Fibromyalgia and Weight Management

hi Sara... For me with cfids ( cfs/me) fm and osteo arthritis, degenerative disease of the spine) short list !! lol. First to tell you before illness ( 28ish years ago) i studied ballet, and dance and exercise were a huge part of my daily life. Since illness and meds i put weight on my small petit frame. since i am not able to exercise i had to get my weight down with diet alone. So i am very conscious of what foods i eat and the portions as well. Since i am now able to eat lots of produce which i could not for many years do to IBS-D i am back to all that vegetarian fare. I do eat some lean meat , fish and chicken. I am not a vegetarian as i once was for 10 years. I do plan what i will eat each day and how and who will shop and prepare. My husband takes part in this so that is helpful as well. The first time i did this i took off and kept off 33 unwanted pounds. Some months back i went on lyrica and in a minute i put on 28 lbs. I got off that drug and doing better with my diet regime. i got most of that weight off. I am not sure if my appetite increased and i could not control it but soon as i got off that drug i went back to my better self.. I dont know that any foods help me or not as far as pain and fatigue go.. For me i try to eat the healthiest way possible, drink lots of water daily. Dont think i am on some deprivation diet cause i am not. Just changed around some foods and i do enjoy what i eat. Well thats about all i can say for now. all the best to you finding your best way to live your life... HUGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGS

Suzie

Thank you for the advice. I emailed my PCP today about B12 shots and he stated I could make an appointment to come in and see the nurse to have it administered. He also reccomended I take B12 capsules as well. I'm definitely going to try this. I do know that my iron is very low, which can affect energy level as well. I'm in the process of staring a vitamin regimen to include COQ10, Iron, Vitamin D and B12. I am on birth control and another medication that causes weight gain. My doctor suggested that I get a non hormonal IUD, but I'm already in enough pain and I have researched the procedure. IUD's aren't usually reccomended until after your first baby because it can be very painful to have one placed if you haven't had a child, which I haven't. Not to mention, the extra pain that might come with the procedure due to the FMS. I went on Weight Watchers six months before my wedding in February 2013. I lost 55 lbs and I felt a lot better. I'm just not physically or mentally able to commit myself to that right now. All my mental energy goes into getting through the day and dealing with the FMS symptoms. There are definitely ups and downs, but I feel like I have been in a down for almost a year.

Thank you, I will definitely try some of those foods and see if it helps. My hubby and I recently took a trip to Oregon with family. My Aunt in law is a cancer survivor and only eats hormone free, organic meats and veggies. We were there for 5 days and I really saw an improvement in my pain levels. Unfortunately, I am on a limited budget, but I know I can do a better job of eating than what I'm doing now. Part of the struggle is, food provides me comfort and happiness away from the FMS. It gets my mind off of how I'm feeling, but it has negative effects on my body. My hubby and I have contemplated buying a hot tub that I can float and relax in. We just don't have the budget to do so right now. What improvements have you noticed from the ginger and green tea specifically (areas of pain improvement, energy level)?

Thank you Suzie for the kind words and encouragement.

I'm definitely trying to change my lifestyle and the way I view myself in regards to the FMS and Arthritis. I know that diet is a huge part of FMS and how we feel. I think I have a negative view of changing my diet because the first specialist I saw put me on an elimination diet, and it was horrible. I cried, I was hungry and I wasn't happy. I think the drastic shock of that experience still affects me and I'm resistant. I go through phases where I think, "I just want to be normal and eat what I want without any pain, fatigue or issues"; but I know that we aren't normal and it takes a holistic approach to feeling better. I think I'm on the right path by joining this site and having a community of support, but I need to have more faith in myself that I can do this.

!!! You can do it, yes you can!!! If you can't do it no one can !!!

Remember the little train that could!!! To climb the hill, he said to himself "I think I can, I think I can"

I can tell if I haven't had my ginger, I get achey & sore. The ginger smells like lemons & has a distinct flavor. It is an anti-inflammatory which helps w/the pain. The tea cleans out my system & it keeps me hydrated, there are other things but I cannot remember right now.

I understand about the tight budget, that is why I have tried the food way because I cannot afford the vitamin store way. M

i have cfs/ME so thats why im inable to exercise plus the fibro

Sara, just fyi when you go to buy CoQ10, look for ubiquinol which is the more active form of coq10. And when buying Vitamin D, I just mistakenly got 1000IU capsules, instead of 5000IU like my MD advised, so check with you doctor on dosing because there is so much variety, even with ubiquinol too. As far as birth control, I went off my birth control (I was using nuvaring), because I am not planning to “get busy” with the pain anyway and its one less thing modifying my body. Its funny, we are both at the same point in decision making! Hope my perspective helps.

Great advice Suzie! I am so glad to hear you were able to lose the weight you gained on Lyrica. So far I have gained 25 pounds and am looking to titrate off the medication soon. That gives me hope. Also, about the water, drink a lot of it because it helps clear the lactic acid which is theorized to not be metabolized efficiently from muscles and results in more pain. Maybe? I have found when I hydrate and drink tea with ginger I feel so much better. Its part of my morning and nightly routine. hugs :slight_smile: And thanks again.

Thanks for the tips! : ) At this point in time, going off of my birth control isn't an option for me. If I'm off of it, I get really bad PMS and my mood is affected greatly about 5 days before my cycle with depression. Being on the birth control also helps control my cramps and I definitely do not want a baby at this point in time. I agree that it would be one less thing affecting my body, but severe cramps, PMS and a baby would also be a huge transition. Thanks for the input, it is appreciated.

Sara

Thanks for the support Luna! It is much appreciated : )

For sure I feel this way, probably like most of us. I would love to be able to work out again. I used to lift weights 3-4 times a week for 2 hours a session and run 4-6 miles on the opposite days. I miss it very much. I had to stop this in my early 30's. I am now 51. I remember having to walk by my weight room in my house and feel even more depressed looking at all the equipment I used to use. Finally I got it out of the house and sold it. About 10 years after that I was able to slightly lift weights, I worked up to 20lbs dumbbells and was able to do a about 1/2 hour twice a week. That lasted a few years but now nothing again. It makes me mad, as I really miss it. I get the same comments, I am 30 lbs over weight. I'd love to exercise again. Even light stretching really hurts. I have to now use all my energy just to be able to hold down a full time + job. And that's about it. I am getting to the point where I know I won't be able to work soon. My goal was when I first started with Fibro was that if I could continue to work until my children are grown and out of the house I'd be a happy man. Well they all have been out of the house for a little over two years now. So it's just me to take care of right now. But if I do shoot for disability I do it when I'm ready.

I also experience a lot of fatigue now because of heart disease on top of it all and liver dysfunction, which causes severe fatigue.

I need to find a 9-5 job. Right now it is 8am-10PM 6 days a week most of the time. And travel about 2 weeks a month on average, sometime 5 months every week in a row. That really causes fatigue and it's tough to recover from.

As for vitamins and supplements I do take a lot of supplements. I think it helps. I know I'd be a lot worse off if I did not take them. And maybe if I did not take them I would not be able to work any longer. I like my work, can't stand the job and the politics that's more stress than the long hours

Fibro Hugs.

Bobby

Thanks for the reply Bobby : )

It sounds like your job schedule and demands are very stressful. I can relate there. I love my job too and cannot image giving it up, but some days I'm unable to do it. Like you, before the illness, I was very active. I would be up and about, all around and live on 2-3 hours of sleep and do it all over again the next day. That hasn't happened for many years. I was diagnosed in 2010, but experienced symptoms before that. It took several doctors, specialists and tests to finalize the diagnosis after many, many months of waiting to find out what was wrong with my body? I wish you luck on finding a 9-5 job and wish you happiness in wherever life leads you in that endeavor.

Sending support and good thoughts your way,

Sara

In mid 2012 it got to the point so that I couldn’t work anymore, I could barely function at all. I applied for SSDI, which I was awarded, and I began the journey of learning to be a new me. In no way am I happy with the new me, but I’m finding its a really slow work in progress.
After extensive research, I was able to put together a very comprehensive supplement regimen. I also have adapted my diet through much trial and error. A very healthy diet is highly recommended for battling fatigue & helping you not gain any further weight. I also put on many unwanted pounds during my nightmare with lyrica & gabapentin. Turns out I cannot tolerate the usual FDA approved antidepressants, they make me psychotic & suicidal, so that really sucked.
I now take pain meds, soma, & requip (sparingly on those pain meds as they have been known to increase my fatigue).
I am also fortunate to have been able to get a local gym membership where I can stretch & swim in the indoor warm water pool & use the whirlpool. Sometimes, tho not often, I am able to use the elliptical for a few minutes too.
I have also rediscovered a couple of easy activity hobbies that help me stay focused & feel like I’m accomplishing something.
I spend all day just trying to feel well enough to not kill myself. Some days are better than others & it’s a real hassle sometimes, I would certainly rather just lay in bed. But I have to remember to keep hope because of my lovely children, my supportive husband, & my awesomely evil puppy (he’s a Doberman & just has an evil sense of humor). They need me no matter how broken I feel. And I know how it feels to have a broken parent give up hope, my mom had MS before she “passed”.
I also employ some yoga, meditation, naps, & other slow & gentle stretches & activities to help keep that terrible stiffness at bay.
I know my lifestyle is not possible for everyone, but my real advice is really just to do your research & to not be afraid to try different things to help yourself. And to communicate your goals & needs to those around you & create a support team that will help & give you honest feedback.
Good luck & remember that you’re not alone

Good post! I have gained weight as my symptoms have worsened. I am also having trouble losing. I keep thinking I might feel a bit better if I wasn’t carrying the extra pounds.

Sara,



One of the posts in this thread talked about birth control. I have been getting “Depo” shots every 3 months for well over 10 years and there is no weight gain side effects. I have suffered from endometriosis from a young age and in Canada, this Depo shot is a means of keeping the monthly suffering in check. Meaning no more Mr. Monthly and no more debilitating pain. I asked my doctor about the side effects of being on this medication and she said bone density loss was the only possibility. I’m 45 and my bone density is still at normal levels. This shot is not for everyone as there is no way to reverse it once it is in your system and if you plan on having kids, you need to be off the shots for over a year to ensure no side effects during pregnancy. I never wanted children so it is great for my situation. I watched my mother suffer through her 30’s and 40’s and now my younger sister is considering having a hysterectomy due to all the pain she is going through. I thoroughly recommend this option to anyone who suffers from extreme monthly pain and is not considering having kids in the near future.



When I started medications with my FM, I started on Lyrica. I gained 30 pounds in 2 months. Cymbalta just gave me bad dreams. I then went on Savella and gained another 5. Today, I am off all FM meds (listed here) and feel no worse off. The pain is the same. I have found a FM specialist in Houston, Texas who has hundreds of FM patients. She checked my blood and found my glutathione and ATP levels were very low. I now have started ATP/B12 shots weekly. We will see if it helps with my fatigue and lowers my weight.

Kas

I understand your frustration with weight. My body acts like I sit on a couch and drink Pepsi and eat bags of Cheetos all day. This could not be further from reality. I eat healthy, only have one cup of coffee a day, and no soda of any kind. I never eat out so I control how my food is prepared. I drag myself out of bed everyday and go to work. I move around quite a bit but this level of activity is simply not enough to burn the weight I have gained. Since I am currently suffering from migraines on a daily basis, it makes it that much harder when I get home to do anything else. Sorry I cannot be of more help but I wanted you to know that you are not alone.

I have had the same experience with water helping my pain level. If I become even slightly dehydrated my pain increases but I have never read a theory about why it works. Thanks for the info.

I have 2 tips that I use...

1. If there is a mall nearby, drive there and plan for an hour of walking. Then allow yourself to do as much (or as little) as you can... The reason for the mall is - there are regular intervals built in. experiencing pain or fatigue, just push yourself until you reach the next bench, then sit down, take a break and evaluate - is this pain new/different? maybe you need to be done for the day. Is it a "normal" pain that you'll have whether you take a break or keep walking? then maybe you can push yourself to the next bench and re-evaluate again there. It's also climate controlled so you don't have to worry about humidity, etc affecting you. If you can, take a long a supportive friend and tell him/her your plan so they can encourage you to make it to the next bench, and they can help calm you down if you are hurting - I know for me when I start hurting and am out in public, I tend to get a bit panicky. This really does work, I promise and some days you'll be able to do a lot more than you think. other days you'll be done in 15 minutes. but at least you got out and moved. that is key.

my other tip:

2. anti-inflamatory foods. Google it - there really are such things. I try to add bok choy into EVERYTHING i possibly can - even home made chicken noodle soup. It's fairly tasteless, but I can tell the next day when I've eaten it. it makes my joints ache less, therefor I am more inclined to walk more, do more.

I hope some of this helps. Hang in there!

Hello Kas,

Thanks for the reply. Just simply knowing that I am not alone and drawing strength from all the support and experiences is of great help! : ) It feels like we have to do 2x the activites/workout to get any results because of the medications, diagnosis, symptoms. And who has the energy to workout? Talk to you soon.

Sara