Fibromyalgia Awareness Day! It’s that time of year again. What’s new? Can we cure fibromyalgia yet, but the cure remains a secret? I’ve learned a lot and I’ve shared on this subject and much more over the past 10 years.
As an overview of my decade of observations, I’ve listed below 10 Myths that persist when it comes to fibromyalgia, autoimmune, and chronic illness symptoms. Of course, there are many more I haven’t covered and I look forward to the discussion that will follow.
Yes, Virginia, I’ve Blogged about Fibromyalgia For 10 Years
You’d think there’d be nothing else to say.
But that’s never the case. Each week, I have to sift through the dozens of ideas that flit through my head and land on one to cover.
I’ve never counted (perhaps I should?) but I have hundreds of posts and articles available online. That’s not including my books and articles in print.
Doing the rough math (#NotMySkillset), as of March 2019, I’ve been blogging for more than 10 years now. Since I’ve done it weekly (only missing 3 weeks total) I can say with confidence that I have over 520 articles available on this site. I’ve also written dozens of articles for ProHealth and various other online news resources.
What this means is that I’ve written about fibromyalgia and chronic illness ad infinitum. Yes, I’ve much to say.
In honor of this year’s Fibromyalgia Awareness Day, I wanted to summarize some of the persistent myths that keep popping up in the chronic illness community chatter.
I’m breaking this post into easy-to-read chunks since it’s quite lengthy. This week, I’ve dished up some juicy ones, so enjoy Part 1 of this 4 Part series today!10 Fibromyalgia Myths - Awareness Day Click To Tweet
10 Fibromyalgia Myths that Continue to Circulate (and Perpetuate Despair)
While this isn’t a comprehensive list, it’s a good place to start. Which ones in the past did you believe to be true? Which ones do you still struggle with?
- Fibromyalgia recovery is impossible (NOTE, I did not say cure).
I know dozens of people who have turned their lives around – I’m included – to heal from, recover, and leave most (or all) fibromyalgia symptoms behind. Recovery from fibromyalgia, autoimmune, and chronic health challenges happens every day. A cure implies that all symptoms are removed never to return. In the fibromyalgia and autoimmune world, it doesn’t happen this way. Sometimes, the symptoms lift, never to return, but at others, they improve (to varying degrees) and return under certain circumstances. How many symptoms return and to what level they do varies widely as does the circumstances that make it happen.
I often mention that I’m grateful that I have fibromyalgia.
Because I hit rock bottom (nearly 20 years ago), I know exactly how bad it can be. I’m grateful that as long as I continue to stay on track with my own healing regimen, I can live 90-95% pain and symptom-free. When my life takes a skid into a ditch (stress, injury, infection, etc.) I know that some symptoms may return – but I have the assurance that only experience can provide me. I know that the return of symptoms will be temporary. As I move past the trauma or whatever it is, I know that I’ll once again be able to shake off the symptoms and get back to feeling great again.
And, for that – I’m SO grateful.
- There’s ONE cause of fibromyalgia.
This one still persists and I know why. We’ll get to the why in a minute.
The body is a complicated system. The fact that fibromyalgia can “appear” over time or even overnight should be enough of a clue to point toward this multi-dimensional issue.
We know that our symptoms reflect systemic dysfunction. We may have dysregulated thyroid function, impaired digestion, and an over-stimulated stress response. We may be super-sensitive to sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and even touch. All of these responses point to a systemic issue. The Central Nervous System is unhappy and from that, every system of the body has the propensity to malfunction to some degree.
The reason why there continues to be healers, researchers, and professionals telling us that there’s ONE cause, is to try and sell the notion that there’s one main thing that’s “broken” in the fibromyalgia and chronic illness body.
Whether it’s an outside influence (latent infection, infections/pathogens, injury, toxic exposure, traumatic event), or an inside influence (malnourishment, thyroid/hormone disruption, gut absorption challenges, etc.) there’s a lot to assess and address.
It’s not ONE thing.
You are a multi-faceted individual with challenges unique to you. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to untangle the clues that can help you to achieve wellness, but it does take focused effort and a plan.
Because it’s unique to you, the cause is not something that can be pointed to as a universal “smoking gun.” Finding YOUR CAUSES takes a unique and tailor-made approach. That’s why the ONE cause myth persists — it looks simple and easy. And, who doesn’t want that?
- There’s ONE “cure” for fibromyalgia and it’s just waiting to be discovered.
Do you remember ten years ago the health news fad about special berry juices that could “cure” disease? What about late-night infomercials talking about miraculous coral calcium? Or, the painfully long online videos touting the super endurance health benefits of ancient Aztec seeds grown in the rugged mountains of Bolivia and Peru? And, do you remember gin raisins?
Don’t get me wrong, ten years ago, these were new and interesting discoveries at the time. I’m not knocking the nutritional value. I absolutely love and recommend quinoa (a.k.a. ancient Aztec seeds) and I’ve known people who’ve benefitted in the past from micro quantities of specific potent berry juices. I tried the gin raisins myself. After all, I included a list in my book FibroWHYalgia that shared dozens of possible miracle remedies.
Miracle remedies aren’t the problem. The belief that there’s ONE fix-all is the problem. The key to understand is that while someone else may benefit from any particular nutrient, you may not. And, vice versa.
Personal research and willingness to experiment is important. And, it’s never ONE thing. Healing comes from layering nutritional support, detoxification that comes from some sort of body movement, and emotional wellness protocols (sleep, stress management, dealing with toxic relationships, etc.).
Because we’re all unique, it takes an individualized and unique approach to find what works for YOU. And, the reason why this myth persists is simple — financial gain.
There’s more money to be had to share ONE solution than many. Especially when the “many” are related to natural solutions that are often free or inexpensive when compared to a lifetime dependence on financially burdensome treatments.
It’s a challenging concept, but when we start to look at healing as a process rather than a destination, we’re miles ahead of the pack.
That’s it for 3 of the 10 Myths we’ll explore this week. Check back next Tuesday for the next installment in this month-long Fibromyalgia Awareness series! As always, if you haven’t signed up to get these emails automatically, be sure to do so in the link below (you’ll also receive my Stop Feeding Yourself Pain Guide).
Ready to read Myths 4, 5, and 6? Jump ahead to Part 2 of this 4 part series!
Then proceed to Part 3 of this series to read myths 7, 8, and 9.
And, lastly, Part 4 of this series reveals Myth #10.
Hiya just come out of hospital with worst flare and pain ever had !! I went in diagnosed with acute emphysema flare acute fibromyalgia flare trauma to ribs right flank acute antiphilisopid flare. Come home with antibiotics steroids morphine liquid morphine tablets paracetamol the pain is still agony feel like I have two broken ribs and having fractured in youth know exactly what that feels like!! Any tips on getting stronger come home weak as a back breathing worse cos of pain have carers I’m normally good at bouncing back but exhausted had horrendous time at hospital as per usual for my local hospital thanks fir your great support group have just ordered s lovely wolf T-shirt . I run http://www.siluconesurvivors.co.uk fir women suffering from silicone poisoning from breast implants how I first got sick 20 years ago hoping to get lung transplant!! Been doing lots of mandalas love drawing
Dawn – I’m sorry to hear about your current flare. It sounds like the similar experiences I had with costochondritis. I know how excruciating pain can be. For now, all you can do is be kind to yourself and let your body heal from this flare. You’ve got several challenges to tackle, and I’m happy to help you determine a plan of action once you feel up to it.
Hi Sue Seems funny sue me asking for help even though I have all my health problems I’m normally giving info to my ladies on silicone survivors . Yes you guessed in case you haven’t read it yet I got all my nine Illnesses from breast implants which burst twenty years ago and now long story short I have severe emphysema abs am on oxygen 24/7 as well as cpap at night fir sleep apnea. Yes I’m will take any advice although have been in painmainly back pain from my fibromyalgia so have hot water bottle on me all day and night and have a jacuzzzi bath . Also funnily enough am a reiki healer which I use on the little things but as you prob know doesn’t work as well in yourself . I have two carers morning and night and a mobility scooter and also do drive have a lovely 4x 4 but mainly get used fir hosp visits!!lol . Carers only do ready made meals mainly as short of time any ideas welcome fed us with high doses of morphine don’t mind Oro morph !! Love dawn beaven
I’m so glad you’ve reached out and I know how hard it is to ask for help – especially when you’re the one used to being the support system for others. I’m sorry to hear about the implants, but as I’ve sure you’ve learned, it’s not uncommon for fibromyalgia and/or autoimmune challenges to be connected to surgical implants of all sorts. As you can see in Myth #2, there are all sorts of underlying causes of fibromyalgia. And, as we apply healing practices to them one by one, we can start the body on a healing trajectory. Did you ever have a phase of recovered health after your original diagnosis? A time when you felt well?
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