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Understanding Fibromyalgia- Part 2

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For a more in-depth discussion of this topic you can watch my Facebook livestream here.

In Part 1 of this series on fibromyalgia I talked about the symptoms and how to recognize if this could be happening to you. If you missed it, the article is here and the live stream is here.

Pain & Fatigue

Although there are other symptoms, such as brain fog, headaches/migraines and GI disruptions, pain and fatigue are the hallmark symptoms of this condition. From a naturopathic perspective, fibromyalgia arises after multiple stresses have hit one's nervous system. These stresses can be physical, like accidents, injuries, surgeries, childbirth or even dental work. Chemicals also irritate the nerves, and these chemicals can be both from our environment and our food supply. Chronic mental and emotional stress takes a toll as well. And viruses you've had in the past, either from an illness or a vaccine, will irritate and inflame the nerves.

I'm going to educate you each week about how to avoid additional stressors and how to compensate for and heal from the ones you've already had. But first, there's an essential bit you need to know.

Your improvement will not be steady

Many health conditions improve slowly and steadily, with a gradual uptrending graph. Not so with fibromyalgia. Here's how fibro heals:

OMG, I feel amazing!

                                                                          I feel great, but this is manic :-/

I feel like crap

                                Oh, no, I feel worse than ever!

As you heal from fibro, you will start to have good days and then you crash. It's SO easy to think you're back to square one, but that's not true. Hang tight and you'll have good days again (and even great days!), and they will last longer. Then can come the crash and you must realize that this is normal and not get too discouraged. Eventually, all your days will be good, although you will have to stick to the things I teach you and not fall back into bad habits like sleeping with your cell phone.

Beginning nutrients to heal your nerves

It's essential to get your Vitamin D levels up to a range of 60-80 on a blood test, not just "normal". If your doctor won't test your Vitamin D, go to Direct Labs and order it yourself. The test is called Vitamin D 25-Hydroxy. If you test below 30, take 10,000 IU of Vitamin D3 every day. If you test between 30 and 50, take 5,000 IU per day and if you hover at 50, take 2,000 IU per day. After 3 months on this dose, retest your levels and adjust your dosage accordingly. The sweet spot for optimal nerve health is between 60 and 80.

Your Vitamin B12 should be at the very highest end of normal for your nerves to function well. (You can test this at Direct Labs , too.) If you are below the normal range, take 5,000 mcg per day. If you're normal, but under 700, take 1,000 to 2,000 mcg per day. You always, always, always want to get what's called a methylated B12 and you always want methylated folate with it. When B12 is methylated, you will use it well.

Grape seed extract is an antioxidant I recommend, because it has protective properties for nerves. Take the upper end of the dosage range on the bottle.

Finally, you need a good Omega 3 fatty acid, like krill oil or a good quality fish oil. The upper end of the recommended dosage range is appropriate for this one, too.

A whole food Multi Vitamin will augment what you can get from your diet. Save your money with vitamins like Centrum or cheap ones from the discount store.

You can get all of these products at your local health food store, or you can order them from my online store and get 10% off the retail price. So that you don't have to scroll through the whole list in my online store (which lists each item in alphabetical order), here are the specific names of the supplements.

MyKind Once Daily Women or Men's Once Daily multivitamin

Grape Seed Extract 100 mg, 100 veg caps

Krill Oil 500 mg Neptune NKO 60 gels

Methyl B12 Methyl Folate (yellow label is 1,000 mcg and red label is 5,000 mcg)

Vitamin D3 1,000 IU or 5,000 IU

Final Word

More is not better! You want the right amount, not too much or too little. So, don't just randomly take heavy doses of vitamins and expect that it's ok. All these vitamins I mentioned should be fine for you, even if you're on medications. But always run this by your prescribing doctor. If you're on multiple Rx medications, it's important to check for interactions. You'd be shocked at the number of clients I've seen who were on Rx meds that had bad interactions. This is my favorite online checker, and it will even tell you about interactions with foods.

I look forward to bringing you the next part in this series! Please share with anyone you know who could benefit. If we all help each other, we can break this trend of increasing fibromyalgia cases and be the tipping point that takes this nasty condition out. Thank you!

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