I can just about touch my GF! - Fibromyalgia Acti...

Fibromyalgia Action UK
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I can just about touch my GF!


Hiya all. Louise was taken to hospital with pains in her arms and right across her chest.....worrying times. Suspected the worst but fortunately Doctor said it was Musco-skeletal and gave her Naproxen.

Been having a think......can we change her lifestyle? She drinks shed loads of coffee as there aren't many drinks she enjoys. She likes a fag too. To you readers in the USA, that means cigarette! They say too much caffeine should be avoided but what can she have instead? As for the cigs, we all know the answer to that but I can't see it changing any effects on Fibromyalgia. I hope she won't mind me saying this but her general diet is naff! Louise eats anything, whenever. Some days she'll have nothing, other days breakfast, lunch & tea (evening meal). If I, the daughter or sister say anything, we're getting at her. I have been showing her text and comment from you guys and she is taking it all on board. So, please, can you give some suggestions? I'll bullet the points below. Many thanks, in anticipation. C.x

* Drink recommendations

* Foods: Beneficial and what to avoid

May I just say thanks to blue52. Great advice this a.m. C.x

19 Replies

Hello, Louise is lucky to have a caring partner who wishes to help her live longer and enjoy life more.

It may be that this latest episode with chest pain will make her think about the amount of cigarettes and the effects on her heart and lungs. It could have turned out so much worse today. Would she go to the doctor and sign up for help to Quit?

I think you will have to go slowly with lifestyle changes, too much, too soon could make Louise feel as though she is being picked on, and that is not fair when she is struggling with fibro too.

First step fags!!!


in reply to bluebell99

Thanks bluebell......she's gonna love you! Haha.


How worrying for you both. It is a lot to take on board and really Louise will need time to adjust to the diagnosis, we all did. I personally went through various stages, grief, anger, denial and finally acceptance of the label although I have never accepted that it will stop me doing anything - I just have to do it slower and with more thought and planning.

Caffeine free coffee might be an idea. Wean her off gradually as to stop caffeine abruptly will give awful headaches. Perhaps just a cup at a time might do it.

Avoid ready made meals -cook from scratch and freeze remainder for those days when cooking really is too much.

Have vitamin D levels checked as low vit D causes muscle pain. Simple blood test and the doctor will prescribe high dose vit D if needed.

Learn to pace yourself - learn to say no. Just because you can do something one day doesn't mean you will be able to do it the next.

Epsom salt (magnesium) baths help.

I use hypnotherapy and mindfulness

chiropractor keeps me moving - had to go regularly to begin with now just top up every 6 weeks or so.

gentle exercise - stretching or tai chi, simple yoga. Even getting outside and walking to the end of the garden improves fibro.

I take various supplements too.

Good luck in finding what works for Louise. We are all different and fibro is different for every single one of us.

in reply to Dinkie

Thanks dinkie. Had bloods taken today. Shall let you know.


I agree with everything Dinkie has advised but would like to add that maybe also get vitamin B12 checked too. I think take things slowly and read as much as you can about fibro. I learnt I had fibro 3 years ago and I still struggle with how much it has changed my life and keep trying new things to see if it helps. It also helps to have understanding and she is very lucky that you care about her to want to help. We are always here to chat to. good luck. Joolz.x

in reply to hebden

Thank you hebden, B12 was included in the bloods taken. I appreciate your kind words Joolz. I shall post in due course. C.x


You are already doing an amazing job by supporting her so well. I'm a smoker (and a health professional) yes I know I can hear all the screams. When it comes to smoking we use it as a way of dealing with stress, this right now is one of the most stressful times for her. There are NHS smoking cessations out there to help, but don't pressure her. She needs to want to for it to be successful and too many failed attempts make people less inclined to try again......believe me it's a rollercoaster. And giving up smoking will help her fibro symptoms, much as we don't want to believe it smoking is a big contribution to all ill health, regardless of what it is. Smoking impacts all senses and organs and that's not good for anything.

She sounds just like me I do all the things u have described. I would suggest diet wise the usual advice a well balanced diet and regular meals. And more water is never a bad thing, caffeine is ok within reason. Exercise as she is able. Maybe just a little each day to try and strengthen her muscles. And pacing pacing pacing.

I would also think one step at a time it's so overwhelming having a diagnosis like fibro little steps all in the right direction. Don't add more stress by bombarding her with it all in one go. And sign her up her so she can't rant at us and listen to people going through the exact same things.

And she's lucky to have u supporting her.


in reply to Harleyquin

Hi, Louise had hypnotherapy to stop smoking and was doing so very well. We're taking all the advice we can. Diet, fluids are our 1st steps. Thanks for taking the time to reply. C.x

Hi Craig_d

I am so genuinely sorry to read about your girlfriends hospital trauma and it must have been quite frightening for the both of you. I was going to suggest getting her vitamin D levels checked but I can see that this has happened already. As low vitamin D can cause pain.

It may help her to undertake an elimination trial with some food stuffs to see how this goes? Such as cutting out dairy for a couple of weeks and see how she feels, or maybe processed foods for a couple of weeks etc? It could be that some foods are increasing her pain levels?

I have pasted an excerpt about caffeine from the Livestrong cache below:

*In addition, caffeine may exacerbate symptoms of anxiety, restlessness or depression commonly experienced in fibromyalgia sufferers. However, because caffeine is a stimulant, a small dose in the morning may help alleviate daytime fatigue associated with fibromyalgia.17 Jul 2011

One of the biggest factors in cutting down pain is some gentle exercise, it may prove beneficial for her to ask her GP for a referral to physio? The Fibro physio is usually very gentle mobility exercises.

I want to sincerely wish you both all the best of luck my friend.

All my hopes and dreams for the both of you


in reply to TheAuthor

Ken, thank you. Saw the GP who advised physio. Was also asked to try Reflexology and Acupuncture, both of which cost. Whilst she is flaring the cost is an issue as Louise is unable to work. A fellow member, blue52, recommended a Hydro Pool, which we are looking at. Thanks again. C.x

in reply to Craig_d

Hi Craig, you can usually get reflexology at your local college these days for a cheap fee as they are training. The students will have been practising on each other and family for quite a time before being let loose on the public ! All the best

in reply to Craig_d

Good luck my friend

Hi, my fibro started with a scary episode of arm and chest pain, I ended up in hospital on more than one occasion after these attacks. After all the scans and tests they found nothing and we deduced it was fibromyalgia or costocondritis . Basically I find a good physio who did global postural reeducation, basically a breathing and movement techniques, then slowly building to exercise. Well I worked hard at it and my chest is so much stronger, I can lift a bag of shopping, I can carry the wet clothes from the machine. I really recommend trying this method of strengthening the chest arms and core.

Edited By Admin

in reply to zen2017

Hi zen2017, Louise has had a look at yoga, Pilates amongst others but this is a new one. I'll certainly tell her. Thank you. C.x

Hi Craig, I was referred to "Spinefix" Musculoskeletal services, which is aimed to help me learn to live with my pain. They will also help a person to lose weight or stop smoking if asked for. I have a pain plan manual, which includes a relaxation cd in the back, and lots of other information. Do you think that Louise would be interested in asking her Doctor to refer her to them? Good luck. Julia xx

in reply to Fibrojules

Julia, I'm pretty sure that Louise would. Thank you so much. I've noted the services name. C.x

You could try adding fresh vegetable and fruit blends or juices. I love how juicing makes me feel. I have heard other people say blending worked the same for them.

Maybe if she adds a lot of fresh vegetables into her diet it can bring her energy up and help her feel a little better to help her work on the other things.

Fags/cigs are full of chemicals etc. That go into the body with every smoke, adding more and more. I am not positive on this but I think a large number of us are ex-smokers. Not the easiest things to kick, but definitely worth the effort.

I have experienced benefits from an anti-inflammatory/ detoxing foods. I can feel a difference in my body (more pain acking tired) when I eat less whole foods (foods in natural form as fresh as possible)

I still drink way too much coffee and sugar, it's definitely held me back.

Maybe approach her improvements in a different approach.

For instance my husband asks me to go for short walks with him. We talk and hold hands. It's nice and I get exercise.

If you do the cooking, make roasted meats and vegetables, with herbs and some butter or alternative oil/ or stock.

Instead of going you need to change these things just start changing them. :) so you can all be healthier together, as that is the only way to stick to the changes.

She could drink hot water with a chunk of ginger and lemon in it, It is anti-inflammatory and cleansing.

Good luck. ××

Yes there is no doubt that toxins only make things worse so definitely cut the smoking for this and other reasons. Eat well - quality not rubbish and regularly. It's our fuel - you wouldn't run your car on junk - you give it decent fuel! A few days to a week she'll feel awful as the rubbish leaves her body then she'll start to feel much better as proper nutrients get to work. She has this for life so best to get as healthy as possible as soon as possible so as to weather this in the future x

Yes, I don't think people understand that you don't instantly feel better, it takes a week or so. And even now, foam rolling and massage hurts horribly in the moment but loosens super sore tight muscles. I like to think of my pain, in those moments, as like metaphorical love letters to myself. I love myself enough to go through this so that my life can have more meaning tomorrow/ down the road. Same with juicing. It might be exhausting in the moment but it will be better later. Just stick with it.

Thanks for pointing that out.

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