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Fibromyalgia and Sensory Processing Disorder

Sensory overload is a condition where multi-sensory integration is not adequately processed in order to provide appropriate responses to the demands of the environment. The brain struggles to interpret, prioritise, or otherwise process sensory inputs. It causes feelings of discomfort and panic as the brain sends signals to the body that it is time to “escape”.

There is a strong link between sensory overload (or sensory processing disorder) and Fibromyalgia. Sufferers typically react to loud noises, certain tastes, smells, light and even touch. Sensitivity to smell (particularly strong perfumes and smoke) is the most common symptoms.

Often, Fibro sufferers who experience sensory overload (and adrenal stress) are misdiagnosed as having an Anxiety Disorder.

The Impact of Sensory Overload:

- The inability to ignore loud sounds, strong smells, or other types of sensory input;

- Anxiety, stress and fear;

- Irritability;

- Loss of focus;

- Extreme sensitivity to clothing or other textures;

- Feeling overwhelmed or agitated; and

- Restlessness.

Symptoms often come and go and vary in severity, with some sufferers experiencing prolonged periods where they are totally housebound.

Dulling the Senses:

There is no official treatment or diagnosis apart from tests such as the Sensory Integration and Praxis Test (SIPT). Sufferers generally manage episodes by:

- Identifying symptoms and triggers by keeping a diary;

- Avoiding triggers;

- Asking others to help reduce sensory inputs, such as by turning down bright lights or avoiding using strong perfume and / or deodorant;

- Creating a “safe space” to escape to when sensory overload occurs in the home, but also, in the workplace;

- Sitting near exits when away from home, for example cafes and restaurants;

- Informing colleagues, friends, and others about sensory overload and asking for support in reducing sensory inputs;

- Avoiding overexertion and getting enough rest and sleep; and

- Drinking enough water to avoid dehydration.

Elixir Compounding Pharmacy specialises in treating Fibromyalgia. We develop patient-centred treatment protocols based largely on advanced nutrient therapies. We offer complementary phone consultations where we assess symptoms and recommend an individualised treatment protocol. So, if you or someone you know is fighting Fibro, contact Elixir today.

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