Fibromyalgia is a common neurologic health problem that causes widespread pain and tenderness and sensitivity to touch. The pain and tenderness can come and go, and move about the body. Most often, people with this chronic illness are fatigued and have sleep problems. Nearly 10 million Americans have fibromyalgia with many more women than men that are affected.
Salonpas® sat down with Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, a board-certified internist and author of the is the author of the perennial bestseller and the definitive resource for fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome – From Fatigued to Fantastic!which has sold over half a million copies, to discuss how people can find relief from fibromyalgia symptoms.
Dr. Teitelbaum is also the lead author of four groundbreaking research studies on effective treatment for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia using an integrative treatment approach called S.H.I.N.E. (Sleep, Hormones, Infections/Immunity, Nutrition, Exercise) which showed an average 90% increase in quality of life (p<.0001 vs. placebo). His work was editorialized in the American Academy of Pain Management, where his SHINE protocol was recognized as standard of practice for fibromyalgia and chronic pain conditions.
Dr. Teitelbaum knows CFS/Fibromyalgia as an insider, as he contracted Chronic Fatigue Syndrome when he was in medical school and had to drop out for a year to recover. His web site contains a sophisticated computer program that can analyze symptoms and labs to determine the main causes of fatigue and pain, and create a protocol for optimizing energy tailored to the individual.
What are the symptoms of fibromyalgia and the trigger points?
A fibromyalgia represents a body wide energy crisis which causes people to essentially “blow a fuse” called the hypothalamus. This key control center controls sleep, hormonal regulation, immune function and blood pressure. The hallmark symptoms are inability to sleep well despite severe fatigue, along with widespread achiness and pain. There are dozens of other symptoms including brain fog, nasal congestion, and weight gain.
Muscles require more energy to relax than to contract. You can think of them like being a spring. When you have an energy crisis, the muscles get locked in the shortened position causing pain. The belly of the muscle where it tightens up causes a tender marble called a trigger point, and these can be found throughout the body
Is there a typical age/gender of a person that is afflicted?
Like most immune illnesses, it affects predominantly women. It can occur at any age and increases in frequency with age.
How is it treated?
Our published research has shown that increasing energy production with the SHINE protocol results in 91% of people improving, with an average 90% increase in quality of life. This requires addressing Sleep, Hormones, Infections, Nutrition, and Exercise as able. A simple, free 10 minute quiz, called the Energy Analysis Program at www.vitality101.com can tailor the SHINE protocol for each person.
Are there recommended diets to follow to reduce symptoms?
People with fibromyalgia feel best with a low-sugar, high-salt, and high-protein diet, with frequent small meals.
Are there recommended exercise routines that can help reduce fibromyalgia related pain?
Exercise is critical to prevent deconditioning, but too much exercise can trigger what is called ‘Post Exertional Malaise,’ leaving the person bedridden for days. Because of this, a simple walking program works best, and it is important to listen to your body and only do as much as feels comfortable.
How come some people think fibromyalgia is a “fake” illness?
Historically, complex illnesses that did not have clear lab testing, especially when they involve women (as is the case with most immune illnesses) have been treated as hysteria. For example, multiple sclerosis used to be called hysterical paralysis, and both lupus and rheumatoid arthritis were treated as neuroses. Fibromyalgia is just getting past this same process.
Countless studies have made it very clear that this is a very real and physical disease, and it is no longer acceptable for doctors to be abusive by implying, “I don’t know what’s wrong with you so YOU are crazy.” This is simply unacceptable, and I recommend people find another doctor if this happens. To understand the medical system bias, even with half of doctors now being female, one simply needs to look at the medical word hysteria. This comes from the Latin “Hystero” or uterus.
Some fibromyalgia sufferers turn to topical analgesics like Salonpas® to treat their pain. For more information on living a healthy lifestyle, please “like” Salonpas on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Google Plus!