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Can you manage Fibro Without Medication???
12 Replies
dolphin22 - October 2

Hello, I wrote in for the first time a few weeks ago. I have been visiting this site often. I find it very helpful. I was hoping to get some feedback from those of you who have been living with Fibro for a while.
I was diagnosed in Nov-08 and up until this summer I was taking a combination of Lyrica and Cymbalta. I was feeling much better and my symptoms were very mild. Out of pure determination, I decided to stop my medication, and try to manage the fibro on my own. I was determined that I could manage it with diet and excercise and my belief in a healthy mind-body connection. I have very strong feelings about healing naturally whenever possible.
I have not had much success. My symptoms just keep getting worse and worse, and the harder it becomes to stick to any of the rules that I have laid out for myself. I'm not able to stick to my excersise because of the pain, and I don't eat properly because I am so exhausted all the time. I am trying to make a decision about re-starting my medication, but I'm in such a fog latley that I can't seem to figure out what is best for me in the end. I would love to hear from anyone who has been able to manage this without medication.
Thanks :)


sulydi - October 2

Hi Dolphin,
I have had fibro for over 20 years, and the only medication I take is tylenol, or sometimes ibuprofen. BUT, EVERYONE'S FIBRO IS DIFFERENT. I live with pain a lot, and am most often tired. I get frustrated with my cognitive problems, but I am able to take a break when I need it.
As I have gotten older, my symptoms are worse. I do not rule out ever taking other meds, but for now I can function as well as I need to.
My life is certainly somewhat limited, but for now I am okay.
Not sure that this will help you, but this is the way I choose to cope.


Fantod - October 2

dolphin22 - I am extremely sensitive to medication and treat all of it like cyanide. I have had some pretty bad reactions even to OTC remedies. As a result, I use a mix of holistic and conventional medication in very low doses to treat my Fibromylgia(FMS)and some underlying problems.

One of the crucial things that you should remember when dealing with chronic pain is the longer it goes on, the harder it will be to manage or stop. That being said, taking yourself off of Cymbalata and Lyrica is not the best idea I've heard lately. Cymbalata can not be stopped suddenly. You have to weaned off of it under supervision. You are extremely fortunate not to have had a bad reaction.

I have experimented with accupuncture, taken acres of supplements recommended for FMS and ended up right back with conventional medicine. Only certain classes of prescribed medication work for FMS. OTC remedies like Tylenol do not and prolonged exposure can cause liver problems.

I take the lowest doses of Cymbalata, Amiriptyline and Gabapentin available because I can not tolerate the recommended dose. I add melatonin at night to help me sleep, phosphatidylserine for memory, cold pressed flax seed oil for inflammation associated with osteoarthitis, Vitamin D and K.

It is apparent based upon your description that your symptoms require prescribed medication. FMS can be managed with prescribed medication but there is no cure. It places a great deal of stress on the body especially when it is untreated. Your pain levels are high because you are not getting any deep sleep. FMS disrupts the deep sleep cycle with short bursts of high intensity activity. Your muscles need deep sleep in order to repair themselves from the days activities. Nonrestorative sleep means higher pain levels - its a vicious circle.

Whatever your motivation was to stop taking your medication it was just not a good idea. The only person who is suffering is you. You can not do things that you enjoy, you are not eating and you are exhausted all of the time. I hope that you will reconsider your decision and go back on your meds. Take care.


crafter8 - October 2

I do agree with Fantoid. My mom and I both have fibro, but each treat it very differently. She chooses tons of drugs, while I do it as holistically as possible. The best advice is from my rheumatoligist. He says remember there is no CURE, and I believe him. There is management of pain and symptoms, also I believe in the mental state. I have flares yet, but will fight this syndrome with a open mind and positive happy heart!


bwelladjusted - October 2

Hi dolphin22,
I know where you're coming from. I was diagnosed about 8 months ago, and refused the medication the doctor prescribed. I was desperate to find a natural solution, and have been trying various vitamins and herbal supplements. So far no luck. :(
Many people I've talked with who have tried the drugs said they didn't really help much, and the side effects were almost as bad as the fibro. So that, along with a real concern over the long-term affects these medicines might have on my body, have detered me from the drug route. I wish I had something natural to help you, but I'm struggling with this as well. I really want to leave the medicine as a last resort, but someday I may just get desperate enough to try it.
Have you tried consulting with a naturopath or nutritionist? Whatever you decide to do, never listen to the doctors who insist there is no cure. Years ago there were other diseases they insisted had no cure, but later they found one. They may not know what the cure is yet, but I truly believe there is one, and someday they may find it! Don't give up hope!


katrinalove_1 - October 2

Hi dolphin22, I have had fibro for over 20 yrs. now and just got diagnosed a few weeks ago. by my rheumatologist/neurologist. I have had two trigger point injections and am getting two more this week. I suffered for many years and was given feldane for a while. I was on cruches for a while because I had severe pain in my knees. Two years ago I had a series of injections in my right knee, which helped the pain. I have kidney disease so I have to be very careful what medications I can take. I also have very painful neuropathy in my feet. I started taking two fish oil gel caps 3-6-9 omega fish oil which can be purchased at Walmart with my breakfast daily. Within two days my knee pain was nearly gone. I still have days that I am very tired and sometimes need a nap. I am retired so I can do that. I hope this helps you. My buttucks pain is also gone.


Fantod - October 3

FYI - I have a nutritionist and have also seen a naturopath. The nutrionist has been helpful. The naturopath had some ideas however I could not continue seeing her as it is not covered by health insurance. Just paying for the basic supplements I use is very expensive. While these are two very good ideas, not everyone can afford to pay for that kind of asistance out of pocket.


FibroGal - October 3

Hi, dolphin. I have had fibro for about 10 years now. The fatigue and the fog are my worst symptoms. My doctor once offered Lyrica but I really have no interest in medications. I am very risk aversive because I am sensitive to side effects and even supplements can have unintended consequences. However, if you've found medication that works for you, why not take it? There's no shame in it. Your needs are just as valid as those of a diabetic. Truly, if the benefits of medication are significant, I hope you'll reconsider going back on them.


dolphin22 - October 3

Thank you all for your advice. It has really helped. I guess that since I have found a medication that works, and I am at a stage in my life where I really need to be as functional as possible. It would be silly to continue to suffer. Thanks :)


Kim57 - October 5

Hi Dolphin, by the way..I love your user name. Anywho...I was also was diagnosed the end of last year knowing for quite some time that something was just not right. I actually have never seen anyone other than my family physician who did her own diagnosis. She also wanted me to try Cymbalta, which I did, but made me VERY nauseous. I gave it up and only use OTC medications when I can't stand the pain any longer. I like to think I have a pretty good pain tolerance level, but there are days...usually at the end of the day...when I just need a little something. I seem to think Tylenol does me better than Advil or Aleve. Granted...they are not a cure all, just a reliever.


chowda72 - October 10


I got diagnosed in 1991 with Hashimoto's disease & in 1995 with Fibromyalgia, I controlled my FM with exercise and streching for the most part. Only needing Tylenol and or Advil on occasion. That worked for me up until 2006 then my flare-ups started to get alot worse, to where i couldn't handel the pain and wanted to put a bullet in my brain. i still exercise and streach but i am now taking Savella, Cymbalta, & oxycodone. I wish you luck.


Wheezer - October 11

Hu Dolphin,
I am also new to fibro. I have been doing acupuncture and seeing a chiropractor who specializes in oxygen treatments for fibro.I am taking one medication at bed to help relax and help me sleep. This medication is Lorazapam, generic for Atavan. No side effects at all. I can sleep for 6 hours now which helps the brain do what the muscles need to repair themselves. I am better, I can function without being drugged. I do need to rest in the afternoon as I get fatigued, but I feel better than I have in years. I know the feeling you are having, I was there. Everyone seems to have differant symptoms and differant levels of pain. My acupuntuist also has recommented a natural halistic medication that acts like ipuprfen. So I am on little medication and have no side effects of these medications recommended for fibro. I can function but do have some exhausting days but the pain is much much better. Hope you find what works for you.


axxie - October 11

Dolphin22, as much as I admire your will and determination, what you did, is very dangerous. Never stop taking medication such as cymbalta prior to talking to your doctor and whening yourself off them.

Cymbalta works for the pain but also helps you with your fibrofog. Lyrica also helps the neuro to transmit pain and therefore helps the body to naturally help itself not feel the pain.

I have been on cymbalta for almost 9 months now, and at first I was on 60mg, just this past month with the permission of my doctor we lowered the dose to 30mg and I am doing fine, but there was a time I didn't feel so well. I now take athrotec to help with my pain that is associated with arthritis and disirel to sleep at night. I must say the combination works well for me. I also take vitamin regime to help me with my plan.



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