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Archive for June, 2011

Fibromyalgia, a Painful and Mysterious Condition

My wife has had fibromyalgia for years but we have managed to reduce the symptoms by 85 to 90% through diet and lifestyle.

Fibromyalgia can be a mysterious and debilitating syndrome. There are no definitive test for diagnosing fibromyalgia. Diagnosing fibromyalgia is a subjective interpretation of symptoms, such as moderate to severe pain in muscles and around joints, digestive disorders, severe fatigue, memory problems (fibro fog), anxiety, migraines, depression and insomnia.

We know diet greatly influences symptoms. What most people do not give enough thought to is stress. I can tell you positively, that for a person living with fibromyalgia, stress is the most important factor to control. A form of stress (emotional or physical trauma could be short term or been happening for a long time) most likely caused the fibromyalgia and a lack of stress control will make it almost impossible to reduce symptoms to a functional level. Even though diet is critical, stress management is more important.

Case and point; I have a client that had their fibromyalgia under control. Pain was minimal (only during a weather event), and she had mostly eliminated her pain, IBS, depression, mental fog, sleep problems and fatigue. She went through a several month period of extreme stress and her symptoms returned, just as bad as they previously were.  After eliminating the cause of the stress and getting back on the diet and nutrient regimen, her symptoms are significantly better after just one (1) month.  It will take her several months to get back to the symptom free life she had, however she will get there. She is dedicated and wants her life back. I hope you are this motivated. If you are, the odds are you can greatly improve your life by symptom control and even symptom elimination through diet, nutrition and stress management.

If you have a stressful situation in your life, you must change it or manage it. You will not see much improvement without stress reduction.  Once stress is manageable, it will take 3 to 6 weeks to get the acute symptoms such as diarrhea, insomnia and depression greatly improved.  You can see symptoms improve quicker with stress removal. For example; if you have a very stressful job you must change the stress level in the job, manage the stress or quit the job. For severe stressful situations it normally takes drastic action such as removal of the stress before major improvement can be made. Once the stress is eliminated, healing can take place fairly quickly. The problem most people with fibromyalgia face, is they cannot escape the situation causing the stress. If this is the case, they must learn how to manage it.

Many people with fibromyalgia also have adrenal gland dysfunction and for symptoms to improve it must be addressed. This causes fatigue, mood changes, sleep problems and weight gain. Another common association is hypothyroidism with fibromyalgia. Thyroid dysfunction can be a cause of fibromyalgia or make symptoms worse. Serotonin levels are also critical for fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue issues.

There are nutrients that can help us deal with stress better and help us manage the stress. We must also put into action activities that will help reduce and manage the stress.

Nutrients that help reduce or eliminate fibromyalgia symptoms

  • 5-HTP: 200 to 400 mg’s per day, stress control and mood enhancer, helps balance serotonin and dopamine levels improving mood, mental and emotional outlook, helps reduce pain and improve sleep.
  • Acetyl L-Carnitine  1000 mg’s twice per day, improves energy and mental health
  • Iodine Plus-2: improves thyroid function,   2 caps per day
  • Adrenal Cortex Extract: increases energy, aids with weight loss and mood, improves the health of the adrenal glands and helps balance adrenal hormones particularly cortisol
  • Vitamin C: 1000 mg’s twice per day; boost immune function, intestinal cellular membrane health
  • Vitamin E: (mixed tocopherols) 400 IU’s per day, improves cellular membrane function, a powerful antioxidant that works with vitamin c
  • Krill oil:  3000 to 6000 mg’s per day, reduces inflammation in the digestive system as well as the body and improves mental health
  • D-Ribose: 5000 mg’s twice per day, improves cellular energy for muscles
  • CoQ10: 200 mg’s twice per day, improves energy and is powerful antioxidant and is important for heart health
  • Magnesium: 750 mg’s per day mostly from diet, limit supplement intake to 500 mg’s per day, improves muscle energy, relaxation, stress reduction, sleep, bone strength, blood pressure, and much more
  • Vitamin D3: 5000 IU’s once or twice per day
  • Zinc: 25 mg’s 3 times per week, if a bigger dose is taken or if taken every day, 2 to 3 mg’s of copper must be added to the intake.
  • Lecithin:  2000 mg’s per day, improves brain and nerve function
  • Biosuperfood F2: 6 capsules per day, brings about endocrine balance by awakening the hypothalamus-thalamus-pituatary-thyroid relationship
  • Probiotics; important for rebuilding and maintaining the digestive tract and boost immune function
  • L-Glutamine: 5000 mg’s daily, very important for healing and improving the function of the digestive tract, we carry a product that provides the L-Glutamine plus other nutrients in one product for healing the digestive tract.

Activities

  • Massage (gentle)
  • Yoga
  • Qi Gong
  • Tai Chi
  • Swimming
  • Aqua exercise
  • Infra-red sauna
  • Hot tub
  • Epsom salt soak
  • Deep breathing
  • Meditation
  • Aromatherapy

Summary:

Eliminate as many refined and processed foods as possible.  No fried foods allowed. Eliminate all dairy products (try sugar free almond milk). Limit fruits to 2 servings per day. 70% of your diet should be vegetables. Nuts and seeds should be a part of a healthy diet plan. This includes nut butters like almond butter and sunflower butter. Beans and lentils are fine for some people and not for others suffering from fibromyalgia. They can be a source of irritation for some. If you are a meat eater, select cold water, wild caught fish like salmon, cod and halibut at least 2 times per week. Eliminate red meat and pork from your diet. Instead, have free range organic chicken and turkey breast. Eat 6 times per day. Eat low glycemic grains such as oats, oat bran, brown rice and quinoa. carbohydrates should be from complex sources. For some people suffering from fibromyalgia eliminating gluten, sugar, alcohol and caffeine from their diet does help reduce symptoms.  If you think you have food sensitivities or allergies that may be fibromyalgia triggers, seek a qualified health professional to help you identify the sources. This is normally done through an elimination diet.

Healthy Wishes

Wally Bishop C.N.C.

WebND

The contents of this blog is not and should not be  considered medical advice. This blog is for informational purposes only. Always consult with your doctor before making any dietary or lifestyle changes. Never quit taking prescription medications unless advised to do so by your doctor.

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