# 7 – What can you do now to improve your pain?Sep 06, 2021
Over the last several months, I had many patients who reported significant improvement in pain. They all had similar symptoms of all-over pain, stiffness, and fatigue, not feeling better with pain medications. They had similar lifestyles – diet with a significant amount of sugar and soda, poor sleep, and relative immobility.
One thing all of these patients did was significantly reduced or completely eliminated soda and simple sugars. All of them previously drank mostly soda (regular or diet) or sweet tea, juices, alcohol. They consumed little or no water. All started to drink a lot of water.
They also cut out simple carbohydrates: cookies and pastries, bagels, bread, pasta, etc. most foods that contained white sugar and white flour. They increased their intake of protein, fresh vegetables, greens, and fruit. They also added a multivitamin and vitamin D (all were deficient on screening labs).
As they reduced drinks with sugar and caffeine, their sleep improved. A brain that is not affected by caffeine and sugar has more restorative sleep. Our sleep cycle is affected by caffeine, and it may take up to 10-12 hours to clear out of your body completely. As their sleep improved, their fatigue diminished.
My patients also started to move a little -gradually increased walking from none to about 20-30 minutes per day (gradually). They avoided intense exercise. They avoided pushing and crashing with their activities.
I know many will doubt these suggestions. I am sure all of us have heard these at some point – eat better, drink water, move more. These interventions may sound too simple and too good to be true. They are hard to implement for some patients. But what I see in my practice is that these lifestyle changes make a positive impact on wellbeing.
If you recall the three pillars of fibro treatment, these lifestyle changes fall under the second pillar, self-care.
Self-care is a vital component of fibromyalgia or any chronic disease treatment plan.
If you still doubt these changes will work for you, ask yourself – can the opposite be true?
Do you believe that eating poorly, being chronically dehydrated, not moving, and not sleeping well are good for your health?
See last week blog post #6 - https://www.rheumcoach.com/blog/6
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