This is the best they got? Forget that. Learn To Beat It!
Here is an excerpt from a past Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia Webinar:
Good evening this is Dr Rodger Murphree, YourFibroDoctor.com, author of Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Thank you for joining me tonight for my weekly Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia teleconference. I look forward to your questions this evening. I’m a board certified chiropractic physician and board certified nutritional specialist. I’ve been in private practice for 25 years.
For the last 18 years, I’ve specialized in fibromyalgia. For a number of years, I owned a very large integrative medical practice on the campus of Brookwood Hospital here in Birmingham, Alabama. In 2003, I sold that practice and I’ve been out practicing solo ever since.
For the last several years, my practice has evolved to where 98% of my practice is phone consults and I get to work with patients throughout the world; North America, Canada, Australia, UK, I have patients in South Dakota, Alaska, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, New York, Rhode Island, Alabama, Florida and South Carolina. It can all be done by phone.
I think the challenge for those with fibromyalgia right now is that conventional medicine has pretty much given up on fibromyalgia. The reason why I say that is most doctors if they believe fibromyalgia exists, they’ve come to the erroneous belief that once you get fibromyalgia you’ll have it for life and there’s nothing you can do about it. Their goal is just to help you manage it, so what they’ll do is put you on different medications to treat the different symptoms.
The problem with that is approach is that there are so many symptoms associated with fibromyalgia, diffuse achy muscle pain, poor sleep, low moods, Restless Legs Syndrome, headaches, irritable bowel, etc. If you’re not careful, you’re taking a drug for every symptom. Many of my patients when they first start working with me, are on half a dozen to a dozen drugs. The problem is you don’t know which drugs, if any, are actually helping. Some are actually causing more symptoms—fibro fog, bloating, gas, low moods, poor sleep, pain, etc.
I’m not anti-drug, I’m really not, because there’s definitely a time and a place for drug therapy. When I’m working with my patients, I’m a realist and if they need medications, so be it. I’m going to try everything naturally first, because the high dose, but right combination of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and essential fatty acids is where our brain chemicals and stress coping hormones come from.
What you really want to do is find and fix the underlying causes of fibromyalgia—not cover up the symptoms with potentially life draining drugs.
What happens is once you get the diagnosis of fibromyalgia, they tell you that all your symptoms are due to your fibromyalgia. You can hardly get out of bed every day, some of my patients in the beginning haven’t been out of bed in months and that could be you. They tell you that our low energy is because of fibromyalgia. They tell you that the pain in your feet, hands, low back, neck, shoulders and legs is due to fibromyalgia.
They tell you those symptoms you’re experiencing are due to fibromyalgia and you just have to learn to live with it. If you complain enough, they’ll be happy to give you another drug because that’s really all they know to do to try the help you. The thing is that you’re treating symptoms and not the cause.
What Are Symptoms Anyway? Warning Signs!
If the engine light comes on in your car and you continue to ignore it, eventually there’s a price to pay. Your car will breakdown. You can ignore the symptoms- you can take a magic marker and cover up the light so you don’t have to see it. But eventually, the engine is going to break down and that’s what happens to a lot of my patients. Over the years, they start taking drugs to cover up symptoms otherwise known as warning signs. maybe in their 30s or 40s and they have issues with high blood pressure, problems with their sleep, they’re taking antidepressants or non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, all sorts of things they start taking. Year after year, they get sicker and sicker and eventually they just break down.
Very Important Please Understand This:
It never occurs to the doctor that just because you have this thing called fibromyalgia, that maybe something is causing the fibromyalgia. They don’t think that way. They think that once you have it, you have it and they are happy to continue to give you medications. Fibromyalgia doesn’t cause anything-it’s just a name. It’s a syndrome made up of a bunch of different symptoms that come together, that people that have the diagnosis of fibromyalgia share in common – the pain, fatigue, poor sleep, low moods, irritable bowel etc., but fibromyalgia doesn’t cause those things.
Finding And Fixing The Causes Of Fibromyalgia Symptoms Is The Key To Getting Healthy And Feeling Good Again
Fibromyalgia is just a name of a syndrome that has common symptoms associated with the syndrome. It’s a name-it doesn’t cause anything! There are underlying causes for the symptoms that bring on fibromyalgia. And finding and fixing these underlying issues (causes) is what allows me to the patients who personally work with me, get healthy and feel good again.
It could be that you have low thyroid and that’s why your energy is so low. It could be that’s why your hair is falling out, you get cold hands and cold feet, tingling in your hands and feet, high cholesterol, it could be causing your anxiety and depression, your dry skin, your unhealthy nails … all those things are low thyroid.
A lot of times they’ll say your energy is low, we did some testing and it came back normal so can’t be your thyroid. It could be that you have a thing called adrenal fatigue, which doctors in the conventional world don’t really acknowledge even exists. They’re taught to think in black and white. That means if you have a test that’s been done, either you have adrenal failure or you don’t.
What happens if we’re looking at a scale between 0 and 100? We look at our old ABCDF scale. Let’s say that your lab test comes back and you have a 20 so you’re failing, but you’re not down to 0 so they tell you that you’re ok. 20 for you, that’s not your optimal level, you’re used to being an A or B student at 80-90%, and now you’re an F student and you’re feeling that. If you’ve got adrenal fatigue, that just means your adrenal glands, which are your stress coping glands, are not working at optimal levels for you. You don’t have adrenal failure or Addison’s disease, but you certainly feel bad and run down.
In adrenal fatigue you experience the symptoms of your adrenal glands not working like they’re supposed to, meaning that when you get under stress, stress is magnified or accentuated. It’s gotten to the point now where if you’re in a traffic jam or loud noises, any kind of stress or stressors … even changes in the weather really take it out of you. That’s because you’ve bankrupted your stress coping hormones. Your cortisol level is low, your DHEA level is low so stress has become magnified. In the conventional world, they’re not taught to think that way.
Please Understand The Difference Between Treating Symptoms And Finding And Fixing Underlying Causes
In the functional medicine world, the way that I practice and I’ve been practicing for over 2 decades, we’re taught to think about getting the person’s different systems to function at optimal levels. If we do that, if we can get them functioning at optimal levels, their symptoms go away because the body is now able to work like it’s supposed to.
Conventional medicine is about pathology and disease. If you have disease, we’ll put you on a medication to treat the disease or we’ll do surgery. Functional medicine is about getting the person healthy, and I’ve been doing this for almost 20 years, specializing in fibromyalgia for almost 2 decades.
After two decades treating fibromyalgia patients I’ve come to the realization and I learned this the hard way, is that the only way to feel good again, and have the opportunity to actually stay feeling good, is you have to get healthy. That’s the only way that works!
You don’t get healthy taking Cymbalta, Ambien, Lyrica, Gabapentin or Neurontin. Those drugs don’t make you healthy. They can be helpful and sometimes they’re your only option, but they all come with a price and the price is a potential side effect. We know that Ambien can cause the very symptoms we see in fibromyalgia. It can cause fibro fog, diffuse achy muscle pain, lethargy, fatigue, anxiety, depression, Restless Legs syndrome, poor memory, mood disorders … that’s really a mirror image of what you see with fibromyalgia. The antidepressants Cymbalta, Effexor, Savella, Pristiq, the different medications that they recommend for fibromyalgia actually deplete your natural sleep hormone melatonin.
Because of that, they can interfere with deep restorative sleep. They can cause diffuse achy muscle pain, depression and anxiety. The list goes on. There’s always the potential when you take a medication that it can actually cause side effects, that are just lumped in with your fibromyalgia. You’re taking Ambien or many of the common drugs used for the symptoms of fibromyalgia including Neurontin, Lyrica, antidepressants, Xanax, Klonopin, pain meds, and now you have fibro fog, you can’t remember your name, your spouse’s name, what day it is and what you’re talking about doesn’t make sense … they tell you it’s all your fibromyalgia, but it could be that it’s the Ambien. You have to start thinking like a detective.
Mayo Clinic’s Treatment For Fibromyalgia Is To Teach You How “To Live With It”
Again I come back to what I’ve been saying for so long, it’s probably what I’m going to have to be talking about all of 2016. We’ve come to this place with fibromyalgia that once you get the diagnosis, you’re led to believe that’s it and you’re going to have to learn to live with it. Even though it is not true. But this is what they will tell you. In fact, if you to Mayo clinic that’s supposedly one of the most outstanding research facilities in the world, you know what happens when you go there? They enroll you in a 3 week class for how to deal with your fibromyalgia, how to cope with it. That’s what they do. They don’t do a battery of tests. The thing with testing for most fibromyalgia patients is that the testing comes back normal, so they tell you you’ve got fibromyalgia and you’re just going to have to learn to live with it. That’s what they do at Mayo.
Why I Do What I Do
The reason I’m sharing my patient success stories is to show that, yes, you can get your life back. I can’t help everybody and there are people out there who will never be helped for a variety of reasons. Some people think they can’t be helped, so guess what, they’ll never be helped. Some people will never be proactive enough and take a chance to try something different. They’ve already given up or they’ve been beaten down by their doctors or support group members … some doom and gloom folks, the ones who have bought into the “learn to live with it mantra,” on Facebook post that it is a lie, I’m a quack, or that you can’t get good again by getting healthy. I can’t help them, sad but true. Their life is not going to be any better 3, 5 or 10 years from now.
That’s sad but true and I’m being very candid about it. They won’t find good health in a handful of prescription drugs and they certainly won’t get their life back or feel good again by learning to “live with it.”
My goal is to continue to share videos and testimonials and success stories of patients like Jana who was incredibly sick, was bedridden for 6 months before she started working with me, and now she’s able to do what she loves to do, hiking the mountains. She has tremendous amount of energy, she doesn’t have pain and she’s able to do the things she loves to do. I had a patient Jenny who thought that she was going to have to quit teaching, she’s a first grade teacher. She thought like many of my patients or the people in the fibromyalgia community, that she was going to have to go on disability because she thought she wouldn’t be able to work any longer. She started working with me and now she’s doing fantastic, she’s working with no problem.
Or how about Heather in Canada who was mostly house bound do the chronic pain and fatigue she battled on a daily basis. She just wanted be able to get out of bed and to garden again. That is her below standing in her garden. Now gardens hours and hours every day. She too beat fibromyalgia.
These patients and hundreds of others who have worked with personally have been able to beat fibromyalgia, get healthy and fee good again.
I can tell you stories after stories, and you can read those on the website on www.YourFibroDoctor.com. I share those things to let you know it really doesn’t matter how sick you are, there is hope if you’re open minded and you’re willing to work. These patients had to work to get healthy but now once they’re healthy, they’re healthy. I want to hopefully give you hope, those that are listening tonight or maybe listening to the replay.
It’s your decision. You can “learn to live with fibromyalgia,” or you can learn more about how to get healthy and beat fibromyalgia.