How a Fibromyalgia Warrior Takes Control of Her Joint Health + GIVEAWAY

This post is generously sponsored by GOPO

When you have fibromyalgia, trial and error is a regular part of everyday life. You tweak your medications, your workout routine and even the foods you eat (perhaps going as far to try a gluten free diet for fibromyalgia), all in the hopes of finding a happier, healthier you.

I'd be lying to say that I've found the secret formula to eliminating my fibromyalgia pain. However, in my 10-year journey with chronic illness, I've discovered several tricks that help me manage my fibromyalgia symptoms. One of the most recent additions? A joint health supplement called GOPO, which three lucky winners will get the chance to try for themselves.

How a Fibromyalgia Warrior Takes Control of Her Joint Health + GOPO GIVEAWAY

Keep reading to learn four ways this fibromyalgia warrior takes control of her joint health and to enter the GOPO giveaway!

1. Keep a food journal or jot down what you ate before having a flare, and try to avoid dietary triggers. 

I get it. Keeping a food journal is tedious and time-consuming. And, as always, you should talk with your doctor before making any big changes to your diet.  If you're sick of randomly feeling cruddy after meals, though, a food journal can be a good place to start!

How a Fibromyalgia Warrior Takes Control of Her Joint Health + GOPO GIVEAWAY
My kind of food journal!

Take me, for example. I have to eat a gluten free diet due to celiac disease. When I continued to battle joint pain and bloating after going gluten free, though, I started paying attention to what gluten free foods were still triggering flare ups. What did I discover? For one thing, corn and I do not get along. Whether it's in the form of pasta, chips or corn on the cob, corn messes with my stomach and my joints. I also stumbled upon the low fodmap diet (just google that phrase if you aren't familiar with it), and pinpointed over foods on my body's no-go list (like garlic and mango).

How you keep a food journal is up to you. Personally, I kept a "visual" journal by taking pictures of my meals (Instagram photos with a purpose!). You don't have to keep a food journal forever, either. Maybe start with a week, see if you have any flares with identifiable triggers, and go from there!

2. Find the exercise routine that works for your body. 

Repeat after me: everybody is different...and every body is different too. Some of my friends feel awesome running several days a week and doing nothing else. Others love weight lifting and hardly ever do cardio.

How a Fibromyalgia Warrior Takes Control of Her Joint Health + GOPO GIVEAWAY
At the bottom of The Incline!

Personally, I've found that a mix of different often low-intensity exercises suits my body best. Yoga can help me stretch out and release tension after a long day of computer work. Biking lets me get cardio without hurting my knees. Weight lifting - after years of slowly building up strength and learning what moves don't trigger a fibromyalgia flare up - helps me feel like a (mini) badass. And, most recently, trying out rock climbing or long hikes (like the infamous Manitou Incline!) is good for my soul.

The point is that you should find the exercises that work for you and your body. Keep in mind that your "perfect" workouts may change with time. Recently, I re-aggravated an old IT band strain, which means my stationary bike, long walks and yoga are majorly off-limits. Instead, easy stretching, weight lifting and short stints on the elliptical are what my body needs right now.

How a Fibromyalgia Warrior Takes Control of Her Joint Health + GOPO GIVEAWAY

I'll also say this: don't give up hope. Sure, it's super frustrating when you try (and maybe even love) a new exercise routine, only to be hit by a major fibromyalgia flare the next day. But when you learn the workouts that actually work for your body? That feeling is worth all of the time and mistrials!

3. Listen to your body - and don't feel ashamed or embarrassed to cancel plans if you need to.

In a culture full of FOMO (or Fear of Missing Out), it can be easy to feel obligated to always be social, productive and, well, on. I know I often fall victim to this mindset; when I'm not in class, I'm working on homework. When I'm not working on assignments for school, I'm just plain working. And even when I have some "free time," I'm often spending it on (rewarding but brain-consuming) activities like blogging.

When your body is screaming that you that you need to slow the heck down, though, try to listen. Consider telling your friends the basics about fibromyalgia, so that they can better understand why you sometimes feel like Superwoman (or Superman)...and sometimes can barely get out of bed. Instead of full-out canceling plans, you can also suggest flare-friendly alternatives like a movie marathon or a relaxing night under the stars.

How a Fibromyalgia Warrior Takes Control of Her Joint Health + GOPO GIVEAWAY
Equally socially awkward roommates help too...

When you do need to cancel plans outright, don't beat yourself up about it. I vividly remember how, during my last semester of college, I accidentally took my pills - including my sleeping medicine - four hours early. I had an important class that night, but I knew I'd be a zombie by the time it started. I cried, hated the fact that I had to worry about taking pills at all, and, in the end, I missed that important class. But the world didn't end, my final grade didn't fall off a cliff, and I got the sleep that my body obviously needed.

You didn't choose to have a chronic illness, but you can choose not to blame yourself for needing to slow down every once in a while. And that decision can make a huge difference.

4. Look into supplements like GOPO. 

The newest "trick" I've added to my joint health routine is a supplement called GOPO Rosehip with Galactolipids. If you've never heard of GOPO, it's probably because it's more well-known (and commonly used) in Europe. However, GOPO is now available in America...and if you're looking for a way to upgrade your joint health, this supplement could help.

How a Fibromyalgia Warrior Takes Control of Her Joint Health + GOPO GIVEAWAY

How does it work? You can thank the galactolipids found naturally in rose hip, which is the fruit of a rose. Galactolipids are thought to aid joint and joint tissue health*, and GOPO's rose hip is designed to be especially potent and targeted toward joint care. GOPO only contains three ingredients - rose hip, hypromellose, and vitamin C (sodium ascorbate) - and is free of gluten, wheat, yeast, dairy, lactose, shellfish and animal products. 

So what has my experience been with GOPO? It would be an exaggeration to say that my joint pain has disappeared since I started taking GOPO. However, combined with my usual stretching and trigger-free diet, my joints have been handling the weather changes and stress associated with moving to a new state much better than I anticipated. Slowly but surely, my leg injuries have also been improving. I couldn't have found a better time to try out GOPO, either. Since rose hip is naturally high in Vitamin C, GOPO is a great secret weapon for staying healthy during back to school season!

How a Fibromyalgia Warrior Takes Control of Her Joint Health + GOPO GIVEAWAY

As I've said earlier in this post, what works for me may not work for you and, in my experience, a combination of different lifestyle changes and treatment plans is often needed to live your healthiest and happiest life with fibromyalgia. However, when I hear about a supplement that offers a natural way to improve my joint health, it definitely catches my attention.

If you're curious about how GOPO would affect your joint health and want to try it for yourself, you can find GOPO at The Vitamin Shoppe, Vitamin World and stores like Kroger and Walgreens. If you enter my GOPO-sponsored giveaway below, though, you could be one of the three lucky winners to receive a voucher for a free bottle of GOPO (up to a $29.99 value)!

GOPO Giveaway Rules

This giveaway ends on August 25 at 12 AM Central time, and the three winners will be announced here by August 27. This giveaway is only open to US residents over age 18, and the randomly selected winners will have 24 hours to respond to my email and claim their prize. There is no purchase necessary, the number of eligible entries received will determine the odds of winning, and this giveaway is void where prohibited by law. Entries made from contest/giveaway only accounts will be disqualified.

How a Fibromyalgia Warrior Takes Control of Her Joint Health + GOPO GIVEAWAY

Best of luck to everyone who enters!
When you're living with fibromyalgia, finding a treatment plan that works for you can feel like searching for the holy grail. If you're feeling frustrated, though, just know this: small changes to your lifestyle, your diet or even your medications can make a big difference in your overall quality of life. And there's nothing more rewarding than finally figuring out what your body really needs!


*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
How do you take control of your joint health or overall health? Tell me in the comments below!

Comments

  1. Thanks Casey! Although I do not have fibromyalgia, I deal with several other conditions that leave me with stiff joints and digestive issues. I am curious to try this supplement to see if it helps. Hope your new home is welcoming!

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    1. Thanks for the kind words, Sarah! Sending much love your way!

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  2. Thanks Casey. This is a great article and I been looking for supplement to use for my joint pain. I will have to check out GOPO.

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