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Fibromyalgia Health Center

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Fibromyalgia and Pregnancy

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What Treatments Are Recommended for Fibromyalgia During Pregnancy?

To avoid letting fibromyalgia interfere with pregnancy, know what steps you can take to ease the symptoms. Then seek support from your doctors, family members, and friends. Treatments for pregnant women with fibromyalgia may include massage, exercise, yoga, meditation, and rest.

If you suffer with fatigue and ache all over, make sure you rest 20 to 30 minutes at least two or three times a day. To ease the achiness of tender point pain, try moist heat applications twice a day. A warm shower or bath is a good way to apply moist heat. Just make sure that the water temperature is 100 degrees Fahrenheit or lower and limit use to 15 -20 minutes at a time. Also, use gentle stretching exercises and exercises recommended by your doctor for relief.

Why Is Exercise Important for Fibromyalgia and Pregnancy?

Exercise helps keep you fit. It strengthens muscles, keeps joints flexible, and boosts mood by increasing serotonin in your body. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that scientists have found to be related to fibromyalgia. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that send specific messages from one cell to another. While only a small percentage of serotonin is located in the brain, this neurotransmitter is believed to play a vital role in mediating moods.

Too much stress can lead to permanently low levels of serotonin. That, in turn, can lead to aggression and feelings of depression. Lack of exercise can aggravate low serotonin levels. On the other hand, increased levels of serotonin in the brain are associated with a calming, anxiety reducing effect. In some cases they are also associated with drowsiness. Having a stable level of serotonin in the brain is linked with a positive mood.

Talk to your health care provider about the level of activity that is right for you.

Are Women Especially Affected by Levels of Serotonin?

It appears that women may have a greater sensitivity to changes in serotonin. Mood swings during the menstrual cycle or menopause or following the birth of a baby are induced by the action of hormones on neurotransmitters.

Various factors can have a positive effect on serotonin levels. These include sunlight, certain carbohydrate foods, some hormones, and exercise. Exercise acts as nature's tranquilizer, helping to boost serotonin levels in the brain. Studies show that exercise also triggers the release of epinephrine and norepinephrine, which are known to boost alertness.

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