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Fibromyalgia

The Quiet Illness

I went from doctor to doctor trying to find out what was wrong. I was told I was overworked, depressed, and possibly a hypochondriac. I eventually became truly depressed because no one believed that something was actually wrong with me. I was very frustrated. After many years of quiet suffering, I finally heard the word Fibromyalgia. I went to a Rheumatologist, who diagnosed me. I finally had a name for the "real disease" that had altered my life. It was not "all in my head" after all.

                                                                       A Silent Sufferer

The term Fibromyalgia comes from the Latin words for fibro meaning supportive tissue, myo, muscle and algia for pain. Fibromyalgia primarily affects women between the ages of 20 and 40. It is estimated to affect about 6 million Americans, or 2% of the population. The information printed in 1999 shows that there are 5 million people in the United States who have been diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. It is estimated that 15% to 20% of patients seen by Rheumatologists have Fibromyalgia. The condition bears a striking resemblance to Chronic Fatigue, which mainly affects women between the ages 25 to 50. The separation takes place through the use of tests that will show whether blood or chemistry profiles are within the normal range. The sufferers of FM do not look sick, so they find themselves on the defensive. FM is not called a disease but is referred to as a syndrome. A syndrome is a specific set of signs and symptoms that occur together. When patterns showing these symptoms are repeated over a 6-month period, then they are diagnosed as actually being the patient's condition. 

The Latest Research  

The latest research has shown that a FMS patient has three times the normal amount of substance "P" in their spinal fluid. This substance tells the body how much pain it feels. This is why they feel an abnormal amount of pain from the slightest touch. Even a bed sheet can cause pain and discomfort. This sensitivity and pain may subside for a while or even go away permanently. Because symptoms are complicated and heightened by arthritic pain taking glucosamine~chondroitan~MSM blend is highly recommended. Essential fatty acids (EFA's), which are found in fish, flaxseed and evening primrose oil, are proven to ameliorate inflammation and pain. EFA's are also helpful for those experiencing dry eyes, mouth and skin.

Correcting Deficiencies

While the specific causes are unknown, Fibromyalgia is strongly associated with psychological stress and brain chemical disturbances affecting sensory nerve endings.

Psychological stress may be caused when the subconscious mind is overwhelmed by repressed emotions, such as, anger, anxiety, fear, guilt and shame. Chronic pain may be induced by involuntary muscle tightness, poor diet, improper supplementation and hormonal imbalances.

The issue of diet is vital in reducing the symptoms of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. Two of the food groups that must be avoided are starches and sugars. These two types of carbohydrates are a constant annoyance for the person with fibromyalgia and/or chronic fatigue because they increase inflammatory responses and slowdown the digestive process rendering the body susceptible to further imbalances of the complex balance of sugars in the system.

Many people come into this world with genetic enzyme deficiencies or imbalances, and then further add to this insufficiency with poor food choices, stress, over use of antibiotics, smoking, excessive alcohol & caffeine consumption, carbonation, etc. Research has shown that sufferers of FM show a lack of amylase enzymes. Amylase enzymes are the catalysts that break down carbohydrates. Clinically, it is shown that people with FM have problems digesting carbohydrates and starches. Many also have a lipase deficiency, and lipase enzymes break down fats. Without a proper balance of lipase enzymes, one will have fatty acid and hormonal imbalance. All of these deficiencies will lead to a protease deficiency. Protease enzymes break down protein. Since the protein invaders of our body are bacteria, fungal forms, and parasites, it stands to reason why the immune system becomes compromised!

Enzyme Therapy

Enzyme therapy has been successful in the treatment of both FM and CFS because it encourages cell nutrition by feeding and fortifying the nervous system, endocrine system and the digestive system. Pharmaceutical plant based enzymes work throughout the entire digestive system and are non-toxic, which is extremely important. The most obvious use of plant enzymes would be to fortify the pancreas, and digestive system, thereby solving the enzyme deficiencies experienced by those with FM. Because malabsorption problems are common in those with this disorder, higher than normal dosages of all dietary supplements are needed.

It should be pointed out that for the first 4 to 8 weeks of enzyme therapy there might be only little noticeable improvement. The longer the duration of the disease, the longer the space of time before improvement is experienced. Each person is different and must be handled on an individual basis.

Health Recommendations

    1. Patients with Fibromyalgia have experienced relief by following these guidelines:

    2. Make it a point to get a solid 8 to 9 hours of sound REM sleep.

    3. Keep yourself hydrated (only pure water). Here is a simple formula for identifying your fluid needs ~ body weight divided by 2 equals optimal hydration.

    4. Chiropractic adjustment. According to the Journal of Manipulative Physiology Therapy, “Following four weeks of chiropractic treatment, patients with fibtomyalgia improved compared with control subjects receiving medication only.”

    5. Eliminate consumption of caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, saturated fats, dairy products and sugar while increasing consumption of raw vegetables, fruits, grains and fish.

    6. Low-intensity exercise. Patients who exercise regularly have been reported to suffer less severe symptoms than those who do not exercise ~ walking is the best for YOU!

    7. Yoga Stretch.  Yoga opens up all of the joints, creating space everywhere within the body so that fresh blood and oxygen can flow in.  According to the International Journal of Yoga Therapy, ~ Relief from pain is a very common benefit from yoga.

    8. Proper supplementation. The Fibromyalgia Relief Package is composed of two supplements utilized in stress and pain management.

    • Factor Six: Sommaserene was formulated to reduce chronic stress, anxiety and sleep disorders while ameliorating muscle tension.
       
    • Factor Fourteen: Anodyne Plus was specifically developed for those with chronic widespread pain caused by neurological disorders as well as migraines.

The same essential nutrients that relieve symptoms of fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue may prevent them.
 

References: 

  • Abraham, G. E., et al "Management of Fibromyalgia: Rationale for Use of Magnesium and Malic Acid,"J. Nutr, Med. Vol. 3, pp 49-50 (1992).
  • Vanderhaeghe, Lorna R. 7 Bouic, Patrick, PhD. The Immune System Cure. (NY: Kennsington Pub. 1999).
    Fuller, DicQie, PhD.,DSc. The Healing Powers of Enzymes. (NY: Forbes Pub.1999).
  • Goldenberg, D. L. "High Frequency of Fibromyalgia in Patients with Chronic Fatigue Seen in Primary Care   Practice." Arth. And Rhem., Vol 33, No. 3 ( March 1990).
  • Howell, Edward, MD. Enzyme Nutrition. (NJ: Avery Pub. Group, 1985).

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