At the moment I have 4 clients who have been diagnosed by their Pain specialist with Fibromyalgia. For some of my patients, it has lead to an inability to complete even the most basic of physical demands, yet for others it has been less disabling. For this reason, it is important to understand that Fibromyaglia can occur with varying degrees of severity. With this in mind, I thought I would write an article outlining what fibromyalgia is and the complementary therapies that have been proven to assist in the relief of fibromyaglia symptoms. Fibromyaglia is a pain disorder associated with multiple tender muscle points, sleep disturbances (insomnia and nonrestorative sleep) and fatigue. Dysfunction of the body's main brain centre, the hypothalamus (regulates many of body function), immune system dysfunction and nutritional deficiencies can cause or lead to fibromyalgia. The key symptoms are disabling fatigue, diffuse achiness (worse for exercise), insomnia, always waking tired, decreased memory and concentration- ongoing for more than 6 months. If these symptoms are persistent and not caused by other unrelated health ailments, such as anaemia, diabetes, lupus, chronic infection (e.g. sinusitis) or Lyme's Disease, then a comprehensive treatment approach will likely assist in easing symptoms. As a practitioner, it has been an interesting journey for me to work alongside my fibromyaglia patients. The reason being, experience has shown me that continuing to work on the health of the whole person rather than treating isolated symptoms provides greater relief of a patients symptoms, often for an extended peroid of time. For example, one patient followed every dietary modification that I implemted, alongside an intensive supplement regime, in taking this approach she experienced a reprieve from headaches, waking in the night/early morning, waking tired, depression/anxiety, bowel variability (constipation/diarrhoea), and long bouts of fatigue. So what did we implement? We completed a food intolerance test and eliminated all food allergens from her diet e.g. dairy, soy, peanuts, citrus, wheat, fish, eggs, corn and tomatoes; We eliminated all inflammatory foods e.g. potato (sweet potato is fine), eggplant, capscium, chilli, tomato, refined sugars, hydrogenated fats (vegetable oil, canola oil), red meat, alcohol and caffeine; We added extra whole foods e.g. vegetables, low sugar fruits e.g. lemon/lime, blueberries, blackberries, apricots, rhubarb; quality protein (chicken, lamb and turkey); We also added essential fatty acids (cold water fish, nuts and seeds). We also implemented a number of supplements which were designed to nourish the cells in her muscles, enable them to use energy more efficiently, control inflammation and depression and promote more restful sleep. These supplements included:
1. NADH: This compound helps to control pain and muscle spasms. Typical dosage: 5-10 milligrams each morning on an empty stomach; take with a large glass of water.
2. Malic Acid and Magnesium: These two chemicals help muscles use glucose (allows us to generate energy) properly. Together, they may help reduce fibromyalgia symptoms. Typical dosage: 300 milligrams of Malic acid and 200 to 300 milligrams of magnesium, both three times a day.
3. 5 Hydroxytryptophan: I have written about the benefits of this compound in a previous article (See http://markhincheynaturopathy.com/2011/11/19/5-hydroxtryptophan/) Studies have found that this compound helps decrease pain and insomnia by increasing serotonin levels. Typical dosage: 50-300 milligrams per day (any individual using this supplement should be supervised by a qualified healthcare practitioner).
4. Co-enzyme Q 10: This enzyme helps boost oygen supplies to muscle tissue, helping it to flush inflammatory chemicals more quickly. Typical dosage: 60-400 milligrams per day.
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