extract from GeneFo.com The information brought forth in this document, does not represent official statements or views of GeneFo. As always, we strongly recommend that each person consults with their treating physician before making any changes to their medical plan.
Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of fibromyalgia, even though it is often not addressed as thoroughly as pain management. In an effort to help you better manage your fatigue, we have put together a convenient guide with useful expert advice and life hacks including conserving energy, maintaining the right posture; efficient shopping; hacks around the house (kitchen, dressing, office work..), energy boosting foods, exercise and more. We hope you find it helpful
Nutrition, Exercise & Healthy Habits
Physical exercise is one of the most commonly recommended non-drug treatments of all the strategies for managing Fibromyalgia. Muscle strength and joint mobility improves balance and postural control, giving better functional capacity for performing day-to-day activities. Consult with your healthcare team to determine the best routine for you.
● Kinds of suggested exercise
- Qigong, yoga, stretching, tai chi, and meditation appear to address FMS by promoting muscle relaxation and deep breathing. Muscle strengthening and balancing exercises
- Moderate-intensity aerobic exercises
- Flexibility exercises
- Exercise in water is highly recommended, provided the temperature Is above 28 °C (82.4°F)
- Choose a physical activity that you enjoy and that will fit in well with your daily routine
According to one study, progressive exercise three times per week in a support-group setting increased strength and function while decreasing pain and fatigue.
Source: Precision Nutrition and ADFM
A healthy diet ensures you keep your weight in check, essential for improving the symptoms and avoiding muscle and tendon overload. It is one of the most important ways you can improve your quality of life.
Mitochondria are little organelles found in every single cell within your body. They take the fuel your body provides them (i.e. nutrients from food) and convert them to energy for the cell. Many researchers suspect that mitochondrial dysfunction plays some role in Fibromyalgia as it disrupts the mitochondria’s ability to convert fuel into energy for the cells. Some nutritional suggestions for supporting and increasing mitochondria. (make sure to consult with your healthcare team)
Eat more antioxidant-rich superfoods:
Blueberries; Goji Berries; Cranberries; Blackberries; Cilantro; Kidney Beans; Pinto Beans; Russet Potatoes (cooked)
Eat More Healthy Fats:
Like Omega-3 fatty acids provide fuel for your mitochondria as well as fight inflammation that can disrupt mitochondrial function. Try incorporating these foods into your diet: Oily Fish (or take a fish oil supplement) , Nuts, Chia Seeds, Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, Flax Seeds or Flax Seed Oil
- Alpha-Lipoic Acid; Co-Enzyme Q10; Acetyl-L-Carnitine; Magnesium ; PQQ Supplement
- Vitamins: Magnesium+B6+Zinc combo
Questionable foods for fibromyalgia:
Aspartame; Caffeine; Sugar. ; MSG and sodium nitrite; Dairy ; Gluten
Source: Fibromyalgia treatment group
Hacks for Conserving Physical Energy
These tips will help you find ways to make your life easier and your day-to-day more manageable
Some cornerstones of energy conservation to keep in your mind:
- Conserve energy for the most important things to you
- Work Simplification: Principles include sitting to work as much as possible. Choose a firm surface with arm rests. Organize work areas so the bulk of activity occurs at waist height to avoid bending, over-reaching, and stooping. Instead of lifting heavy objects, slide them. Avoid strenuous arm motions. If you must pick up objects, bend your knees or squat rather than bending from your back.
Keep a good posture to prevent overloading your locomotor system:
- Change position often.
- When you have to do the ironing, washing-up or put on make-up, rest one foot on a box or stool, switching feet at intervals.
- Wear comfortable shoes with a medium height heel, between 2 and 5 cm (1 and 2 inches)
- Keep your back straight, supported by the back of the chair, with both feet touching the floor.
- If necessary, use a cushion for your lower back.
- Avoid soft seats and seats without back support. Use armrests, to make it easier to get up.
Lying in Bed
- The mattress and base should be medium-firm, to support the natural curve of the spine.
- A slim pillow is best, to prevent neck strain.
- The “fetal position” is a good sleeping choice: lying on your side, hips and knees slightly bent, with your neck and head aligned with your spine. Sleeping on your stomach is not recommended.
Getting out of bed
- It’s best to bend your knees first, turn to lie on one side, push up sideways until you’re sitting on the edge of the bed, wait a moment, and then get up gently.
Picking something up
- Avoid leaning over and bending your back; it’s better to squat, bending your knees and keeping your back straight.
- To pick up a heavy object from the floor, hold it close to your body rather than lifting it with your arms outstretched.
In the Kitchen
- Equipment that you use most often should be placed where it’s easy to pick them up, at waist-to-chest height. Use a sturdy stool to reach the top shelves in your cupboards. Leave most used items on the counter.
- Paper plates and bowls – Try to make life as easy as possible
- Put an old t shirt at the bottom and double line wastebin to avoid leaks and unwanted cleanup
- Plan one-dish meals, consider using a slow cooker, try prepared mixes and frozen foods.
- Use a wheeled cart for carrying food from the kitchen to the table and cleaning up after.
- Slide filled pots, mugs, and other containers along countertops or the stove rather than lifting them.
- When buying meat, ask your butcher to divide and cut it into portions for you.
- Put rubber bands on jars, giving you a better grip and making them easier to turn.
- When carrying your drinks place some plastic wrap over the top to avoid spilling.
- Soak dirty dishes in warm water for 20 minutes to make scrubbing easier.
- Keep a bar stool in front of your cooking and preparation area so you can sit while preparing food
- Use adhesive hooks to keep trash bags in place
- Use scissors to cut herbs and add to recipes (instead of chopping)
- Store cookie sheets, cutting boards, and pot lids in a file sorter. Save space and searching effort.
- Store leftover soups and sauces in an ice tray for easy access.
- Store products in stackable containers to avoid fumbling with multiple bags, boxes and canisters.
- If you like to make grilled cheese in one of those sandwich makers, fold parchment paper on the grill and place the sandwich inside and grill. This will save you clean up.
- Gather all of your clothes before you start getting dressed.
- Sit on a bed or a chair to dress.
- Dress your lower body first as this takes more energy. Put your underwear on, then pull it up to your knees; put your pants on, then pull them up to your knees; stand once and pull both up at the same time.
- Choose front-opening, loose-fitting clothes and clothes with elastic waistbands
- If you can’t use slip-on shoes, consider elastic shoe laces. Bring your feet up to your tie laces; footstools are helpful for this. Use long-handled shoe horns to avoid bending.
- If a limb is sore, weak, or otherwise compromised, put that arm or leg into the shirt or pants first and take it out second when you’re undressing.
- Squat in front of the washing machine to put in or take out the washing without bending over, always keeping your back straight.
- Instead of stretching up to clean windows, walls and doors, use a sturdy stool or step ladder to avoid overloading your spine.
- For cleaning at a low height, squat or kneel to avoid bending over. Keep your back straight
In the bathroom
- Sit in front of the sink for hair care, makeup, and shaving.
- Use a long-handled bath brush for your back and feet.
- Wrap yourself in a terrycloth robe rather than using towels to dry yourself.
- Sit on a shower bench and use a hand-held shower hose.
- Keep your hair in an easy-to-care-for style.
- Use a raised toilet seat and/or toilet safety rails.
- Brush your teeth in the shower
- Cut your finger and toe nails after you bathe when they are softer.
- Create a schedule – which stores to go to on what days so you are not running around wasting energy
- Split up your shopping over several days, to avoid very heavy bags.
- Use large shopping trolleys with wheels that move smoothly. The push bar should be chest height.
- If you use bags, distribute the weight evenly between both hands and avoid carrying a total of more than 4 kg (9 lbs). Carry the weight close to your body.
- If you can, take frequent breaks to accomplish tasks – taking breaks instead of pushing yourself too hard helps to make the most of your energy – Pace yourself
- Keep your ‘toolbox’ close by and organized in one easily accessible place. Basic medications like ibuprofen and tylenol, prescription medications, ice pack and hot water bottle. Keep a journal to track what you took
- Leg pillow to help with circulation
- Put rubber bands on door knobs. Giving you a better grip and making them easier to turn.
- Make a routine of preparing daily lists every evening to remember the next day’s tasks. Review the list on the morning and prioritize.
- Schedule more demanding tasks for earlier in the day.
- If you’re in a restaurant and your eating utensils are too heavy, request a lighter salad fork or even plastic utensils.
- Undershirts that have a built-in bra helps you feel secure while still not having to wear a bra that can be very painful for shoulders.
- Learn when to ask for help for things even as simple as stirring soup or switching laundry from washer to dryer.
- Rearrange the furniture so that it allows you to lean, grab or sit in almost all areas of your home
- Epsom salts for taking relaxing baths
- Surround yourself with supportive people
- Sticking to a routine can help you better manage your energy – it may be dull but it is easier to manage
- Prioritize important tasks, and delegate to others whenever possible
- Make sure to schedule sleep time and create a relaxing atmosphere
Source: ADFM ; GeneFo; The Mighty; Healthline