10 Million people in the United States suffer from Fibromyalgia according to the National Fibromyalgia Association. It can be as disabling as Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Congestive Heart Failure, and similar chronic conditions. People of every age, ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic group can have it, although it is most prevalent in people aged 35-54. Women are affected at 4 times the rate of men.
The term, “Fibromyalgia” is derived from the Greek, “algia,” meaning pain, and “myo,” which refers to muscle, and the Latin, “fibro” meaning the connective tissue of tendons and ligaments.
In 1987, the AMA (American Medical Association) recognized Fibromyalgia as an illness, and a major cause of disability. The American College of Rheumatology, the World Health Organization, and the National Institutes of Health have also all accepted Fibromyalgia as a legitimate clinical entity.
What is Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is not a disease per se, but instead a syndrome, since it is caused by multiple factors that come together and create a “perfect storm” of conditions which manifests into Fibromyalgia symptoms. It is characterized by ongoing widespread pain, cognitive impairment, multiple tender points, abnormal pain processing by the brain, sleep disruption, extreme fatigue, and depression. Symptoms may be better or worse on any given day and can be extremely debilitating and interfere with daily activities and quality of life.
- Hypothalamic suppression
- Severe dysfunction in the mitochondria
- Overwhelmed immune system
- Increased life stresses
- Adrenal insufficiency
- Low thyroid hormones
- Hashimoto’s Disease
- Imbalances in the sex hormones
- Candida/yeast infections
- Severe gut infections
- Other viral and bacterial infections such as EBV (Epstein-Barr), CMV, and some of the Human Herpes viruses
- Vitamin deficiencies
- Lack of exercise
Studies are showing that there is a high prevalence of Fibromyalgia associated symptoms in patients with hypothalamic/pituitary disorders. Research also indicates that patients who have mitochondrial myopathy present with Fibromyalgia symptoms.
Think of Fibromyalgia as an “energy crisis” disorder. Low energy production at the cellular level leads to decreased energy reaching the muscle tissues. For example, think of someone who has Writer’s Cramp. The muscles in the fingers seize up and hurt to the point that they are unusable, yet if you straighten them out quickly, it hurts much worse. As energy begins to flow back into the fingers, they relax and stop hurting. Now imagine this happening to all the muscles in your body, but randomly in some, and constantly in others. That’s painful!
Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
For some, Fibromyalgia symptoms begin gradually and worsen over time. For others, it starts abruptly, often with devastating pain symptoms that just won’t go away. Because Fibromyalgia is an autoimmune illness, it’s common for a patient to also have other autoimmune conditions going on, which can make symptoms worse.
Fibromyalgia can occur gradually from dysfunction caused by chronic stress, hormonal deficiencies, sleep deprivation and a weakened immune system which can open the door to an array of opportunistic infections. It can also come on suddenly due to infection, injury, emotional or physical trauma, exposure to toxins, and even pregnancy.
Regardless of how it starts, its most persistent system usually becomes extreme, unrelenting muscular pain. To compound the problem, despite feeling exhausted, most people have a lot of difficulty sleeping. Decreased cognitive ability, including short-term memory problems and the ability to multitask, is also a huge concern for Fibromyalgia sufferers since they can no longer function like they used to. Other common symptoms also include:
- Decreased ability to perform work, social, and personal activities due to greatly impaired quality of life.
- Difficulty with concentration secondary to irritability and distraction from pain.
- Overall achiness.
- Easily exhausted, even from every day routine activities.
- Unexplained extreme fatigue.
- Severe headaches.
- Joint pain unrelated to injury or trauma, without swelling or redness.
- Muscle stiffness.
- Unrefreshing sleep.
- Increased thirst, chronically dehydrated.
- Frequent infections.
- Increased allergies and sensitivities.
- Anxiety and/or depression.
- Weight gain.
- Decreased libido.
- Blurred vision.
- Dry eyes and dry membranes in the nose and/or mouth.
- Painful menstrual periods.
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Recurrent infections – bladder, urinary tract, eyes, etc.
- Dry, itchy skin or rash.
Fibromyalgia can get better, but it can also flare up. A “flare” is a term that refers to the various symptoms getting much worse for a period of several hours and up to days on end. A flare usually follows a period of stress, either emotionally or physically. Some of examples of triggers can include several nights of poor sleep, a long drive or flight, over-exertion, working long hours, and an increase of sugar, caffeine, or alcohol intake. Known or unknown infections can also get worse which can cause a flare.
There are often other issues that occur along-side the Fibromyalgia that can include:
- Sleep apnea
- Restless leg syndrome
- Imbalanced hormones
- Adrenal insufficiency
- Candida (yeast) infections
- Other autoimmune problems
- Leaky gut syndrome
- Vitamin deficiencies
Most patients have a unique combination of these symptoms, which can significantly diminish quality of life, and in severe cases, can inhibit a person from being able to carry out basic, daily life functions.
Fibromyalgia is Real and You Are Not Crazy!
Fibromyalgia is an invisible illness which unfortunately, can have stigmas associated with it. Friends, co-workers, and the like may not understand how debilitating Fibromyalgia can be which can contribute to feelings of loneliness and ostracization.
Many sufferers are left feeling isolated and alone even in their quest to feel better and the “mainstream” medical profession doesn’t do much to help with that. A lot of patients are told that they are depressed or that it’s “all in their head,” and prescribed antidepressants.
Some folks are prescribed opioid pain medications or told to take over the counter pain relievers. While these meds may temporarily alleviate pain, they can have severe side effects and only mask the symptom. They can also make the situation worse long-term.
Unfortunately, this mindset and treatment “protocol” does nothing to help the millions of people who are suffering from this illness. Many of the patients who come to our clinic are frustrated with this type of treatment and are desperate to get their lives back. We want to assure you that we understand your illness and know how to treat it properly!
Renewed Vitality Can Help
Our providers at Renewed Vitality understand that Fibromyalgia is indeed very real and the debilitating effects that it can have on our patients’ lives. We use both natural and standard medical procedures that are 10 – 20 years ahead of what most doctors currently use, and most of our patients show remarkable results! 85-90% of our patients are able to regain their health and take their lives back in 8-12 months! We are very proud of this incredible success rate, and are passionate about helping our patients to heal.
Fibromyalgia is very treatable even for those who have been chronically ill for years. It just requires the right evaluation specific to your condition, and an individualized treatment program.
How is Fibromyalgia Diagnosed?
Currently, there is no laboratory tests that directly identify Fibromyalgia Syndrome, though there are some methods that are currently being studied. However, if you are having symptoms, have been having them for more than 3-months, and no one has been able to find a cause for them, chances are very high that you have Fibromyalgia.
The common methods of diagnosing Fibromyalgia include a through history and physical examination. A thorough exam and a detailed patient history provide clues for Dr. Spurlock to consider, evaluate, and make decisions based on your unique symptoms.
Because of the “energy crisis” aspect to this disorder, it is important to perform comprehensive and key laboratory testing to determine causation. At Renewed Vitality, we look for the unique CAUSES of your Fibromyalgiaso that we can treat your illness at its root versus only prescribing medications for your symptoms.
We use an in-depth system of individualized testing that helps us identify and properly treat Fibromyalgia. These tests can include:
- Performing 20 – 30 specialized blood tests that allow the doctor to look at the “big picture” of your illness, including your immune system and metabolic system.
- Testing of sleep hormones such as melatonin along with the sex hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.
- Looking carefully at other hormone levels, including HGH (human growth hormone), all aspects of the thyroid hormone, along with adrenal and pituitary gland functions.
- Specialized testing to look for possible chronic viral, bacterial, and fungal infections that may be greatly impacting your immune system.
For a detailed overview of the testing that Dr. Spurlock does for his Fibromyalgia patients, please watch his video:
The cornerstone of Fibro treatment is understanding where it comes from. It is caused by Hypothalamic suppression. Most of your body’s glands are controlled by the hypothalamus so when it becomes weakened, a cascade of negative effects can occur in your body.
Fibromyalgia is the result when the hypothalamus has been weakened by long-term stress, short-term extreme stress, chronically deficient diet, exposure to toxins, and other variables.
These types of stressors often show up as low thyroid, adrenal exhaustion, and chronic infections (which are often undiagnosed and untreated). Underneath it all, the cellular power plant of the body, the mitochondria, have become dysfunctional, making it almost impossible to recover without a targeted medical program.
We use a methodical, 6-step process to treat Fibromyalgia:
- Address pain and sleep disturbances
- Rejuvenate mitochondria and increase energy production
- Balance hormones https://www.renewedvitalitymd.com/hormone-replacement-therapy/
- Treat the immunity factor
- Explore unique causes
Here’s a recent seminar by Dr. Spurlock about the treatment of Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue.
For more detailed information about Fibromyalgia treatment protocol at Renewed Vitality in Dallas, click here.
About Dr. Spurlock
Wm. Marcus Spurlock, MD is a Board Certified Family Physician with over 2 decades of experience and expertise in viral diseases as well as Anti-Aging medicine. He has been a member of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine for over a decade and works diligently with his patients to prevent illness.
Dr. Spurlock is knowledgeable, experienced, and has a passion for finding solutions to environmental and age related illness. He brings a variety of cutting edge professional services to Renewed Vitality, making it the best choice for patients searching to improve their quality of life.
His résumé includes 20+ years of experience with Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement and Integrative Medicine.
Dr. Spurlock’s specialties are with the treatment of Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Weight Loss, Thyroid Disorders, Chronic Viral Syndromes and Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy.
Dr. Spurlock is a fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians, and a member of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine and the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. For more details on Dr. Spurlock’s education and career, click here.
If you would like more information regarding Fibromyalgia treatment or would like to make an appointment, please call our new patient coordinator at (214) 740-4703 or fill out the form below and we will contact you!