© Dr. Samuel Verghese
Chronic fatigue; chronic pain in muscles, ligaments, joints and tendons; achy muscular pain throughout the body, in neck, back of head, entire spine, shoulders, upper chest, hips; morning stiffness; headaches; sleep abnormalities; mood changes; sensitivity to light and sounds; anticipatory anxieties of emotional stress; worry; depression; difficulty focusing and concentrating; restless leg syndrome; sleep apnea; and bruxism.
The underlying cause of fibromyalgia is unknown. It’s often considered to be an immune disorder accompanied by rheumatic and many other symptoms, and identified with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Most people with fibromyalgia also suffer from brain-chemical disturbances, anxieties, depression and sleep disorder (known as EEG anomaly). Sleep patterns are disturbed by episodes of waking-type brain activity, causing sleep interruptions. Women are affected by fibromyalgia 10 times more frequently than men.
According to the American College of Rheumatology, the chronic widespread pain and other symptoms must last three months, and localized pain should be present when pressure is applied to 18 characteristically tender point locations (trigger points). There must be at least 9 of the 18 pairs of abnormally painful sites identified. Of course, a diagnosis is based on the exclusion of other disorders.
Alternative Medical Treatment
The nutritional goal is to correctly nourish the immune system to assist the body in recovering from the imbalance.
Nutritional Supplements Recommended for our Patients
- Immune Enhancer I and Immune Enhancer II (Faith & Family Nutrition).
- Brain Food and Brain Igniter (lower-priced and better than SAMe), Neuro Complex and Neuro Balancer (if depression, including “bipolar” and dysthymia, is present) (Faith & Family Nutrition).
- Natural Joint Integrity when there is joint pain and/or swelling (Faith & Family Nutrition).
- Heart Prolongevity supplement is added after two or three weeks (one or two a day) to boos tissue oxygenation, blood flow and immune functions. This supplement includes CoQ10, Alpha-Lipoic Acid, L-Carnitine and much more (Faith & Family Nutrition).
- 5-HTP or Natural Sleep supplement is added, two capsules at bedtime. You may need additional sleep formula if unable to enjoy a complete rest.
- Magnesium and Malic acid 500/100mg once or more times daily has shown to relieve pain and discomfort. Take these supplements with food.
- If you have difficulty swallowing pills, you may take Ultimate Complete Nutritional Mix.
Homeopathic medicines are very effective when prescribed by a trained healthcare provider.
Other customized supplements, including Liver Detox & Regenerator and bloodstream-cleansing formulas, are provided based on your special needs.
Biofeedback or neurofeedback therapy has demonstrated to be effective in the management of fibromyalgia.
Dietary and Other Lifestyle Recommendations
- Don’t take supplements every day for more than three weeks; skip two days a week and then take only as needed. The idea is not to overdose on these supplements. After complete recovery, take supplements only as needed for maintenance.
- Avoid colas, white flour, processed foods, refined carbohydrates and high sugar intake.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Drink plenty of filtered or steam-distilled water.
- Eat steamed vegetables, rather than raw, unless they are organically grown.
- Eat a variety of foods.
- Install a shower filter.
Your physician may prescribe a course of antibiotic treatment. Treatment frequently involves over-the-counter analgesics and antidepressant drugs, and injection of a local anesthetic or corticosteroids locally into the achy sites of the body. Homeopathic injectables such as “Traumeel” into trigger point sites can help relieve pain. All above procedures relax the pain reflex and allow for a more effective exercise program.
Exercises and Physical & Occupational Therapeutics
- Aerobic exercise
- Post-isometric relaxation
- Ischemic compression
- Herbal essential oil massage
- Topical natural sprays and creams like “Traumeel vapo-coolant” decrease pain to help increase muscle-lengthening exercises
- Deep muscle massage with herbal oils
- Transcutaneous-electrical stimulation
- Low-intensity ultrasound
- Biofeedback or neurofeedback therapies (excellent)
- Acupuncture with or without electrical stimulation
- Active stretching and strengthening
- Swimming, walking
- Yoga, tai chi, etc.
- Bike riding
If you have been sedentary for a period, return to exercise slowly.