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Fibromyalgia

This body process is a normal response to some of the factors that were discussed in the chronic fatigue web page. Frequently the two problems are present in the same person. Sometimes fibromyalgia is the first symptom before full blown chronic fatigue.

The symptoms of fibromyalgia are a shell like feeling over the back, pain from light touch, stiffness, a minor trauma acts major, fatigue, chronic pain in muscles, decreased ability to stretch, and no medications seem to relieve any symptom. This problem is localized to the outer surface of the body, mainly the inner layers of the skin, and fascia, tendons and the muscles.

The way this starts is by having an over reaction to everyday body breakdown, and without an effective way to repair it. Once again we see that chronic repetitive occupations, large amounts of stress, lack of effective sleep all can combine to create an over reaction in local tissues. Instead of a small reaction to trauma, we get this over reaction causing our local tissues to create micro-adhesions. Some bind from the skin to the muscle or tendons, and others from the muscle to the bone.

This happens because the body does not want the extreme pain would would get from an increased inflammatory response that does not go away. So it sort of gels all the tissue up and thereby decreases the range of motion of the local tissues, thus decreasing the greater of the pain. This is not to say there is no pain but there would be much more if the tissues continued to constantly rub with all those inflammatory agents in the area.

Typical anti-inflammatory medicines will not work and conversely, possibly make this condition worse as the body is trying to inflame in order to heal. It is one of the mechanisms of local and systemic healing against both foreign organisms and trauma. Typically therapies like chiropractic manipulations and strong tissue work which could be useful are extremely painful and cause flare-ups. In this case even acupuncture may cause flare-ups.

One needs to prepare the local tissues before any work is done. I usually expect one month of out of office therapy before any tissue work is attempted. This allows the body processes to normalize and stop the inflammatory processes. But once started, the patient usually responds very quickly. Of course the causative problems need to also be identified and corrected so future damage can be avoided.

In the interim period, I use systemic enzymes such as Wobenzym-N(www.wobenzym.com) and or Vitalzym-X(www.vitalzym.com). I use these at triple the maintainence dosage until my therapy has ended, then backing down to maintainence levels. I always check thyroid function(see thyroid page) cortisol, and DHEA levels. There is also a therapy utilizing guaifenisen developed by Dr. R. Paul St Amand, MD at the Fibromyalgia Treatment Center, www.guaidoc.com that I have used with people who do not wish to utilize my other protocols. I must admit it does not seem to be as effective but it does work if adhered to strictly.

Recently, the University of Oregon Health Science Center(OHSU) has completed the first arm of a wonderful fibromyalgia study. It has effectively proved that the reason for fibromyalgia is the body response to stress in some people is to inhibit the use of Growth Hormone by Somatostatin production. It was also proved that by taking a somatostatin inhibitor(pyridostigmine) and getting regular exercise, that the quality of life, sleep disorders, and pain all normalized over the course of six months. Dr. Bennet and his colleagues are further studying fibromyalgia with respect to cortisol and other endocrine functions. I must admit this is very exciting and has tremendous potential for treatment options.

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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
They are the sole opinion of Dr. Schwartz and are not intented to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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