By Addison Johnson
Losing weight with fibromyalgia can be a struggle, but it doesn’t have to be.
In the United States, there are at least five million adults who struggle with the debilitating disease of fibromyalgia. Many of these sufferers are also overweight or obese.
Often, being overweight or obese is a symptom of the disease itself. In other words, the chronic pain, muscle aches and stiffness associated with fibromyalgia make it a challenge to stay active, and it can be difficult to shop for and prepare healthy meals with these symptoms as well. Some sufferers even turn to stress eating and general overeating because of depression and other emotional symptoms related to the disease.
But if you struggle with fibromyalgia, its important to know that you can lose weight despite the symptoms you face. You just need to get the right help and adopt the right habits. This step-by-step guide will help you navigate a healthy and effective weight loss plan while also paying attention to and dealing with the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Remember that you can reach your weight loss goals, even in the face of fibromyalgia.
Losing Weight With Fibromyalgia: The Step-by-Step Guide
1. Treat the Pain As Best As You Can
Pain and fatigue will be the two biggest things that hold you back from your weight loss progress, and pain should be treated first because it can often be the cause of additional fatigue. There are several ways to treat fibromyalgia pain.
First, remember that it’s best to treat pain with non-medication solutions. Physical therapy and massage can work wonders for many sufferers. It can strengthen your muscles and increase your range of motion. Your physical therapist may be able to teach you some self-massage methods as well.
Next, consider trying biofeedback. This is a process that helps you monitor and control your own body’s functions. It is a taught procedure that shows you how to notice changes in your body’s heart rate, breathing and pain levels in order to reduce muscle tension and pain on your own.
Acupuncture is another option for pain improvement. This procedure can improve blood flow and alter neurotransmitter levels in your brain.
Finally, if you haven’t already, talk to a reputable doctor about your options. Depending on your pain levels, they may prescribe medications to reduce symptoms. Just be sure to always follow the guidelines from your doctor. Some medications can only be taken in the evening once you’re in for the night because of associated symptoms.
2. Treat Depression and Any Emotional Symptoms
Depression is a common symptom of fibromyalgia. This is often because patients feel guilty for being so inactive and constantly in pain. It is essential to treat depression, anxiety and other mental and emotional symptoms before moving on to the other steps for weight loss because these symptoms can often hold patients back from attempting to eat right and exercise for weight loss.
First, many people who suffer from fibromyalgia will benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT. This form of therapy helps patients to identify dysfunctional patterns of thinking and develop new routines and techniques that can take care of negative thoughts.
Meditation is another way to calm the mind and release stress and anxiety. A racing mind, constant negative thoughts and other nonproductive thinking patterns are often the result of our fast-paced world. Meditation and daily mindfulness can help you slow down and clear your head.