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The Invisible Illness: Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a group of common non-articular rheumatic disorders characterized by diffuse, widespread pain, tenderness at specific locations in the body, and stiffness of muscles, areas of tendon insertions, and adjacent soft-tissue structures. It is often associated with chronic fatigue syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome and sleep disorders. It’s predominately found in females ages 18-70.

Other symptoms of fibromyalgia are similar to those of inflammation: fever, chills, fatigue, headaches, loss of appetite, muscle stiffness, joint pain, and stiffness or loss of function in joints. The inflammatory response consists of changes in blood flow, increased permeability of blood vessels and escape of cells from the blood into the tissues. Pro-inflammatory foods increase inflammation and cause fibromyalgia symptoms to worsen. Loading up on junk foods, high-fat meats, sugar and fast foods will increase inflammation. This is partially due to the unhealthy fats used in preparing and processing these foods, especially trans fats and saturated fats. In addition, processed meats such as lunch meats, hot dogs and sausages contain chemicals such as nitrates that are associated with increased inflammation and chronic disease.

So what I do? I implement an anti-inflammatory protocol. This includes supportive supplementation and a complete individualized meal plan that is low in aspartame, food additives, simple carbs, gluten, dairy, nightshades, AGEs, and caffeine.

What else do I do? I strive to find the source of inflammation. How? I look at your labs that have already been completed to avoid repetition. Not a fan of wasting time and money. Most conventional physicians don’t pull functional labs. So I do just that. I look at important inflammatory mediators (mediators are the chemicals that produce the inflammatory response). Some super important inflammatory mediators are the following: arachidonic acid, histamine, bradykinin, leukotrienes, serotonin, complement, interferon, uric acid, and alkaline phosphatase.

I have fibromyalgia. There are mornings it takes me 1.5 hours to get out of bed. I am extremely passionate about this condition and how I’ve helped many individuals; including myself, to FUNCTION.

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