You Can’t Drug Your Way Out Of Fibromyalgia
Excerpt From A Recent Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia Teleconference
Are you finding that you’re withdrawing further and further from life, where you can’t or choose not to do the things you used to do?
After all you don’t know whether this is going to be a good day or a bad day.
You don’t know whether you’re going to have the flu from hell today, or not. You don’t know what you’re going to be able to do. You could have a flare with the change in the weather, a stressful event or just the extra mental or physical stress of pushing yourself to do more than normal.
You can’t plan to socialize with your friends anymore, you can’t plan vacation trips because you don’t know if this is going to be a good week or bad week. Slowly year after year, you begin withdraw from life, hibernate as your fibromyalgia gets worse and worse.
You find you withdraw further from life until you almost are a recluse – you don’t even want to go out, you certainly don’t want to talk on the phone, go shopping, walk the dog, go on a trip or meet friends for a night out.
You start to lose your relationships with family members and friends. A lot of times you have to give up your work.
Doctors if they believe in fibromyalgia and many don’t, will tell you to exercise more, get more rest, and if appropriate lose some weight. You’d love to exercise but you can barely get out of bed each day. Yes you’d like to get more sleep but that’s the problem, you just can’t sleep or are so drugged to go to sleep you feel like a zombie the next day. And yes you’d love to lose weight but you can’t no matter what you eat or don’t eat.
Your doctor keep recommending more and more drugs, to treat your growing list of complaints. Feeling exhausted from poor sleep? “Here’s another drug to help with that. “
Doctors are trying to cover up your symptoms with one medication after the next.
The problem with fibromyalgia is that there are so many symptoms. If you’re not careful you’ll be on a drug to put you to sleep, a drug to wake you up, a drug for pain, a drug to go to the bathroom, a drug to calm you down, a drug to rev you up, a drug for your headaches, a drug for overactive bowel, a drug for restless legs, for IBS … before you know it, you’re on a half a dozen to a dozen drugs.
Symptoms are warning signs from your body that something is wrong. Covering up the symptoms or warning signs will only lead to more symptoms.
Finding and fixing the causes, is the key to beating fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia is a syndrome, a group of common symptoms. But fibromyalgia doesn’t cause anything, it is just a name, a label. What you want to know is why are you so tired? Why do you have so much pain? Can’t sleep, struggle with IBS and RLS?
My patients get healthy and stay that way because I find where they are broken down and treat and ten fix the causes rather that simply treat the symptoms.
You can hear and read their stories here
And you don’t even know if they’re working, because you’re taking so many different drugs. Is the medication working? You feel so bad anyway so who would know?
Many doctors really have come to the erroneous conclusion to this point, what medicine has decided is that fibromyalgia is something that you have to live with – that’s their mentality. They’ve come to the conclusion that all they have to offer is medications to help you cope with the symptoms and reduce them, but you’re going to have to learn to live with it because it never goes away. That’s just not true.
Many people have bought into that because the traditional conventional medical system has brainwashed them to think that. The reason why they think that is because in the beginning, they thought that fibromyalgia was going to be another illness that they could come up with a drug that would then be helpful like Type 2 diabetes. We can get you on Metformin and get your glucose level down, to where it’s not an issue.
The problem with that is you’re treating the symptom, which is high blood sugar and you’re not treating the problem which is Type 2 diabetes; usually someone is 40, 50 or 100 pounds overweight. At least in that case we have a drug that can certainly reduce the blood sugar and it can avoid many of the symptoms that can happen. With fibromyalgia, they found that the drugs just didn’t work.
I’m not saying that they can’t be helpful, they can and some people are benefiting from those meds. Sometimes it is their only option.
But I will say this: long term, that’s not going to be the case. I can tell you from doing this for 18 years and seen it all; those meds eventually stop working if they’re working, and again you don’t know.
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors like Savella and Cymbalta and other antidepressants, studies show that 70% of the time, a sugar pill is just as effective. That’s from a meta-analysis which looks at hundreds of studies and thousands of patients.
I’m not telling you to stop your medication, far from that because there’s a time and a place. What I want you to consider though, is you can’t drug your way out of fibromyalgia. There are too many symptoms, you can’t cover them all up.
You need to realize that every drug has a potential side effect. What happened was doctors started to realize that these patients kept coming back and it didn’t matter what they gave them; they kept giving them more and more medications. Finally, rheumatologists got to where they won’t even take fibromyalgia patients. They don’t have time for them, they don’t want to deal with them because they’re too complicated and nothing works. The patient still comes back every 3 months and they’re still complaining about how fatigued they are, about restless legs syndrome and irritable bowel.
The patient has been referred out to the GI doctor, the neurologist and the psychiatrist, and now they’re getting referred out to the pain doctor.
The problem with pain meds is that they quit working. I’m not anti-pain meds … for some of my patients, I’d do whatever I could to help them get pain medications, if I knew that they would work long term. The problem with pain medications is that you build up a tolerance to them. You may start off with Tramadol and eventually that quits working, so then you go Oxycodone; you start taking more and more of that and then you go to a Fentanyl patch.
Eventually they quit working and you go to something stronger, but then 10-20 years later you’ve got nothing left that will work. Now what are they going to do?
I’m not anti-pain meds, I’m anti-wrong drugs, too many drugs and drug-only mentality because there is a better way. Fibromyalgia is not due to a drug deficiency. Fibromyalgia is due to a breakdown in the body’s ability to be able to self-regulate itself.
It’s a problem in the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis, which creates a medical condition called allodynia or low pain threshold. That’s brought on largely by stress – it can be chronic or acute stress, it can be years of stress, it can be from a virus, a surgery or all sorts of things. Eventually it bankrupts the person’s stress coping chemicals and the body’s ability to self-regulate itself.
The hypothalamus regulates our body systems, digestive system, our endocrine system which is our thyroid and adrenal glands, our estrogen, progesterone and testosterone … it regulates our sleep-awake cycle, our pain, body temperature, our cardiovascular system. when the hypothalamus gets under too much stress, it starts to have problems regulating these different systems.
Every system is connected to the other system by the way. That’s part of the problem is that you have so many symptoms, you’re seeing 5 different doctors, none of them talking to each other, and they’re all recommending different drugs de jure. They don’t talk to each other, but the way God made us, every cell and every system in the body communicates with one another. When one system starts to fail, it creates a domino effect where the other systems start to have problems as well. That’s why you see so many different symptoms in combination with fibromyalgia.
The hypothalamus which is our robot that runs the body, when it’s not working correctly, you start to set off problems that are magnified like a domino effect throughout these other systems. Before you know it, you’ve got a dozen different problems.
You can’t drug your way out of fibromyalgia, it just doesn’t work that way. You’ve got to get healthy, that’s really the only way to do it. I realize that sounds simple, and that’s why I wrote a book 550 pages deep because it goes into detail about the biochemistry and physiology of what you have to do to get healthy.
Drugs don’t make you healthy. They can be helpful and sometimes they’re your only option, but they don’t make you healthy. That’s not what they’re designed to do.
Part of that is that doctors have 5-10 minutes to see each patient that comes into the clinic, because they’re trying to get patients through. They’re doing the best they can, they have a busy practice … some of the internists that I know see 50 or more patients a day. A rheumatologist may see at least that and your primary care family doctor, they’re seeing everything from the common cold to Type 2 diabetes; they’re looking at the whole gamut of things.
You walk in with your list of different symptoms and you feel bad. You don’t go there when you don’t feel bad, you’re not faking it. You go there because you’re looking for help, there’s nothing wrong with that. You really want somebody to listen because nobody understands. You encounter your doctor and he/she gives you 7 minutes to go through your symptoms. Most of the time, they’ll tell you that we’re just going to focus on this one thing today and then we’ll have you come back. The problem is when they focus on one thing, you get a drug for that. The next thing you focus on, you get a drug for that so eventually you’re on a dozen drugs.
I know from doing this for 18 years and having a medical practice, that the prescription meds at least long term are a dead end for fibromyalgia. You have to change course and do something different.
To beat fibromyalgia and you possibly can, you must get healthy.
If you find that you’re withdrawing further and further from life because you can’t play with your children or your grandchildren, you can’t work or go on vacations – that’s not living. That’s just existing, and conventional medicine is trying to tell people that’s all they can do. I totally disagree with that.
If you’d like to know more about how you could possibly feeel good again, like hundreds of my patients go to www.fibroconsults.com and learn more about setting up a phone consult. I work with patients throughout North America.
You can learn more at www.treatingandbeating.com. There are free resources, articles, blogs, videos, protocols, testimonials, and reports.
And also feel free to call the clinic with any questions 205-879-2383
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