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After specializing in treating fibromyalgia for almost two decades, I've learned that there are several things you must do to have the opportunity to beat fibromyalgia. In fact, there are five keys, five things that must be done in order to beat fibromyalgia. Do these three things and you'l most likely beat your fibromyalgia symptoms and feel good again. I have provided the first 3 keys as a gift, simply for taking the right steps to feeling better. To your best health, YOUR 3 KEYS TO TREATING AND BEATING FIBROMYALGIA
Table of Contents YOUR 3 KEYS TO TREATING AND BEATING FIBROMYALGIA
THE FIRST KEY:
GET DEEP RESTORATIVE SLEEP ON A CONSISTENT BASIS The Importance of a Good Night's Sleep We've all heard that we need eight hours of restful sleep each night. The amount of sleep an individual actually needs wil vary from person to person. A five-year-old may need eleven to twelve hours of sleep, an adult seven to nine hours of sleep a night. But why is a good night's sleep so important? Several studies have shown that a lack of sufficient sleep wil cause a host of unwanted health issues. Poor sleep has been linked to various health problems, including depression, poor immune function, anxiety, weight gain, muscle pain, low thyroid, irritable bowel syndrome, fatigue, CFS, fibromyalgia, and headaches. This isn't news to those who suffer with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome; they already know their symptoms get worse when they don't get a good night's sleep. YOUR 3 KEYS TO TREATING AND BEATING FIBROMYALGIA
If you don't get a good night's sleep, you're not going to feel well. It really is that simple. Most people with chronic il nesses, including those with fibromyalgia, haven't slept well in years. Many of my patients take sleeping pil s (tranquilizers), muscle relaxants, or over-the-counter sleep drugs to get them to sleep. But most of these drugs don't produce deep restorative sleep. Most folks taking these drugs don't feel refreshed the next day. In fact, most users of these drugs report that they often feel hung over from
these medications. And, as we'll see later in this report, these drugs have side
effects that can cause the very same symptoms associated with fibromyalgia;
diffuse muscle aches and pain, depression, fatigue, and brain fog.
One study showed that col ege students who were prevented from going into deep (REM) sleep for a week developed the same symptoms associated with FMS and CFS: diffuse pain, fatigue, brain fog, irritable bowel syndrome, lowered immune function, depression, anxiety, irritability, stomach disturbances, and headache. Another study, conducted by the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, compared the sleep patterns and associated symptoms of fifty women with FMS. The study showed that a poor night's sleep was fol owed by an increase in the subject's symptoms, especially body pain. Sadly, the study also showed that a poor night's sleep, fol owed by an increase in symptoms, then went on to prevent the person from getting a good night's sleep the next night, even though the subject was exhausted. This vicious cycle continues and creates a pattern of declining health. And research presented at the Endocrine Society in San Francisco, in June 2002, showed that sleep deprivation markedly increased inflammatory cytokines (pain causing chemicals)—by a whopping 40 percent. Sleep Cycles Sleep cycles fol ow our circadian rhythms. It has been found that the natural hormone melatonin plays a large part in mediating sleep. As darkness falls, enzymes in the brain stimulate the release of melatonin from the pineal gland in the brain. Melatonin induces sleep, and then the release of melatonin is halted when daylight arrives and we experience wakefulness. Upon falling asleep, the brain and body go through five stages YOUR 3 KEYS TO TREATING AND BEATING FIBROMYALGIA
of sleep in one sleep cycle. Researchers have classified these stages of sleep by monitoring muscle tone, eye movements, and the electrical activity of the brain using an electroencephalogram (EEG). EEG readings measure brain waves and classify them according to speed. Alpha rhythms are the fastest waves, fol owed by slower beta rhythms. Theta and delta waves are the slowest. A sleep cycle lasts 90 minutes or so, during which the brain revolves through each type of EEG rhythm. This sleep cycle is repeated approximately five or six times during the course of the night and corresponds to the circadian rhythms, which we experience during the day. The first four stages are considered to be Non-Rapid Eye Movement sleep (NREM) or orthodox sleep. The function of these stages is to restore and rebuild the body after a long period of wakefulness. Vegetative functions dominate NREM sleep. The body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure decrease, muscles relax, and the body metabolism slows. Stage I is a transition between sleep and wake-ful ness, which is usually only five minutes in duration. Short dreams may occur, usually involving images YOUR 3 KEYS TO TREATING AND BEATING FIBROMYALGIA
remembered from throughout the day. Stage I is a somewhat deeper level of sleep, characterized by slower breathing and heart rates. About fifty percent of all sleep in a given night is Stage I . Stages I I and IV are the deepest levels of sleep and have the slowest waves, as measured by EEG. Stage I I has both theta and delta rhythms, while Stage IV has only delta rhythms. The body uses this time to maintain and restore itself. Growth hormone secretions are at their highest during these stages. Stages I I and IV begin after one has been asleep for approximately one-half hour. This is the deep, restorative sleep that we all need in order to be healthy. Stage V is remarkably different from the previous stages. The brain and body become active, increasing heart rate and blood pressure. The eyes shudder quickly back and forth, giving this stage the name Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. EEG patterns for REM sleep are much like those during wakefulness, and include many fast beta rhythms. It may even be that the brain works harder during REM sleep than when awake. REM sleep usually lasts anywhere from 11 to 25 minutes, typical y longer in the later sleep cycles of the night. Approximately 25 percent of all sleep is REM sleep in adults; in children, it is even higher (up to 50 percent). On completion of a phase of REM sleep, the brain and body return to Stage I and begin another sleep cycle. The differences between NREM and REM sleep are dramatic. As mentioned above, NREM sleep deals mainly with the regeneration of the body, especially Stages I I and IV, while REM sleep has much to do with the inner-workings of the brain. Researchers have speculated that NREM sleep (especially Stages I I and IV) also functions to recharge the brain and body by allowing depleted glycogen supplies to be replenished. YOUR 3 KEYS TO TREATING AND BEATING FIBROMYALGIA
Some Sleep Drugs Don't Promote Deep, Restorative Sleep Please note that many of the current recommended sleeping pil s DON'T produce deep Stage I I and IV restorative sleep. Most of the sleep drugs, especially the sedatives (tranquilizers), don't allow a person to go into deep (Stage I I and IV) restorative sleep. So they have their eyes closed while they're knocked out for eight hours, but they don't receive the health benefits of deep, restorative sleep. They often feel hung over in the morning and have to rely on stimulant drugs or beverages to get them going. This cycle often further interferes with their sleep/wake cycle, especially if they consume caffeinated beverages throughout the day. In fact, many of these sleep drugs actually deplete the body's own natural sleep hormone, melatonin. Warning: Your Sleep Drug May Be Doing More Harm Than Good. Sleep
medications can cause numerous side effects. Each year Americans
consume five bil ion sleeping pil s and sadly, 15,000 Americans die from
taking sleeping pil s.
Prescription drugs that may be used for sleep disorders include the fol owing: Ambien (zolpidem) is a short-acting drug that usually lasts for four to six hours. If a patient takes a half-dose before bed, then he can take an additional half-dose if needed four to six hours later. Even though the literature on Ambien suggests patients don't build up a tolerance, many do. Some patient's do well on Ambien; some build up a tolerance over a period of time and need higher and higher doses until final y the medicine no longer works. It does promote deep, restorative sleep. YOUR 3 KEYS TO TREATING AND BEATING FIBROMYALGIA
However, the side effects are similar to
fibromyalgia and CFS. Side Effects: Short-term
memory loss, fuzzy thinking, sedation or next-
day hangover, mood disorders (anxiety and
depression), flu-like symptoms, muscle aches
and pains, and in-coordination (clumsy).
Ambien may cause fatigue, headache,
difficulty sleeping, and memory loss. Long-
term use (two weeks or more) can result in
constipation, upset stomach, joint pain, upper
respiratory infections (URI), sore throat, urinary
infection, and heart palpitations. The liver
processes this drug, like most drugs, so those
with sluggish liver function should use this medication with caution. The most
common side effects include dizziness and diarrhea. Some patients
complain of loss of coordination or concentration. Ambien is known to
cause amnesia (short-term memory loss). Patients are cautioned against
abruptly stopping the medicine, since withdrawal symptoms commonly
Lunesta (eszopiclone) is similar to Ambien. Side effects include the
following: Al ergic reactions (itchy, watery eyes, rash, difficulty breathing,
swelling of face, tongue, or throat), confusion, anxiety, depression,
hal ucinations (seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not really there),
lightheadedness, fainting spells, or falls, sleepwalking or performing other
activities while asleep, slurred speech or difficulty with coordination, vision
changes, restlessness, excitability, or feelings of agitation, dizziness, daytime
drowsiness (sometimes cal ed a 'hangover' effect), headache, strange
dreams, bad taste, and slight stomach pain. It does promote deep,
But, once again, look at the potential side effects. Tricyclic Antidepressants Doxepin, Elavil, Trazadone, Amitriptyline,
Despramine, Imipramine, Pamelor, etc. Tricyclic antidepressants block the
hormones serotonin and norepinephrine. This produces a sedative effect.
YOUR 3 KEYS TO TREATING AND BEATING FIBROMYALGIA
These drugs do promote deep, restorative sleep. But, as you'll read below, they are associated with numerous unwanted side effects. Like other antidepressant medications, these drugs are processed by the liver and can cause liver toxicity. These drugs deplete the natural sleep hormone melatonin and CoQ10. Anyone taking tricyclic antidepressants, beta-blockers, and/or statin drugs should be taking CoQ10 on a daily basis. These drugs deplete CoQ10. CoQ10 is vital for proper heart, brain, muscle, and liver function. Low levels of CoQ10 can cause a host of unwanted symptoms, including fatigue, muscle pain, high blood pressure, failure, brain fog, tingling in the hands and feet, swelling, and mood disorders. They can cause early morning hangover. They do promote deep, restorative sleep. Common side effects include upset stomach, constipation, bad taste in the
mouth, heartburn, diarrhea, rash, rapid heartbeat, mental confusion,
hostility, swelling in the arms or legs, dizziness, nightmares, drowsiness, and
Zanaflex (tizanidine) is a muscle relaxant that has gained some popularity
among physicians treating FMS. It is sedating, but it doesn't produce deep,
restorative sleep. And it doesn't help increase serotonin levels; it only
tranquilizes the nervous system. For this reason alone, it should be avoided.
YOUR 3 KEYS TO TREATING AND BEATING FIBROMYALGIA
Zanaflex is associated with numerous side effects, including liver failure (at least three individuals have died from taking this medication), asthenia (weakness), somnolence (prolonged drowsiness or a trance-like condition that may continue for a number of days), dizziness, UTI (urinary tract infection), constipation, liver injury, elevated liver enzymes, vomiting, speech disorder, blurred vision, nervousness, hypotension, psychosis / hal ucinations, bradycardia (slow heart action), pharyngitis (sore throat), and dyskinesia (defect in voluntary movements). The stuff is poison! Sonata (zaleplon) is designed to last for only four hours; this helps prevent
morning hangover. I've not found it to be very effective, though, since most
of my patients have trouble sleeping through the night, not just with getting
to sleep. Abdominal pain, amnesia, dizziness, drowsiness, eye pain,
headache, memory loss, menstrual pain, nausea, sleepiness, tingling, and
Lyrica, (pregabapentin) and Neurontin (gabapentin) are anticonvulsant
medications originally used to control seizures. They are now being used to
block nerve related pain (neuralgia), including pain caused by herpes
zoster. These medications are also being prescribed for chronic headaches
(with some success) and fibromyalgia (little success). I've not found them
to be helpful for the diffuse extremity pains associated with fibromyalgia.
They don't promote deep, restorative sleep and can cause many of the
same symptoms associated with fibromyalgia, including fatigue, muscle
aches, poor mental clarity ("fibro fog"), and mood disorders. Most patients
can wean off these medications with the help of their physician (slowly,
within four weeks) with no problem.
YOUR 3 KEYS TO TREATING AND BEATING FIBROMYALGIA
There are several side effects associated with their use, including
somnolence (prolonged drowsiness or a trance-like condition that may
continue for a number of days), dizziness, weakness, fatigue, double vision,
edema (fluid retention), ataxia (muscular incoordination), thought disorder,
possible long-term ophthalmic problems (abnormal eyeball movements
and disorders), tremors, weight gain, back pain, constipation, muscle
aches, memory loss, asthenia (weakness), depression, abnormal thinking,
itching, involuntary muscle twitching, serious rash, and runny nose.
Benzodiazepines or Anti-Anxiety Medications Xanax, Klonopin, Ativan,
Restoril, Busbar, Tranxene, Serax, Librium,Tegretol, Valium, Trileptal,
Seraquel, Risperdal, Symbax, etc. These medications are usually used as
anti-anxiety medication. They're addictive, and patients build up a
tolerance so that the drug eventually loses it effectiveness as a sleep aid.
Sadly, patients often become addicted to these drugs within two to three
weeks. These medications are loaded with side effects that cause further
health problems (depression, fatigue, memory loss, "fibro fog'" etc.), yet
don't promote deep, restorative
sleep. They actually deplete the
melatonin. And, as you learned above, they deplete CoQ10. Benzodiazepines are central nervous system depressants (the reason why depression and fatigue are common side effects) that act on the neurotransmitter GABA (gamma-amino butyric acid). GABA acts as a calming chemical as it transmits messages from one cell to another. Directly or indirectly, these drugs influence almost every brain function and most other bodily systems, including the central nervous, neuromuscular, endocrine, and gastrointestinal systems. Benzodiazepines have numerous side effects, including poor sleep, seizures, mania, depression, suicide, ringing in the ears, amnesia, dizziness, anxiety, disorientation, low blood pressure, nausea, fluid retention, sexual YOUR 3 KEYS TO TREATING AND BEATING FIBROMYALGIA
dysfunction (decreased desire and performance), weakness, somnolence (prolonged drowsiness or a trance-like condition that may continue for a number of days), headaches and tardive dyskinesia. A mind boggling 40 percent of adults who are 60 or older experience drug-
induced tics or tardive dyskinesia (tremors or uncontrollable shakes) from
taking a benzodiazepine drug. Sadly, for many, these tremors are permanent.
Over 61,000 older adults have developed Parkinson's disease from using
antipsychotic drugs (benzodiazepines and antidepressants).
The crippling side effects and addictive nature of these drugs has been known for at least 40 years, yet doctors continue to prescribe them at an ever-increasing rate. Surveys show that over 5.6 mil ion adults over the age of 65 are now taking benzodiazepines. incredible 50 percent of all women 60 and older wil be prescribed a benzodiazepine drug. And since addiction often occurs within two to four weeks of starting these drugs, the majority of folks are now dependent on these drugs. Tolerance to the hypnotic (sleep) effects of these drugs may occur within one week. Symptoms of tolerance are identical to drug withdrawal symptoms and may include anxiety, panic, severe insomnia, muscle pain and stiffness, depression, suicidal thoughts, rage, heart and lung problems, and agoraphobia (extreme fear of public or crowded spaces). Tragically, only 10 to 30 percent are able to successful y stop taking these drugs. Most are addicted for life. These drugs can severely impair mental clarity, especially in the elderly. In a study in the state of Washington, in 46 percent of the patients with drug- YOUR 3 KEYS TO TREATING AND BEATING FIBROMYALGIA
induced mental impairment, the problem was caused by minor tranquilizers or sleeping pil s (benzodiazepines, Ambien or Lunesta.); and in 11 percent, by antipsychotic drugs (antidepressants). How many of these folks are then erroneously diagnosed as having senile dementia, Alzheimer's, or worse? Please understand these drugs don't promote deep, restorative sleep and actually deplete the natural sleep hormone melatonin. Melatonin is the sleep hormone! It can be purchased at most health food and pharmacy stores and works for the first night for the majority of those who take it. Just as important, it doesn't have all the side effects associated with prescription sleep drugs. Studies show that declining levels of the sleep hormone melatonin is the cause of their poor sleep. As we age, our melatonin levels begin to drop. Older adults have one-third to one-quarter the amount of melatonin as younger adults. Ok, so I've warned you about the potential dangers of common sleep drugs. You should now know that you don't need to rely on potentially dangerous drugs. No one has a drug deficiency. Fortunately, there is a better way to consistently get a good night's sleep. Instead of using potentially dangerous life robbing drugs, my patients find that by using the right combination of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, diet, and neutracuticals, they are able to fall asleep and sleep through the night. YOUR 3 KEYS TO TREATING AND BEATING FIBROMYALGIA
THE SECOND KEY:
ADRENAL FUNCTION Most of my patients have not only bankrupted their bank accounts, bankrupted their stress coping glands, their adrenal glands. This is known as adrenal fatigue. The symptoms we see with adrenal fatigue are many of the same symptoms fatigue, low moods, anxiety, depression, headaches, cold hands, cold feet, tingling and numbness in the hands and feet, fibro fog, and chronic pain. What they find, is they no longer have their resistance and stamina to stress. The adrenals are a pair of pea-sized glands located atop each kidney. The adrenal gland consists of two sections: the medul a (inner portion) and the cortex (outer portion). The adrenal glands release certain hormones that allow us to be able to deal with immediate and long-term stress. These glands and the hormones they release allow us to be resilient to day-to-day stress. YOUR 3 KEYS TO TREATING AND BEATING FIBROMYALGIA
Under-active adrenal glands are evident in about two-thirds of fibro patients. The majority of my patients with fibromyalgia are suffering from adrenal fatigue. They have literally burned their stress-coping organs out. Amid years of poor sleep, unrelenting fatigue, chronic pain, excessive stimulants, poor diet, and relying on a plethora of prescription medications, the adrenal glands and the hormones they release have been used up. Once adrenal exhaustion sets in, it's not long before the body begins to break down. Getting "stressed out" and staying "stressed out" is the beginning of chronic il ness including fibromyalgia. So after establishing deep restorative sleep, you have to also correct this adrenal fatigue issue so you don't see the ups and downs of Fibromyalgia … you know one day is a good day or a bad day. And of course you never know, so you can't make any plans because you don't know if it is going to be a good day or a bad day. Stress becomes magnified.
Changes in the weather, traffic jams,
loud noises, bright lights, and other
stressors that used to be tolerated now
can be debilitating. The longer you have
the Fibromyalgia, the more likely you are
to see that any kind of stimulation can be
overwhelming. To the point, that many
people withdraw further and further from
life. Some become a recluse finding it too stressful to even leave the house.
For many, it's herculean task to get up, get dressed, put on their makeup
and even think about going grocery shopping much less going to work,
entertaining, traveling, spending time with friends or participating in any life
pleasures. You find that if you do have a rare day or two where you feel
rested because maybe you have gotten a good night sleep, if you over do
it, which can something as simple as going to am movie with friends or
family, you crash for the next two days.
YOUR 3 KEYS TO TREATING AND BEATING FIBROMYALGIA
The Adrenal Gland
In the inner region of each adrenal gland is what's known as the medulla.
The adrenal medul a produces norepinephrine and epinephrine
(adrenaline). These hormones are known as catecholamines. The medul a
hormones are primarily involved in acute (immediate) responses to stress.
increases the speed increases systolic blood and force of the pressure (the top increases pulse rate increases the rate and increases cardiac dilates (opens) the depth of respiration to airways to improve al ow more oxygen to reach the bloodstream mobilizes sugar from inhibits the muscle tone the liver to the blood regulates circulatory, of the stomach, so you stream in preparation nervous, muscular, and may feel a "knot" in of the fight or flight respiratory systems your stomach during when needed.
times of stress.
Restoring adequate epinephrine levels is important. This can be done with SAMe However, I've found that by restoring the adrenal cortex and its hormones, cortisol and DHEA, adrenal fatigue can be overcome. YOUR 3 KEYS TO TREATING AND BEATING FIBROMYALGIA
The Cortex The adrenal cortex is primarily associated with response to chronic stress (infections, prolonged exertion, prolonged mental, emotional, chemical, or physical stress). The hormones of the cortex are steroids. The main steroid is cortisol. Chronic over secretion of cortisol leads to adrenal exhaustion, which accelerates the downward spiral towards chronic poor health. Once in adrenal exhaustion your body can't release enough cortisol to keep up with the daily demands. Eventually you become deficient in cortisol and then DHEA. Chronic headaches, nausea, allergies, nagging injuries, fatigue, dizziness, hypotension, low body temperature, depression, low sex drive, chronic infections, and cold hands and feet are just some of the symptoms that occur with adrenal cortex exhaustion. Abnormal Circadian Rhythm
Cortisol levels are affected by stress and the body's circadian rhythm
(sleep-wake cycle). Cortisol secretions rise sharply in the morning, peaking
at approximately 8 a.m. After its peak, cortisol production starts to taper off
until it reaches a low point at 1 a.m.
Fluctuations in cortisol levels can occur whenever normal circadian rhythm is altered (a change in sleep-wake times). Traveling through different time zones (jet lag), changes in work shifts, or a change bed time can cause drastical y alter normal cortisol patterns. Some patients wil report that their symptoms began when they began working at night. Some wil begin to have symptoms after staying up several nights in a row to take care of YOUR 3 KEYS TO TREATING AND BEATING FIBROMYALGIA
invalid family members or newborn babies. Changes in circadian rhythm can lead to insomnia and poor sleep. An example of this occurs when a person tries to go to sleep at a certain time but can't wind down. They may catch a second wind when their cortisol levels kick-in. This is why it is important for you to try to go to bed (preferably before 11:00 p.m.) and wake-up at the same time each day. Establishing normal sleep and wake times is crucial in restoring normal circadian rhythms. Adrenal Burnout People often experience stress reactions every few minutes when bombarded by stimulus coming from our radios, driving in traffic, cell phones, pagers, and from electromagnetic pollution. Persistent, unrelenting stress will ultimately lead to adrenal burnout.
The adrenal cortex, when healthy, produces adequate levels of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). •resistance to stress•self-defense mechanisms (immune system)•general well-being •cortisol levels•overall adrenal function•mood •cellular energy•mental acuity•muscle strength•stamina YOUR 3 KEYS TO TREATING AND BEATING FIBROMYALGIA
DHEA is notoriously low in fibromyalgia patients. Chronic stress initially causes the adrenals to release extra cortisol. Continuous stress raises cortisol to abnormally high levels. Then the adrenal glands get to where they can't keep up with the demand for more cortisol. As the cortisol levels continue to become depleted from ongoing stress the body attempts to counter this by releasing Eventually they can't produce enough cortisol or DHEA. Aging makes holding on to DHEA even tougher. Even in healthy levels begin to drop after the age of 30. By age 70, they are at about 20% of their peak levels. Stress and DHEADHEA helps prevent the destruction of tryptophan (5HTP), which increases the production of serotonin. This helps provide added protection from chronic stress. Studies continue to show low DHEA to be a biological indicator of stress, aging, and age-related diseases including neurosis, depression, peptic ulcer, IBS, and others. DHEA and Immune Function The decrease in DHEA levels correlates with the general decline of cell-mediated immunity and increased incidence of cancer. DHEA protects the thymus gland, a major player in immune function. Bil ie Jay Sahley, PhD, writes, "over secretions of the stress hormones [cortisone, cortisol, and corticosterone], caused by long-term mental or physical effort, could lead to cancer, arthritis, and susceptibility to infections. Many psychosomatic disorders are transmitted from the brain to the skeletal muscle system. Anxiety, stress, anger, or any other psychic state can greatly change the amount of nervous stimulation to the skeletal YOUR 3 KEYS TO TREATING AND BEATING FIBROMYALGIA
muscles throughout the body, and either increase or decrease the skeletal muscular tension." These same stimulatory responses that affect the muscles also cause changes in various bodily organs: abnormal heartbeats, peptic ulcers (too much stomach acid), hypertension, spastic colon, and irregular menstrual periods. This is why you can't separate emotional stress from physical stress. Testing for DHEA levels is recommended. Testing for Adrenal Fatigue Adrenal cortisol levels can be uncovered through blood and saliva testing. Saliva is preferred since it is easier to get four samples throughout the day. Self-Test Methods
A quick blood pressure test that monitors
lying and standing systolic numbers can
help us begin a trial treatment of
adrenal boosting supplements.
Orthostatic Blood Pressure
Ragland's sign is an abnormal drop in
systolic blood pressure (the top number)
when a person arises from a lying to a
standing position. There should be a rise
of 8–10 mm. in the systolic (top) number.
A drop or failure to rise, indicates
Example: Someone takes your blood pressure while you're lying on your back. The systolic number is 120 and the diastolic number is 60 (120 over 60). Then take your blood pressure again after immediately standing up. The systolic number (120) should go up 10 points (from 120 to 130). If it doesn't increase 10 points, this indicates adrenal fatigue. YOUR 3 KEYS TO TREATING AND BEATING FIBROMYALGIA
Note: It's not unusual for the systolic number to drop 10 or more points, a sure sign of adrenal fatigue. Pupil Dilation Test
Another way to test for adrenal
dysfunction is the pupil dilation
exam. To perform this on
yourself, you'll need a flashlight
and a mirror. Face the mirror,
and shine the light in one eye.
If after 30 seconds the pupil
(black center) starts to dilate
(enlarge), adrenal deficiency
should be suspected.
Why does this happen? During adrenal insufficiency, there is a deficiency of sodium and an abundance of potassium, and this imbalance causes an inhibition of the sphincter muscles of the eye. These muscles normally initiate pupil constriction in the presence of bright light. However, in adrenal fatigue, the pupils actually dilate when exposed to light. Basic Adrenal Fatigue Protocol 1. I Make sure my patients are consistently going into deep restorative sleep each night using the appropriate vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and neutracuticals. 2. I replace my patient's on a good optimal daily allowance multivitamin/mineral formula. 3. I also start my patient's on adrenal cortical extracts. These help repair and restore normal adrenal function: "Adrenal extracts have been recommended and successful y used for a variety of conditions that involve low adrenal function, including asthenia, asthma, colds, burns, depletion from infectious diseases, from colds, coughs, dyspepsia (poor digestion) early Addison's disease, hypotension (low blood pressure), infections, infectious diseases…neurasthenia (low YOUR 3 KEYS TO TREATING AND BEATING FIBROMYALGIA
energy/weakness), tuberculosis, light-headedness and dizziness, and vomiting during pregnancy." Adrenal cortical extracts are used to replenish and eventually normalize adrenal function. They have an advantage over prescription cortisol hormone replacement in that they can be instantly discontinued once they have done their job of repairing adrenal function. Adrenal extracts have been successful y used to treat many conditions related to adrenal fatigue, including many symptoms fibromyalgia. They can increase energy and speed recovery from il ness. Adrenal extracts are not a new treatment. In the 1930s, they were very popular, used by tens of thousands of physicians. They were stil being produced by leading drug companies as recently as 1968. Today, these extracts are available without a prescription as adrenal cortical glandular supplements. 4. I recommend my patient's drink at least 70 ounces of water each 5. It's best to be tested before taking DHEA supplements. 6. Increase vitamin C intake if necessary. It's perhaps the most important nutrient in facilitating adrenal function and repair. Vitamin C Dosing I recommend all patients take a minimum of 1,800 mgs a day of vitamin C. Much larger amounts of vitamin C may be needed for adrenal restoration, but it's best to begin with 1,800-2,000mg daily and increase by an YOUR 3 KEYS TO TREATING AND BEATING FIBROMYALGIA
additional 1,000–2,000mg a day, up to 10,000 mgs or until a person has a loose bowel movement. If a loose bowel movement occurs, I recommend they reduce their dose by 1,000 mgs. They should keep reducing the dose by 500–1,000 mgs daily until they no longer have loose stools. This is the ideal dose of vitamin C. I encourage my patient's to always eat breakfast and to never skip meals. Individuals with low adrenal function are usually not hungry when they wake up. They instead rely on chemical stimulants (coffee, sodas, cigarettes, etc.) to get them going. These stimulants raise blood sugar levels as well as serotonin levels. However, these stimulants also increase adrenaline and cortisol levels. This curbs their appetite even further. However, the body needs to break the eight hour fast (breakfast) it has been under. The brain especially needs to fed; forty percent of all food stuff fuel goes to maintain proper brain function. This is one reason a person may have problems with "Fibro fog" and mood disorders (anxiety and depression). Cortisol levels are at their highest around 8:00 a.m. A person may be hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) and their cortisol levels wil be extremely high in the morning. They may feel nauseated, mental y and physical y drained, jittery, suffer from headaches, and eating is the last thing they want to do. They need to eat anyway! YOUR 3 KEYS TO TREATING AND BEATING FIBROMYALGIA
A small snack (avoid simple sugars) is all they need until hunger comes, usually a couple of hours later. Then they should eat another balanced snack to tie you over until lunch. They should never skip lunch! It's best to eat little meals throughout the day. YOUR 3 KEYS TO TREATING AND BEATING FIBROMYALGIA
THE THIRD KEY:
UNDERLYING CAUSES Along with re-establishing deep restorative sleep fil ing up your stress coping savings account and fixing your stress coping savings glands, your adrenal glands, the third key to feeling good again is to find and fix the other underlying causes of Fibromyalgia and not merely covering up the symptoms. Fibromyalgia is a syndrome made up of symptoms such as fatigue, pain, IBS, depression, low moods, poor sleep, fibro fog, among others. Symptoms are nothing but a warning sign that something is wrong with your body. In conventional medicine, once you get the diagnose of Fibromyalgia, then what they attempt to do is to sweep all of your symptoms under the Fibromyalgia rug. They tell you your poor sleep, your low energy, your IBS, your fibro fog, and the other symptoms you are experiencing are due to Fibromyalgia. But Fibromyalgia doesn't cause anything … it's just a name. What we want to know, is why are you so tired that you barely can get out of bed in the morning? Why do you have so much pain, that you ache all over that you find even the simplest chores and day-to-day activities are almost impossible? Why is it that you can't sleep at night, even though you are exhausted? It could be that you have adrenal fatigue, something that conventional doctors don't normally test for. It could be that you have a problem with your thyroid and doctors are doing basic tests and you can continue to have all of the symptoms of low thyroid failure, hair loss, weight gain, YOUR 3 KEYS TO TREATING AND BEATING FIBROMYALGIA
chronic pain, poor sleep, cold hands, cold feet, and many of the other symptoms similar to fibromyalgia. Many are already taking thyroid medications but they are the wrong medications. It could be that your chronic pain is due to leaky gut, yeast overgrowth, neurotransmitter or brain chemical deficiencies, vitamin, mineral, amino acids, and essential fatty acids deficiencies which are the building blocks for your brain chemicals and the hormones that help regulate your pain, energy, sleep, moods, and mental clarity. Because your doctor is doing the basic testing,
you'll never know and never feel any better.
But the problem is you as a Fibromyalgia patient is incredibly complicated.
And therefore, you require more thorough testing. You need a detective to
find out where you are broken down and start to fix that. Otherwise, it's a lot
of guessing. Here, let's try this and you come back three months later with
even more symptoms. Guessing just doesn't work.
By getting the appropriate testing, it takes out all of the guesswork out of finding and fixing the causes. Many patients wil do hours and hours of research and wil try different combinations of supplements, drugs, massage, acupuncture and all sorts of therapies, and stil never feel good again. The advantage of having thorough testing, it takes all of the guesswork out of it. When I work one on one with patients, testing allows me to find and fix the underlying causes. Patients find they feel better, quickly once I know exactly where they are broken down. To summarize, key #3 is through special testing we find out exactly where you are broken and exactly what you need to do fix it. After almost two decades of specializing in fibromyalgia, working with and successful y helping thousands get healthy and feel good again, I can assure you that these three keys are crucial for beating fibromyalgia. If you don't get these three things right, nothing wil help, at least long-term. There are other keys, things that must be done to get healthy, but these three YOUR 3 KEYS TO TREATING AND BEATING FIBROMYALGIA
things are the first three things and therefore the most important. Obviously once you get the appropriate testing you'll know what other things are causes your fibromyalgia symptoms. Finding and fixing the causes is the KEY for beating fibromyalgia. Now that you know a little more about what you need to do to feel good again, I suggest you make watching my 5 Keys For Beating Fibromyalgia a top priority. You can stay sick and tired or you can be proactive and learn about a new way, a better way, one that has helped thousand get healthy and stay healthy. I've helped thousands of patients feel good again. Are you next? Make time to watch my free webinar 5 Keys For Beating Fibromyalgia and find out how you can feel good again. YOUR 3 KEYS TO TREATING AND BEATING FIBROMYALGIA
Your Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) dollars may be able to be used to pay for co-payments, co-insurance, and deductibles. But that's not all. You may also be able to use your HRA money to pay for many expenses in the following categories: Medical, Dental Care, Eye Care, and Over-the-Counter (OTC) medications. Eligible items can vary by employer, so check the specifics of your particular HRA plan.