First, if you haven't read any of my previous posts about fibromyalgia, including me quitting Cymbalta cold-turkey last fall, you can find them all here.
Let me start by saying I am NOT a doctor. I am NOT saying that just because this is something working for me that you should immediately try it without researching it or talking to your physician. But because the state of health care in our supposedly advanced country is crap, and I know I, for one, cannot find insurance that will touch me (yes, I am TOTALLY in favor of Obamacare) I offer my experience up as reference if anyone else needs to look in similar directions.
For starters, I'm still not regretting quitting the Cymbalta. It had stopped working for me, and since getting off it, I've lost 20 pounds that I gained while on it.
My three prescriptions right now are:
- 10 mg cyclobenzaprine (generic for Flexeril), I take at bedtime (helps with sleep)
- .5 mg alprazolam (generic for Xanax) which was actually prescribed for flying anxiety, but I accidentally discovered it helps me if I'm in a bad flare. I don't know why, but it does. I only take it as needed, which means maybe once every couple of months.
- 10mg/325mg Oxycodone/apap which is my "safety net" drug. Meaning when on a scale of 1-10 my pain levels hit a 37, I break down and take one. Fortunately, I have not had to take one since I screwed up my knee in January. I DESPISE taking them, because there's a 50/50 chance they'll make me puke, and I hate the way they make me feel. Meaning a prescription for 60 of them has lasted me longer than the expiration date on the bottle. LOL
My daily routine with supplements is as follows:
- B-12 sublingual in the morning. (Jarrow Formulas Methyl B-12, 5,000 micrograms). Energy.
- L-5-HTP 100mg at night. (Richard's WellCare Formulas, European L-5-HTP 100 mg). Take at bedtime with the Flexeril, really helps with sleep. (Note: If you are taking any kind of prescription medication that plays with serotonin levels, you MUST talk with your doctor. Too much can cause serotonin syndrome.)
- Malic Acid with Magnesium. (KAL Malic Acid with Magnesium, 4 daily) This was recommended to me through someone in a fibro group I'm in. They are 4 horse pills, and it takes a few weeks to build up in the system sometimes and start working, so if you try it, don't give up after a couple of days. Some people report symptom improvement with a smaller dose, but play with it and see what works for you. 4 is the "daily serving" and seems to be what works for me. (If you have issues with kidney stones, you will want to be especially careful and talk to your physician about this.) I order it from LuckyVitamin.com (NAYY).
- Lecithin, 1,200 mg. (NOW Lecithin 1,200 mg). I have noticed less brain fog since taking this.
- Super Omega-3 Fish, Flax & Borage Oils. (Finest Nutrition Super Omega-3 Fish, Flax & Borage Oils.)
- Glucosamine/Chondroitin/MSM (1,500mg Glucosamine, 200mg Chondroitin, 100mg MSM). I am still trying different brands of this, and sometimes the dosage varies a little depending on the manufacturer. Joint support.
- Green Coffee Bean Extract GCA (Jarrow Formulas Green Coffee Bean Extract, 400 mg). Energy. I take this early in the day, usually with my other supplements, unless I forget to take them until after lunch, then I don't take it because it screws with my sleep.)
- One-A-Day Women's, Active Metabolism (multivitamin).
I was also taking a D supplement but have discontinued it for now because I didn't notice much difference with it. Also, as I said in an earlier post, I'm not taking a multi-B supplement because of my multi-vitamin and the B-12. So far, that seems to be working for me.
I also take C and Echinacea as needed. I use herbal teas like chamomile at night.
Something else that has helped me is fire cupping (which is actually an ancient Eastern medical practice, not just a kinky one LOL). It's like getting a really great hot rock massage in reverse, and I've used it before to break up really bad fibro knots I get in my shoulders. Of course, I've found a good slow impact play session releases boatloads of endorphins into my system and helps with pain relief in that way, too.
Another thing I've started looking into is myofascial trigger points and pain, because many fibro sufferers actually have active and severe pain trigger points. Several great books and tools from Amazon on that.
I also use aromatherapy in the form of essential oils. Have a lot of great results with rosemary, peppermint, and lemongrass. Some people also like lavender, but I'm not really a fan of that one as much for some reason. *shrug*
|Found this graphic on Facebook.|
Exercise: When I can get to the gym and spend time in the pool doing slow laps and water walking, that helps as well. As does time in their hot tub and the dry sauna. And even just slow stretching really helps out with me.
As for diet, cutting out a lot of processed foods seems to have helped as well. (Hubby is becoming an AMAZING cook and really does a great job with that.)
Again, RESEARCH. Because fibromyalgia is a syndrome of symptoms with multiple possible causes, there IS NO one right answer for everyone. What works for some might not work for others (or might even be harmful). Talk with your physician and do your research on supplements/herbals before trying any. Also, make SURE to talk with your pharmacist with a list of EVERYTHING you're taking (herbal, supplements, and prescriptions) in your hand so they can check for drug interactions.
I hope this list helps you on your quest for symptom management.