Fibromyalgia

  • Medical Author:
    Catherine Burt Driver, MD

    Catherine Burt Driver, MD, is board certified in internal medicine and rheumatology by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Driver is a member of the American College of Rheumatology. She currently is in active practice in the field of rheumatology in Mission Viejo, Calif., where she is a partner in Mission Internal Medical Group.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Fibromyalgia Overview Slideshow

Quick GuideFibromyalgia Causes, Diagnosis, Symptoms & Treatment

Fibromyalgia Causes, Diagnosis, Symptoms & Treatment

Are there any home remedies for fibromyalgia?

The non-medication treatments for fibromyalgia are the cornerstone of treatment of the syndrome. These are education, stress reduction, improving sleep, and exercise.

Does diet or exercise affect fibromyalgia?

Exercise is a cornerstone of fibromyalgia treatment. As discussed above, the exercise program should include stretching, strengthening, and aerobic exercise. There are no foods that have been shown to improve fibromyalgia. As patients with fibromyalgia frequently suffer from irritable bowel syndrome as well, these patients should avoid foods that aggravate the bowels. A healthy diet of vegetables, fruits, lean protein, and whole grains that is low in sugar and low in processed food and saturated fat can be generally beneficial.

What is the prognosis of fibromyalgia?

The overall mortality is not increased in patients with fibromyalgia, and it is not an organ-threatening disease. However, many patients with fibromyalgia continue to suffer from chronic widespread pain for years. Once the diagnosis is confirmed, many fibromyalgia patients find their overall sense of well-being and their pain improves to more moderate levels with the treatments discussed above. There are some patients who experience a dramatic reduction in pain with changes in their life to reduce stress. However, these patients are always at risk for worsening of their symptoms in the future and should maintain efforts for a healthy lifestyle, including sleep hygiene, ongoing exercise, and stress management. Fibromyalgia patients have a higher rate of disability than the general population, but seeking permanent disability status is generally discouraged because it frequently leads to worsening of symptoms.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/10/2015

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