Fibromyalgia is more often seen in women starting in their 20’s; however, this condition is not prejudiced. It also occurs in men and children, and can come on at any age. Juvenile fibromyalgia is the same thing that happens in adults, where children simply “hurt all over;” however, this disease can progress and become completely disabling by the time they reach their mid-20’s. More often than not, they are told it is something like growing pains, or that the pain is behavioral and psychosomatic, which is the nice way of saying these children are making it all up.
Juvenile fibromyalgia generally comes in the teenage years, so parents are sometimes told that their child, who is in constant pain and discomfort, is simply seeking attention.
Pay closer attention to your children than the doctor who is telling you the symptoms aren’t real. You can see that they are and in your gut, you probably know something is wrong. You may even have a family history of fibromyalgia. Your child/teen may be complaining of symptoms like “hurting all over,” extreme tiredness, disrupted sleep, morning stiffness, headaches, stomachaches, depression, anxiety, difficulty focusing in school, muscle tightness, tension, or irritable bowel syndrome. These are all fibromyalgia symptoms.
Sadly, many conventional doctors are going to treat just the individual symptoms rather than try to find and treat the root cause of fibromyalgia, which is an imbalance of natural chemicals and hormones. This means that fibro kids are going to be pumped with a generous cocktail of prescription medications that could severely impact their mental growth and development. One of the most popular medications used to treat fibromyalgia is Lyrica.
This medication is used to treat nerve pain that is often associated with diabetes, shingles infection, or spinal nerve injury; however, it has been crowned as a pain-fighter in fibromyalgia patients too. The host of side effects associated with this drug include dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, difficulty concentrating, weight gain, and swollen extremities. More serious side effects include unusual bleeding, blurry vision, confusion, unsteadiness, muscle pain or weakness, and change in urinary output. Sound like something you want to pump into a teen, whose brain is not yet fully developed?
Prescription drugs like Lyrica are not as helpful as marketing ploys would have us believe, and it can actually make you or your child feel much worse, not to mention cause extreme damage to brain development.
Pharma Times reported that Lyrica pain medication failed a study that tested its efficacy in treating adolescents with fibromyalgia. The participants were between 12 and 17 years old and all experienced the widespread pain symptoms described above. They were split into two groups: one group received the drug and the other a placebo. The findings showed that there was no significant difference in the pain scores between those taking the drug and those taking the placebo. Of course, the manufacturer of this potent and expensive drug asserts that these results “do not change the established benefit of Lyrica for its approved indications, including fibromyalgia in adults.”
The “established benefit” referred to above are studies specifically done to prove the efficacy of the drug and funded by the manufacturer, so they should be taken with a grain of salt. Even though the above study showed no statistical difference between drug and placebo in the teenage test subjects, Lyrica is still the most widely used and sold drug for fibromyalgia. There are recent studies that are looking at how Lyrica affects the brain and why it works in some patients, which they are using as a marketing tool to make people believe it will work for everyone. However, Lyrica only works for approximately 1/3 of patients taking it. That means the other 2/3 are taking the drug and suffering the side effects without reason or benefit.
While prescription drugs like Lyrica may work for a short time, it doesn’t fix the massive hormonal, chemical, and nutritional imbalances. The disease will continue to progress and get worse unless these deficiencies are addressed.
Prescription drugs will never make you healthy. You don’t have a deficiency of analgesics or anti-depressants in your body. These medications, if they must be used, should be used just for a short time until you are able to normalize and rebalance your body’s chemistry in healthier and more natural ways.
Treatment for fibromyalgia and finding the right regimen will take time and patience, especially in teenagers and children, who are often naturally rebellious and not as motivated to follow detailed instructions for health. However, once they start to feel better, they will see the benefit in taking the steps to rebalance their bodies.
Want to know where to start? Sleep. The primary concern is that fibromyalgia patients are not getting enough quality sleep. Even with analgesics or sleep medications, they still feel fatigued and tired in the morning and throughout the day. Try taking the supplement 5-HTP at night. Start with 100 mg for a couple of nights, and then move up to 200 mg. You can titrate this every few days up to 300 mg a day, which you can split up if need be. This is by no means the only thing that you will need to get healthy, but it is start.
For more information on things you can do to help you or your child reduce fibromyalgia symptoms without disrupting brain chemistry and development, I host a FREE call-in conference each week, where I will answer one-on-one questions for people who are looking for alternative treatment methods or have any questions about my posts and recommendations. Join me each and every Tuesday. Learn more at www.endfibronow.com