Did you miss my Tuesday Night Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia Teleconference? If so you missed a good one. Here is a brief excerpt from my May 12th National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day Teleconference.
You can listen to the entire audio below.
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 this special Tuesday night Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia teleconference.
Today is May 12th National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day.
Hard to believe that 25 years ago, the American College of Rheumatology came out with the criteria for fibromyalgia, literally putting fibromyalgia on the map. Until then, fibromyalgia was called many other things and very poorly understood, and of course in a lot of circles today, it’s still poorly understood.
When the American College of Rheumatology came up with the criteria to be met for the diagnosis of fibromyalgia, they literally put it on the map. Fibromyalgia a syndrome, it’s a combination of different symptoms that come together to make up this illness called fibromyalgia – chief among those are diffuse achy muscle pain, poor sleep, and generalized fatigue.
All these other symptoms and others can come underneath the umbrella called fibromyalgia, so you can have anxiety, depression, irritable bowel syndrome, restless legs syndrome, problems with migraine headaches, poor immune function, you can have chemical sensitivities …
What we do know is that the things that are common with fibromyalgia are the things that lead us to believe that the true cause of fibromyalgia is not a virus, it’s not small fiber syndrome ,and it’s not a drug deficiency. It’s a breakdown in the body’s ability to self-regulate itself. When the body gets under too much stress, then its stress coping mechanisms – the hypothalamus, pituitary, adrenals, these organs regulate our different systems so we don’t have to think about taking 12 breaths per minute, we don’t have to think about pumping blood through 60 miles of arteries and veins, we don’t have to think about healing up a cut or repair a broken bone, we don’t have to think about digesting our food, we don’t have to think about any of the things that go on that are on the autonomic nervous system’s radar.
Maybe it is the stress of having to take care of a special needs child or an elderly parent that lives with them or nearby, and they feel like they’re always on call to deal with them. It could be from a chronic disease that you’ve battled over the years, it could be that you had something with low thyroid, an endocrine disorder that finally then turned into fibromyalgia – it can then be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. When that happens, the body can’t recover from that.
When your self-regulating systems, get under too much stress they lead to a laundry list of symptoms.
A lot of you have a written list about what you want to talk about in your doctor’s visit, and that may be 2-3 pages long. Some of you have a diary that goes back 10 years. You go into the doctor’s office, you start to discuss everything that’s going on, then they cut you off and tell you, we’re just going to work on one problem at a time.
First of all, most doctors will give you 5-7 minutes per visit, it’s what the surveys show. The second thing is, they often look at you like your co-workers and even sometimes, family members -how could you have all these symptoms when you’re not bleeding, when you don’t have something growing out of your head? How can you have all these symptoms and still look normal, so it must be that you’re a hypochondriac because no one could have problems with migraine headaches, can’t sleep, have pain everywhere, can’t wear a tight blouse or a shirt or pull the covers up over you at night, or even put on a tight pair of shoes because it hurts so much. No one could have that and chemical sensitivities so strong odors bother them, or they get funny reactions to medications … no one has that and then they wake up in the night with leg cramps and muscle twitches, and the list goes on and on.
Yet the reality is for those who don’t believe it, that is the truth. What you’re sharing with them is very much real. Why would anybody make that stuff up?
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