Fibromyalgia and Fitness Tracking

Me and Fibromyalgia go back a long, long way. But if I knew 20 years ago, what I know now, things would be very different

How Does Fibromyalgia Affect You

So what is Fibromyalgia? What does it do to you? How does it affect you?.

Fibromyalgia My Journey

I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia somewhere around 3 years ago now, and that was after around 3 years of clinical investigation. But my guess is that i had probably suffered the effects of the illness for somewhere approaching 20 years before I began my voyage of discovery.

In my 20’s I was a fairly active individual with a growing successful career. I played football to a reasonable standard, cricket also, I had swum for my county, I was skydiving, para-gliding and scuba diving at national instructor level.

As the pains and the fatigue, and the mood swings and periods of depression began, I just put it down to an incredibly busy life, a hard and pressurized job and massive hours. It was probably just the result of a bad week, or even a bug I had caught, right? So my tendency was to knuckle down and bat on through it. Taking over the counter pain killers and anti depressants to get me through the worst of it. Legally most of the time but when the occasion wouldn’t allow them more dubious means were always available.

Of course there was always alcohol too and many a bottle of single malt was prescribed as sleeping linctus.

Sometime in the early days I must have had a serious word with myself at some point because I quickly found myself carrying around a digital thermometer, a blood pressure machine, a prick test set, I even acquired a portable ECG machine. As far as I was concerned though it wasn’t me, it was the pressure of everything that I was trying to fit in around my busy job. The equipment was just for when I was feeling really rough and just to make sure that any decision yo just carry on was not a dangerous one.

Over time though my body just couldn’t keep up and my sports started to fall by the wayside one by one. Just the odd game here and there but eventually I became so unreliable that I was becoming un-pickable and of course I would use the busy with work excuse for both my teams and, more damagingly myself.

I grasp a hold of my scuba diving though until the bitter end. In the later days of my diving career I had come to realize that the problem was not my job but me. Even them I just kept protecting (and kidding) myself with more and more elaborate (and expensive) life support.

Indeed, to this day I still have several thousands of pounds worth of kit sat in my garage.

Just after my career had collapsed because of a dramatic and disastrous sickness record I got some strange results in my blood works that lead my GP to suspect that I possibly had LUPUS. And so the trail began to track down what was wrong with me.

I became almost a professional hospital patient over the next 5 years as I was passed from one department, even hospital, to another. Blood test after blood test, physical after physical. Ticking off one specialist after another.

Now 5 years to get diagnosed, sounds more than a little extreme I know. But trust me I have cohorts in my FB group that have taken much longer than that, 7 years seems to be about average for a diagnosis for LUPUS or Fibro. I think mine would have been the same, only I realized after a while that each time I would see someone new I would be interviewed and asked about my symptoms and how they occurred,and, each time my answer would vary slightly depending on what symptom was freshest in my memory or was most frustrating to me at the time. Also, my bloods would often make a liar out of me. For example, I generally don’t show any inflammation markers when the physical evidence is that of huge inflammation and the same opposite.

Eventually the penny dropped, and I realized that I could more accurately convey all of my symptoms if I tried to keep a daily ‘Wellness Diary,’ and carry that with me to my appointments. As best, I could I did this for a while, but it was a little hit-and-miss as one of the symptoms are lack of motivation. But they did have an effect and it didn’t take me long to realize that during my diving days i had become something of an expert at monitoring my vital signs and recording my bio metrics. At that point in time (only a few short years ago) fitness monitors were rudimentary compared to today, to say the very least. However, they had to be a better option than carrying around the rigmarole that i used during my career, so I made my first investment.

I became obsessed with taking daily measurements. And measurements when I started to feel any of my symptoms and started to record my metrics in an Excel, file and produced fairly extensive reports prior to any appointments. I even started to post my results forward in preparation for upcoming appointments.

This obviously had an effect because I was diagnosed around 4 months later

 

 

 

 

 

Why Track Fitness

After coming to terms with the fact that I had a ‘SYNDROME’ the next step was to join as many support groups and networks as I could find with the intention of researching my new-found partner and ultimately learning how to manage it. This has become a persistent and life-long pursuit.

The initial evidence was that the symptoms and effects of this syndrome are so diverse that there really doesn’t seem to be any reliable information regarding things to do, habits to adopt or regimes to begin, that always work for everyone. Indeed, this is a very personal affliction and managing it relies on much more than an overall management plan.

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Yes there are accepted mantras such as adopting a Paleo diet, exercise, and support. But the illness is so specific that the more that you look, the more contradictions you find. I soon found that managing my condition was going to be a long project of trial and error and that the only way that i was going to find what worked for me and what didn’t was by monitoring my health and fitness very closely.

Bring on the fitness trackers again!

The habits that I had gathered in the months prior to my diagnosis have become incredibly important to me finding out how to manage. For example the general acceptance is that weight gain is generally a problem with Fibro patients as they are more reliant on fast and convenience foods than the general population and combined with the difficulty in exercise, and the probability that additives are going to aggravate the condition, they find themselves trapped in a self-fulfilling cycle. So the general advice is to adopt a low fat, or even fat busting diet.

Yes even for the general fit population that is sound advice, however I have tried dozens of commercial diets and in everyone I tried I found numerous ingredients that over time I found I was having adverse reactions to, so I could not find a diet, other than going Vegan (not going to happen) that I could either fully utilize or was not overly complicated that it took all day preparing a meal.

I eventually found a diet based on Paleo dietary principles that suits me and avoids to a great extent the lists of foods that detrimentally affect my health. The Fast Fat Burning Diet meets all of my requirements, it’s simple, healthy and most of all convenient. If you are looking for a similar solution them please Click Here https://dc233vmueultska518x8-gen0g.hop.clickbank.net/ or on the images below to check it out.

 

 

 

 

Conclusion

My point is this.

Had I not had access to the tracking technology, I would not have got my diagnosis as quickly as I did. In fact I could easily still be waiting.

Had I had access to the technology in my 20’s I could not have avoided the illness, but I could have understood it and taken measures to manage it and my health, and more than likely I would have been able to slow its progress. And I would.d ultimately been fitter today.

Now that I have the ability to measure my fitness and monitor it accurately, I can ensure that I eat healthily, exercise intelligently and therefore I have the ability to manage the progress of my illness and I know when something is wrong as soon as it is wrong, and I can act appropriately.

In today s ever accelerating world, surely my lesson is that it is possible to take responsibility and control of your own health no matter who you are.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you have made it this far them thank you for your patience. If you have any questions or comments them please leave them below.

Adrian

15 Replies to “Fibromyalgia and Fitness Tracking”

  1. I’ve been seeing a lot of ads addressing fibromyalgia and these ads don’t say what the affliction is.

    This is a great article that gives a little insight to what fibromyalgia is.

    Thank you for sharing your story. I can’t imagine having a condition that takes so long to diagnose.

  2. In the present world we live in technology has made it possible for us to be able to identify and manage some ailments and from your article if such technology had been available some years back it would have been of great help.
    A lot of people live their lives hoping that one day technology would help discover what is wrong with them and hope it can be managed.
    This is very useful information you have provided because it is really important to know of any ailment at its early stage.
    Thanks a lot for sharing this to the world.

  3. A friend of mine was diagnosed with fibromyalgia while she was in high school. It took a year to diagnose, so I guess she was lucky. She missed out on a lot of school that year because she was bedridden for most of it.

    I never thought about the fact that all these wearable fitness devices could be used in this way. That’s awesome, and I’m sure it’ll help others.

    1. Hey Nicole,
      Yes your friend was very lucky that they ruled out all of the other possibilities so quickly, perhaps it was because she was so young. Although i am thankful that i got to do so many things before it got the better of me.
      Thanks for the fantastic feedback. If at any time you feel that i may be able to help you out in any way then please do not hesitate to contact me.

      Thanks again
      Ade

    1. Phyliss
      Thank you very much for the amazing feedback.
      If you feel at any point in the future that i can be of help to you in any way, then please do not hesitate to contact me.

      Thanks once again
      Ade

  4. Great Article Adrian, I never fully understood what fibromyalgia was until reading this article, what a crazy long time to diagnose the issue. Surely the technology nowadays helps diagnose it quicker ? why does it take so long to diagnose ?

    1. Hi Marvin
      Thanks for the great feedback.
      In answer to your question, the symptoms are so diverse and varied, and are all in isolation symptoms of other syndromes. For example it is an illness that in many ways is very similar to LUPUS (which by the way is another illness that takes a long time to diagnose. The only difference is that while Lupus is, to over simplify things, a deficiency of the immune system, while Fibro is a musco-skeletal syndrome.

      Once again thanks for the feedback. If there is ever anything that I may be able to do to help you then please do not hesitate to ask.

      Rgds
      Ade

  5. this is the first time i am hearing about Fibromyalgia and i am extremely thankful for this insightful writeup. It goes a long way to tell that its not really about keeping fit in your youthful days but even in all the activity, you could be doing something wrong and harmful to yourself. Keep track of your fitness routine and everything about you. once again, thank you, i will definitely dig more about it.

  6. Hello Adrian, 

    Oh wow. Thanks for this article. I have learned a lot. I have a girlfriend who has fibromyalgia and I did not know that it could affect men too (this may sound naive and I take full responsibility of my not knowing). She is often in pain and she also has seizures. She has been dealing with the transition for the last 3 years – and yes, lots of doctors’ visit as well.

    One thing that has given her some relief is using CBD Oil, have you heard of that? Have you ever tried it? Of course, keeping a conscious diary (like you have), using the best means available to you is just simple amazing. We can all live vicariously through your experiences.

    Thanks for sharing and all the best.

    Michelle

    1. Michelle, thanks for taking the time to look at my article, and then to contribute so positively to the discussion. In answer to your question, yes I have used CBD oil. indeed I was part of a UK study of it a number of years ago. Unfortunately it does not help me or my symptoms, indeed in many ways it makes them worse.

  7. Hi, Adrian. A very touching article. It’s very sad to hear when your body is out of condition and it’s still a bit of severe fibromyalgia. It’s not your fault, each of us didn’t know how to take care of the body when we were young, we were busy working and the diet was not handled well, resulting in some diseases we didn’t expect when we were adult. In my opinion, if we want to stay healthy at a young age, unless you have a diet coach, then you can have a healthy body. I also like the fitness tracker you mentioned in the article, because it can know the progress of our body, whether it is in diet or fitness or exercise, it can give enough guidance to help us achieve health planning and stay away from disease danger. And the story you mentioned about yourself in the article also makes me want to start learning how to take care of the body. I learned a health knowledge a lot from your article, thanks for your sharing.

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