More Tips (#51-60) for Coping with Fibromyalgia & Insomnia

My name is Dominie Soo Bush. I suffered with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome for many years before finding some things that helped me. Below are more helpful tips continued from my previous page.

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Please Read This Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor. The purpose of this site is not to diagnose or cure any disease or malady, but is presented as food for thought. What you read on this site is based on my own history and ideas. This information cannot take the place of professional medical advice. Any attempt to diagnose and treat an illness should come under the direction of a physician. No guarantees are made regarding any of the information presented in this website.

See Table of Contents for a quick list of my 100 tips

51. PROGESTERONE CREAM -- Many women using transdermal progesterone experience an improved sleep pattern.  In Dr. John Lee's book, "What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause," he discusses estrogen dominance and the transdermal progesterone solution. Dr. Lee states, "Many of my patients have volunteered that the first benefit they perceived from using natural progesterone was an improved sleep pattern. After years of unstettled sleep they now look forward to retiring each night because they know they will enjoy sound sleep and awake refreshed in the morning....I recommended that progesterone cream be applied at bedtime." Dr. Eric Braverman, M.D. has reported only one side effect of progesterone--an increased (or a return to normal) sleepiness--which, as he described, is generally a beneficial side effect. Many women with FMS have hormonal imbalances, so transdermal progesterone may be helpful, but it's best to have a doctor check your hormone levels first.

52. NECK INJURIES -- Many people with fibromyalgia trace the beginning of their symptoms to emotional or physical trauma. Neck injuries often seem to precipitate fibromyalgia. During the course of my life, I have been in a several car accidents, suffering whiplash. My neck still causes me trouble from time to time. I see my chiropractor every 2-3 months to stay in alignment. Since muscles are attached to bones, it makes sense to keep the spine straight to eliminate any cause of muscle pain from pinched nerves. There is an interesting chiropractic technique being used now to help many fibromyalgia patients. This is different from traditional chiropractic. Also, as drastic as it seems, brain stem surgery has helped some FMS/CFIDS patients.

53. HORMONE INSTABILITY -- Hormone imbalances are frequently found in women with fibromyalgia--PMS, endometriosis, mood swings, etc. DHEA and progesterone cream can relieve these symptoms for many women. Following an early hysterectomy, I used to take Premarin, but the estrogen was causing my endometrial implants to flare up. (One of the latest treatments for endometriosis, by the way, is dietary--avoiding sugar and dairy products!) Some of my friends who are entering menopause also use DHEA and progesterone cream. One friend with a normally sunny disposition was having crying jags and mood swings that she simply could not control. It was upsetting to her and her whole family. With DHEA, my friend was able to regain her emotional balance. Another friend was suffering from hot flashes and loss of sleep due to approaching menopause. Progesterone cream gives her almost 100% relief from her hot flashes and has greatly improved her sleep. When I turned 48, I had a blood test done and my estrogen level was very low. Since I couldn't take oral estrogen because it causes intestinal problems for me and the estrogen patches irritate my skin, I really had a dilemma!  A friend told me about a natural soy phytoestrogen supplement that you can buy at Wal-Mart or any pharmacy.  It helped for awhile, but then my hot flashes and sleep disorder returned with a vengeance!  Following this, I learned that the immune system and endocrine system are related.  I used a unique immune-balancing product that helped me tremendously for three years. Then at age 54 I went back to HRT for the hot flashes and seem to be doing okay with it.

54. CARBOHYDRATES -- Do you crave carbohydrates? This may not be all bad. Your body may be trying to calm you down! According to Massachusetts Institute of Technology nutritional biochemist Judith Wirtman, carbohydrates increase brain levels of serotonin, which acts as a natural sedative. Eating carbohydrates can produce a calming effect. An English muffin with jelly might be a good snack for this purpose. You just don't want to eat protein at the same time, since it can interfere with the production of serotonin. I usually eat some carbohydrates before going to bed--normally crackers or cereal with some rice milk. I have found that low blood sugar levels can keep me from sleeping, so raising my blood sugar levels slightly before retiring has been helpful. Be careful, however, if you have yeast problems, as sugars can cause yeast overgrowth.

55. PRAYER -- Since we are spiritual beings living in a physical body, it makes sense that what helps us spiritually can also help us physically. I have heard of several instances where people with fibromyalgia were healed through prayer. (I can believe this because I personally experienced a divine healing for endometriosis several years ago. Why God heals miraculously at certain times but not at others, I do not know!) I read the Bible and pray every day (even for a short time) and I strive to keep my relationship with God and others right. I have learned that negative emotions such as bitterness, resentment, grudges, repressed anger, etc. can cause poor health. Continuing unresolved stress brings down the immune system and causes biochemical imbalances in the body. I highly recommend a devotional book called "Streams in the Desert, Vol. 1" by Mrs. Charles Cowman. It's inspirational for anyone who is going through suffering or hard times. I also like "Guideposts," "Decision" and other such magazines that give my spirit a lift. If you need inner healing from childhood abuse issues, I recommend the book "Stormie," the life story of Stormie Omartian. I couldn't put it down! Only wish I had read it many years ago. The more peaceful we can become in our souls, the healthier our bodies can be in many cases.

56. ASPARTAME (NUTRASWEET) & MSG (HYDROLYZED PROTEIN) -- These substances are called "excitotoxins" because they excite the neurons in the brain, causing them to fire so rapidly that they can die. Once these cells are gone, they cannot be regrown. (It's like poking your eye out!) There are many sites on the internet explaining the dangers of these food additives.  I avoid them!  (Instead of diet sodas which are loaded with aspartame, try drinking pure's a lot better for flushing out toxins from your system.)

57. GUAIFENESIN -- Some people with FMS have been helped by Dr. R. Paul St. Amand's guaifenesin (drug) treatment. The theory is that fibromyalgia is caused at least in part by a defect in phosphate metabolism. Guaifenesin helps rid the body of excessive amounts of phosphorus. Some people experience flu-like fatigue when the stored toxins and excess phosphates start releasing during guaifenesin treatment. A number of unpleasant symptoms may occur during this process. You also have to be very careful what you put on your skin or ingest, or it will interfere with the action of the guaifenesin. I have heard both positive and negative reports about the use of guai therapy for FMS. I personally have not tried it, since I am doing well on natural supplements, which I feel are better for my body and less complicated to fit into my daily life.

58. IONS -- A reader of my site shared some intriguing thoughts with me about ions. Basically, it is this: Computer screens are positively charged, and since electricity flows from negative to positive, it seems likely that the negative physical effects one experiences when sitting near a computer screen are caused by negative ions being pulled from the body, particularly the fluids of the eye. Sitting in front of a computer screen is probably bad for anyone, but in a weakened state, such as exists with fibromyalgia, it may be more of a "drain" on the system. The positively charged screen is also capable of stripping electrons off the oxygen near the screen. If one breathes in these atoms that are missing electrons in the outer ring, then it seems likely that the ionized atoms would find regained stability by stealing a few (millions?) from the inner tissues of the inhaler of these. We are talking about free-radicals and inhaling them in quantity. A solution could be a negative ion generator and placing it as near as possible to the area between the CRT screen and the operator. A negative ion generator adds elections to the outer rings of atoms--especially those of oxygen. These negatively ionized atoms provide a plentiful supply of electrons for the unstable positive ions which are missing electrons. This can make a dramatic difference in eye irritation. Another idea might be to use WebTV where you can sit across the room from the television monitor. Apparently the deleterious effects of positively ionized air diminish rapidly with distance from a CRT.

59. COLDS & VIRUSES -- In regard to the immune system, I use an immune balancing product that has been an enormous help to me. I used to get sick for a week or two (or even much longer) every couple of months. This had been "normal?" for me all my life! I also found something that can be used as a natural alternative to antibiotics. I spray it on the back of my throat if I feel a sore throat starting. I also spray it up my nostrils at the first sign of a sinus infection. For a weakling like me, it's great not to be at the mercy of viruses anymore! (See my CFIDS story at It's much easier to nip viruses in the bud than try to get rid of them once they have gotten a foothold in your body. Doctors usually prescribe antibiotics, and although these can be very helpful for acute infections, they can also harm you. It's better to keep your immune system strong so that you don't need them. (If you absolutely must take an antibiotic, you may also want to take acidophilus capsules and a good B-complex formulation to avoid problems with yeast. Some say to take these supplements AFTER you are finished with your course of antibiotics, whereas others say to take the supplements at the same time, just as far away as possible from the antibiotic doses daily.) Others find it helpful to use zinc lozenges at the first sign of a sore or scratchy throat. Many find greatly improved health with natural vitamin/mineral supplements in liquid or pill form.

60. SLEEP ANXIETY -- Having suffered with a sleep disorder for over 30 years (see my story at, I developed something called "bed dread!" I hate the thought of going to sleep! For decades my bed was a torture rack of insomnia--tossing and turning, worrying about how I was going to make it through the next day, suffering with FMS pain, etc. (One person I know calls this process "rotisserizing!") I know this sounds weird for those who haven't "been there," but most people with FMS know what I'm talking about! The immune product I use helps me greatly with sleep. You can also try taking some calming herbs and minerals at bedtime that can help with nervousness, anxiety, stress, etc.  However, since age 48, I have had to take sleep meds at bedtime.  See my list of things I tried for sleep at  Prior to this, I used melatonin and calming herbs and minerals. Restorative sleep is the main thing we need to help our bodies repair and heal!

To read more of my 100 tips, click on these links:

Tips #1-10 - Reduce Stress, Get Plenty of Sunlight, Computers, Sleep, Mental Relaxation, Rest, Cold, Heat, Immune System, Exercise

Tips #11-20 - Massage, Excitotoxins, Mattress, Anti-oxidants, Soft Drinks, Doctors, Depression, Nightshade Vegetables, Repetitive Activity, Magnesium

Tips #21-30 - Noise, Calming Herbs, Yeast, Vitamin E, Fasting, Dark/Light, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Pain Relieving Gels, Brain, Parasites

Tips #31-40 - "Be Happy," Smoking, Junk Food, Nutritional Supplements, Research, Raw Foods, CO-Q-10, Low-Fat, Anti-inflammatories, Pillows

Tips #41-50 - Sleep Meds, Milk, Chiropractic, Sunglasses, Coral Calcium Water, Posture, Tension Myositis Syndrome, Epsom Salts, 5-HTP, Malabsorption

Tips #51-60 - Progesterone Cream, Neck Injuries, Hormone Instability, Carbohydrates, Prayer, Aspartame (Nutrasweet) and MSG, Guaifenesin, Ions, Colds and Viruses, Sleep Anxiety

Tips #61-70 - Magnets, Fructose (Sugar) Intolerance, MSM, Electromagnetic Fields, "Leaky Gut" (Intestinal Permeability), Migraines, Cytomegalo Virus, Books, Overactive Bladder, Shoes

Tips #71-80 - Methylcobalamin, Mercury Poisoning, Soy and Food Allergies, Thyroid, Marital Stress, Lyme Disease, Breathing, Ativan, Soluble Fiber, Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome (DSPS)

Tips #81-90 Type A Personality, B-Complex, Brain Surgery, Red Blood Cells, Iron, Substance P, Gluten Intolerance, Racing Thoughts, DHEA, Mycoplasmas

Tips #91-100 - Relaxin, Warm Water Exercise, Essential Oils, Blood Volume, Acidosis, Oxidative Damage, Hyperbaric Oxygen, Bedding, Histamine Intolerance, Blood Thickness

Click here to go to the massive web resource for fibromyalgia & chronic fatigue syndrome patients!

Before saying goodbye to this web page, be sure to read the rest of my 100 tips. You just might find something that will help! Click on the convenient links located right after Tip #60 above.

Subscribe to Dom's weekly FMS/CFIDS newsletters by making a one-time donation of any amount:

100 Tips for Coping with Fibromyalgia & Insomnia

  My Fibromyalgia Story

  My Chronic Fatigue Story

  My Insomnia Story

  What I Use

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II Corinthians 1: 4 - "Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God."  Visit Dominie's FMS/CFIDS Homepage at for Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome sufferers and their families.

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DISCLAIMER: I am not a medical doctor. I am a fibromyalgia / chronic fatigue syndrome survivor. The purpose of this website is not to diagnose or cure any disease or malady, but is presented as food for thought.  This information cannot take the place of professional medical advice. Any attempt to diagnose and treat an illness should come under the direction of a physician. No guarantees are made regarding any of the information in this website.