Fibromyalgia and “Fibro Fog”
The following blog article is taken from the recording transcript from my Treating and Beating “Fibro Fog” Teleconference I did last month. This is a partial transcript; the full-12 page transcript will be available along with the actual recording, to those who join my Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia membership site.
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Hope you enjoy this abbreviated transcript . . .
Hi good evening this is Dr. Rodger Murphree, www.TheFibroDoctor.com , author of “Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.”
Tonight, what we’re talking about is fibro fog. In fibro fog, you find that you have problems recalling known words. You typically use the incorrect words, you can’t remember people’s names, you have short term memory problems like forgetfulness, inability to remember what you’ve just read and what you’ve just heard, or maybe you saw a movie last week, you don’t remember anything about it. You oftentimes have problems with directional disorientation, so you’re not able to recognize familiar surroundings; get lost, and it’s hard to read a map. You become disoriented very quickly in a shopping mall if you’re not overwhelmed because you’ve bankrupted your stress coping chemicals, you don’t handle a lot of stress including being in a crowd. You have trouble recalling where things are; where did I put my keys, where did I put my blue socks, where did I put my phone. You get trouble with just getting your mind to click in and work correctly. You have lots of problems with multitasking. You have inability to pay attention to more than one thing.
What’s happening in “fibro fog” is the same mechanism that’s driving this “cloudy thinking,” it is what’s driving the fibromyalgia in general, and that is stress. Stress is the catalyst for disease, I don’t care what disease it is; whether that’s fibromyalgia, brain fog, irritable bowel syndrome or cancer or heart disease-it doesn’t matter. Stress is the catalyst for disease including fibromyalgia and the fibro fog that comes with it.
What happens in fibromyalgia is once your autonomic nervous system, which is your self regulating system that regulates your heartbeat, your temperature, your sleep awake cycle, your bowel movements, your pain level, your moods, your immune system, how you digest food; once that becomes compromised, than all these different systems start to break down. This is a dysfunction in the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal or the HPA axis. Once that starts to go haywire, there’s no drug that can correct that. The only way to correct that is to start to build up and repair your stress coping chemicals and mechanisms, so that the stress is now taken off the HPA axis. Until you do that, then you’re always going to have fibromyalgia, you’re always going to have symptoms of fibromyalgia, whether that’s poor sleep, achy muscle pain or low moods, it doesn’t matter. That’s going to persist. I don’t care what drugs you take. In fact the problem with prescription medications in fibromyalgia is that what brings on the illness is too much stress and drugs don’t reverse stress they create it.
Prescription medications are just another stressor, they can be helpful, and sometimes they can be your only option. So I’m not anti drug, I’m anti wrong drug, I’m anti too many drugs and I’m anti drug only philosophy. You see nobody has a drug deficiency.
Short term, they may be helpful. No doubt about it. Oftentimes they’re not but short term they can be helpful. But long term they’re causing more stress because they’re causing more side effects and they’re very stressful to your body.
Ambien and Lunesta cause memory loss, short term and long term problems with memory, confusion, hallucinations, anxiety, and depression.
Unfortunately as I mentioned earlier, most doctors are treating the symptoms of fibromyalgia and not the causes. That leads to a lot of problems we see with mental clarity issues. If you look at the common fibromyalgia drugs, drugs that are being used in fibromyalgia today, tricyclic antidepressants like Elavil and Trazodone, Amitriptyline, Doxepin and then we look at Klonopin and other benzodiazepines or tranquilizers, Ativan, Xanax sometimes, sometimes Valium or Restoril they all are associated with “fibro fog,” short term and long term problems with memory, confusion, hallucinations, anxiety, and depression.
All the tricyclic antidepressants like Elavil, Trazodone, Doxepin, amitriptyline, that whole class can cause fibro fog and, they deplete CoQ10. Once you deplete CoQ10, which is the spark plug of every cell, your cellular metabolism goes down. Now you can have all sorts of side effects including neurological problems, tingling in the hands and feet; you can become depressed, you have problems with mental clarity, you can become anxious, you can have cold hands, cold feet, all sorts of things start to show up neurologically.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories can cause problems with mental clarity issues. It as I mentioned earlier, depletes melatonin. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories also can affect your ability to absorb B12. When you get low in B12, you start having problems with pre senile dementia; you don’t really think very well. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories also can cause achy muscle pain. Sounds kind of crazy but I’ve gotten patients that I’ve gotten off Mobic or their Celebrex, and use natural protocols to help with their pain. But then what they found was, a lot of their pain just went away coming off their medicines.
If you’re fatigued, the way to treat the fatigue is not by giving you an amphetamine. The way to fix the fatigue is to find out what’s causing you to be fatigued. Is that because you don’t sleep at night, or you do sleep at night but you’re not getting deep restorative sleep because you’re taking a medication like Klonopin that doesn’t allow you to feel refreshed next day, or is it because you have low thyroid that your doctor keeps missing year after year. You have to investigate these things. If we look at Mirapex or restless legs syndrome, that can cause amnesia, mental confusion, memory loss. Then as I mentioned earlier, drugs deplete essential nutrients that you need for mental clarity. Statins, Lipitor, Zocor, Vytorin, Crestor, those medications deplete CoQ10. You need CoQ10, without it you start having problems with your thinking as well as neurological issues, pins and needles, pain in your hands and feet, muscle pain, mitral valve prolapse, high blood pressure. Celebrex depletes Folic acid. Folic acid is one of the most potent anti depressant substances out there. When your Folic acid level goes low, you really start having trouble with your neurotransmitters, your brain chemicals, so it definitely can cause problems with thought disorders, anxiety, depression, and mental clarity issues.
The whole goal of righting fibromyalgia really is to make sure that you’re building up enough stress coping chemicals and you’re building up your stress coping hormones like adrenal cortisol, DHEA and you make sure your thyroid’s working, so that you can take the stress off the body. If you don’t do that, it doesn’t matter what drugs you take, it doesn’t really matter what you do, you’re really going to stand very little chance of ever feeling good again. Looking just at the essential fatty acids, when we see the omega 3 that you typically get from fish oil and they’re low, then you have problems with your brain cells being able to communicate, one with another. You start having problems with ADHD, poor mental clarity, poor immune function, increased inflammation and pain.
Typically my patients are on 12 different drugs when they start with me, and by the time I’m finished working with them in a program, then they’re down to 1 or 2 or none.
Once you start to look at these drugs-work with somebody whether that’s me or a doctor who will work with you, to reduce and eliminate these drugs, and put you on a different natural protocol, a lot of your fibro fog is going to disappear.
The other thing you’ve got to do, you’ve got to restore that deep restorative sleep. You’ve got to fix any sleep issues. If you’ve not done that yet, that’s really the place to start. You can learn more about my sleep program-there’s a video, there’s an audio and there’s a written report that’s just been updated that goes into detail about how to restore deep restorative sleep; whether you’re on drugs or not, how to do it. There are some bonus things that go with that including a 2 hour step by step webinar on sleep, adrenal fatigue, low thyroid, digestive disorders, chronic pain…and more. You can order the deep restorative sleep program with all sorts of bonuses at https://essentialtherastore.com/products/fibromyalgia-and-sleep-program
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I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia almost 20yrs ago. it was really bad this winter. I have gained a lot of weight recently. brain fog is worse. pain is worse. lots of stress. my hubby has neck and spinal fusion and ptsd. one son is on his 8th tour in Afghanistan. our youngest son is a diabetic and has serious kidney issues. I can’t find a doctor that really knows much about fibromyalgia. I have had insomnia since I was 11yrs old. have IBS, migraines, raynouds syndrom, acid reflux, arthritis in my knees, hips, hands,lower back, shoulder and neck.I also have high blood pressure. I see a gp, cardiologist, rheumatologist, gastroenteroligist, and a sleep specialist. I have had lots of tests and on a lot of medicine. I am 59 yrs old.
Have started the jump start program pain is better already,hope it continues!!!