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Are These Symptoms Fibromyalgia?
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Are These Symptoms Fibromyalgia?

In my brick and mortar practice, many patients with chronic pain would often ask me, 'are my symptoms fibromyalgia'? They would ask because they had just seen the latest drug commercial on TV promising relief from the pain associated with fibromyalgia. They would cling to the hope that this new miracle drug would take all their pain away.

As you already know, there is no miracle pill that takes away the pain of fibromyalgia.

In this article, we will look at:

  1. the symptoms of fibromyalgia
  2. the causes
  3. treatment options
  4. prevention

Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

Mild to severe pain, lasting more than 3 months is the first symptom. Patients will often say they have significant joint pain, though there is no clinical damage to the joints. The pain can be a burning pain, a shooting pain or a deep ache.

Oftentimes, the pain will start in the base of the neck and radiate up to the head therefore, chronic neck and headaches are common. In other cases, the pain starts as a dull low-back ache that just never goes away.

Fatigue, sleep disturbances and depression are seen in almost all patients with fibromyalgia. Many say that they can't get to sleep or stay asleep, and they feel tired when they wake up.

Predictability with fibromyalgia is very difficult, because some patients might wake up with body aches and stiffness. For some, pain improves during the day and gets worse at night. Other patients have pain all day long.

Causes of Fibromyalgia

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) state that the cause of fibromyalgia is unknown. They suspect possible causes or triggers could include:

  • Physical or emotional trauma

  • Abnormal pain response

  • Sleep disturbances

  • Infection, such as a virus, although none has been identified

The following conditions may mimic fibromyalgia symptoms:

  • Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)

  • Lyme disease

  • Sleep disorders

Treatment Options

Treatment plans are put in place to reduce the pain associated with fibromyalgia. The NIH states that 'medicine should be used along with exercise and behavior therapy'.

Unfortunately, there is little, or no, discussion given in the doctor's office about exercise and/or cognitive behavior therapy.

Instead, there is a prescription written for anti-depressants (Cymbalta), anti-epilepsy medicines (Lyrica), and anti-depressant/anti-anxiety meds (Savella).

All of these medicines have significant side-effects, including suicide. And, these medicines are not FIXING what's broken, but masking (and very poorly, I might add) the underlying problem.

Prevention

Though the NIH states there is no known prevention for fibromyalgia, I believe, in fact, that there is a good chance this disease (and other chronic diseases) can be prevented.

It all goes back to nature and biochemistry. If the body has the proper foundational building blocks, it can function properly. Much like a car. If you put in gas, put in oil, brake fluid, steering fluid, rotate tires, etc, you can drive that car for many years. Fail to do one of those things, and the car will end up in the shop, or stop moving all together.

We've already been able to show that patients with chronic pain have fewer endorphins (the feel good hormone) than those without chronic pain.

So the questions is, WHY?

We've also been able to show that the chemical building blocks for endorphins include zinc, iron and potassium.

Instead of taking anti-depressants, anti-epilepsy meds, NSAIDS, etc wouldn't it be easier to see if you lack the foundational building blocks required to make endorphins and fix that problem?

Even better, what if you were able to determine that you were getting low in the foundational building blocks but caught this decline in time to fix the problem....BEFORE you manifested the disease?

How beneficial would that be?


Street Talk

Thank you, Shawn. We'll get you feeling better. Of that, I'm certain. Your body is SMART! It will do its job....we just have to make sure it has all the building materials necessary to do the job.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

It makes sense, when I take potassium I do feel less pain all around, could be on to something there Doc.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

liked your article - i was interested to see if what i have is fm but the symptoms don't seem to bear it out

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Stephen, if you are suffering with chronic pain, SOMETHING is wrong, even if it's not fibro. Please feel free to contact me directly. I'll be happy to talk with you to see what might be the culprit of your pain.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Dr. Spacke, my mother has fibromyalgia, though it is something we don't discuss too much. I do know that she has been in great amounts of pain and has had difficulty sleeping for the past few years. I have no idea how it is being treated, other than she has been told to exercise. And from what she says, the exercising does help with pain and the ability to sleep. btw, I looked at your website, for a few years I lived in St. Louis . . . in fact, I danced very close to SLU for a number of years. Unfortunately . . . it was not at the FOX:) Also danced at the WASH U campus some. Neat to have that little geographical info in common:)

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Awesome memories of The Fox. Saw many great plays there. Thanks for the 'flashback'. Please have your mom contact me. I'd be happy to give her helpful tips to diminish her pain and improve the quality of her life. We are family here. That's what we do.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

You are welcome, DV. My goal is to empower and inspire people to reclaim their health.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Thanks for the good info ..very helpful.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Thanks for spreading the love, Rob. If people follow your advice and say no to GMO's and people starting taking charge of their health, we just might turn this tide.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Great article with a hell of a lot to think about... Google + and FB this article found it very good...

Reply
  about 9 years ago
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