I would have stopped doing all the things that help me battle my fibromyalgia at a time when I, in fact, need to do them more than ever! I could even pull out of a flare at all. As odd as this may sound, it is definitely easier to keep up my workouts through a flare than to stop them and lose my fitness level and then try to start up again. And certainly, my flare ups would have been more severe, if I suddenly stopped doing the things that are my biggest and only line of defense against my fibromyalgia.
Yes, it was and is extremely tough to do.
And when each flare is over because I have gradually built myself back up again , I have not lost ground with everything that I use to battle fibromyalgia on an ongoing basis. But hey, would I tell others to do it the same way as I have? I have nothing to compare to. Any since then any have been more of a nuisance and annoyance than anything else and I continue to get through them easier and faster.
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Yes, this is all so personal, what is important to us, what we are willing to try, and to sacrifice, and to risk, to live our life in the way we want. There is much unknown about fibromyalgia, so our individual decisions as to how to combat it always carry risks, most of which are also unknown to us. A — Soak in a tub? B — Get a massage? Or C — Pop a pill? You had lots of sleep but you still feel tired, hmm, what do you do?
A — Have a coffee? B — Have a nap? Or C — Have two coffees, then have a nap? It would take me years of muddling through trial and error living with fibromyalgia to realize this though. My doctor did a full blood work up on me twice, but nothing. Yes, at some point during my over fifteen years of trial and error living with fibromyalgia, I came to realize what an important piece of the fibromyalgia puzzle that stress is…and at some time I came to the point where as soon as any symptoms that I believe are fibromyalgia-related begin to start up, my first thought is always, always!
Yes, apparently all illnesses are affected by stress but in my experience fibromyalgia seems to be SUPER affected by stress. Any number of a myriad of uncomfortable and annoying to downright scary fibromyalgia symptoms will flare up. My workout that is normally easy to manageable for me to do, becomes gruelling to push through.
So many stresses. So either I do it because others want, or…I choose my health and turn them down. Again, I know you know! Well, we can certainly try to…try to limit our workload, our obligations, our contact with people and situations that we know cause us stress…IF we can. And there IS much we can do. Well, for myself, I want, as much as possible, a foolproof way to help insulate myself from as much stress as I can.
So when my symptoms suddenly get worse or scary, it jolts me out of whatever often not really important thing in the grand scale of life was stressing me. The bottom line is always that nothing means anything without my health! My health is like my permission to myself, to get out of any stress. So yes, I do this! My health is THAT important to me. But what about the huge never-ending stress that fibromyalgia itself brings? It almost feels magical to me how it works. But I CAN control how I think about it and therefore how much power I give it to be able to stress me and therefore how I react as far as how much it actually stresses me.
Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts and news by email. Email Address. The — So Is Fibromyalgia Real? So let me explain. Man, oh man, I needed a break!! Maybe like…sitting in bed for a day!? Which brings me to my next thought of course…WHY? Hope is my starting point. I always want to have hope.
If I have hope about life…I can face anything. I see it. Yes, it takes incredible competence to master life with fibromyalgia. So yes, I feel more competent than ever! And honestly, knowing that, is enough for me. What would be the point? There WAS something I could do. Why not?
Tag: chronic pain
So what do I do about it? It has not been easy, it has been excruciatingly difficult. But it has been worth it. They all sound reasonable, but for me, none of the above is the answer. I have fibromyalgia…I work on stress. I could de-stress and the symptoms went away. So can we limit it? So what do we do? I have fibromyalgia. I work on stress. Previous Posts. Tell Me More About Fibromyalgia and…. May 13, To Sleep or Not to Sleep?
Or Is It Just Me? Subscribe to Blog via Email Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts and news by email. The - So Is Fibromyalgia Real? What I Know is Real - Blog is meant to be a useful resource, the author of which has no medical training, but writes solely from the perspective of her firsthand experiences with fibromyalgia over the course of more than seventeen years.
It is not intended to be medical advice or a substitute for seeking the advice of a physician. The problem I saw with people on Cortef, or Cortisol, was that it was hard to get off of it. If that were the case in the randomized controlled studies, then I would be very much on board, but the vast majority of studies just find normal cortisol levels. Being a doctor, working with these patients and seeing the detachment between the studies and what really works, you have to take that into account.
I believe adrenal fatigue is real. So, we had this whole thing called euthyroid where you have all the symptoms of low thyroid, but your blood work looks normal, and yet as soon as you put people on some type of thyroid replacement therapy, they start to perk up. We see that even some of their markers in the blood work start to change from doing that.
Of course not. So, sleep is number one. I mean that is the number one thing that has to be fixed. And then you move on from there. What kinds of approaches do you take when it comes to fixing sleep? A lot of these people have sleep apnea, really severe sleep disorders, or just insomnia. How do you go about fixing that? Do you have a system for how you approach that? For example, if you go to a certain group of doctors, they will all think that everything can be fixed with biogenical hormone replacement therapy.
You go to other doctors and they think everybody has a yeast infection. What I have found is that with fibromyalgia, you start with sleep. Number two, you have to balance the neurotransmitters. Those are some things that have to be fixed, and then the gut. You have to fix the gut issues. It also promotes mental clarity and helps regulate your bowel movements.
They all have IBS. They could have yeast. I want to dig into the rest of the Murphree Method. For sleep, beyond 5-HTP and melatonin, do you address anything like aspects of circadian rhythm as far as light therapies? All of those play a hugely important role. Anything that emits electromagnetic fields or electrical currents and will sabotage your melatonin levels. So those are super important. There is a whole list of things that have to happen. So, those are some nutraceuticals that can be helpful in reestablishing that circadian rhythm as well.
I realize that, but in my world, working with my patients, I see that the majority are able to get off the CPAP machine just by doing some other things, and one of those things is losing weight. How do you get around that? Obviously, if somebody has a really poor diet, just changing nutrition can drive a lot of weight loss, but does exercise figure into this picture at all? I mean, they were bankers or lawyers. I work with a lot of doctors, high-level people, and what they find out is that they can hardly handle any kind of stress or stimulation. Exercise is fantastic for people like you and me who thrive on it.
I know you do. All they tell people with fibro and CFS to do at this point is to learn to live with it. This will sound silly to a part of your audience, but it could be something as simple as walking for 10 minutes a day, just to build that habit and then from there we ramp that up after a period of time. There are also people who definitely have regressions from it, and I think the dose obviously plays a big role; whether the dose of exercise prescribed is appropriate for a particular individual.
Basically, they found that if you believed that exercise was going to make you worse, then you were much more likely to be made worse by the exercise, so it was interesting how the psychological elements integrated with the actual exercise. If we look at quantum mechanics or look at energy medicine, when you pay attention to something, it changes. I really believe that exercise is super important for these folks, but it has to be done the right way.
The studies that I fall back on are very positive of that.
The challenge is to get them strong enough so they can do that, and then, like anything, as they start to do that and build up that stamina, it just gets better and better and easier and easier, and they start seeing the benefits. I really believe in the general population. I really believe that. I think diet is super important, but I really believe that exercise, physical activity and having that time to turn off your mind, to get in the zone and turn everything off—I think that is crucial for optimal health.
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Getting back to the Murphree Method, I wanted to dig into neurotransmitters a bit more. You mentioned the low serotonin aspect and the 5-HTP, but the neurotransmitters are also a contentious topic because of the testing; I know there is some debate over the accuracy of a lot of the testing methods for assessing neurotransmitter balance. Having said that, I believe that amino acid therapy, monoamino acid therapy, using that therapy is very important in my success.
If you as a practitioner know that a test is not necessarily fully valid, it almost becomes an ethical question as to whether you can then ask a patient to pay for a test that might not even give you accurate and meaningful data. No one has a Prozac deficiency. On Mano Amino acid therapy, for a long time in the fitness, bodybuilding and fat loss space, there was a lot of talk of supplementation with branch-chain amino acids and essential amino acids.
Are you under the impression that taking isolated amino acids is very different from getting those amino acids in whole food forms in the context of consuming it with many other amino acids? Rodger Murphree: Just to make sure I make the distinction correctly, when you say isolated, you mean mono, or single, correct? Ari Whitten: Yeah, when you take L-leucine by itself or proline or glycine or something like that by itself. Are they being metabolized differently when you take them by themselves on an empty stomach as opposed to in whole food form?
If you take it singly, it almost acts as a drug. A case in point: if you take [inaudible] or L-phenylalanine, which are stimulating amino acids, on an empty stomach, they can and oftentimes do cause you to feel more mentally alert. You have more energy, and you can feel that pretty quickly. So, by using the single amino acids in a strategic way, you can see physiological changes pretty quickly. The reason you have to balance neurotransmitters is because most everybody with fibromyalgia has low serotonin, we already established that, but so many of them have bankrupted these other ones that allow them not to feel so stressed out, and so many people with fibro, even Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, feel anxious and stressed out.
So, by using the right amino acids, you start to fix that. Thus, you have less pain. Now what you see is they want to get out and do more. The problem with that is they have a little bit of energy but not a lot, so to help them with that part of it, you start looking at if they have issues with their adrenal gland, low cortisol, or low DHEA? My protocol is working on their adrenals, making sure that their levels are coming up, but also thyroid. So, a lot of patients have all the symptoms of low thyroid such as low energy and weight gain.
There is a recent study that just came out around four months ago that looked at thyroid levels in people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and I think they specifically zeroed in on reverse thyroid hormone and found that it was significantly higher. What do you do in those cases? Are you still using exogenous thyroid hormones? How do you navigate that situation?
It can be from low vitamin D, anemia, chronic anemia, or gluten intolerance. It can be from Epstein Barr Virus, cytomegalovirus, where the body is associating the thyroid tissue as a foreign invader. You can have these elevated thyroid antibodies for five, even ten years, and your TSH or thyroid stimulating hormone may still look normal.
Is that gluten? Therapeutic effects of oral NADH on the symptoms of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol ; A pilot study employing dehydroepiandosterone DHEA in the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome. J Clin Rheumatol ; Homeopathy and rheumatic disease. Vegan diet alleviates fibromyalgia symptoms. Scand J Rheumatol ; Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue: the holistic perspective. Holist Nurs Pract ; Nutriceutical review of St. Women Health ; Fibromyalgia and migraine, two faces of the same mechanism.
Serotonin as the common clue for pathogenesis and therapy. Adv Exp Med Biol ; Use of complementary therapies for arthritis among patients of rheumatologists. Ann Intern Med ; Treatment of fibromyalgia syndrome with Super Malic: a randomized, double blind, placebo controlled, crossover pilot study. J Rhematol ; Evaluation of S-adenosylmethionine in primary fibromyalgia: A double-blind crossover study. Am J Med ;83 suppl 5A Letters to the Editor: Evaluation of S-adenosylmethionine in secondary fibromyalgia: A double-blind study.
Clin Exper Rheumatology ; Double-blind, placebo-controlled cross-over study of intravenous S-adenosyl-L-methionine in patients with fibromyalgia. A general population study of fibromyalgia tender points in noninstitutionalized adults with chronic widespread pain. Antidepressant and cognition-enhancing effects of DHEA in major depression. Ann NY Acad Sci ; From David Edelberg, M. Supplements will help to restore the integrity of your muscles, build up the serotonin levels in your brain, and help reduce stress.
When used together, these last two seem very effective at raising serotonin levels and pain tolerance. If low energy is a significant issue for you, add coenzyme Q10 and NADH a relative of the B vitamin niacin , which help provide energy to muscle cells. Start the NADH at the lower dose for a couple of weeks; some people experience mild overstimulation if they begin at a higher level. If your muscles feel especially tense, or if you emotional stress aggravates your condition, include the herb kava, which acts as both a nonsedating tranquilizer and a muscle relaxant.
Most nutritionally oriented physicians also suggest a potent antioxidant; grape seed extract will take care of this nicely. If you have low levels of the adrenal hormone DHEA, and your doctor can do a blood test to measure it , getting those levels back to normal might improve your energy.
Taking our recommended dose of DHEA for two months will bring most depleted levels back to normal. Then continue the same dose twice a week to maintain levels. You can take DHEA along with all of the other supplements recommended here. The St. If you have symptoms of irritable bowel along with your fibromyalgia, you definitely might benefit from using peppermint oil 1 or 2 capsules three times a day between meals.
If your fibromyalgia seems to get worse just before your menstrual period, a PMS herbal combination 2 capsules twice a day when not menstruating may help you lessen your symptoms. It may be necessary to adjust the dosages outlined below to account for your own daily vitamin regimen. All of our supplement recommendations also assume you are eating a healthful diet.
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This depletion of our adrenal glands may be partially responsible for the fatigue of fibromyalgia One extremely controversial area of exploration into a possible cause of fibromyalgia has emerged from neurosurgical research. Complementary therapies. Stoler teaches you to use an energy balancing technique called Chi-Lel to release muscle-knotting stress Homeopathy.
Melatonin: 60 caps 3 mg. DHEA 60 caps. If the adrenal hormone test discussed above shows adrenal exhaustion, a product containing two ginsengs Panax and Siberian , vitamin B-5, and licorice may be a good idea Adren-Plus 60 caps. Capsaicin Cream Swedish Bitters 15 gm. When to Call a Doctor If you experience the symptoms of fibromyalgia for three months.
Call your doctor sooner if the condition keeps you from carrying out your day-to-day activities. If you have severe difficulty sleeping If you are depressed If you have chronic muscle pain and other causes of your symptoms, such as flu or arthritis, have been eliminated as diagnostic possibilities.
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