Fibromyalgia is a syndrome in which a person has chronic, non-specific body pains in the joints, muscles, and other soft tissues. Fibromyalgia has also been linked to fatigue, sleep problems, headaches, depression, and anxiety.
When patients approach their physicians about it, they would be checked for the most obvious causes of body pain like arthritis or muscle trauma. They also may check for common causes of tiredness such as anemia or thyroid issues. These tests often come back negative and no further tests are carried out.
Being in pain and fatigued all day causes a drop in normal functioning, social interactions and outings; and leaves one with symptoms of depression. However, many doctors fail to see the real equation, and end up putting these patients on a lifetime of anti-depressants and painkillers.
Finding the real cause
Fibromyalgia is a condition that I’ve come across very commonly in my practice, mostly because conventional treatments have not been able to help them at all.
Years of extensive research and practice, coupled with outstanding results has brought me to understand that the cause of FIBROMYALGIA = CHRONIC FLU + CHRONIC ADRENAL FATIGUE. It can either be one or both these conditions that cause Fibromyalgia over time.
Can you relate to any of these?
Chronic flu symptoms
- Body aches and pains (can be muscle or joints)
- Low grade fevers
- Chills (which are not relieved by layering up either)
- Night sweats
- Feeling “under the weather” a lot
- History of infections or invasive procedures in the past (eg:- sinusitis, lung infections, dental infections or root canal procedure, urinary tract infections, arthritis etc)
Chronic adrenal fatigue symptoms
- Morning tiredness
- Fatigue all day, especially after exercise
- Cold hands and feet
- Low blood pressure
- Low blood sugar
- Emotionally hypersensitive (cries easily , gets angry and startled easily)
- Inability to adapt to new situations or changes easily
My approach to treating you
This depends on which symptoms you relate to the most. Accordingly, various tests would be carried out to confirm the diagnosis. Following this, I would sketch out a detailed treatment protocol for you.
If you feel like you relate more to the symptoms of:
(1) Chronic Flu / Underlying infection
– Chronic infections and my approach to its treatment is dealt in detail below.
(2) Chronic Adrenal Fatigue
– A summary of my approach to this issue can be found below.
– A detailed article explaining my approach and treatment options may also be given to you.
(3) General Tiredness
– An article that I have composed covering the various aspects to why you could be tired, and how to treat the underlying issue will be given to you.
My approach to chronic flu / infection
– Symptoms like achiness, chills and rigors, low-grade fevers, night sweats or a chronic “under the weather” feeling, according to me, are signs of a chronic ongoing infection that you are unable to get rid of.
– It could be bacterial, viral, fungal or even parasitic. Nothing else in the world will give you chills other than infections.
– Several patients are able to go back in time, and find that the onset of the above symptoms coincides with an infection or invasive procedure they had in the past.
– Several examples are:
- Gynaecological infection/procedure (Caesarean section/endometriosis/biopsy etc)
- Urinary tract infections/ Colitis, amoebiasis, parasites and other GI tract infections
- History of root canal/ tender gums/ hypersensitivity/ other dental proceduresHistory of sinusitis/ pneumonia/ any chronic infections
- History of arthritis/ other joint diseases.
– These infections gradually enter the blood stream and spread to other organs. There, they multiply and silently form pockets of infection in different parts of the body including the joints.
– Areas like the joint spaces are inaccessible to the white blood cells (our germ fighting squad) because of the tough, impenetrable capsule around the entire joint. This causes the immune system to attack the area around it in an effort to reach the target, and this explains the joint aches and pains.
Tracing the culprit – Depending upon the suspected source of infection, tests can be carried out.
- Urine culture and microscopy
- Sputum culture / stool culture
- Throat swab / vaginal swab
- Stool and saliva test (to check for several parasites and yeast)
The above tests only check for bacteria, and therefore, are not comprehensive enough.
This test can find organisms that are not traceable by any OHIP- covered test. It can detect virus, fungi and semi-viruses too. This is because this test does not rely on actually “seeing” the organism, but it tests for the presence of its DNA! Examples include chlamydia spp, mycoplasma etc.
- Treating the infection
Antibiotics or antifungals (as required)
IV H2O2 treatments
– H2O2 is a well-known killer of germs –Its action is against viruses, bacteria, fungi and semi bacteria. It mostly works by creating a high oxygen environment in which the germs can’t survive.
– I had good clinical success using this treatment, but now, I have a more powerful treatment that does not irritate the veins which is High dose Ozone therapy. I prefer this approach.
My approach to chronic adrenal fatigue MY APPROACH TO CHRONIC ADRENAL FATIGUE
Adrenal glands are responsible for the production of various vital hormones like:
- Glucocorticoids (cortisol) which is responsible for glucose metabolism and energy production.
- Mineralocorticoids (aldosterone) which deals with salt and water retention in the body.
- Sex corticoids– like DHEA, which in turn, converts to testosterone and estrogen.
- They also produce adrenaline and noradrenaline which play a vital role in dealing with stress and emergencies.
Due to the vital actions of these various hormones, the adrenals play a very important part in our lives by preparing us to face all the stresses in life, and by creating an overall mineral and hormonal balance in our bodies.
The cause of adrenal fatigue:
Overworking the adrenals for a prolonged period can cause exhaustion of the glands.
This can be caused by excessive exercise, overworking, job stress, sleep deprivation, fear, anger, depression, guilt, anxiety, surgery, chronic pain/infection/ inflammation, chronic allergies/illnesses etc.
Diagnosing Chronic Adrenal Fatigue
– Cortisol levels in the body can be determined by a simple saliva cortisol test which measures your body’s cortisol levels at 4 different times of the day.
– For example, the production of cortisol by adrenals glands is highest in the morning upon waking up – around 6 am to 8 am. A drop in your levels around this time can explain your lack in morning energy.
- The saliva samples will be sent to the USA and the results received by us in approx. 3 weeks. This will then be interpreted by me- and on the basis of your levels and symptoms, the severity of your condition will be assessed. Accordingly, a treatment plan will be drawn out for you.
Treating Adrenal Fatigue
1) Licorice drops
• This is a way to top up your cortisone levels without actually taking any medication.
• The brand I usually prescribe is St. Francis whole licorice drops – 30 drops in the morning, noon and late afternoon. This is available in most health food stores.
• Licorice works by slowing down the breakdown of the cortisone molecule. In this way, the number of molecules in circulation at any given time is increased, thereby increasing cortisone levels in blood without any external supplementation.
2) Hormonal replacement / top-up methods
A) Cortef (generic name: hydrocortisone)
- This is a higher level of Glucocorticoid (Cortisone) top-up that I use in patients that have severe symptoms, and when quick intervention is needed.
- Cortef is a bio-identical, less potent, very low dose form of cortisone. This is a ‘supplemental dose’ as opposed to the ‘suppressive dose’ that comes with using prednisone. This allows you to get the benefit from cortisone, without actually suppressing or permanently affecting the secretive function of your glands.
- Also, for patients who have been advised to take this drug for a longer duration, the book “Safe use of Hydrocortisone” by William Jefferies (available through Amazon) gives all the details you need on every aspect of cortisol.
The dosage: The usual dosage I prescribe is
- 10 mg in the morning on waking up,
- 5 mg at noon
- 5 mg at 5pm
Hydrocortisone molecule has a short half life, and does not last > 4hrs in our bodies, and this is why more frequent dosing is required.
B) Florinef (generic name: fludrocortisone)
- Florinef is the low-dose ‘top-up’ medication that I prescribe for patients who are significantly low in aldosterone.
- As mentioned in detail earlier, aldosterone is the water and mineral retention hormone produced by the adrenal glands.
- Deficiency of this hormone may result in low blood volume, low blood pressure, light headedness, increased urination, bony face and sunken facial features.
- The dosage I usually prescribe is 0.1 mg a day. You may be advised to start with HALF a pill (0.05mg) a day, and increase it up to one pill (0.1mg) a day until your systolic blood pressure crosses 100 mmHg.
- • As explained earlier, DHEA is a sex hormone produced by the adrenal glands. In patients with CAF, it’s very likely that they would be low on this hormone as well.
- • Your DHEA levels can easily be determined by a simple blood test (OHIP-covered).
- • DHEA is a precursor for other hormones like Testosterone and Oestrogen and hence the lack of which can cause low libido, vitality, menopausal symptoms, erectile dysfunction, low energy etc.
- • The dosage I prescribe is usually 25mg a day, to be taken early in the morning before breakfast. The dosage may vary depending on how low your levels are.
3) I.V adrenal drip
- The adrenal drip you are prescribed contains Adrenal support injection. This fools the pituitary to believe that the adrenals are back on track, and therefore it stops the ACTH production. (ACTH is a hormone which acts as the whip that forces the adrenals to work overtime)So, this drip finally gives the adrenals a much deserved chance to rest and regenerate.
- Your drip also contains a mix of several minerals and vitamins like Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc, Chromium, Selenium, Manganese, Potassium, Copper, Vit B5, B6, Bcomplex, B12, Vit C etc. These minerals and vitamins serve as the raw materials that help to rebuild the gland.
- The usual recommendation is two infusions per week for the first 5 weeks, each around 90 mins each.
- This is followed by an assessment of your progress and accordingly, you will be advised to either continue or gradually stop and go on a maintenance dose.
Chronic Adrenal Fatigue – the symptoms, the diagnosis, the treatment options and the risks& benefits of the treatment are dealt in detail in another article by me called CHRONIC ADRENAL FATIGUE. The information given above is only a summary, and the detailed article will be given to you if this is a suspected cause in your case.