Fibromyalgia Treatment in Tucson Arizona
Many people with chronic muscle pains have seen several doctors and specialists in search of a diagnosis and relief. Many of these individuals are looking for natural treatments and cures, preferring not to take a lot of prescription medications forever. The word fibromyalgia describes characteristic tender points in the soft tissues above and below the waist and on both sides of the body. The number and location of these tender points can change over time. It is not a disease of the joints. It is frequently accompanied by irritable bowel syndrome, fatigue, insomnia, migraines and low moods. Initial triggers may include physical injuries, trauma and abuse throughout life, a bad “flu” or as yet unknown causes.
Current theories about the etiology of this condition include, alterations in pain processing in the central nervous system, metabolic abnormalities affecting the mitochondria, hormonal imbalances, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and genetic changes due to trauma and stress or a combination of these factors. There is some but not strong evidence for genetic transmission in families but stronger evidence for how environmental events such as injuries, exposure to toxins and dietary deprivations affect genes. From a Functional Medicine point of view it is better to think in terms of a web of interconnecting “causes” involving multiple body systems rather than searching for a single cause.
It is important to understand that the word fibromyalgia is just a word, and that each person has their own unique form of “fibromyalgia”. It would actually be better to use the term “fibromyalgia’s” to refer to a family of symptoms that cluster around tender points in muscles. The causes and course of these symptoms is highly unique for each individual. That is why no one medicine can be touted as the “cure” for the fibromyalgia’s. But that won’t stop the pharmaceutical industry from competing with each other to market the magic bullet for this condition.
Doctors should perform basic blood chemistries, blood counts, thyroid and liver tests, nutrient analysis, toxic metals and a vitamin D 25-hydroxy test. Vitamin D deficiency is strongly correlated with widespread muscle pains. The best level of vitamin D in the blood for muscle pains is higher than the lower end of the reference range from the lab. Low thyroid levels need to be corrected.
An important concept in the Functional Medicine approach to address many of the points of the interconnecting web as possible. One way to do this with fibromyalgia is called a metabolic detoxification program. This involves a diet eliminating gluten grains, meats, peanuts and soy for 10 days and focuses on cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower which help the liver and the entire body with detoxification. The diet also includes many other vegetables and fruits, legumes, nuts and seeds, and gluten free grains. A specialized rice based medical food containing a hops derived anti-inflammatory chemical that also helps with detoxification is consumed during the 10 days. For many people this diet is a good starting place. Then the treatment is individualized based on lab results each person’s unique history. Treating fibromyalgia requires more time than the average primary care doctor has in their schedule. Finding a specialist who uses a Functional Medicine framework can help to get to the “causes of the causes” to promote lasting improvement.