The Keto Approach To Fibromyalgia

fibromyalgia diagnosis

Fact Checking Review Process

The Family Health Advocacy team is committed to delivering content that adheres to the highest standards for content accuracy and reference. Articles with the “Fact Checked” stamp will adhere these standards and will be reviewed using guidelines from the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) and all the reviews conducted are subject to the AMWA code of conduct https://www.amwa.org/page/Code_of_Ethics in line with the medical industry’s best practices in health communication.

Our medical review team will ensure the following criteria is met:

1. Is it original writing? Does the article contain significant portions of plagiarized materials?

2. Are the main concepts well and clearly defined?

3. Are the articles central tenets backed by adequate evidence?

4. Are there any gaps or inconsistencies?

5. Is the writing clear and easy to understand?

6. Does it advance knowledge?

Suffering with Fibromyalgia or symptoms of Fibromyalgia? This article will concentrate on what may be the hidden cause of your Fibromyalgia diagnosis and how to heal. So, first off, do you know what fibromyalgia is?

Well, The Mayo Clinic describes it as: “A disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues.” 1

Because its symptoms can be attributed to other diseases or illnesses, it has been difficult to pin down root causes.

“Symptoms sometimes begin after a physical trauma, surgery, infection or significant
psychological stress.  In other cases, symptoms gradually accumulate over time with no single triggering event.” 1

When You Receive A Fibromyalgia Diagnosis

There are medications that have been shown to help.  Also the usual prescription of;

  • Exercise
  • Relaxation
  • Stress reduction

All of which are part of the standard of care for pretty much everything, actually.
Saying a disease or condition is caused by;

  • Genetics
  • Infections
  • Physical trauma
  • Emotional trauma

Thus, this leaves the person dealing with the disease/illness with no concrete way of preventing it.  So, getting into the causes here would be counterproductive.   ALso, it would appear that being alive is the source of 99.9% of the problem.

So consider this. First, what do we know about a fibromyalgia diagnosis that can help us if we do get it?  Furthermore, what if we want to prevent it?  Lastly, what means do we have at our disposal?

We start with our lifestyle and food choices.

fibromyalgia diet

Managing Fibromyalgia With Lifestyle & Diet

What if our choice to eat highly processed refined sugars and processed foods was a trigger for fibromyalgia?  Or if insulin resistance (caused by years of too much refined sugars/sugar intake) was the cause of fibromyalgia?

“… it did show a high association between fibromyalgia and co-existent insulin. The study then went on to show those treated with metformin, a drug that can improve insulin sensitivity, had improved fibromyalgia symptoms.”
Dr. Bret Scher 2, 3

If you bump your toe and it swells, it hurts.  Acute inflammation from your bumped toe is accompanied by pain.  Sugar causes inflammation.  If you have areas of your body that are in repair mode and sugar increases the normally expected inflammation around those areas, that can lead to pain.

Our muscles are always in a state of breakdown and repair.  If you work out, you know that you are tearing your muscles and they are getting rebuilt (hopefully bigger and stronger, or why work out, right?).

What Foods Can Trigger Chronic Pain, Fatigue, And Depression?

Sugar The Bitter Truth

If the regular inflammation accompanied by regular muscle repair is supercharged due to the inflammatory response from sugar, is it no wonder that we have muscle pain all over?
This is me conclusion based on my knowledge of the effects of a highly refined sugar diet.  But I am not out in left field especially when it comes to your Fibromyalgia diagnosis .

I consulted my friend Dr. Adam Nally, a board-certified family physician and obesity
medicine specialist.  He uses keto extensively in his practice and our 100% naturally fermented drinkable ketones. 4  He is also the author of, ‘The Keto Cure’.

“What I see clinically is at least a 50% improvement in overall general pain in fibromyalgia when a person is using a ketogenic lifestyle because of the inflammatory improvement that occurs.” 
Dr. Adam Nally, Keto Talk episode 61

There are many diseases and illnesses that have until recently been considered rare or of little interest to the medical field.  All because they occur so infrequently.  Even diabetes was rare!  So. we must begin to look at all the recent increases of illnesses and ask why they are now so prevalent.

A growing body of evidence has linked our excessive intake of refined sugars and processed foods (full of refined sugars) as the culprit.  This leads to hormone imbalances in the body, specifically insulin and the toll it is taking on our general health.

“Only a few decades ago, fibromyalgia (and its predecessor fibrositis) was of little interest or concern to either physicians or the general public.” 6

How to Improve Your Diet for Fibromyalgia Relief

Keto Diet And Fibromyalgia Diagnosis

Research on how a ketogenic lifestyle, low-carb and strict keto is ongoing by mainstream science as well as by Pruvit (the maker of the ketones I drink every day).

Through scientific study and anecdotal evidence, it is clear that getting our bodies back to the lower sugar intake of our grandparents generation in addition to eating a whole foods diet rich in vital nutrients is the way for us to reverse the trend toward being fat, sick and tired.

As Dr. Wolfe says in his book Healthy to 100;

“Fibromyalgia: Fibro mean fiber, My means muscle, Algia means pain.  This is a pain that moves throughout the body due to inflammation created by a toxic lifestyle”

So let’s get rid of our toxic lifestyle.  Drink ketones or create ketones.  Eat healthy fats, doing the keto diet or intermittent fasting.  All in order to take care of the inflammation that we can’t control.

Leaky Gut Syndrome And It’s Connection To Fibromyalgia

leaky gut syndrome

Fact Checking Review Process

The Family Health Advocacy team is committed to delivering content that adheres to the highest standards for content accuracy and reference. Articles with the “Fact Checked” stamp will adhere these standards and will be reviewed using guidelines from the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) and all the reviews conducted are subject to the AMWA code of conduct https://www.amwa.org/page/Code_of_Ethics in line with the medical industry’s best practices in health communication.

Our medical review team will ensure the following criteria is met:

1. Is it original writing? Does the article contain significant portions of plagiarized materials?

2. Are the main concepts well and clearly defined?

3. Are the articles central tenets backed by adequate evidence?

4. Are there any gaps or inconsistencies?

5. Is the writing clear and easy to understand?

6. Does it advance knowledge?

Recent studies have identified a connection between chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia and a leaky gut. Alterations in the gut, or ‘leaky gut’ is an increased intestinal permeability disorder. This condition is a recent phenomenon, and ongoing research is being conducted to help health practitioners fully understand the condition and to better assist their patients. Leaky gut syndrome is of great interest to people with fibromyalgia. This is due to the proposed link between the two conditions.  Here is a review of the correlation between the leaky gut and fibromyalgia and some of the top ways to treat it.

What Is Leaky Gut?

The intestinal lining beneath our stomach is usually referred to as the gut. The lining is meant to act as a barrier to prevent toxins and bacteria from being absorbed in the bloodstream. However sometimes the gut may develop holes or cracks, a condition referred to as “leaky gut”. When this happens food, toxins and other elements are allowed to penetrate the blood. As a result, this leads to inflammation in the gut system, frequently causing digestive problems. The bacterial development in the gut is reported to result in other chronic conditions. Fibromyalgia being one of those.

Who Can Experience A Leaky Gut?

Everyone has a certain level of a leaky gut since the intestinal lining is not completely impermeable. However, some people may experience some genetic changes which may alter their digestive system. Thus resulting in the cracks or holes in the gut lining. Other common causes of a leaky gut include:

Therefore, anyone can experience the leaky gut condition depending on a number of lifestyle factors.

leaky gut symptoms

Correlation Between Fibromyalgia And A Leaky Gut Condition

Fibromyalgia is a condition of chronic widespread pain. Frequently accompanied by sleep and memory loss as well as depression. Believed to be connected to the increased intestinal permeability associated with leaky gut. Severe widespread pain of fibromyalgia can be a result of the release of toxins and other molecules into the bloodstream.

This can also lead to severe headaches and general body weakness. A genetic mutation associated with fibromyalgia is also connected to the increased permeability of the gut walls. Studies have shown fibromyalgia sufferers to have gut alterations, linking the two conditions.

Treating Leaky Gut

Increased intestinal permeability is still a new disorder. Significant conditions linked to leaky gut syndrome include;

Therefore, healing the gut is seen as the solution to numerous related health problems including fibromyalgia. Healthcare practitioners are now focusing on proper nutrition to do this by eliminating;

Addressing food allergies is also key. Steps such as these have significantly helped people battling leaky gut syndrome and rebuild the gut to its original state.

Final Thoughts

Fibromyalgia is a condition that significantly impacts millions of lives all over the world.  Sadly, medical treatment of this condition has fallen far short of the needs of the fibromyalgia community.  However, healthcare practitioners are advocating for fibromyalgia sufferers to stick to a proper and healing nutrition plan. Preventing the absorption of toxins and bacteria into the bloodstream and as a result helping to treat the fibromyalgia condition. Regular exercise and stress reduction have also been proved to help in treating this condition.

Your one step closer!

Keto Nutrition – 10 Common Mistakes People Make & How to Fix Them

keto nutrition

Keto nutrition;  “How difficult can it be? Just cut carbs and up your fats!”   If only it were that easy. Once you get into the swing of things, following a ketogenic diet is relatively straightforward. However, for keto novices, it’s a complex world of carb counting, measuring ketones, and determining what food is deemed “keto friendly” and what food isn’t.

A low carb high fat diet can be effective for anyone. However, there are a number of common keto mistakes people continue to make. Avoiding these mistakes will not only help you burn ketones properly without plateauing or feeling fatigued but also make your ketogenic journey a more enjoyable one.

Here are 10 common mistakes people starting a keto diet make and how you can fix them.

1. Eating Too Much Protein

Protein is an essential macronutrient, there’s no doubt about it. However, the majority of people don’t consume enough. Protein is beneficial in many ways as it helps you;

  • Feel full
  • Reduces cravings
  • Repairs muscles after working out
  • Help promote weight loss (if you get the balance right)

One of the biggest mistakes made by people following a very low-carb diet is that they actually end up consuming too much. And when this happens, some of the amino acids from the protein are converted into glucose (i.e. sugar) through a metabolic process known as gluconeogenesis. When this happens it can prevent you from getting into a state of ketosis.

A good rule of thumb is to consume 0.5-2.0 grams of protein for every kilo of body weight. If you work out, you’ll need a little more.

electrolytes

2. Not Getting The Right Amount Of Electrolytes

Keto flu is common, especially when first beginning a keto diet. Other side effects you might experience include;

These could be a sign that your body is adjusting or it could also mean you’re not getting enough electrolytes. Generally, when you first start a keto nutrition diet, you urinate more because you’re releasing stored water from the glycogen you’re burning.  Thus can cause dehydration and a loss of minerals.

So, include more electrolytes in your diet. For beginners, who already have too much to think about, taking an electrolyte supplement usually solves the problem. Adding more keto friendly nutrient-dense foods into your diet will also help.  Examples of good keto nutrition include;

3. Not Meal Planning

Initially, there are many things you need to remember when starting a keto diet. This combined with a busy lifestyle often means there’s limited time to think of, prepare, and cook a healthy keto-friendly meal. Meal prepping for a keto diet helps enormously! Especially in the early days when your body craves food and sugar. Without planning meals, it’s very easy to fall off the wagon.

So, write grocery lists.  Plan your shopping trips. Prep meals for the rest of the week, and store them in airtight containers. Having a healthy keto-friendly meal on hand will stop you from reaching for the phone and calling for a takeout.

keto flu

4. Not Sleeping Enough

Not getting enough quality sleep can increase stress hormones, which results in cravings and unwanted fat gain. When you have bad sleeping habits, it’ll inevitably affect other areas of your life as well. A lack of sleep causes irritability and drowsiness, which will affect both your personal and professional life.

When this happens, your stress levels will increase, which could lead to making impulsive decisions, wrong food choices, and cheating. All off which can kick you out of ketosis. In short, sleep is paramount. To maintain your energy and lose weight effectively, adequate sleep is a must.

Sleep Tips

To help ensure you get your 8 hours of healthy uninterrupted sleep each night try to;

5. Overeating High Inflammatory Foods

A keto diet usually has anti-inflammatory benefits, however, there are some low carb high-fat foods that can trigger inflammation. One big keto mistake is relying on processed meats, such as sausage, salami and vegetable oils just because the macro ratios are in line with the keto diet.

These highly-processed foods cause inflammation in the body and also leave you feeling fatigued.

Instead of eating processed foods, replace them with grass-fed meats and organic low-carb veggies. Avoid consuming lower quality oils like canola, peanut, and soybean oil. Instead use butter, coconut oil, MCT oil, ghee, and extra virgin olive oil.

sugar on keto

6. Relying On Artificial Sweeteners

Staying within your macros limit is essential, but this doesn’t give you license to eat and drink whatever you like. Artificial sweeteners may seem like the answer when it comes to getting your “sweet fix”, but sweeteners, such as saccharin, sucralose, and aspartame can lead to gut irritations and inflammation. This can leave you bloated, constipated, and lethargic. What’s more, getting your “fix” can send messages to your brain, reminding you of your taste for sugar, which can often lead to caving in and eating sugary foods.

Ideally, you want to train your body not to want sugar from the very beginning. Avoid sugary sodas. Rather, drink fizzy water with a bit of lemon squeezed in it. Alternatively, try taking some exogenous ketones. But if you really want something sweet, try adding natural sweeteners, such as monk fruit and stevia.

Click here to read, “Stroke And Heart Attack Linked To Drinking This!”

7. Not Eating Enough Fats

The idea of eating all the bacon you like is pretty appealing, but the truth is many people don’t eat enough fat when following a ketogenic diet. This is partly because we have previously been taught that fats make us fat.

Click here to read, “Best Diet For Weight Loss”.

When cutting back on carbs drastically, it’s essential you replace these calories with some calories from healthy fats. Not consuming enough fat can negatively affect your hormone function and metabolism in the future. When following a keto diet, these healthy fats are your main source of energy, and are what essentially help you enter ketosis.

Approximately 70% of your macros should be made up of healthy fats. Add healthy fats where possible. In order to help you hit your fat intake levels, take small actions such as;

  • Sprinkling cheese on meals
  • Cooking with coconut oil or other keto-friendly oils
  • Drinking bulletproof coffee with MCT oil
  • Eating more healthy fat-friendly foods such as avocados
hidden carbs

8. Not Paying Attention To Hidden Carbs

One of the biggest reasons why beginner ketoers fail when starting the keto diet is that they consume carbs without even realizing it. There are hidden carbs everywhere! Namely in the form of sugar that comes under different guises. “Healthy” juices are the some of the worst – they’re packed with sugar! But you’ll even find these hidden carbs in “healthy” protein bars, condiments like ketchup and most fruits.

Click here to read, “Are you eating junk food without realizing it?”

The best way to avoid these hidden carbs is to;

  • Avoid all starchy vegetables
  • Make your meals from scratch
  • Learn how to read nutritional information on labels correctly

Click here to read, “How To Read Labels Like a Pro and Cut Grocery Shopping Time In Half”.

When you start the keto diet, it’s advisable to find 3-4 simple keto-friendly meals that you like and can’t go wrong with such as bacon and eggs.  Continue rotating these meals until you enter ketosis. Once you enter ketosis, you can slowly start adding other meals to your repertoire.

9. Not Knowing Your Ketone Levels

When you follow the keto diet properly, your body’s ketone levels will increase.  This is a sign you’re becoming fat adapted and therefore in ketosis. This is when you effectively know that you’re doing things right and you’re on your way to hitting your target. However, one mistake keto beginners make is that they have no idea whether they’re in ketosis or not. Meaning they won’t truly know whether their efforts are in vain or not.

There are a few keto symptoms that you can look out for when you finally become fat adapted. It is likely you’ll experience temporary bad breath as more ketones mean there are higher acetone levels in the mouth. Sudden weight loss can also indicate that you’re in ketosis due to water loss.

Another hallmark of a keto diet is reduced blood sugar levels and an increase in ketones.  This is why it’s always a good idea to measure your ketone levels, especially when starting the ketogenic diet. This can be done by using a specialized breathalyzer, which calculates how much beta-hydroxybutyrate you have in your blood. It effectively measures your ketone levels at the same time. When your blood ketones range from 0.5-3.0 mmol/L, it is a sign you’re in nutritional ketosis.

low carb vegetables

10. Not Eating Vegetables

Many people think that all vegetables have carbs and therefore avoid them completely. However, when doing that they miss out on a range of essential vitamins, minerals and fiber. Fiber is especially important.

According to the American Heart Association Eating Plan, the recommended daily dietary guidelines for fiber intake from food (not supplements) is 25-30 grams. However, the average American adult only consumes approximately 15 grams a day. Fiber helps combat cravings, makes you feel fuller and can also help you become more regular. Thus also helps to reduce bloating.

There are actually a lot of low-carb vegetables that are considered to be keto-friendly. Avoid eating high-carb vegetables such as;

  • Potatoes
  • Corn
  • Beans
  • Peas
  • Squash

Instead, fill up on vegetables such as;

  • Spinach
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Cabbage
  • Kale
  • Zucchini

Final Thoughts

A keto diet is a great diet if you want to lose weight, improve your mental clarity and more. This diet takes time to get used to and it’s more than just cutting carbs and eating more bacon and steak. If you discover you’re not getting the results you want, try some of the above tips and learn how to avoid those rookie keto errors.

For further reading, click here for “Keto For Dummies – Beginners Guide For Keto”.

Benefits Of Watermelon – Could It Be The New ‘Miracle’ Fruit?

how many carbs in watermelon

Fact Checking Review Process

The Family Health Advocacy team is committed to delivering content that adheres to the highest standards for content accuracy and reference. Articles with the “Fact Checked” stamp will adhere these standards and will be reviewed using guidelines from the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) and all the reviews conducted are subject to the AMWA code of conduct https://www.amwa.org/page/Code_of_Ethics in line with the medical industry’s best practices in health communication.

Our medical review team will ensure the following criteria is met:

1. Is it original writing? Does the article contain significant portions of plagiarized materials?

2. Are the main concepts well and clearly defined?

3. Are the articles central tenets backed by adequate evidence?

4. Are there any gaps or inconsistencies?

5. Is the writing clear and easy to understand?

6. Does it advance knowledge?

Watermelon can be enjoyed in so many different ways. You can slice it, smoothie it, carve it, grill it, dunk it, drink it…Mmmm.  Are you salivating yet? If you aren’t doing it already, it’s time to have some fun with watermelon. This melon allows us to be both creative and adventurous. In addition, there are many health benefits of watermelon to go along with it. 

Benefits Of Watermelon

Watermelon is filled with nutrients, minerals and water. It contains few calories, is delicious and refreshing. It’s a great dietary source of two powerful plant compounds; lycopene and citrulline.

I once dreaded the thought of cutting bulky watermelons. Then I learned an easy technique to cut and chunk a watermelon in just a few minutes.  Before you turn your head to watermelon and its many health benefits, watch this video and let me show you how easy it is to cut a watermelon. By the end of the video you will be running to the store to grab this iconic summer fruit to try this technique yourself.

Watermelon has a mouthwatering flavor with no added sugar. Add to that the nutritional value and you have yourself a fruit your ready to work with! Here are some things watermelon can help with:

    1. Kidney Function – Have you heard that watermelon helps kidney function? Many kidney organizations and foundations have recommended watermelon as a healthy recipe for those with kidney disease. Watermelon contains Lycopene which is a fat-soluble antioxidant. This is the key ingredient benefiting kidney function.
    2. Detox – Watermelon is made up of 92 % water.  By virtue of being high in water content, this fruit induces urination.  As such, it can be very helpful in cleaning kidneys and other organs. In addition, the presence of antioxidants in watermelon also aid in slowing down premature aging that result in age spots that form on the skin. Combine that with its vitamin A content and this melon is sure to make your skin smile.
    3. Digestion – Watermelon contains dietary fiber for digestive health.  The high-water content also reduces the chance of constipation. Looking for more regular bowel movements?  Start slicing!  Click here to read, “Gut Problems? 7 Key Steps For Healthy Digestion”.
    4. Blood Pressure & Heart Health – That’s right! Sipping watermelon smoothies can lower and regulate blood pressure.  Thanks to its Citrulline content, watermelon can help reduce blood pressure. Citrulline has an antioxidant role but also has a strong role in vasodilation. The American Journal of Hypertension published a study showing that watermelon extract plays a key role in lowering blood pressure for people with hypertension.  In addition to the vasodilation effects of Citrulline, watermelons high amount of potassium and magnesium also play a role in a healthy heart. Citrulline and potassium are vasodilators.  This means they help regulate tension on arteries and blood vessels.  When arteries are dilated, there is less tension or pressure in the arterial walls which helps with stimulation of blood flow.  Thus reduce stress, especially on the cardiovascular system.  In addition to eating watermelon, those with prehypertension may want to consider talking to their Family Health Advocacy Doctor about taking a L-citrulline supplement.  Beta-carotene found in this watermelon not only gives this melon its vibrant color, but it’s also known to be a great antioxidant.  In addition it has anti-aging properties that can help in preventing age-related cardiac problems.  Click here to read, “Are You A Ticking Time Bomb? Try This Simple Exercise To Find Out Your Risk Of Heart Disease”.
    5. Controlling Diabetes – Many have heard the myth that watermelon is not good because its high in sugar or has a high glycemic index. Although the sweet taste may have you fooled, the truth is that it is not high in sugar. The fructose does contain a high glycemic index.  However, the glycemic load (how blood sugar responds to a particular food) is low.   Despite being sweet, it contains very few calories.  90% of its total weight is water. Packed with potassium and magnesium, this fruit helps aid in the proper functioning of insulin in the body. For those with diabetes, small amounts of watermelon in moderation can be beneficial to your health and a great guilt free snack
    6. Anticancer Properties – Recently, watermelons have gained a lot of interest.  Imparticular, dieticians and researchers are further studying its impressive level of lycopene. Lycopene has shown to reduce risks of prostate, lung, colon and endometrial cancer.  Watermelons phytonutrients (beta carotene and lycopene) may help in boosting the immune system, protect against oxidation and inflammation and will inhibit cancer cell growth with watermelons generous vitamin C levels. Therefore, this is a fantastic food to add to your cancer prevention diet.
    7. Relief From Impotence – Watermelon contains citrulline which turns into L-arginine in the body. L-arginine creates nitric oxide which is a gas that helps dilate blood vessels. Citrulline not only helps dilate blood vessel walls and help reduce blood pressure, but it also does the same to blood vessels in a man’s genitalia. With increased blood flow, there is an increase in erectile function.What are you waiting for? Grab some watermelon and enjoy the results.
benefits of watermelon

Nutritional Value of Watermelon

The health benefits of watermelon are vast. From enhanced recovery to staying hydrated.  In addition to disease prevention, providing vital nutrients, and many other benefits.

The beneficial elements of watermelon are mainly obtained from its unique mix of;

  • Nutrients
  • Minerals
  • Vitamins
  • Organic compounds

Notable vitamins include:

There are also a wide variety of phytonutrients and carotenoids including citrulline and lycopene.

Watermelon is low in sugar and high in nutrients and flavor! In comparison to other fruits this ratio is favorable.  

For those who are counting, watermelon is also low in calories. Only 46 calories per cup to be exact. Compare that to bananas which are 150 calories per cup of sliced or 200 calories per 1 cup of mashed banana.

On the note of calories, let’s be clear, the quality of food and what you are eating is far more important than the calorie count. A Hersey chocolate bar of 200 calories is far different then the 1 cup of mashed banana. 

watermelon juice benefits

How Many Carbs in Watermelon?

With 92% water and 8% carbs, watermelon contains little to no protein or fat and is very low in carbs.  So that equates to about 15-22g of carbs per slice depending on the size.

The Take Home

This delicious and refreshing fruit contains many vitamins, nutrients and minerals. Namely Citrulline and Lycopene that deliver many health benefits. 

Now that you know that watermelon is bursting with health benefits and how to easily prepare…it’s time to get slicing!

Fibromyalgia Symptoms Affect Mostly Women

fibromaylgia

Fact Checking Review Process

The Family Health Advocacy team is committed to delivering content that adheres to the highest standards for content accuracy and reference. Articles with the “Fact Checked” stamp will adhere these standards and will be reviewed using guidelines from the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) and all the reviews conducted are subject to the AMWA code of conduct https://www.amwa.org/page/Code_of_Ethics in line with the medical industry’s best practices in health communication.

Our medical review team will ensure the following criteria is met:

1. Is it original writing? Does the article contain significant portions of plagiarized materials?

2. Are the main concepts well and clearly defined?

3. Are the articles central tenets backed by adequate evidence?

4. Are there any gaps or inconsistencies?

5. Is the writing clear and easy to understand?

6. Does it advance knowledge?

fibromyalgia symptoms women

Fibromyalgia Symptoms Women – Fibromyalgia is a chronic syndrome known by symptoms of musculoskeletal pain in specific anatomical sites. However the identifiable physical or physiological causes are unknown.  In addition, this diagnosis is considerably more common in women than men.

Why Does Fibromyalgia Affect Women More Than Men?

Think You Might Have Fibromyalgia?  Take Our Fibromyalgia Test

The Fibro Pain

The pain is also described as;

  • Sharp or achy
  • Spread out
  • Severe
  • Pounding
  • Stabbing

Some will have fairly consistent symptoms while others may experience periods of remission and then flare ups. When it’s at its worst they can be accompanied by heart palpitations.

Fibromyalgia Symptoms Women

Fibromyalgia symptoms in both woman and men can overlap into psychosomatic disorders  starting first from;

  • Pain
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Seep disturbances

Which can turn into depression and anxiety.  Are we saying that Fibromyalgia is a mental problem?  No but it can lead to one.

It has more commonly been categorized as a central nervous system disorder.  One that can be chronic. However, research suggests a strong correlation between Fibromyalgia and mental health.

Fibromyalgia affects approximately 4% to 6% of the population.  Affecting 1 million people in Canada alone.  Interestingly enough, 70% to 90% of the diagnosed cases are women.

That doesn’t mean that men can’t be affected obviously.  However, it is clearly a condition affecting more woman.

Click to read, “The Dos and Donts of the Fibromyalgia Diet” to find the  best diet for fibromyalgia. 

No Fibromyalgia Lab Tests

Unfortunately there are no lab tests to diagnose fibromyalgia.  Determining the syndrome is by confirming a list of symptoms (see above).  Mainly the symptoms of pain and fatigue, assessed by a qualified doctor.

Why this is so important is because other conditions need to be ruled out.   Sadly, this condition can be used as a label to acknowledge a problem without any other known cause.

fibromyalgia symptoms woman

A fibromyalgia diagnosis can be considered if no other known cause is determined.  Presence of tender points in 18 possible sites on the body must also be present.  These points produce pain when pressure is applied.  A person must have 11 or more of these tender points among other symptoms if a diagnostic conclusion will be made.

Think You Might Have Fibromyalgia?  Take Our Full Fibromyalgia Test

References:

Amanda MacMillan / Health. (Sep. 2017). Lady Gaga Has Postponed Her Tour Because of Her Fibromyalgia. Here’s What to Know About the Painful Disorder.
Retrieved from http://time.com/4946983/lady-gaga-fibromyalgia-disorder/

(Jul. 2018). Fibromyalgia. Britannica
Retrieved from www.britannica.com/science/fibromyalgia

Knee Clicking When Walking? Discover Why!

Knee Clicking When Walking

Fact Checking Review Process

The Family Health Advocacy team is committed to delivering content that adheres to the highest standards for content accuracy and reference. Articles with the “Fact Checked” stamp will adhere these standards and will be reviewed using guidelines from the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) and all the reviews conducted are subject to the AMWA code of conduct https://www.amwa.org/page/Code_of_Ethics in line with the medical industry’s best practices in health communication.

Our medical review team will ensure the following criteria is met:

1. Is it original writing? Does the article contain significant portions of plagiarized materials?

2. Are the main concepts well and clearly defined?

3. Are the articles central tenets backed by adequate evidence?

4. Are there any gaps or inconsistencies?

5. Is the writing clear and easy to understand?

6. Does it advance knowledge?

Have you ever experienced knee clicking when walking? Or heard cracking, popping and creaking sounds in your knees?  If so, you may be wondering what it is.  As the weather starts to change, with increased moisture in the air, you may find your knees are bothering you and /or “speaking up”.

As a practitioner, I find that as the weather changes many more patients are saying that they’re starting to feel aches and pains.  The most common aches and pains I am hearing about are in the neck, low back and knees.  One of my patients asked me if the change in weather can cause knee clicking when walking or popping sounds in their knees.  So I think this is worth talking about….

Identifying ‘Knee’ Sounds

Personally, I have experienced these sounds in my knees since I was a teenager and still do on occasion get knee clicking when walking when I am not making time to ensure I have a balanced body.  When I was teenager, I remember being very curious, concerned and even confused about what the sounds in my knee were.  There are different types of sounds which may indicate different causes.

Creaking
  • A creaking sound (technical term is ‘Crepitus’) may indicate that the cartilage is rubbing on the bone surface or bone on bone.  This may be sign that there is something wearing away resulting in degeneration.  This is often a result of long-standing abnormal pressure and function of the knee.
Cracking
  • Cracking or popping sounds (technical term is “cavitations”) are the most common sounds people hear in their knees. This sound is often caused when a muscle or tendon is tight and is creating a popping sound as it slips over a bony prominence.  The popping sound may also be the release of oxygen build up inside of your knee joint itself.  If you can reproduce the sound repetitively it’s more likely the sound is coming from tight muscles and tendons.  If it’s something that pops and then you don’t hear it for another 20 minutes or until the next day, it might be from the oxygen building up.

When To Seek Help When Experiencing Popping, Cracking or Knee Clicking When Walking?

Even healthy knees can experience knee clicking when walking and make these popping and cracking sounds.  Therefore, when you hear these sounds coming from your knee in the absence of joint swelling or pain, it doesn’t necessarily mean there’s anything wrong with your knee.  However, if you are experiencing joint swelling and pain, that’s something that you should have looked at by your healthcare practitioner for a knee examination.

Our practitioner will do orthopedic tests to get a better understanding of the cause. Sometimes the creaking and cracking sounds may be related to internal damaged that could warrant further testing and imaging.  These are used to confirm a diagnosis and steer you in a specific direction of treatment options and rehabilitation protocol.

Stretching: Harmful or Helpful?

The Power Of Stretching For Your Knees

With or without sounds coming from your knee, most people will benefit from stretches!  To learn more about this, click here to read, “THE POWER OF STRETCHING –  4 WAYS IT IMPACTS YOUR BODY (AND MIND) IN A POSITIVE WAY.”

The stretches below will help you restore and maintain a balance in your body.  With or without symptoms, we often have imbalances as a result of lifestyle habits such as;

  • crossing our legs when we sit
  • wearing poor unsupportive shoes
  • sitting slouched and twisted at a computer
  • driving for long periods of time
  • even sitting on a wallet

These are some of the many examples of how your body shifts out of balance.  When your body is out of alignment, there are muscles that become weak, tight and no longer activate, which results in abnormal wear and stress on the joint.

Think of the knee cap as a train that rides up and down in the front of your leg in a specific track when your quadriceps muscle contracts and relaxes.  The knee cap is surrounded by muscles and ligaments.  As muscles on one side of the knee cap tighten or weaken, it pulls on the knee cap and derails the smooth track, putting uneven pressure on the patella (knee cap) which could lead to irritation and inflammation under the knee cap.  This often results in tightness, pressure, aches and pains.  This uneven tracking may also increase the risk of further injury if left uncorrected.

How To Get The Most Out Of Stretches

In order to get the most out of stretches, I recommend warming up your muscles.  Go for a short walk or bike ride.  You can also warm up your body with a series of controlled movements or dynamic stretches which will increase body temperature, activate the nervous system and improve your range of motion.  An example of a dynamic stretch is swinging your leg forward and backwards like a pendulum.

Typically, dynamic stretches are used for warming up the body prior to exercise which is then followed by static stretches.  Static stretches are typically held still for 30 to 60 seconds.  Typically, a stretch is felt in one specific muscle with static stretching

Let’s Get Started!

Here are some basic stretches that you can try at home.  Be sure to hold these stretches for 30 to 60 seconds, and then repeat 3 times.  Always stretch both legs.

Leg Swing Dynamic Stretch:

Dynamic Hamstring Stretch Video

This is a great dynamic stretch for your knee as it warms up muscles that cross the knee joint; quadriceps & hamstring.

  • Support yourself on a wall or a post with one hand ensuring there is nothing in front of or behind you
  • Ensure you are standing straight and your core is engaged
  • Swing one leg forward and back like a pendulum
  • Start to swing it lightly and gradually increase your range of motion

As you get blood flow to the muscles, you will feel yourself loosen up and your range of motion increase.  Relax your hip joint as much as possible.  Do 20 swings for each leg.

Standing Quadricep Stretch

Standing Quadricep Stretch

This is a great beginner exercise to loosen up tight muscles.

  • Start with your shoulders pulled back and down
  • Balance on one foot while bringing your opposite foot up and holing onto your ankle
  • Ensure that your knees stay aligned and you do not pull your knee back past your standing knee as it results in stress on the low back
  • Slightly thrust your pelvis forward and tighten your buttock muscles in order to increase the stretch

*If you experience knee pain, swelling or restricted flexibility, try modifying the stretch:

  • Hold onto your pant leg rather then your ankle
Standing Quadricep Stretch Modification #1

Alternative to the modification:

  • Hold on to a support wall or post
  • Place one foot on a surface (stair, table, foot stool)
  • Tilt your pelvis a little bit forward and you will fee a stretch in your quadriceps
Standing Quadricep Stretch Modification #2

*Alternative to the alternative modification:

  • Lay face down and pull on the bottom of your pant leg to pull the stretch into the quadricep.

Hamstring Stretch

Hamstring Stretch
  • Holding onto a supportive wall or railing, place one ankle on a slightly raised surface (a step or a curb) keeping your hips facing forward and your standing knee bent
  • Slowly bend your standing knee until you feel a very mild pulling or stretch on the back of your raised thigh
  • Be sure to keep your low back straight

*If you have poor balance, try sitting on a bench, couch or bed slightly rotated 45 degrees

  • Put one leg up on the surface that you are sitting on and sit up tall
  • Point your toes to your nose and slightly shift your pelvis forward to engage the hamstring stretch

Psoas Stretch

If you sit for long periods of time or hear clicking and popping in the front of your hip, stretching our psoas is key.

Psoas Stretch
  • Start in a slight lunge position with both feet pointing forward
  • Keep your back straight and pelvis tucked forward and tighten your buttock muscles
  • Hold onto a wall or chair for support if needed
Psoas Stretch Modification

*Alternative:

  • Drop your back-leg knee to the group and shift your body forward
  • Lift your arm that is on the same side as the knee that is on the group up in the air

IT Band Stretch

IT Band Stretch
  • Stand tall and cross one leg in front of the other
  • Raise the same side arm as the back leg high overhead
IT Band Stretch Alternative

To increase the stretch, extend the back leg further behind you so your pinky toe is the point of contact to the floor.

Note: you will not feel the same stretch sensation with this stretch however it is still productive!

I also recommend using a hand-held roller or rolling pin and rolling out your IT bands (the side of your leg) for 3 minutes both sides daily to break up adhesion’s (scar tissue) and increase blood supply.

It doesn’t surprise me when a patient takes this advice and does their homework daily for 2-3 weeks and comes back to report they no longer have knee clicking when walking or popping in their knees.  Remember, don’t push it too hard and stay within your pain threshold.  Relax and breath deeply and enjoy taking care of you.  You deserve it!

Further Reading

In the words of Dr. Casey Sinclair;

“YOU must address all areas of your health for your body to heal.  This includes your mindset, nutrition, exercise, environment, and nervous system.  Many people make it all about one thing (i.e., Nutrition or exercise) and neglect the rest.  This alone will not give your body the opportunity it needs to heal”.

Click here to learn more about how our perceptions affect our pain.