Then you probably already know this. Fibromyalgia Sucks!
If you are visiting my site, then it is likely that you or someone you love is probably suffering from the debilitating effects of fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue.
The Mayo Clinic lists Fibromyalgia as "a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain processes pain signals."
I have suffered with the mind boggling and life altering effects of fibromyalgia for over 10 years now. Gradually it got to the point that I was no longer able to work a full time job, then no longer able to work a part-time job and ultimately became so unreliable due to my condition that I was no longer employable at all. It became difficult for me to do even the most basic of functions and when combined with my severe migraines and other related issues, I felt like every day was a battle.
I can tell you firsthand that is an awful feeling knowing you are no longer able to work. We enjoy our job title. We are proud of ourselves and equate our worth to what we do for a living. When I was a department manager for a Fortune 500 Company, I felt like I was valued. Somehow without that job title, we sometimes feel we are not important.
That is not true, we are all important and should NOT be defined by our job description.
In fact, if nothing else, we are all survivors. Because surviving Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue is a constant battle that few understand. We don't look any different, we don't look disabled, so therefore it is all in our head.
I assure you it is not just in our head. It is in our legs, our arms, our back, it is everywhere and it is constant. Without medication, I would not be laying here on my bed with my laptop writing to you, I would be writhing in pain, not sure I will survive the next hour, laying on my bed. Okay, so I am still in bed, but at least I am trying. And, trying counts big time in my book!
For the longest time,over 7 years, I worked with my rheumatologist trying to find something that could work enough to at least get me back to work. But there was no perfect pill, no easy solution for everyone that makes us all better, or is there?
Over the years, my rheumatologist has prescribed many medications for me, some with severe side effects. Most did not help, a few made a little difference, but none were that perfect pill, that medicine that finally gives you your life back.
Because prescription medication did not resolve my fibromyalgia and was not able to help me become more functional, I searched for natural ways to treat my illness. For many years, that was unsuccessful as well.
This site is for people like you and me, struggling to get the life back that was stolen by fibromyalgia. Here I will share what is working for me and how to deal with life when you suffer from fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue. I am hopeful that you will be able to share what is helping you as well. Together we can help each other get better.
We need to be our own advocates and demand our lives back!
Last year I was at an organic food store, thinking maybe if I started eating only organic food my chronic illness would magically disappear. Well, that did not happen but something else did. The owner of the store told me about the importance of antioxidants and how they could help with weight loss. I about laughed. I mean really. She said she had been eating high antioxidant dark chocolate and it was helping her health issues.
Is that what they meant by an apple a day keeps the doctor away?
I went home that night and got out my trusty laptop, rested in bed, completely worn out from my 15 minute jaunt to the store and did a google search. I searched "antioxidants" "high antioxidant chocolate" & "healthy chocolate". Interesting reading. Who knew antioxidants lower inflammation and that inflammation is responsible for over 200 major diseases. I even found out obesity is an inflammatory process. Lets just say it peaked my interest.
So I started researching and at the end of the day I decided I absolutely needed to increase my antioxidants.
After pricing out the ways to get antioxidants, I found that I was going to have to eat a huge amount of fruit every day and that it was not going to be cheap. In fact, If I priced out the sales at my local Publix grocery store, I could easily spend $9-$13 a day eating up to 14 gala apples, 6 1/2 cups berries or a whole bunch of spinach. And, how would I eat that every day? So I decided to try out the high antioxidant chocolate, much more affordable and easy. Eat 3 pieces of chocolate a day and get up to 84,777 antioxidants as verified by Brunswick Labs, an independent laboratory I believe the government even uses.
So I tried it out. Increasing antioxidants really did help my chronic condition.
That was over 1 1/2 years ago. Although I still am not able to go back to work just yet, I feel like I am slowly getting my life back. There are bursts of unexpected energy, days with less pain and a feeling that this too will pass. Shocking to me that this is all because of antioxidants.
I am able to go on a bike ride before having to take that nap. You know the one, the one where you can hardly keep your eyes open because you are so worn out that your eyes can't even focus. That is certainly an improvement for me. I mean anything that can improve your symptoms is worth trying especially if it is chocolate. I mean not only does it help but it tastes great too! It certainly helps more than all the medications I have tried in the past.
So I think antioxidants may be part of the puzzle. Is it everything? No, probably not. I think exercise plays a part too. And a rheumatologist may be an integal part of the puzzle as well. But if eating more antioxidants helps you exercise and exercise helps you feel better, well you get the idea. Will it make a difference? Probably so.
What I found out is that if you plan on getting your antioxidant content up with chocolate, not just any dark chocolate will do. You need a cold-pressed chocolate that has not been heated or dutched. You need one that has a very high antioxidant content and significant flavonoids. One that can be verified by a lab like Brunswick Labs, the one the government uses. Chocolate that just says high antioxidant is not good enough. You need one with proof.
Just so happens the one the store owner shared with me actually is all that. Here is a company that offers high antioxidant chocolate. They even came out with a Chocolate Wellness shake that has over 56,500 total ORAC fn per meal and 1,128 Flavonoids per meal. Some even call it the Chocolate Diet! Maybe this high dosage of antioxidants is what we need to overcome our disease, including obesity.
So this is working for me, check it out and see what you think. I know that high antioxidants reduce inflammation and inflammation causes over 200 diseases. So I imagine it can't hurt to try it. So try it and lets see how this helps you. What do we have to lose? We sure have a lot to gain.
Please let me know how you are coping with your fibromyalgia and/or chronic fatigue symptoms. I would be pleased to hear from you! Share with us what is working for you. Lets all fight back. It is up to US.