Fibromyalgia: It’s Real, and We Understand
Fibromyalgia (FM) is a condition characterized by widespread pain and a heightened pain response to pressure. Individuals with F.M. syndrome often experience headaches, anxiety, depression, bowel and bladder problems, cognitive decline, cold extremities, impaired immune response, and chemical sensitivities. Over 10 million Americans suffer from F.M. and most are women between the ages of 25 and 45 years old.
In 1990 The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) first proposed the current criteria for defining fibromyalgia. The criteria includes a history of widespread pain lasting more than 3 months and the presence of at least 11 out of 18 tender points.
The problem is that these are symptoms, and the more the treating doctor focuses on symptoms, the less chance the patient has to achieve improved health and wellness long-term.
What actually causes Fibromyalgia Syndrome?
Research suggests that F.M. is often caused by, or the result of:
- Immune System Dysregulation
- Emotional/Mental/Physical Stress
- Impaired Thyroid Function
- Trauma or Injury
- Hypothalamus- Pituitary- Adrenal (H-P-A) Axis Disfunction (hormone producing glands)
- Brain Chemistry Imbalances (low serotonin states)
- Adrenal Gland Dysfunction
- Chronic Infections (viral, bacterial, and/or mycoplasma)
- Endocrine Disorders
- Sleep Disorders
As one can see from this list, treating and defeating F.M. requires a doctor that is going to really listen to the patient’s health history, run comprehensive labs, and provide accurate treatment. If these 3 key steps are not taken, often fibromyalgia patients will not recoup their health, and often end up overmedicated for symptoms. Sadly, it is relatively common for F.M. patients to also be suffering from drug side effects that mimic fibromyalgia!
A Brutal Cycle
Human physiology has many inter-relationships. This is to say, for example, if a fibromyalgia patient has ongoing sleep deprivation due to pain, this will cause more hormone imbalances which in turn makes other symptoms worse! This is why it’s crucial for the treating doctor to review, and test, when appropriate, any of the previous 10 potential causes.
Unfortunately, in the pharmaceutical and insurance based model, this is rarely done, leaving the patient to continue to suffer!
Having helped scores of fibromyalgia patients over the years, I’ve learned of several areas that must be corrected before the person can recoup their health:
- Neurochemical (brain)
To Your Health,
Dr. Torrey Gorla