Sometimes aging and fibromyalgia itself can have overlapping symptoms. It is important to learn how to better control symptoms, and keep them from getting worse to maintain a better quality of life.
We live in a physical body that is vulnerable to many things, we cannot control everything, but we know that using the right approach with fibromyalgia will make a tremendous difference in how well we age, and our long term prognosis.
As you know, a better quality of life is one of our main goals and has been from the very beginning. No matter where you are at, you deserve the best quality of life possible.
When living with a complex condition like fibromyalgia and its primary co-conditions, you might go through phases where you feel like it is getting worse. We have to remember though that there can be many variables, including other conditions and even aging itself. Basically, we cannot attribute everything to fibromyalgia.
What can happen as we age with fibromyalgia, is that some of the symptoms of aging can overlap with some of the symptoms in fibromyalgia itself.
* Memory Loss/ Fibro Fog .
We know that one of the hallmarks of aging is memory loss and lack of concentration or focus. The same goes for fibromyalgia. This is why it is essential that we create our own individual brain health plan for prevention and improvement of symptoms.
If you've been living with fibromyalgia for quite some time, you know that insomnia can really increase pain and symptoms. Most people with fibro will say this is one of their most debilitating of symptoms and rightly so, it affects every system of the body when we don't get restorative sleep. Also, as people age, they may tend to go through phases where sleeping is difficult or they find they are waking earlier without enough sleep to regenerate their body.
* Pain in muscles and joints
As we age, we are more susceptible to muscle atrophy and joint issues such as osteoarthritis. Just like with fibromyalgia, this presents another reason to stay as conditioned as possible.
* Trigger points that occur around muscle and connective tissue due to traumas, injuries, surgeries, repeated injections, etc. sustained over a life time.
Trigger points are not unique to fibromyalgia, anyone can have them and many people do. The idea is that many trigger points can be latent until some trauma or injury occurs to the body, allowing them to “come out of hiding.
* Tender areas around the neck, back, and vulnerable areas of the body.
Tender areas are more unique to fibromyalgia. However, these tender areas of the body tend to occur in areas of the body that become more vulnerable as we age, such as the neck, upper and lower back, and extremities.
* Leaky Gut or Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome is very common to those with fibromyalgia. It just so happens that the gut and leaky gut specifically can also be a symptom of aging, especially with years of eating a standard diet that may cause microscopic tears in the lining of the GI tract.
Just like I mentioned above regarding Leaky Gut, we tend to have more nutritional deficits as we get older. Malabsorption of nutrients is not uncommon. Here in the supplement article, we talk about a few primary supplements that can help benefit us when living with fibromyalgia. These are not fixes, this is foundational support. I like to focus on the additive free multi vitamin and the Vitamin D3 emulsion myself.
Also check out Nutritional Tips article for breakfast, lunch, and dinner ideas.
As we age with a chronic illness, our bodies tend to experience various kinds of stressors. Sometimes you may wonder is a symptom is due to stress, aging factors, or just the illness itself. Either way, it is essential that we implement ways to better control stress on the adrenals and thyroid. These two glands work intimately together, and when one is stressed, the other knows it. (Learn more here...)
1. Follow the suggestions for dealing with aging with fibromyalgia listed above as much as possible. All of these have a time tested, proven track record to help us create a better quality of life.
2. Change your thought process about your conditions. Stop the 24/7 symptom talk, online OR offline, and start believing in YOUR greater magnificence. What we focus on gets bigger, that is proven, so make your focus work FOR you, not AGAINST you.
3. Remember that the website itself is not just about living better/smarter with fibromyalgia, it is about preventing other conditions that might be lurking around the corner when aging with fibromyalgia, as I like to say. This is about treating the WHOLE you, not just the fibromyalgia. That is what I do as both practitioner, trainer, and fellow fibro myself since a young age. I've worked with many different people and conditions over the years, from auto-immune, digestive diseases, to fibromyalgia and many chronic pain conditions.
4. Follow me on the fitness page, Fibro Fit People, if you like. I share not only fibromyalgia specific exercise, but nutrition and lifestyle principles as well for better aging with fibromyalgia. I also work with various levels of fitness conditioning. Whatever your age, whatever your fitness level. I share many different tools, and a different approach to living and exercising with fibromyalgia and related conditions.
I like to also focus on ways to better adapt to those many daily activities of living that can make life challenging when aging with fibromyalgia. I am talking about things like cleaning, bending, lifting, ascending and descending stairs. There are many daily activities that can be much more challenging than safe and structured exercise. Therefore, never let your challenge with daily activities determine your ability to engage in safe and effective exercise.
My video here in this article about "what works" helps us to focus on things that will help us to create a better quality of life with fibromyalgia.
5. Work with a good hormone specialist who can test and assess your hormone levels. I have found that with menopause came a great decline in all hormones. I personally take only bio-identical hormones, which are most similar to what our body makes. I take bio-identical testosterone in the morning to help balance all hormone levels and help with energy and muscle. I also take a low dose of bio-identical progesterone in the evening. A qualified hormone specialist can help you determine what your individual needs are. This is very important for energy, bone health, muscle health, and systems associated with aging.
Another area I don't want to leave out when discussing aging with fibromyalgia is the skin. Do you find that your skin is aging faster than you would like? I want to give you a few suggestions that are both effective and non-invasive.
Increasing collagen is a good place to start, but we want to do it safely and effectively when aging with fibromyalgia. Not all supplements are created equal and some can cause GI discomfort. Working as a colon therapist for many years, I am always concerned about tolerance and absorption first.
1. First, be sure you are taking adequate amounts of a good quality vitamin C . Check out my favorite C powder made from quality food grade ingredients from HealthForce. Find them online or amazon.This is essential for collagen production and for the immune system.
2. Consider making my low glycemic jello recipe detailed on the Joint Pain article. The main ingredient here is the Great Lakes pure form of gelatin. You can mold the jello in ice cube trays and simply take one or two cubes per day. A more natural form of collagen.
3. Also consider taking one of my favorite supplements for bones and collagen production called Biosil. Great for the skin and bones.
I know of at least one celebrity who recently started endorsing Biosil, and rightly so, as I have used it for years, and highly recommend it. Just 6-10 drops in water per day.