How do you deal with the pain of Fibromyalgia when you’re allergic to most of the Pain Medicines?

My 16 years of experience facing Fibromyalgia and 30 years of CFS

Pain medications taken too often can lead to a pain cycle, where every time you take an analgesic, the pain will come back sooner and stronger. Once you are there, you have to stop all painkillers completely. I just had my cycle restarted by a week in the hospital where they gave me Tylenol every 6 hours. That’s a whole bottle of Tylenol in a week, and it was completely unnecessary. Now I am suffering the consequences.

People with Fibromyalgia find relief with gentle exercise. If you have CFS with your Fibro, that’s a different story. But for “just” Fibro, go for low-impact activities. Swimming/aquafit is the best thing you can do for your body if you have any sort of joint, muscle, or soft tissue problems.

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Fibromyalgia has a flare/remission pattern like many autoimmune diseases (although it is technically not one….yet), so when you are flared, do as little as possible. Don’t be afraid to ask people for help or even get community nurses to come to help you through the worst of it.

Other things that help:

  • Remove all toxic people from your life – also from social media
  • Reduce stress as much as humanly possible (I stopped watching the news long ago – especially political)
  • Don’t push yourself. If your body says it’s done, respect that and go lie down
  • You have a certain amount of energy each day. Plan accordingly by spreading your errands and chores out.
  • Don’t be afraid to nap. Our bodies heal when we sleep.
  • Get a TENS machine for those stubborn muscles in your shoulders. Just make sure to keep it on low, no matter how good it feels at the time. If you crank it up, your body will ding you for it the next day
  • Try not to rely on sugar or caffeine too much. These cause spikes and crashes in your energy levels, which actually reduce the amount of energy you can spend in a day. It’s hard though.
  • Do your research. Read scientific medical studies, research medications. Use logic. Avoid any website that uses the terms “leaky gut” or “homeopathic“, or claims to be able to cure Fibromyalgia. It is not cureable. It can, however, be sent into remission, where your symptoms will be minimal. This is done through stress and energy management.

Work with your doctor. There are many non-painkiller medications that can help, although most doctors wouldn’t think to use them for Fibro.

When I had a bad flare a year and a half ago, I asked my doctor about something to turn my immune system down, so I wouldn’t be so reactive (I have an undiagnosed autoimmune/autoinflammatory condition as well, which has caused a lot of allergies on top of the Fibro / CFS).

This question made her remember something from another patient. As a result, I got prescribed Doxepin, which suppresses the immune system and is also the strongest antihistamine known (bonus). I haven’t had a serious Fibro flare since I went on it. Everyone’s Fibro is different so this may or may not work for you. But it is always worth asking.

Someone suggested CoEnzyme Q10 which has helped a lot with my pain. It doesn’t help everyone. Other supplements are similar.

You need to find what works for you, but please do not take any supplements without speaking to your doctor first. They can screw you up as easily as they can help. Your doctor will probably want to monitor your bloodwork to make sure you don’t develop any imbalances due to supplements, and some of them may not be suitable for your particular form of Fibro.

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1 Response

  1. Lori K Todd says:

    Not everyone with Fibromyalgia goes running to the medicine cabinet when the first sigh of pain occurs. I’ve had fibro for at least 30yrs and when the pain starts to come on I don’t start sprinting for the medicine cabinet. I’ve got fibro with a whole slew of other medical problems and I also know when I’ve done too much but “want to get this last little bit done”. Yes I do have to take my meds because the pain goes clear to the bone, and exercise is a huge help. But I also know when too much meds is too much and to back off. Everyone should know that, and I often don’t take the prescribed amt. Does that mean well you don’t need that much because you must not be in that much pain. Hardly! Along with fibro I’ve got bone on bone on my left knee and the right one isn’t too far from it, and back pain that’s insanely intense! I’m not going to go into the other symptoms I’ve got. It’s people taking too many meds that have doctors stopping pain medication because people aren’t taking it as prescribed. They’re taking it like it’s out of style or selling it. I’m done with my rampage, but people shouln’t be taking so much. It’s not healthy for anyone.

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