How Is Fibromyalgia Treated?

Dr. Gates: So today we have the question how is fibromyalgia treated and we’re gonna give you kind of both sides of the coin so to speak in terms of alternative treatments and mainstream medical treatments. So for most of you watching this video I’m sure that you’ve probably been through some mainstream medical treatments for fibromyalgia or perhaps you’ve seen a rheumatologist, received a diagnosis of fibromyalgia. Perhaps you’ve been on different medications for your pain. Maybe they’ve been effective. Maybe they haven’t.

We see a lot of patients who have not done well with the medications and the fact of the matter is, and this is coming from rheumatology sources and peer reviewed journals. The new data is showing that exercise is really the most effective therapy for fibromyalgia, more effective than the pain medications that many of you have been prescribed, and that is why many rheumatologists actually don’t want to treat fibromyalgia patients.

You can just google that term, “rheumatologists don’t wanna treat fibro patients” and you’ll really be able to see some of the articles that we’ve referenced in other videos on that matter. And that leaves a lot of fibromyalgia patients feeling dejected, because many of you have small fiber neuropathy which is where your pain nerves start to die and degenerate. You may not even know it, but the new research is showing that upwards of half of you have that occurring in your body and that can make it difficult to walk.

Dr. Rutherford: Yeah. Mostly that occurs in your feet.

Dr. Gates: Exactly.

Dr. Rutherford: It’s kind of hard to exercise if you can’t walk.

Dr. Gates: If you have debilitating foot pain and pain all of your body and you’re significantly fatigued and any time you exert yourself on a good day then that good day is followed by two, three bad days where you are just completely exhausted and in more pain. So these are the stories we hear of fibromyalgia patients. That’s kind of the layout for the mainstream medical treatment and probably what most of you have been told. I’m going to kick you over to Dr. Rutherford for our simple solution for fibromyalgia patients.

Dr. Rutherford: Oh, my goodness. I thought you were going to give me a little bit more background than that. So I do all the intakes that come in here. I do all the intakes, I work with doing some of the exams and things of that nature, half of the exams. And fibromyalgia patients, they have a lot of moving parts, but the main parts seem to be there’s an autoimmunity involved. Usually seems to be there’s some sort of a, literally like a post-traumatic stress syndrome and while we’ve talked in many of our previous presentations on how a substantial portion of fibromyalgia patients have either been physically or verbally or sexually abused or they had alcoholic parents or they had some trauma that was really overwhelming. Maybe they came back from the Gulf War or something along those lines.

So they have a brain that’s firing about a million miles an hour and it’s flooding their system with stress hormones. They all also have an autoimmune component and the selected target for the fibromyalgia patient is the thyroid for their autoimmune problem now and then if you have Hashimoto’s as a fibromyalgia patient, that’s a whole other subject. You may say you have it. You may not. That’s controversial. But if you have an autoimmune problem against your thyroid, stomach or your intestines it’s not unusual to get something like Celiac. If you have an autoimmune problem now, you have the two things that tend to kind of blossom into fibromyalgia.

In the end what we find is, you have to work with the stress hormones preferably without any drugs ultimately, at least in the end to get that person off the medications but if you’re …if you’re having anxiety and panic attacks that you didn’t have before and if you can’t fall asleep. You wake up in the middle of the night, you can’t go back to sleep, these things are all signs that you have these stress mechanisms. If you have those, those have to be calmed down because the stress hormones themselves are causing part of the pain in your nerve fiber. Well, they’re causing the pain in your nerve fibers. That is causing you to be sensitive.

They’re also affecting your immune system and causing your immune system to disregulate. So you fix what’s going on up here and preferably without drugs and then you fix the gut. Why the gut? Because almost every fibromyalgia patient walks in here has a bad gut problem and that gut is where we now know 70%, 75% of our immune system resides and we just got done saying it’s an immune response. The stress hormones that we’re talking about is damaging the gut. So you have these vicious cycles going on. So you fix the brain, you fix the gut. That calms down the immune system and then you see what’s left and what’s left usually is pretty clear. What’s left?

Dr. Gates: What’s left could be your mitochondria, what’s left could be still adrenal gland pathology. You may still have some components to your thyroid that are not correct. Maybe you need a thyroid medication, maybe you don’t. Maybe you need a thyroid supplement, maybe you don’t. But those are usually kind of the other esoteric factors that are still remaining after you address the main causes.

Dr. Rutherford: That’s our game plan and I think that also gives you a pretty good visual or a pretty good…maybe in your mind a pretty good visual of what fibromyalgia actually is and how many moving pieces there are to it. It’s multiple vicious cycles. And it requires a pretty attentive and pretty organized approach to evaluate which parts of those are present in that particular patient and then in organized fashion as to how to go about them to resolve those issues for that patient. If you have fibromyalgia and you walk into a patient’s, somebody’s office and they tell you they’re going to cure you, I would leave.

Okay? And we get a lot of those patients come here and said, “This person told me they’re going to cure you.” Most of the time you’re going to have an autoimmune problem. I have fibromyalgia. Okay? I’m enormously better but I’m not cured. I will always have to watch myself, always have to watch my exercise levels, always have to watch my food sensitivities, because if I eat something that doesn’t make me feel good because I have a sensitivity to it, it flares up my immune system. That attacks my thyroid and my gut and I get a mini-fibromyalgia flare for maybe a couple of hours or a day or two or something like that.

So you’re never completely cured. I think that’s important that when I treat fibromyalgia, but you can dampen those immune responses by fixing the gut, by dampening the brain, by doing the other things Dr. Gates said and then you can learn to control it and you can do it. I’m doing it. Our patients are doing it. So that’s treatment. That’s how we treat it and our treatments are based on pretty sound, solid, sound.

Dr. Gates: It’s all from the literature, so you can go to Search fibromyalgia and you’ll see a host of videos that come up. Below each of those videos if you scroll down the page, we have peer reviewed references attached to each broadcast, demonstrating where we got this information, and showing you that there are legitimate things wrong with you as a fibromyalgia patient. Everything Dr. Rutherford just said is completely backed by the research and how this new research is being used to help fibromyalgia patients. But what you need to know as a fibromyalgia patient is lots of times the medical community and the research community will say there’s no one cure for fibromyalgia patients or there’s no one treatment for fibromyalgia patients. What they’re saying is that they haven’t done a 17 year study, basically a randomized control trial showing one thing to help a fibromyalgia patient.

Basically they’re looking for a drug and there’s not one drug that really works astoundingly well for fibromyalgia patients. There’s some discussion that Lyrica may be effective, but you know what I mean, because as we mentioned exercise is actually the most effective therapy at this point. So look at that research and you’ll get a better idea of what’s wrong with you, what’s causing you not to get better and then from that you can understand how a treatment can be put together to address your specific problems. So, this is Dr. Martin Rutherford, certified functional medicine practitioner, also chiropractor. I’m Dr. Randall Gates, sports certified chiropractic neurologist, also a chiropractor. Thanks for watching.

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