Transcript From a recent Tuesday Night Treating and Beating Teleconference
Join me each and every Tuesday Night For my Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia Teleconference
Good evening this is Dr Rodger Murphree, TheFibroDoctor.com, author of Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Thank you for joining me tonight for my Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia teleconference. I look forward to your questions this evening. A little bit about me: I’m a board certified chiropractic physician, a board certified nutritional specialist. I’ve been in private practice for the last 25 years and for the last 19 years now, I’ve specialized in fibromyalgia.
For a number of years, I owned a very large integrative practice on the campus of Brooklyn hospital here in Birmingham, Alabama where I employed 5 medical doctors and a very large support staff. We specialized in using integrative medicine, which is a very judicious use of very small amount of prescription medication and natural remedies, to treat a variety of different patients from throughout the Southeast. In 2003, I sold that practice and I’ve been practicing solo ever since.
For the last 5-6 years, my practice has evolved to where 95% of my practice is now phone consults and I work with patients throughout the world.
Tonight, I’m going to be taking your questions and I look forward to those. I’ve also got some questions that have come in by email and I’m going to do my best to answer some of those, try to whittle those down a bit before I take the live questions. I often get asked, what makes me different from most doctors and why do I have success with fibromyalgia. I think tonight you’ll get to hear why that is the case.
Unfortunately with fibromyalgia, most doctors don’t really understand it if they even acknowledge that fibromyalgia exists, and many still don’t. It’s really a frustrating scenario for the patient to attempt to go their family doctor or even to the local rheumatologist, and get anywhere meaningful with their fibromyalgia.
The conventional medical approach for fibromyalgia of covering up symptoms with drugs is a dead end. There’s just too many symptoms of fibromyalgia to try to cover up and before you know it, you can be on half a dozen to a dozen drugs. That approach in and of itself does not work. I’m not anti-drug, I’m anti wrong drug, too many drugs and drug only. There’s certainly a time and a place for drugs and sometimes it’s your best option and your only option, but what I find in my patients is that the only way to reverse your fibromyalgia – and you can beat fibromyalgia, but the only way you can do that is you’ve got to get healthy.
That sounds simplistic and that’s one of the reasons why I wrote my book, Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, is because I needed to be able to lay that out about how our bodies really work. Our bodies don’t suffer from a drug deficiency. Drugs are prescribed to treat a symptom.
Our bodies operate from the foods that we eat and from those foods, we should be able to get enough vitamins, minerals, amino acids and essential fatty acids to make the hormones, brain chemicals and the things that we need to make the body run like it’s supposed to. Unfortunately, many folks including those with fibromyalgia either genetically can’t make those chemicals or they’re not getting enough of those chemicals in their diet … typically in the fibromyalgia patient, they become so stressed out over the years, so deficient in these stress coping chemicals, the vitamins, minerals, amino acids, essential fatty acids and hormones that they get so run down that their body cannot regulate itself. That’s what sets off this whole thing called fibromyalgia.
Before we get too much further, what I’d like to do is have one of my patients come on the line, a patient that I’m working with right now in a 6 month get healthy program. Let’s see if we can get Janelle on the line. If you can hit star 6, that’ll bring you on the line. Hi Janelle, how are you?
Janelle: Hi Dr Murphree, I’m good thank you.
Janelle Smith from Georgia has been working with me for the last few months and we’ve still got a little way to go, but you’ve made considerable progress. I just wanted you to share your story tonight … Janelle, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and a little bit about your fibromyalgia?
Janelle: Yes, Dr Murphree. I was diagnosed 18 years ago with fibromyalgia, so I’ve been suffering with this for a long time. I have had pain, almost constant all over ache like a toothache, memory problems, brain fog, all over soreness, unrefreshed sleep, morning pain, stiffness and so on. Anyway I was a school- teacher and the doctor starting giving me medications; as it got worse and worse, the medications didn’t seem to help. Over a period of time, they just kept adding more and more medications and they didn’t help that much. As a teacher, I was pretty much expected to stand up a lot and I was unable to do that. I retired and 3 years before I retired, I got so bad that I would come home in the afternoon, lie down on the couch and I would be there until just about time to go to bed. It was really rough. After I retired, I thought I’ll have time to rest and get better; well I just got worse and worse. That has been my deal in dealing with the fibromyalgia.
DrM: When we first started, not only had you been diagnosed with fibromyalgia which really is an umbrella, it really just means that your body is broken down but you also type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, problems with insomnia, high cholesterol, IBS and reflux … you had a whole host of stuff going on.
Janelle: I sure did, I was having a lot of problems with my stomach especially. I had been diagnosed with IBS, I was having terrible pain in my stomach. I was given Levsin and they said that the IBS went along with the fibromyalgia, and no tests were done or anything. Anyway the Levsin would stop the pain until the next time and then it would happen again. As it turned out, I found out through you that one of my problems was that I had a sensitivity to gluten. After I got off that, that helped tremendously.
DrM:One of the things we saw in your blood work was that you had these elevated liver enzymes. It was frustrating because I remember you sharing with me that your doctors kept telling you that everything was fine with your blood work, and obviously that wasn’t the case.
Janelle: Yeah, I was concerned about the liver enzymes being elevated, because I didn’t want anything to be elevated that should be normal. I asked about that several times and they said, “Don’t worry about it. Most of the people in America are that way” but I was not satisfied with that.
DrM:I think probably the reason anyone wasn’t saying anything to you was because the reason why you had those elevated enzymes, which by the way now they’re all normal with the supplements that you’ve been taking, but when you first started you were on 12 different prescription drugs. We’re still working together and we’ve got a little ways to go, but how many are you taking now?
Janelle: I’m off 5 medications right now. My glucose is normal, my blood pressure is normal and my triglycerides and cholesterol have gone down tremendously – they’re close to normal.
DrM:You were able to go off I think, 1-2 blood pressure meds and you were also able to go off your Metformin and diabetes medication, and we got you off the statin drug. I’m not sure if you’re still taking Flexeril or Amitriptyline … I know you’re weaning off one of those and the Lyrica you’re weaning off of that.
Janelle: Right, I’m off the Amitriptyline and the Cyclobenzaprine. I feel a lot better since I’m off those. I’m almost halfway off of the Lyrica.
DrM:Yeah, you’re close. We’ve got a little more work to do there but I have no doubt you’ll be able to do that. Over the last few months that we’ve been working together, what has been the biggest change you’ve seen in your lifestyle? What has happened in the last few months?
Janelle: The biggest thing has been the way that I feel … My energy level. Before like I said, I had an all over achiness, everything hurt and I was tired all time and I couldn’t do anything. I wasn’t bedridden, I was couch ridden I suppose because I was on the couch all the time. Now, I’m able to do things, my energy level is great … my husband can’t believe it. He can really tell the difference. I don’t hurt, I don’t have the achiness, most of my soreness is completely gone. I get a massage once a month and my massage therapist couldn’t believe how much better I was, because I’m usually saying “Ow, ow” and she said, “You’re awfully quiet, what’s going on with you?” I told her and she said, my mom has fibromyalgia and I’ve been giving her information about you.
DrM: That’s great. By doing the anti-inflammatory diet, you were able to lose that weight that you’d picked up just form the low metabolism associated with fibro. How much weight did you lose?
Janelle: I lost around 30 pounds.
DrM: he point is really not to lose weight … your fasting glucose level, I think at one time was 179 on one of my tests and that’s sky high. It’s very dangerous, and now it’s down to normal. By losing that weight, you were able to get off the diabetes medications, the blood pressure medications and the cholesterol medications. Whereas if you hadn’t lost the weight, they would have been happy to keep you on that forever … That was the plan, just to keep you on those meds and all those meds have potential side effects.
Janelle: Right. What I tell people is that if you have fibromyalgia, fibromyalgia is a bunch of symptoms. If there are symptoms, there’s something causing it. I searched for years, I read everything I could find about fibromyalgia and it’s all the same thing. Finally, I got online and I found you and since then, things have been different.
DrM: Thank goodness. You’ve worked hard to get healthy and that’s what you’ve got to do. That’s exactly what I tell people, fibromyalgia is just a name, it’s a group of symptoms which are warning signs. What you’ve got to do is find out where you’re broken down. That’s what we did and to your credit, you’ve worked hard, you’ve done everything I’ve asked you to do, you stayed on this diet and you’ve done great. I’m so proud of you.
Janelle: I’m very proud of myself too, I have to say.
DrM:That’s great. Is there anything that you want to share with any of the listeners this evening? Any advice you’d like to give them?
Janelle: When I came across you on the internet, I researched you for about a month before I ever decided to even call you. I decided what you were saying made sense, and it was different than anything I had heard. I had prayed and asked God to give me somebody, a doctor that would help me. It was the next day that I got on the internet and I found you. Anyway what I’d like to say is that when you call me, I always enjoy sharing my progress with you. When I would go to a regular doctor, I never had any progress so there were always complaints about how it was worse and more medications and so forth. You gave me encouragement, you helped me to get better, to go over this and you listened to me. You always listened to all my questions and always encouraged and helped me out … I would encourage anybody to do this, because it has changed my life. I was down to, I would say practically no quality of life. Now I can say that I do have a great quality of life, and I’m able to do things that I’ve always wanted to do when I was retired.
Dr:M I really want to say thank you for coming on and sharing your story, because that’s going to mean a lot to people who listen to this. It is kind of scary working with somebody by phone, that’s unusual and that’s going to change. That’s really going to change in the next decade, you’re going to see that but right now it’s a very scary thing – I think in particular with fibromyalgia because you’ve been to so many doctors, no one has been able to help you and you get so discouraged by the whole thing.
Janelle: That’s right, that’s exactly how it was. Then you get to the point that you don’t even feel like going to the doctor. They don’t know what to do and it’s really not going to help. It was discouraging but now I’m a lot better and much happier, and I’m going to continue to get better and get well.
DrM:Yeah, we’ve got a little more work to do but I’m so excited to go to the next chapter and see your next set of blood work. Janelle thank you so much for joining me tonight, I look forward to talking to you in the next couple of weeks.
Janelle: Thank you.
DrM: Janelle Smith from Georgia joined me tonight, and periodically I’ll have some of my patients come on – really for that very reason I just shared. I realize that trusting a doctor who you get exposed to over the internet or maybe you read his/her book, it’s kind of a scary thing. I like to have some of my patients come on and for you to be able to hear what they’ve gone through, and to make it more meaningful for you.
A lot of times, I think what happens is people with fibromyalgia just get beat down so much and they get sick and tired of the whole thing. It just exhausts you. You do all the research, you go to all these doctors and you try all these things but you don’t feel any better. Pretty soon, you want to just give up.
Oftentimes, doctors will tell you that you just have to live with it and I don’t think you do. I want to encourage you if Janelle’s story resonates with you, I want you to realize that the patients I work with are as sick, if not sicker than you. No matter what state of health you’re in, there’s definitely hope that yes you too can get healthy because that’s really the only way to get your life back.
It’s not about taking a bunch of drugs or a bunch of supplements. Most of you take all kinds of supplements but they never work. It’s about getting healthy and to get healthy, oftentimes you need a health coach that can do the detective work, find out where you’re broken down with the testing and then laser in to exactly what you need to take to start fixing the underlying causes of the problem – not just telling you let’s try this or let’s try that. That just doesn’t work when you’re really complicated.
In Janelle’s case, she was on a dozen drugs and she’s come off, I think she said 5 … I think it’s a little more than 5 and she’s got a few more to go. She’s weaning off and pretty soon she’ll be off Lyrica, she has made tremendous amount of progress but it wasn’t because I put her on a bunch of supplements. The supplements were there to get her well by fixing underlying biochemical problems, because all of this is biochemistry.
You can try to do it with drugs, which tend to slow things down or speed things up, but they’re really working on the symptoms. Or you can use the raw ingredients that God made and intended for us to use, which are vitamins, minerals, amino acids, essential fatty acids – the things that we should be getting in our diet but may not be able to because our diet is so poor, or because we’re just so deficient, or in the case of fibromyalgia you may have a genetic glitch where you can’t convert certain amino acids like tryptophan into the end amino acid 5-hydroxy tryptophan, which turns into serotonin.
God made you a special way and one of the little specialties was that you had a glitch in that ability to be able to convert tryptophan which you should be getting in the proteins you eat, into 5-hydroxy tryptophan. Once you know these things and testing shows that, then you know exactly what you’ve got to do to fix the underlying problems. It’s not about taking a handful of supplements, it’s about getting healthy. Oftentimes what you need is someone to help guide you in your process of getting healthy, showing you where you’re broken down through specific testing and then putting you on specific supplements and protocols that allow you to … if you need to lose weight, lose weight. If you need to be an allergy diet and covering any kinds of allergies whether it’s gluten, dairy or wheat, you find that out.
You find out that you need to be taking thyroid because the thyroid tests the doctors were doing were basic tests and because of that, you never knew you had something wrong with your thyroid. In Janelle’s case, she had something wrong with her liver and they would have been happy for her liver probably to go into liver failure; they never shared that with her.
That’s probably the scenario that was going to happen with her being on a statin drug and having a glucose level of 179, and you never want it above 99. That’s normal, but they were content just to let her go her way and stay on these 12 drugs. That’s the mentality that’s out there.
I encourage you to find a doctor who will work with you one on one, and will do it in a way that gets you healthy. If you’d like to know more about setting up a phone consult with me or if you want to come to Birmingham, Alabama you certainly can do that; you can learn more about the consults that I do at FibroConsults.com. You go there, you’ll learn that 95% of my practice is phone consults. I work with patients all over the world. The testing can be done in your town, you don’t have to come to Birmingham to get the blood work done. We can get the test kits sent to you so you can do those, whether it’s food allergy tests, adrenal cortex tests, intestinal permeability or yeast overgrowth, or whatever it is we’re trying to figure out where you’re broken down. Usually the testing can all be done in your town, and then everything can be done by phone.
Again, I encourage you to go to FibroConsults.com to learn more about that process. You can actually fill out the paperwork online and submit that, and then the clinic will call you to set you up for a consult. You’ll also see on there a phone number so if you’ve got any questions about anything we’re going to talk about tonight or anything that you’ve heard in the past, seen on the internet or read in my book, you certainly can call the clinic and they’ll be happy to answer any of your questions and help you any way they can. If you have any questions please feel free to call the clinic 205-879-2383.
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