Bauman College Programs

Author Topic: Fibromyalgia - a mysterious disorder  (Read 5871 times)

Offline WendyPei

  • Alumni
  • ***
  • Posts: 21
  • I live to eat and eat to live!
Fibromyalgia - a mysterious disorder
« on: April 08, 2009, 11:56:13 PM »
Hi all,

My uncle was diagnosed with fibromyalgia several years ago. The symptoms include muscle and soft tissue pain, disruptive sleep, fatigue, depression, and according to webmd, it can "lead to social isolation." The causes are unknown and it is often misdiagnosed. The doctor prescribes him extremely expensive migraine pills and he has stopped working and is thinking about applying for disability because of this disorder.

I have my reservations about his fibromyalgia because I know my uncle to be a bit of a hypochondriac. I can't help but notice that he's changed drastically though. He used to be playful and silly. He had a lot of energy was able to keep up with the kids pretty well. Now he complains about his pain and doesn't leave the house much. I think most of his symptoms may come from extreme depression

So what does this have to do with nutrition? Growing up, I've only known him to eat donuts, frozen dinners, candy, and drink juices and sodas with artificial flavors. His diet after being diagnosed includes drinking decaf in the morning, and some sort of grilled chicken with stir-fried veggies for dinner. He believes that drinking Welch's grape juice mixed with water is healthier than just grape juice alone.

I think a lot of his symptoms (ie migraines, fatigue, muscle weakness, lack of appetite) are due to poor nutritional practices. I'm just not sure how to reach out to him because talking about this gives him headaches.

He just turned 57 this month and I think he's giving up on getting healthy. As I mentioned before, h's thinking about applying for disability and thinks that he'll be happier and less stressed when that comes through. I really don't want him to give up.

Does anyone know anything more about fibromyalgia and its causes?
Has anyone helped anyone with fibromyalgia or depression change their diet?
How do I help him?

Wendy

Offline WendyPei

  • Alumni
  • ***
  • Posts: 21
  • I live to eat and eat to live!
Re: Fibromyalgia - a mysterious disorder
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2009, 03:00:05 PM »
Sorry. I might have posted this in the wrong forum. I have moved it to general "Nutrition Talk".

Offline fleaf

  • Faculty
  • ****
  • Posts: 177
  • Nutrition-Matters! Let's Get the Word Out...
    • Fern Leaf:  Nutrition Consultant and Wellness Coach
Re: Fibromyalgia - a mysterious disorder
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2009, 10:11:56 AM »
Hi, Wendy:

Your uncle is blessed that you are concerned for his health.  While it is difficult to restore one's health 100% after the onset of Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, adhering to a healthier life style has helped many sufferers to quell some of the life-sapping aspects of these conditions.  There are a number of good resources on the web that highlight the benefits of an improved diet for these conditions.  A few very introductory links include:
 
http://www.annecollins.com/fibromyalgia-diet.htm
http://chronicfatigue.about.com/od/copingwithfmscfs/a/cfs_fibrodiet.htm
http://www.prohealth.com/library/showarticle.cfm?id=3425&t=cfids_fm

Your instinct that a lifetime of poor nutrition has contributed to his disfunction is probably accurate.  While there is no specific, singular cause to these conditions, it is generally understood at this point that these are multi-factorial situations.  So, poor eating lowers general vitality level, person is over-stressed, then an accident, infection or illness is experienced and the body fails to overcome and return to health.  Chronic Fatigue is often "triggered" by a virus that the body fails to efficiently eliminate.  Fibro is often thought to be triggered by a fall or blow or accident of some sort.  Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (the third of these three scourges) is typically triggered by some final exposure to a pesticide, fume (can even be perfume) after previous exposures to environmental pollutants (and other problems) have created a body that lacks resiliency.

While cleaning up your Uncle's diet would likely be of support to him, these conditions are usually not healed without approaching them in a variety of ways.  As multiple factors contributed to creating the perfect storm that sets off the condition, so must the sufferer address their life and body in a number of ways if they wish to reverse the condition. 

Also, don't doubt that while depression may figure into all of this...fibromyalgia is a real thing and it is often difficult to discern whether depression is a symptom of the fibro or that the depression helps to "cause" the condition.  There are also dietary approaches to combat depression, of course, and a lifetime of bad fats, too much sugar, and poor quality protein are likely suspects in triggering emotional instability, too.

The final caution I would like to offer you, Wendy, is to tread carefully.  Your Uncle's exhaustion and pain may be a result of a lifetime of poor nutrition, but if he doesn't want to do anything about it, there's nothing you can do other than try to educate and inspire him to change his mind. It is his life, his journey, his choice as to whether or not he wants to move forward or stay stuck and in pain.  If he wants you to help, know that learning how to effectively guide someone back to health in this sort of situation is quite a challenge.  You will wind up investing a lot of time and energy into learning a great many useful things about how the body can reclaim health and vitality.
 

Fern Leaf
MPH in Public Health Nutrition from UC Berkeley
          Specialty focus: Aging and Public Health
NC, Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition
Member, Bauman College Board of Directors
DL Mentor

Offline Laura Knoff

  • Faculty
  • ****
  • Posts: 379
Re: Fibromyalgia - a mysterious disorder
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2009, 04:38:43 PM »
Fern is right there can be many aspects to the development of fibromyalgia.
We have had fibromyalgia clients who also had Lymes disease. Antibodies to Lymes can now be detected at previously undetectable levels. Once the Lymes is treated and nutrition and lifestyle is improved the client feels much better and can lead a normal life.
It is never too late to recover your health with good nutrition and stress reduction and moderate exercise. I have had 70+ year old men feel much better after moderate changes in diet and lifestyle. He has to be the one to want to change these aspects of his life. Your support can mean not bugging him, but still being there to model good habits and supporting any improvements he wants to make.
Bachelor of Science, Chemistry
Certified Nutrition Consultant, Nutrition Instructor, Nutrition Educator and Diet Counselor
Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition and Registered with NANP
Nutrition Educator and Nutrition Consultant Instructor at Bauman College since 2000

Offline StephanieS

  • Alumni
  • ***
  • Posts: 51
Re: Fibromyalgia - a mysterious disorder
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2009, 01:31:50 PM »
Wendy,
My mother has been dx-ed w fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and a host of other diseases. I'm sure it has everything to do w/ her diet. She eats all low-fat, she's vegetarian, and she's a sugar addict. She also doesn't eat enough. Recipe for disaster! So yes, your uncle could be greatly helped my improved nutrition...but I second the warning to proceed with caution...
Stephanie
www.threesistersnutrition.com
www.bodaweightloss.com/blog

Offline Marlina E

  • Associate Director
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 1812
    • Bauman College Online
Re: Fibromyalgia - a mysterious disorder
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2009, 12:51:23 PM »
HI there,

Since the answers have appeared here, I have removed the duplicate post (that had no responses) in the other board.
BA Environmental Studies UCSB
Nutrition Consultant

Offline synergy

  • Alumni
  • ***
  • Posts: 7
Re: Fibromyalgia - a mysterious disorder
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2009, 09:27:58 PM »
Also, does your uncle have amalgam fillings or another chronic long-term exposure to mercury? Mercury toxicity in another possible underlying factor in fibromyalgia. More information can be found here: http://www.icnr.com/Fibromyalgia.htm
http://www.myfibrorecovery.com/

Offline jodi f.

  • Curriculum Consultant
  • Staff
  • *****
  • Posts: 2789
Re: Fibromyalgia - a mysterious disorder
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2009, 08:08:53 AM »
Well, let me jump in here with my usual note: hypothyroidism.

There are those, David Brady, ND (who spoke at the last NANP conference) included, who feel that 95% of fibromyalgia cases are undiagnosed, subclinical hypothyroidism, i.e., normal lab values but symptomatic. This may be inflated, and my guess is that there are several factors at work at once. Hypothyroidism itself is almost always multi-factorial anyway, with adrenal involvement, environmental toxicities (incl. mercury), poor diet, hormone imbalances, viruses and food sensitivities all possible contributing factors. Nonetheless, testing for it is fairly straightforward if you have the right doctor: TSH, Free T4, Free T3, autoantibodies. Can also look at reverse T3. The reference ranges are way too broad. For optimal ranges, if he gets this testing done, post again and we can go over the results. Testing for chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia is much tougher. Testing for thyroid, especially, and Lymes if suspected, is more straightforward and should definitely be done.

Let me echo others here in saying that you're spot on with regards to your thoughts on his diet. How willing do you think he'd be to make dietary changes if he could be convinced of diet's power to effect positive change for him? If willing, there's plenty of scientific research to show him to get him motivated. If he's unwilling, I agree that your energy is probably better used elsewhere. But do spend a little time "planting that seed" in him, since you so obviously care about him. You never know when it might sprout.

Offline WendyPei

  • Alumni
  • ***
  • Posts: 21
  • I live to eat and eat to live!
Re: Fibromyalgia - a mysterious disorder
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2009, 04:11:16 PM »
Thank you all for your responses. I'm still working on getting him to be responsive to our efforts to help him change his life. It'll be a long process. I'm still learning a lot (only the second month of NE training) so it'll take me a while to figure out a plan. All I can really do right now is "plant the seed".

Offline CynthiaMc

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 79
Fibromyalgia - and Chelation
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2009, 11:43:26 AM »
I am interested to find information about how going through a chelation process.  I am concerned because I still have amalgam fillings.  WOuld it make sense to undergo the chelation  process while still having the fillings in my mouth.  I plan to have the fillings removed and know that at that time I should definitely do the cleanse, but I am interested in doing the metal cleanse now especially, after reading one of the posts located here.... Thank you for your responses.....

Offline LisaAv

  • Alumni
  • ***
  • Posts: 11
Re: Fibromyalgia - a mysterious disorder
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2009, 04:21:25 PM »
Wendy,

Your title grabbed me immediately! I work at Health First! Pharmacy, an integrative compounding pharmacy in Windsor, CA.  Our specialty is Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT), and Neurotransmitter testing.  The company NeuroScience treats your neurotransmitters with targeted amino acids, which are the building blocks of the body.  Our Pharmacy has seen incredible results.  Many symptoms that your uncle is experiencing are indicators that his neurotransmitters are out of balance.  There is a website that I would love for you to visit.  I will give you direction through the website.  It can be a little overwhelming but very educational. 

www.neurorelief.com

From the Main Menu: Institute of Education
-Downloadable Resources
-Available Brochures
-Fatigue: Please read the questionnaire. Many of the questions focus on your uncles symptoms.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at
Health First! Pharmacy
707.837.7948
Lisa Avila

Offline SimlaS

  • Alumni
  • ***
  • Posts: 102
Re: Fibromyalgia - a mysterious disorder
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2009, 04:29:39 PM »
I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, undifferentiated connective tissue disorder, multiple chemical sensitivity, and had many other complications (liver and pancreas inflammation, gallstones) etc., starting almost 3 years ago. I was initially diagnosed with Lyme Disease, as many symptoms overlap, and was treated aggressively (leading to the liver & pancreatic inflammation & gallstones), but in hindsight probably never had Lyme. (Lyme tests are highly unreliable - I even went to a 2-day special Lyme outpatient clinic in NYC for thorough testing of all kinds and it was finally crossed off the list.) I also suffered from what was defined as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder following my diagnosis, which translated into depression & anxiety. Personally, my thyroid never seemed to be an issue.

And there is another chicken & egg conundrum - does a viral exposure cause fibro or does your compromised immune system leave the door open for viruses to take effect? (My Epstein-Barr Virus counts came back very high about 6 months into my symptoms - but as this virus exists, inactive, in 80%+ of the population, I find it hard to believe that I happened to contract it right then.)

Right now, after overhauling my nutrition especially, and working with a team which included a naturopathic doctor (chelation, amino acid therapy, supplementation for severe nutritional deficiencies and inflammation), acupuncturist, chiropractic (biogeometric integration type), and some other modalities, I am doing great and consider myself in full remission on most days.

Why is nutrition important? The body is severely deficient, imbalanced, with a compromised digestive and immune system. It is critical. Nutrition is the building block for all of the repair and restore agents you need to heal. What you DON't eat is just as important: processed / packaged foods, refined sugar, caffeine, artificial sweeteners and flavors, additives, etc., have got to go.

Fibro is NOT a condition of the imagination. Severe and constant fatigue and "all over" pain (for me it was muscle, nerve, bone pain plus other types intermittently) is all-consuming and prevents a regular routine or life. The depression is usually a RESULT for most people - the pain, isolation, money issues, etc. Chronic pain also depletes several neurotransmitters, causing a cascade of reactions in the body, from anxiety, to digestive issues, to even higher pain sensitivity. It's also untrue that lack of activity leads to fibro; more often, people are highly active, as was in my case.

Common causes include prolonged chronic stress or a trauma.

What you need to get looked at by a practitioner trained to do so (usually not a regular MD, but more likely an ND - naturopathic doctor):
- adrenals (cycle, levels)
- neurotransmitter balance
- thyroid levels
- heavy metals
- nutritional deficiencies (esp. Vit D, Magnesium, B12 and other B vitamins)
- food allergies / intolerances / sensitivities (through tests plus the elimination /challenge diet, which is key)
- dysbiosis / candida
- leaky gut syndrome
- liver detox pathways

It takes time - you have to remove triggers, replace missing dietary components to help quell the inflammation and promote healing, and repair the damaged systems such as the digestive system, detoxification pathways (e.g. liver), adrenals, thyroid, and neurotransmitters, and restore balance / rebuild reserves.

It's not easy, but it's entirely possible.

I blog about my own health and nutrition if you or your uncle want more specifics over time: www.delicioushealth.wordpress.com  

Hope this helps,
Simla
Simla
NC Candidate

Offline SimlaS

  • Alumni
  • ***
  • Posts: 102
Re: Fibromyalgia - a mysterious disorder
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2009, 04:35:16 PM »
Hi Cynthia,

I've done oral chelation, and had a crown with metal lining replaced prior to the chelation. It made sense to me, as the act of removal will inevitably dislodge some of those metals, which will enter your body in other ways. Chelation is such a time- and energy-consuming commitment, I figured why have to do it again later after all of these new metals enter my body? Personally, I had the crown removed before chelation and am glad I did.

Hope this helps,
Simla

I am interested to find information about how going through a chelation process.  I am concerned because I still have amalgam fillings.  WOuld it make sense to undergo the chelation  process while still having the fillings in my mouth.  I plan to have the fillings removed and know that at that time I should definitely do the cleanse, but I am interested in doing the metal cleanse now especially, after reading one of the posts located here.... Thank you for your responses.....
Simla
NC Candidate

 


anything