Go to your local public library & see if they have the book From Fatigued to Fantastic by Jacob Teitelbaum, MD. Even if they don't have the book, the reference librarians likely will be able to get it in for you from another library. This book has lots of info on fibro, on self-help & alternative treatments as well as medical treatments.
Not all medications are terribly expensive. It's true, some of the newer ones are, but for example, many cases of fibro are complicated by thyroid hormone deficiency, which is very inexpensive to treat. Generic thyroid hormone costs about $5/month.
Pain medication is not the be-all and end-all for fibro. Some of us do not tolerate pain meds & so have had to look elsewhere. An important starting point is to make sure that you DO have fibro, not something else. It's a good investment to have a med checkup & some blood tests run.
Keeping as physically active as possible, without overdoing & triggering a flare, is very important. And can be done for next to nothing.
Some of us have found that we have triggers for fibro flares. Certainly stress, for many of us. So learning stress reduction & stress-coping techniques is very helpful. See if your public library has the Andrew Weil CD entitled Breathing, for one very easy & economical way to defuse stress.
Others have tracked down certain foods as culprits in causing flares. Notably, foods containing oxalates can cause fibro flares in some people. For others, it's things like sugar, caffeine, gluten, dairy, vegetable oil. Not everyone can track down flare triggers, but w/out pain meds there is more incentive to do so.
I have found, and have met one or two others, that certain chemicals trigger nasty fibro flares. For me the main culprits are chlorine & fluoride. Eliminating them as much as possible has been extremely helpful for me. Other people have found different chemical triggers for their flares.
Some of us use nutrition supplements to good effect. A multivite with minerals & ample B-vitamins can be helpful. EPA fish oil concentrate has been shown to be as effective as SSRIs for depressive symptoms (common in fibro, either cause or effect) and has pain-relieving qualities as well. Magnesium, taken orally or in an Epsom Salts bath, is quite popular for fibro sufferers.
Heat is soothing to some people during fibro flares, but a retired physio told me that the most potent non-med pain reliever is ice, which if used for 10 min. intervals can stop or slow down nerves from firing, meaning less pain.
Much of fibro treatment, whether with meds or by self-help is trial & error. In future it is likely that science will describe fibro as a set of symptoms that can arise from a number of different causes. That's one reason why it's so hard to guarantee a path that will bring you to a pain-free point.
Thank you for your response. I appreciate it. First, I really do have fibro, I have been through more tests then I can count on my hands trying to figure out what is wrong and was finally correctly diagnosed by a well renouned nuero in my area. Second, I stopped all pain meds 4 months ago and have been on anti-depressants to try and ease the pain. I can no longer take those because they are truly causing me issues. Third, I have had my thyroid tested tons of times and it is fine. As for the foods that trigger them, thanks for the tip I will definitaly look into that. Also thanks for the vitamin tips. Please don't take the way I wrote this paragraph as rude. It is a technique I use to remember everything I need to say. Again you advise is much appreciated.
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