Getting the balance right

As little is known about the causes of fibromyalgia and as currently there is no cure for the condition the best that we can hope to achieve is management of its symptoms. There are several treatment options that may help to alleviate the harmful side effects of fibromyalgia and a holistic approach that considers all these areas including; medication, physiotherapy, diet and nutrition is arguably the best approach.

Whilst this website focuses on food and nutrition, I have come to realise that I have not been “getting the balance right!” Focusing on setting up the website and creating new recipes has been a real tonic, not only because I am eating well (sometimes too well) but also in terms of my mental health, giving me a sense of purpose and direction.

However, this is not the only answer and despite eating well I still experience chronic pain and fatigue daily. Physical activity and exercise are an important part of treating the symptoms of fibromyalgia. It is a myth that people with the condition should not exercise. Although we may experience pain and fatigue, regular exercise helps to improve our body’s ability to cope with the condition.

I am also “blessed” to be burdened with an additional disabling condition called Joint Hypermobility Syndrome. On a basic level this means that I am too flexible, therefore my muscles must work harder to support my joints. The symptoms are like those associated with fibromyalgia in the fact that due to this flexibility I experience ongoing pain and fatigue. Therefore, having good core strength is almost twice as important for me. Symptoms allowing, I try to commit to at least one session on the exercise bike a week; but if I’m honest I know that I could do more. The more I do, the better I will feel.

This can be a difficult thing to embrace when living with chronic illness. The fear of feeling worse and experiencing more pain can easily prevent us from trying. However, we don’t have anything to prove to anyone, we don’t have to make a pledge to run a marathon or go swimming five times a week, just enough to make us feel a little better and more resilient. Research has proven that regular exercise and spending time with our pets benefits not only our physical wellbeing but also our mental wellbeing. Therefore, my commitment now is to go on more dog walks with my beautiful greyhound, Molly dogs. This is probably one of the best forms of therapy!

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