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.