Apr 28 2009
Epstein Barr, the virus responsible for glandular fever or mononucleosis, has been linked to the development of fibromyalgia – a chronic, painful condition of the muscles and connective tissue.
Fibromyalgia sufferers are mainly female and report chronic widespread pain and a heightened and painful response to gentle touch. One of the most important criteria to determine whether or not you may have this disease is significant pain in very specific areas of your body, including:
- Inside of your elbows
- Your collar bones
- Inside of your knees
- Your hips
Usually these locations are symmetrical, so you’ll have pain equally present on both sides of your body. Experiencing significant pain when someone presses on those areas, on both sides, is indicative of this condition.
Other symptoms can include fatigue, sleep disturbance, anxiety, bowel and bladder problems, difficulty swallowing and joint stiffness.
Conventional medicine offers no cure for fibromyalgia, although there are treatments like medication, exercise and behavioral interventions that can reduce symptoms.
The natural approach to treating fibromyalgia is to re-balance the immune system which may have been damaged by the effects of the Epstein Barr virus. It is also vital to relieve symptoms through nutritional intervention, graded exercise, stress management and re-establishing good sleep patterns. Let’s have a look at some of these natural treatments for fibromyalgia:
The mineral magnesium is a natural muscle relaxant that is showing promising effects on the pain of this condition. It should be taken as a powder or capsule along with magnesium-rich foods like fish, avocado, raw nuts and seeds, soybeans, green leafy vegetables, brown rice, apples, apricots and grapefruit.
Malic acid is also often low in sufferers and should be supplemented. Malic acid is found naturally in fruits like apple. It often gives unripe fruit a tart or sour taste.
To help relieve the fatigue seen in fibro and Epstein Barr, vitamin C and the B complex are recommended. Anti-inflammatory foods like fish oil, zinc, ginger, turmeric, pineapple and paw paw can also help.
Restoration of normal sleep patterns is an essential part of the recovery process. Herbs like valerian, skull cap, hops and chamomile are excellent. Epsom salt baths which are naturally high in magnesium should also be taken nightly before bedtime. These baths reduce muscle pain and tension and help ensure a good night’s sleep. Gentle exercise during the day – either a walk, swim or stretching exercises can also help you sleep better at night.
Diet wise, I recommend my Epstein Barr, CFS and fibromyalgia patients follow a low carb, high protein diet based around good quality protein foods and plenty of fresh leafy greens and other vegetables. Sugar, grains and the nightshade family of foods like tomatoes, eggplant, chilli, potatoes and capsicum, should be eliminated as they can trigger pain and soreness in the fibromyalgia patient. Remember too to drink plenty of pure water – at least 2-3 litres a day.
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