Fibromyalgia and CRAZY?
If you’ve got fibromyalgia, your friends, family, and doctors may try to make you think your illness isn’t real, that “it’s all in your head.”
You often lose your train of thought mid-sentence, have strange reactions to medications, and suffer with an assortment of health problems; yet all your labs are normal. You’ve got numerous complaints including anxiety, depression, fatigue, chronic pain, insomnia, IBS, MVP, chronic sinusitis, tingling in the extremities, night sweats, chemical sensitivities, headaches, reflux, and other symptoms.
Maybe you are crazy?
I’d be crazy too if I went days without sleeping, had diffuse chronic pain, no energy, no life, and no hope. You’ve been bounced from one doctor to another, had dozens of tests, taken numerous drugs which didn’t help, and continue to get worse, year after year. The traditional drugs of choice for fibromyalgia including NSAIDS, antidepressants, anticonvulsant medications, muscle relaxants, tranquilizers, and pain medications, may provide short-term relief, yet their results are often fleeting and their side effects detrimental. It’s not unusual to be taking 12 or more prescription drugs, many of which contribute to erratic behavior.
The sleep drugs Ambien and Lunesta may cause short-term memory loss, fatigue, flu-like symptoms, and depression. Tricyclic antidepressants, including Trazadone and Elavil, may cause early-morning hangover, mental confusion, and lethargy. SSRI drugs may cause anxiety, depression, mental blunting, and lethargy. Klonopin and other benzodiazepines may cause depression, fatigue, and decreased mental function. All of these drugs are known to deplete at least one or more essential mood-dependant vitamin, mineral, or nutrient (B6, B12, CoQ10, Folic acid, etc.). Individuals with fibromyalgia are also deficient in the brain chemicals, which help regulate mood and mental function.
Research shows that the majority of fibromyalgia patients are deficient in serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. These three neurotransmitters (brain chemicals) are essential for optimal mood and mental function. Serotonin, also known as the “happy hormone,” helps regulate mood, sleep, digestion, bowel movements, pain, and mental clarity.
Individuals with fibromyalgia have low levels of the amino acid tryptophan, as well as 5HTP, which are needed for the production of serotonin. L-phenylalanine derived norepinephrine, when released in the brain, causes feelings of arousal, energy, drive, and ambition. No wonder you suffer with “fibro fog.”
Stress-Coping Savings Account
I like to use the analogy of being born with a stress-coping savings account. We have certain chemicals, vitamins, minerals, and hormones like serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, and cortisol that allow us to handle moment-to-moment, day-to-day stress. The more stress we’re under, the more withdrawals we make. Individuals with fibromyalgia have made more withdrawals than deposits.
Those with fibromyalgia have bankrupted their stress-coping savings account!
Serotonin re-uptake inhibitors such as Lexapro, Paxil, Zoloft, and others, don’t make serotonin – they only help the brain hang onto and use serotonin more effectively. These drugs are like using a gasoline additive in an empty gasoline tank – those with fibromyalgia don’t have any serotonin to re-uptake. They’ve bankrupted their stress-coping savings account and depleted their serotonin. These drugs usually don’t provide long-term relief.
Essential Therapeutics Fibromyalgia Jumpstart Package
Fortunately, there are some tried-and-true nutritional protocols that can help build up the bankrupted stress-coping savings account and reverse the symptoms associated with fibromyalgia. My patients typically see positive results within two weeks of starting my nutritional-based protocols based around the Essential Therapeutics Fibromyalgia Jumpstart Package.
If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. – The Dalai Lama
The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone. – Harriet Beecher Stowe
I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor. -Henry David Thoreau
Are You a Proactive or Reactive Person?
“Our behavior is a function of our desires, not our conditions. We can subordinate feelings to values. We have the initiative and responsibility to make things happen… responsibility – response-ability – the ability to choose our response.
Reactive people are driven by feelings, by circumstances, by conditions, by their environment. Proactive people are driven by their values – carefully thought about, selected and internalized values… It’s not what happens to us, but our response to what happens to us that matters.”
From Stephen Covey’s best-selling book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.
(If you’re one of the few people left on the planet who’ve not read this book, stop right now and order from Amazon immediately – ok, maybe after you read this newsletter first.)
Reactive people complain about the weather, their marriage, their jobs, their weight, their finances, and their poor health. They sleepwalk through life feeling like helpless victims.
Proactive people take the initiative. They realize “if it is to be, it is up to me.” They know that they can change their circumstances by merely determining to do so. Proactive people don’t complain about being overweight; they make a plan and start a course for losing any unwanted weight. Proactive people don’t squander their lives by feeling like helpless victims. Instead they look ahead, take the initiative, and make things happen.
Covey writes “the difference between people who exercise initiative and those who don’t is literally the difference between night and day. I’m not talking about a 25 to 50 percent difference in effectiveness; I’m talking about 5000-plus percent difference.…”
Here are some examples of reactive thinking:
- There’s nothing I can do.
- That’s just the way it is.
- That’s just the way I am.
- They won’t let me.
- It’s too difficult.
- He/she/they/it makes me so mad, sad, frustrated, tense.
- I can’t.
- If only I…
Here’s some proactive thinking:
- Let’s look at our alternatives.
- I can choose a different approach if needed.
- I control my feelings and responses.
- I choose how to respond.
- I can do it. I’ll find out how.
Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People is one the most important books I’ve ever read, one that changed my life from the moment I read it 20 years ago. I still pick up this book up at least once a year to review and reflect on the sage words and advice contained between its covers. If you’ve not read this book, please make the time to do so.