Holistic Fibromyalgia Treatments
Fibromyalgia is a common cause of chronic muscle pain and fatigue which is becoming more and more common. It is estimated to affect more than 4% of the general population. There is also a tremendous overlap between fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome with more than 70% of people diagnosed with FMS meeting the diagnostic criteria for CFS. The conventional treatment of FMS is almost entirely focused on controlling symptoms with medications such as pain killers, muscle relaxants, sleep agents and antidepressants. However, fibromyalgia has many different facets that have to be addressed that are often overlooked in order to treat this condition effectively. The only effective approach to treatment of this condition is with a holistic approach that takes into account not only the physical symptoms but also the emotional, mental, social, spiritual and environmental aspects of this disease.
There are numerous lifestyle issues that have to be addressed including diet, physical activity (which is difficult for most FMS sufferers to increase without exacerbating this condition) and stress management. From a physical health perspective, it is important to realize that many if not most people with this disorder, have underlying contributing factors such as hypothyroidism and low adrenal function that is not always apparent from routine blood tests. Abnormal immune function also contributes greatly to this disorder. All patients that I have treated for this condition (hundreds of individuals) and that have gone through my work-ups show up with one or more chronic infections that indicate disturbance in their immune systems. The most common of these are chronic viral infections such as Ebstein-Barr, Cytomegalovirus, Human Herpes Virus 1,2 and 6, chronic bacterial infections such as Mycoplasma, Chlamydia and Streptococcus and chronic fungal infections such as Candidiases. In order to treat this condition effectively the immune system has to be repaired and these infections have to be controlled.
Numerous other factors such as sluggish blood flow through affected tissues causing a reduction of oxygen delivery, impaired detoxification, intestinal digestion and absorption problems, increased heavy metal loads, food allergies, sugar metabolism problems and nutrient deficiencies also have to be addressed. Nutritional supplementation is essential in the treatment of FMS. Many patients unfortunately can not absorb or assimilate these nutrients well from the intestinal tract initially because of their intestinal tract dysfunction and may benefit from nutrients given via alterative routs such as intramuscular or intravenous. Various strategies are also used to facilitate more rapid detoxification i.e. by improving gut elimination, liver function and cell detoxification. Again, the bottom line is that this condition usually responds very well to this kind of holistic treatment approach whereas conventional approaches fail on average 80% of the time to get this condition resolved.