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strategies, ideas and helpful thoughts about CFIDS
Epsom salts ease pain
CFIDS and fibromyalgia, and I am chemically
sensitive. I find that taking an Epsom salts bath relieves pain and stiffness in
my muscles without any potentially irritating fragrances. I also believe that
the baths loosen my bowels and relieve bloating without having to drink any of
the salts. Be careful not to take hot baths when youíre fatigued; sometimes, it
can make you more tired or even trigger a relapse.
It takes about two cups of Epsom salts to make a good bath.
You can add one-half teaspoon of glycerin to the bath water as a moisturizer, if
A reader in Minnesota
Thump away the aches
As a former massage
therapist, I cannot speak highly enough of the general benefits of massage.
Recently I have discovered a new tool to handle the handle the muscle tightness,
aches and tender trigger points. Itís called the Thumper Mini Pro 2. It has
dramatically reduced, or temporarily eliminated, much of my worst pain. It is
also wonderful for improving blood circulation and muscle tone. The product is
available through the Sharper Image (800-3440-4444) or Wellness America
Get a celiac test
During the 16 years Iíve had
CFIDS, the best advice Iíve been given was to
be tested for celiac disease. A simple, three-part blood test confirmed I have
it. Since I have been on a gluten-free diet my health has improved. Intestinal
problems, headaches, insomnia and brain fog have all gotten better.
I highly recommend a book on the subject: ďWheat-free, Worry
FreeĒ (by Danna Korn; Hay House, 2002). It covers every aspect of celiac
disease, plus other food allergies.
Tuning out tinnitus
One of the most prominent
symptoms of CFIDS for me is tinnitus,
or constant ringing in the ears. It used to drive me crazy, but I have found
several ways to block it out.
First, I use hearing aids. Because I hear other sounds better
while wearing them, I tend to notice the tinnitus less.
Second, I try to avoid foods that make my tinnitus flare up.
These include foods with caffeine, like coffee, tea, soft drinks and even
chocolate. Salty foods can also cause flare-ups for me. I donít smoke, but I
know that smoking also increases the ringing for some people.
I also try to surround myself with pleasant background noises
that help me forget about the ringing. I have several CDs of sounds Ė ocean
waves, waterfalls, gentle rainstorms and meadow birds Ė that are naturally
relaxing and donít interfere with my concentration.
Finally, I try to make sure that I donít make my tinnitus
worse. That means wearing earplugs when Iím in loud places such as shopping
malls and movie theaters. I use the small foam plugs that fit snugly inside your
ear. People donít even know youíre wearing them!
Editorís note: For more information on tinnitus, contact
the American Tinnitus Association at 800-634-8978.