Free yourself from the pain of Fibromyalgia!
How common is Fibromyalgia (FM)?
8 to 12 Million Americans suffer with Fibromyalgia to the point that it interferes with their normal life. For those 8-12 Million patients, FM is as disabling as multiple sclerosis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, congestive heart failure and similar chronic conditions. Fibromyalgia is very similar to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in causes, symptoms and treatments. The difference is that patients suffering with Fibromyalgia (FM) have more severe pain, and those suffering with CFS find fatigue is their greatest symptom.
Who is at risk for Fibromyalgia?
People of every age, ethnicity, gender and socioeconomic group can have FM, although it is most prevalent in people aged 35-54 and women are affected at 4 times the rate of men, and women have a genetic predisposition for developing FM.
What are the symptoms of FM?
For some, FM symptoms begin gradually and worsen over time. For others, it starts abruptly, often with devastating pain symptoms that just won’t go away. A sudden onset may be triggered by a dramatic physical or emotional event. Regardless of how it starts, over time its most persistent symptom usually becomes extreme, unrelenting muscular pain. To compound the problem, despite feeling exhausted, most people with FM have a lot of difficulty sleeping. Other common symptoms also include:
- Easily exhausted
- Unexplained extreme fatigue
- Decreased ability to perform work or educational, social and personal activities (This includes multi-tasking, which is no longer possible for many patients who were very capable prior to FM.)
- Difficulty with concentration secondary to the irritability and distraction from the pain
- Forgetfulness and difficulty with short term memory
- Headaches unlike those previously experienced
- Joint pain unrelated to injury or trauma, without swelling or redness
- Muscle pain and stiffness
- Unrefreshing sleep
Most patients have a unique combination of these symptoms, which can significantly diminish a person’s quality of life, and in severe cases can inhibit a person from being able to carry out basic daily life functions.
Think of illness as an “Energy Crisis” disorder. Low energy production at the cellular level leads to decreased energy reaching the muscle tissues. For example, think of Writer’s Cramp: the muscles in your 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 once again into the fingers, they relax and quit hurting. Now imagine this happening to all the muscles in your body, but randomly in some, and constantly in others. Ooh, that’s painful!
Is Fibromyalgia treatable?
Yes! Many who suffer from FM have been chronically ill for years, and have sought relief from many sources and found little, yet this disorder is very treatable with the right evaluation and treatment program. At Renewed Vitality, by using both natural and standard medical procedures that are 10-20 years ahead of what most doctors currently use, most patients show remarkable results! 85-90% of our patients are able to take their lives back in 8-12 months! That is an incredible success rate of which we are very proud.
How is it Diagnosed?
There are no laboratory tests that directly identify Fibromyalgia disorder. The common methods of diagnosing FM include a thorough history and positive tender points on physical examination. A thorough physical exam and a detailed patient history provide clues for the doctor to consider, evaluate, and make decisions based on your unique symptoms.
Because of the “Energy Crisis” aspect to this disorder, however, it is important to perform key laboratory tests that identify energy deficits. At Renewed Vitality we use an involved system of individualized testing that helps us identify and properly treat Fibromyalgia. These tests can include:
- Performing 20 to 30 or more specialized blood tests that allow the doctors to look at the “big picture” of the entire illness.
- Testing of hormones, from sleep hormones such as melatonin, to female hormones such as estrogen and progesterone
- Looking carefully at other hormone levels, including human growth hormone (HGH) and testosterone, paying special attention to the thyroid, adrenal and pituitary gland functions. Both women and men need adequate testosterone levels.
- Performing tests to look for possible chronic viral, bacterial, parasitic and fungal infections that may be impacting your immune system.
What Causes Fibromyalgia?
Simply put, it is caused by hypothalamic suppression. The hypothalamus is the main control center for most of the glands in your body. It controls the adrenals, thyroid, sex hormones, the autonomic system (which regulates body temperature, blood pressure, and the anti-diuretic hormone), and the sleep center. The hypothalamus is often weakened by long term exposure to chronic stress, nutritional deficiencies, toxins, and lack of sleep and exercise. This often results in low thyroid levels, adrenal exhaustion, undiagnosed chronic infections and underlying mitochondrial (the energy power plant in every cell) dysfunction.
Blood tests indicating hypothalamic suppression have a very wide “normal” or reference range which cause most physicians not trained in bio-identical hormone replacement therapy to miss diagnosing this serious problem. Renewed Vitality physicians understand that, in order to get your energy and vitality back, your hormones need to be restored to the optimal levels you had when you were younger and feeling great.
Treatment of Fibromyalgia
Tremendous advances have been made in the understanding and treatment of this disease. Treatment requires extensive knowledge in the specialized field of Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia, and it must focus on symptoms and their underlying disorders. It is important to understand that the treatment of symptoms, while sometimes necessary, does not help alleviate the underlying conditions. The complexity of this disease requires far more than the typical 10 minute doctor’s office visit, which in most cases has resulted in ineffective treatment by the current medical system in this country. Successful treatment requires a comprehensive approach to the underlying disorders, which, when appropriately diagnosed and treated, can lead to an overall return to normal energy and vitality.
Renewed Vitality uses a Six Step Process for treating CFS/FM:
First: Address the pain and sleep disturbances.
This frequently includes the use of sleep, pain and antidepressant medications. This treatment is typically only temporary while the underlying problems are addressed. It is not the long term answer as commonly practiced in the traditional medical system.
We will perform an extensive laboratory analysis focused on discovering the underlying issue and customized to the symptoms of each patient.
One of the most effective treatments for pain is Trigger Point injections, with medications injected directly into the affected tissue. This often provides 4-6 weeks of pain relief. Myofascial release/massage therapy also greatly improves pain in many patients until the underlying disorders can be treated.
Second: Rejuvenate the mitochondria and increase energy production.
Getting these little energy power plants in every cell of your body working at optimal levels is essential to restoring your energy. In those suffering from CFS/FM, they are often found in a poisoned condition, leaving the cells starved for energy. Many things can poison the mitochondria including hormonal deficiencies, toxins and infections. Mitochondrial dysfunction may be the common denominator and underlying mechanism that explains the symptoms of CFS/FM. In addition to using treatments to rid the body of the offending agents, specific nutrients can be given to jumpstart the mitochondria and get the cells functioning well again. These can be administered orally or intravenously.
Third: Balance Hormones
Hormonal deficiencies are often missed or poorly treated because traditionally doctors have used blood tests that count on a healthy pituitary and hypothalamus as a standard. These traditional tests measure levels, not function and therefore several critical hormone deficiencies go undiagnosed and untreated. Some typical hormone functions that need to be evaluated include thyroid function, growth hormone, testosterone, aldosterone, cortisol, DHEA, pregnenolone, estradiol, and progesterone. When hormones are properly treated and balanced, tremendous results can be achieved! Follow-up care requires regular monitoring of the correct hormone levels for continued hormone health.
Fourth: Treat the immunity factor
Various infections can either be a major cause of CFS/FM or contribute to the problem. Because the immune system may not be operating properly, it is possible that there may be more than one infection that must be addressed. Some of these potential troublemakers include viruses such as Epstein Barr (EBV), Cytomegalovirus (CMV), and Human Herpes Virus 6 (HHV6). Also Enteroviruses, such as Coxsackie, Parvo, can be culprits. Bacterial infections like Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Chlamydia pneumonia, Borrelia Burgdorferi (Lyme disease), Babesia and Ehrlichia can also contribute to CFS/FM. A number of yeasts such as Candida and also parasites must be evaluated as well.
In a weakened immune system, infections with the above organisms will further suppress the body’s defenses and often results in further infections with other organisms. These are called opportunistic infections. Even with the most aggressive treatments, it is difficult and sometimes impossible to destroy the infection if the weakened immune system is not addressed and treated as well. It is critical to assess infections and be treated for them along with being treated for a suppressed immune system.
Treatment may include oral or intravenous (IV) medications. Often a combination of IV and oral medication can be extremely powerful in treating infections and a compromised immune system simultaneously. Prescription anti-infectives and immune boosting supplements work together to get control of these rogue infections and restore health to an ailing immune system.
Fifth: Explore unique causes
There are some groups of individuals that have specific problems that contribute to their CFS/FM. For instance, some patients may have suffered from a chronic infection that has created a coagulation defect which results in the body laying down a fibrin (or fibrous protein) coating on cells that impairs oxygen and nutrient transfer to the cells. This can cause fatigue, muscle aches and a “brain fog.” If this condition is suspected, specialized testing is required. If this condition goes untreated, not only are the cells starved for oxygen and nutrition, but it is very difficult to eliminate any infections because they will “hide” in the fibrin coating. The infectious organisms may also produce neurotoxins which can remain in the body and continue to cause problems long after the organisms that produced them are gone. Some patients have such severe symptoms of “brain fog” that they require intensive evaluations of brain function and very direct treatment to alleviate the problem. Fortunately there are tests and procedures that can be done to rid the body of these toxins and to restore health to the cells.
When treatment is complete, a plan of maintenance will help patients continue their new-found health. Patients remain on a few core medications and supplements that are important to continue their health. These may be taken to sustain their health for many years. As with all medical treatments, some patients may require additional therapies as their case dictates.
When a comprehensive treatment plan is in place, significant recovery or a complete resolution of symptoms is the rule, rather than the exception.
Can Fibromyalgia patients recover?
There is Hope!
After decades of research and hard work there are now effective treatments for CFS/FM! At Renewed Vitality, we use both natural and standard medical procedures, assembled from the latest research and medical literature, including methods that are 10-20 years ahead of what most doctors currently use. Many patients begin to feel better within days or weeks of the first visit, and 80% of patients show significant improvement by the 4th visit when following our medically supervised, practical and proven methods.
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