Monday, June 27, 2011

Cardiovascular Effects of Fibromyalgia

I have waited a long time to read the highlighted words below.  Doctors would always say there are only two reasons for low blood blood pressure: [1] hemorrhage and [2] dehydration, end of story, goodbye, see you next time. 
There is a connection to Fibromyalgia which certainly explains a lot of things for those who suffer from it and also a sense of justification as well, a real reason in the cloud of mystery that surrounds this disease.

When you have fibromyalgia, your cardiovascular system can be significantly impacted. Everything from your breathing and blood pressure levels to blood flow and energy levels can get out of whack if your cardiovascular system isn’t working properly. While in some cases, your cardiovascular problems could be caused by your fibromyalgia, in other instances, you may suffer from a disorder known as orthostatic intolerance. Regardless of the cause of your problems, there are steps that you can take to improve your cardiovascular health. 

However, you do not have to have orthostatic intolerance to experience these problems. Fibromyalgia itself interferes with the regulation of the autonomic nervous system that controls heart rate. As a result, fibromyalgia patients suffer from low heart rate and hypotension (low blood pressure) and often have reduced blood flow in the thalamus and caudate nucleus areas of the brain.

What is Orthostatic Intolerance?
If you suffer from fibromyalgia, you are likely used to experiencing waves of dizziness and nausea upon standing up from a chair or getting out of bed. Recent research has revealed that people suffering from fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome are prone to a disorder called orthostatic intolerance, which can significantly affect your cardiovascular system.
Orthostatic intolerance is a drastic drop in blood pressure upon standing up. This disorder is directly related to reduced blood flow, low blood pressure and lowered heart rate. Reduced or limited blood flow has long been known as a significant contributor to fibromyalgia.

Symptoms of Orthostatic Intolerance and Reduced Blood Flow

Many of the symptoms of orthostatic intolerance are similar to fibromyalgia symptoms and can include:
Decreased concentration
Blurring of vision
Rapid breathing
Tiring easily with exercise

Improving Your Cardiovascular System
It can be frustrating to receive the advice to exercise on a daily basis when you have considerable difficulty performing daily activities and getting work done around the house. It has been well documented, however, that daily exercise can relieve many of the painful symptoms of fibromyalgia while strengthen your cardiovascular system at the same time. If you find that many types of exercise are painful, put too much stress on your joints and leave you feeling exhausted, what other aerobic activity can you do?

What is the Right Kind of Exercise?
Doctors treating fibromyalgia patients have found aquatic exercise to be beneficial to their patients. Water therapy as a form of rehabilitation is well established for those who suffer from chronic arthritis, spinal injuries and sports injuries. It is a low-impact, relaxing activity that offers many of the same benefits of land-based exercise.

Advantages of Water Therapy
Here are some of the major advantages to water therapy:
Enhances your range of motion
Builds flexibility
Increases circulation of the blood
Helps with balance
Provides resistance to build muscle
Stimulates muscle blood vessels to remove lactic acid and waste

Fight Fibromyalgia with Water Therapy!
Water therapy is a great type of cardiovascular fitness that can significantly eliminate blood circulation problems for fibromyalgia patients. Aerobic exercise helps your body to pump blood faster and distribute more blood throughout your body. During exercise, your breathing increases and you breathe more deeply. This increases the oxygen levels in your blood stream. Regular exercise contributes to the release of endorphins that combat the chronic pain and fatigue of fibromyalgia.

Lifestyle Changes for Fibromyalgia Relief
Here are some other lifestyle changes you can incorporate to fight fibromyalgia:
Drink plenty of water: During exercise and throughout the day your body needs water to function properly. Water actively fights dehydration and increases the volume of your blood.
Maintain a healthy diet: Your body needs plenty of nutrients and vitamins to maintain blood pressure, blood circulation and to fight fibromyalgia. Choose from all food groups with whole grains, fruits, vegetables and lean cuts of chicken and fish.

Look into acupuncture and massage therapy to supplement your exercise. Studies have shown that acupuncture and massage therapy increase blood flow in the skin and muscles.
Keep a regular sleep schedule: Try to get to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time in the morning. Doctors have found that maintenance of sleep rituals improve the symptoms of fibromyalgia patients. If you are unable to sleep, speak to your doctor about sleep medications. Make sure you are informed of all the side effects of the medication you are taking.

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