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How to become healthier

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I'm in my mid 40's. Up until the past year I have always been healthy and in pretty good physical shape. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia about 6 months ago and have been dealing with it for the past year. Not only am I in a lot of pain and extremely tired all the time but I am constantly getting sick. My immune system used to be pretty good. If I caught a cold it would only last a few days. I'm on my 3rd cold since August and all three have lasted over a week. I take plenty of vitamins including my multivitamin, extra Vitamin C and D as well as a few other things that are supposed to be good for fibromyalgia (malic acid, magnesium, fish oil). I've even tried Elderberry since I've heard that is good for your immune system.


I have to force myself to exercise since I'm in a lot of pain. I try to do stretches every day but I'm really trying to push myself to walk at least 10-15 minutes every day on the treadmill and more outside when it is nice. I know it isn't much but even that much makes me exhausted. Fortunately I've been able to keep my weight down and I'm on the low side of average so that really isn't a problem.


I have to admit my diet isn't the greatest. In fact, that is an area I would like to work on with my whole family. The problem is that we aren't big on vegetables and most days I need meals that are quick and easy to make. We have a lot of evening activities or my husband has to work late so I want something that is easy to reheat or quick to make when he walks in the door. I'm also just not up to spending a lot of time cooking from scratch. I know that is healthier but I've noticed a lot of recipes I see that are healthier take a lot longer to make.


I would appreciate any suggestions regarding a place to start for healthier/whole foods cooking as well as any vitamins, supplements I may be missing that could help me.

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Can you throw some raw fruits and veggies into your diet? Chop them up during a moment when you feel good and leave them in the fridge? Or even buy them pre-chopped at the store? A handful of carrot sticks and fresh pea pods is a good snack that is very refreshing when you are tired.


Another thing to look at would be smoothies. You can buy the pre-frozen fruit or veggies if prepping from scratch is too much. Toss in the blender and drink. You could even add a little yogurt.

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I have had fibromyalgia for 20 years. Here is my standard speech. Fibromyalgia is a "syndrome" - ie. a description of symptoms which can have a number of causes. Part of the trouble with curing or dealing with it is finding out what causes you might have. I found it helpful to go to a naturopathic doctor who tries to treat the causes rather than the symptoms.


Things that I had checked, which were helpful to me: my thyroid levels, my vitamin D levels (it is really helpful to know what your levels are because if you are really low, just taking some extra isn't enough), parasites (this was a huge issue for me which was not discovered for many years), and insulin resistance (this isn't just whether you are diabetic or not but whether your blood sugar goes up if you eat carbohydrates). All of these things (and other things too, I'm sure) can negatively influence your immunity.


As for healthy eating, I found that drinking something like V-8 or V-8 Fusion (which doesn't taste as vegetably) was helpful. However, I would want to know if I was insulin resistant first because juices (esp. those with fruit) can do bad things to your blood sugar.

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Obviously Jean knows more about fibromyalgia than I do. I just have lots and lots of info to share. Sorry to overwhelm you. I would just do what I can and take small steps. Maybe start one new good habit every week. Sorry my notes are a bit all-over-the place. I haven't yet had time to fully organize them.



Magnesium – 500 to 1000 mg

Some people with chronic fatigue have diets that are very high in calcium and low in magnesium. Once they increase their magnesium (beans, whole grains, green vegetables) and eliminate dairy products (worth trying for at least 2 weeks), their symptoms are greatly lessened. You may very well need more magnesium.

Magnesium is one of the best nutrients – if not, the best – both for energy production and pain control. Everyone who has CFIDS or fibromyalgia – or even general fatigue – should try increasing their magnesium before turning to more expensive remedies.

While magnesium won’t eliminate fibromyalgia completely, it often plays a major role in improving energy, reducing pain, and lessening other symptoms.

Sometimes muscles hurt because they don’t contain enough potassium. One of magnesium’s many important functions is to maintain a sodium and potassium balance. If your muscles lack potassium, taking more magnesium can raise your level better than taking more potassium. If you need both, try a potassium-magnesium aspartate combination. Aspartic acid carries both potassium and magnesium into the cells more quickly and efficiently.

400-1200 mg daily of Magnesium is helpful but use according to bowel tolerance. Your body knows how much magnesium you can tolerate from bowel tolerance – take as much magnesium as your bowels can tolerate

If you can, add 100 mg of magnesium to your nutritional supplements, and increase it by 100 mg every few days until your stools are soft, but not uncomfortably loose.

Take in divided doses and with meals to ensure optimal absorption – preferably more at night

Some say to not take magnesium with calcium - I think that that is preferable.

Calcium, magnesium, and many other minerals are best absorbed when they are bound to an acidic carrier such as citrate, aspartate, picolinate, or amino acid chelate. Minerals need an acidic base to break down and get used.

The most absorbable forms are magnesium citrate, glycinate taurate, or aspartate, although magnesium bound to Kreb cycle chelates (malate, succinate, fumarate) are also good.

Avoid magnesium carbonate, oxide, sulfate, and gluconate. They are poorly absorbed (and the cheapest and most common forms found in supplements).

Side effects from too much magnesium include diarrhea, which can be avoided if you switch to magnesium glycinate.

People with kidney disease or severe heart disease should take magnesium only under a doctor's supervision.


Scientists have long known that fibromyalgia involves poor sleep. If yuour sleep does not improve, your pain will not go away.

L-theanine - it must be the “L” form.

200 mg at bedtime is wonderful and helps you sleep without feeling groggy.



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D-Ribose helps many. A natural sugar, ribose occurs in all living cells. Ribose is the key building block for making energy. The main energy molecules in your body are made of ribose, plus B vitamins and phosphate. Our bodies acquire ribose through diet—brewer’s yeast has a rich supply—and the body also makes it from glucose in food. This is a slow process, however, that cannot always keep up with the energy lost in daily activities, so it may take several days to restore the lost ATP—and possibly much longer for those who suffer with FMS.

Scientists know that supplemental ribose can reduce muscle pain, stiffness, and exercise fatigue; that people tolerate it well; and that it has no side effects. Research has shown that taking 5 grams of ribose three times a day, improves symptoms greatly.



Dark Chocolate

Sea vegetables (seaweed and kelp – but make sure they come from non-polluted waters and are high-quality)




Wheat bran

Wheat germ



Brazil nuts





Brown rice



Collard greens





Dandelion greens



Whole Grains


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Taking a hot bath with Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) is a good way to absorb and get much needed magnesium.


Malic acid is an acid found in apples and other fruits. It reduces fibromyalgia pain. When you add malic acid to magnesium, you have a powerful supplement that can reduce fatigue in a few weeks, and reduce your pain in a few days.


If magnesium and malic acid are not enough, it’s time to look at other reasons for your chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia. These include taking probiotics to regulate your intestines, candida and parasites, intestinal permeability, and inflammation. Your chronic health problems could also be caused by Lyme disease.


â€Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia and Lyme Disease†by Burton Goldberg and Larry Trivieri


Corvalen Energy Dietary Supplement – – Take 5 grams in water or juice 3 times a day for 3 weeks, then twice daily thereafter


Carlson’s Fish Oil – 1000 to 8000 mg daily


Vitamin D3 – 5000 IU daily


SAM-e – 400 to 1500 mg


Curcumin – 500 mg 3-4 times daily


Fibromyalgia sufferers produce less serotonin – try GABA Calm, 5-HTP, and even some dark chocolate


Make sure you get rhodiola rosea, not any other species.

The herb can help just about anyone suffering from low energy. Rhodiola might be particularly helpful for people with more serious forms of fatigue such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and seasonal affective disorder.

How to use it: Look for a pure root extract, standardized to contain at least 3 percent rosavins and .08 to 1 percent salidrosides. For most people, a dose of 200 to 400 mg per day will bring benefits. Start small and work up to a full dose over several days. Since no research has been done on doses over 400 mg per day, don’t exceed this without seeing an herbalist or doctor familiar with the herb. And while rhodiola has been used safely for years in its native regions, no human trials have verified its safety for longer than four months, so some experts recommend a one- to two-week break after four months’ use.

Side Effects: Some people have reported irritability and insomnia at very high doses (1,000 mg a day or above), but most side effects disappear when the dose is adjusted. People with bipolar disorder should be closely supervised by a doctor, as it may induce mania.


A daily dose of B complex (50 mg) will restore spent energy

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5 grams of the sugar D-ribose twice daily will stimulate the production of ATP, the fuel that powers your body’s tissues and muscles. People who suffer from excessive joint and muscle pain and fibromyalgia (widespread muscle pain) often have low levels of ribose.


Eat cherries as often as possible. Consuming 20 a day (about 2000 mg of cherry fruit extract) has been proven to provide more pain relief than aspirin and other painkillers.


OTC remedy – Guaifenesin (Muxinex) – helps rid the body of phosphates


Limit or avoid:

Nightshade vegetables (potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, some spices, and tobacco) may aggravate inflammatory conditions like fibromyalgia.

74-90% of people with ache from any cause have a nightshade sensitivity.

Temporarily avoid all foods with any amount of nightshades. Read labels carefully. Spend a day or two getting ready for this experiment. Then eliminate all nightshades entirely – 100% - for 2 full weeks. Did your pain subside or disappear during this time? If so, nightshades are a problem for you.

At the end of 2 weeks, eat one food from the nightshade family by itself – like a tomato or bell pepper, and watch for any reactions. You may feel tired, agitated, your heart may race, you could have more pain, or you could have other undesirable side effects.

If you react, continue to avoid the entire nightshade family for 3 months or more.

If not, bring them back into your diet.

Some people with fibromyalgia who have a nightshade sensitivity can eventually add small amounts of them back into their diet – like the amount found in salad dressing. Others can’t. But if they trigger your pain, you’ll need to avoid them completely for at least 2-3 months.

Even tiny quantities of nightshades hidden in other foods can contribute to excruciating arthritis pain, and nightshades are everywhere.

Potato starch is disguised in many frozen and processed foods in the form of modified food starch, modified vegetable protein, modified vegetable starch, and hydrolyzed vegetable protein. Look for it meatballs, mock crab, sausages, and deep-fried foods that have been cooked in the same vegetable oils as French fried potatoes.

Some Rx and OTC medications use potato starch as their fillers. You need to find out.

Tomatoes are an ingredient in brown meat sauces like Worcestershire sauce and steak sauce, as well as salad dressings, some luncheon meats, gravies, and baked beans, so read labels carefully. Green olives may be stuffed with pimentos, a sweet red pepper, and dried pepper flakes are often sprinkled over pasta dishes.

Avoid sauces, especially Thai, barbecue, Cajun, Mexican, Southern, and Jamaican dishes, as well as Tabasco sauce, prepared mustards, and Cayenne pepper.

Safe foods you might think are unsafe include sweet potatoes, yams, and black pepper.

You may not react to vegetables in the nightshade family, but if you do, you need to stop eating them. You can test yourself at home.

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SLEEP - Get enough sleep. Your body needs a full night of quality sleep to fight pain. Sniffing lavender oil before sleep can help you.


CHIROPRACTIC/MASSAGE – both help immensely with pain

Be aware that you should wait for any inflammation to subside before starting either.


EXERCISE – Begin with a daily 10-minute walk, take up a gentle yoga class, or try the slow movement of Tai Chi. Water aerobics and swimming help also.



Acupuncture helps with all sorts of pain, especially fibromyalgia

Electrotherapy has been proven to help with low back pain

Hydrotherapy has been proven to help with arthritis. No medicine on the market can rival the physiological effects of water. Warm to hot water eases joint pain by reducing swelling and increasing blood flow to fight inflammation.



What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Fibromyalgia†by R. Paul St. Armand


Follow a diet designed to reduce phosphates – avoid soda

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More than 90% of us are low in iodine and fibromyalgia is linked to an iodine deficiency.

Today's environment makes it almost impossible to get the amount of iodine you need.

1. There's very little iodine in the soil. So unless you're eating a ton of iodine-rich foods like kelp, seaweed and shellfish, you're not going to get much iodine from your diet.

2. Many salt companies have stopped adding iodine to table salt.

3. Food manufacturers have stopped using iodine in baked goods and are using bromine instead. Bromine (a halogen) competes with iodine to get into your cells. So the more bromine you consume, the less iodine you get. Unfortunately, many foods today (primarily baked goods) are loaded with bromine.

4. Our water supply contains chlorine and fluoride, both of which are halogens. Again, halogens compete with iodine to get into your cells.

And you can't avoid chlorine and fluoride simply by drinking filtered water. That's because you get a hefty dose any time you bathe, shower, soak in a hot tub, or swim in a swimming pool.

5. Most conventional doctors never test for iodine deficiency. They figure there's no need to test iodine levels when they can just test your thyroid function instead. The problem with this is that the most widely used thyroid test, the TSH, is wildly inaccurate. Reason: While the TSH measures thyroid hormone, it can't tell the difference between active thyroid hormone with iodine and de-activated thyroid hormone with bromine or chlorine or fluorine. So the test shows you have plenty of thyroid hormone. But most of the thyroid hormone isn't doing its job!




Fibromyalgia patients often have high levels of bromide. Iodine removes bromide out of the body, improving fibromyalgia.



I think it was Dr. Nan Fuchs who wrote: “I've had women come into my office who look like the poster child for underactive thyroid. They're overweight, they're losing their hair and eyebrows, their skin is dry, and they tell me they feel cold all the time. Yet when their doctor gave them a thyroid test, it came back normal!

When I put these women on iodine supplementation, their conditions improve dramatically. Their skin improves, they stop losing their hair, and they finally lose that excess weight — and keep it off.â€


The RDA for iodine is 150 mcg. This amount was set based on the amount needed to prevent goiter. This amount will prevent goiter but it will not prevent breast cancer or its precurser fibrocystic breast disease or other serious diseases and symptoms listed above.

Breast tissue and other reproductive organs require much more iodine than the thyroid gland. Many researchers now believe that you may need 100 to 400 times the RDI.

The average consumption of iodine from seaweed by the mainland Japanese is nearly 14 mg. They have some of the lowest incidence of iodine-deficiency diseases like goiter, hypothyroidism, and cancers of the reproductive system (breast, ovaries, and uterus).


Increase your intake with mineral-rich sea vegetables (agar, hijiki, kombu, nori, and wakame) at least twice a week. You can eat as much seaweed as you want. Brown seaweeds are highest in iodine. They include all forms of kelp. Fucus, also known as Bladderwrack, is considered to be the best for underactive thyroids. Hijiki and Sargassum are two other forms of brown seaweeds. Red seaweeds include dulse, nori, Irish moss, and Gracillaria.

Since toasting doesn’t affect seaweed’s iodine content, you can eat it dried or dried and toasted. Toast some in the oven or in a dry frying pan to see if you prefer that taste. You can also powdered seaweed to your food or add larger pieces of seaweed to soups, grains, or vegetables. Seaweed should be an enjoyable addition to your diet, not an unpleasant experience. If you simply don’t like its taste, you can get it in capsules.

Use 5-10 grams of mixed brown and red seaweed for thyroid problems. This is about 1 ½ teaspoons per day. If you’ve been told that your thyroid is borderline-low, eating seaweed makes sense. But remember, you need to eat seaweed every day or take iodine in a different form.

Not all seaweeds are safe to eat. Some come from polluted waters.

Be more cautious and talk to a naturopath if you’re on thyroid meds and want to try seaweed.

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Use iodine-rich Seaweed Gomasio to season your food.


Instead of using seaweed to boost your iodine levels, you might consider taking an iodine supplement. Iodoral is a very good one. I get mine from amazon and love this stuff.

You may need 1 to 4 tablets of Iodoral, a combination of 5 mg of iodine and 7.5 mg of potassium iodide. Additional research finds that vitamin C improves the transport of iodine in the body, so it may be best to take Iodoral with Vitamin C.

Studies show that women who weigh about 110 pounds need at least 5 mg of iodine a day for normal breast function. If you’re heavier, you may need more.

Start off slowly over a 4 week period.

Take 1 pill for 30 days

Then 2 pills for 30 days

Then maybe 3 for 30 days

Then 1 in morning and 1 in evening for 30 days

Can then go back to taking 1 or 2 a day to maintain

Your body will know....listen to it...

One Iodoral tablet provides 12.5 milligrams of iodine/iodide which is about the amount the average Japanese consumed in 1964 in their everyday diet.

Iodoral is the best way to get the recommended amount of iodine.

When we take 50 mg of iodine/iodide a day, it acts as an adaptogen, regulating various body functions.


Substances that interfere with iodine

Chlorine – present in most city water supplies – unless you de-chlorinate your water, you are being exposed to thyroid-lowering gases whenever you bathe, shower, or have a drink of water.




Bromide or Bromine – found in some pesticides – try to eat organic whenever possible

Bromide is even used in some asthma drugs

Mountain Dew, Fresca, and orange Gatorade all contain bromide in the form of brominated vegetable oils. Drinking beverages with bromide causes low thyroid function in some people.


These toxins are in our water, hot tubs, non-organic foods, and some soft drinks.

If you don’t have enough iodine, chances are you have too much fluoride and bromide. Sufficient iodine pulls these toxins out of your body.


Aspirin, blood thinner meds, and steroids can result in iodine deficiency thyroid problems. If you’re taking these, ask your doctor to check your thyroid function.

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Fibroymyalgia and muscle pain are often components of chronic fatigue.


We all get tired at times, but the fatigue that is part of CFIDS (chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome) hits suddenly and is deep and debilitating.

Along with this fatigue come:

• Difficulty concentrating

• Headaches

• Pain in muscles and joints

• Digestive problems

• Anxiety

• Low-grade fevers

• Depression

Rest takes care of most types of fatigue, but not if you have CFIDS. It never goes away. The fatigue may let up for a while, but then it returns.


If you have extremely sensitive and painful points on various parts of your body, or simply ache constantly, you could have fibromyalgia.

Sometimes fibromyalgia begins after a physical trauma, but a hereditary or biochemical imbalance may also cause it. Or it could be connected to another health condition.

Unfortunately, NSAIDS like Motrin, Advil, and Naprosyn can only treat the pain, not the underlying cause. And what’s more, they can actually create fibromyalgia by increasing intestinal permeability, also known as “leaky gut syndrome†resulting in additional inflammation. NSAIDs are like a Band-Aid contaminated with bacteria that make your sore worse.



Fibromyalgia: A Journey Toward Healing by Chanchal Cabrera


Many people with FMS get hooked on acupuncture, and for good reason. Numerous studies show the positive benefits of acupuncture for pain relief. One landmark study appeared in the June 2006 Mayo Clinic Proceedings. This randomized, controlled trial, led by David P. Martin, MD, an anesthesiologist from the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Rochester, Minnesota, reports on 50 FMS patients, half of whom received acupuncture; the remaining 25 received sham acupuncture, which involved needles inserted at non-therapeutic points. After just six treatments spread over three weeks, the acupuncture patients reported significant improvement in symptoms, particularly fatigue and anxiety, lasting up to seven months. One month after treatment, those treated with “true†acupuncture had less fatigue and fewer anxiety symptoms than the sham acupuncture group.


Exercise more, stress less

A regular, gentle, exercise routine stands out as indispensable for FMS—to increase flexibility and reduce pain and stress. The severe pain that usually accompanies FMS makes it difficult for many sufferers to begin and maintain an exercise program. That’s why programs with gentle stretches and movements, such as therapeutic yoga, Pilates, and t’ai chi, are often a good fit for FMS patients.


Shomon finds tremendous relief with Pilates. “My body was often a knot of aches and pains—especially in my neck, shoulders, and lower back,†she says. “But I started Pilates for two one-hour sessions a week. It was life-changing. Gradually, I gained strength, my constant body pain faded, and I was able stop my daily doses of ibuprofen.†Shomon has been doing Pilates for about four years and says she rarely has body pain.


Yoga also eases muscle pain and stiffness. In a six-week randomized pilot study, researchers looked at a yoga program modified for FMS chronic back pain. The program improved balance and flexibility and diminished disability and depression.

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Negin may have posted this so sorry if it is duplicate. Have you tried going gluten-free? I have a friend who started this about 10 years ago and swears by it for fibro.

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Just thought to add that one of my very favorite books is Food Rules

If one could focus on just one rule each week or month or whatever and make that into a habit, I really believe that overall health would improve greatly.



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