigue symptoms. But natural remedies can go a long way toward restoring lost energy. Here’s an expert guide to what really works for Fibromyalgia fatigue...
1. Energy-Boosting Supplements
Three supplements – B vitamins, magnesium and D-ribose – can help your body gain lost vitality. Making sure you have adequate levels of these nutrients can provide a significant boost in energy.
B vitamins - Food needs to be converted to energy for your body to run. B vitamins help build energy molecules – especially after a Fibromyalgia flare-up, when fatigue is likely to be at its worst.
You can also boost the B-vitamin intake in your Fibromyalgia diet from food, including fish, poultry, meat, eggs, dairy products and whole grains, as well as leafy green vegetables, beans and peas.
Magnesium: This essential mineral is also key to producing and maintaining your body’s energy stores. Low levels can disrupt sleep, a problem suffered by 80% of fibromyalgia patients. At the same time, chronic sleep problems can further reduce magnesium levels in cells, according to a 2004 Japanese study.
You can get magnesium through food, which means your diet should include nuts (almonds, cashews and peanuts), seeds, legumes (beans and peas), whole grains and green leafy vegetables such as spinach.
D-Ribose: Supplements of this sugar, which the body produces naturally, are favoured by body-builders because it fuels muscle cells and boosts energy.
2. Vitamin D
Vitamin D deficiency is common in Fibromyalgia patients because they often avoid sun exposure. The body makes Vitamin D from sunlight on the skin – but outdoor activities such as walking, running and gardening often bring on Fibromyalgia pain.
3. Omega-3 fatty acids
The essential fatty acids DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) – known as omega 3s – help reduce inflammation. That can decrease flares and reduce symptoms, including pain and fatigue, of Fibromyalgia.
Oily fish such as tuna, salmon and sardines are your best food source of omega-3s.
This ancient Chinese healing practice is one of the newest ways of easing chronic fatigue symptoms in Fibromyalgia sufferers.
Acupuncture balances the energy that flows through the body and supports its physiological processes, including blood circulation, nervous system operation and immune function.
What’s more, it triggers the release of the body’s natural painkillers. That means you spend less energy fighting pain.
Mindfulness is a form of meditation that involves staying in the present moment – improves quality of life for those living with Fibromyalgia.
Not only is it relaxing, but it helps stave off stress and depression, both of which can cause Fibromyalgia fatigue.
Here’s how to get started:
- Sit in a comfortable, quiet spot in your house or office.
- Clear your mind of all thoughts (forget about your pain, kids, errands you need to run) and let a sense of calm take over. If you notice thoughts intruding, gently put them aside and refocus
- Be patient. It takes weeks, or even months, to learn how to shut out distractions.
This flexibility-enhancing practice shows promise in the fight against Fibromyalgia symptoms, including fatigue. It’s a good way to gently stretch your body, loosen up tight muscles and joints and ease stress.
Start slowly, with just one or two simple poses every day
Do each for about five minutes, once or twice a day , or any time you need a little ‘pick-me-up'.
7. A good night’s sleep
You’d think that because you’re so exhausted, getting enough sleep would be easy. But 80% of Fibromyalgia sufferers encounter poor sleep. That’s because they have a brain-wave pattern typically seen in awake people.
The pattern, called “alpha intrusions” or “alpha abnormality,” could prevent you from sinking into the deep sleep stages needed to feel refreshed.
The problem starts in the autonomic nervous system, which controls your body’s involuntary processes such as breathing, heart rate and digestion, with help from the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS).
For Fibromyalgia sufferers, the sympathetic nervous system – which helps mobilise the body under stress is in overdrive and often stays dominant, even during sleep.
To get a good night’s sleep:-
- Set a schedule and keep a regular sleep schedule
- Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol
- Have a relaxing bedtime ritual
- Sleep until sunlight
- Don't lie in bed awake
- Control your room environment and temperature
- Darken your bedroom — completely