Many of my patients with fibromyalgia carry with them the daily burden of fatigue, ‘all over body pain,’ sleep problems, mood symptoms, and sometimes even irritable bowel symptoms and palpitations. These are just some of the examples of symptoms associated with fibromyalgia. So, for patients dealing with this disease on a daily basis, it can have a significant negative impact on their quality of life and functionality.
Treatment for fibromyalgia requires a comprehensive approach where we target all of the symptoms that occur on a persistent daily basis for any given patient. That would include addressing issues such as, but are not limited to, sleep, mood, chronic pain, fatigue, thyroid dysfunction, adrenal dysfunction, gastroenterological symptoms, and chronic headaches.
So, because fibromyalgia treatment varies depending on the constellation of symptoms found in any given patient, there is no cookie-cutter way to effective treat fibromyalgia. There are, of course, some fundamental treatment concepts that recur in fibromyalgia therapy, but it is important to keep in mind that treatment should be fluid with these patients and not based on a pre-conceived treatment protocol.
The fundamental treatment modalities I use consistently with fibromyalgia patients include acupuncture, sleep hygiene counseling, nutritional counseling, mind-body therapy types that resonate with a patient, and supplements that target foundational deficiencies found in a patient on lab testing and based on clinical history. These treatment modalities target the basis of a person’s physiology, which in my experience, achieve the greatest therapeutic results.
One of the most important factors I’ve noticed in my integrative medicine clinic in San Jose, CA is removal of food sensitivities. Many of my fibromyalgia patients feel much less symptoms once they’ve removed their food sensitivities. If you have fibromyalgia, consider asking your doctor for food allergy testing (IgE testing) and food sensitivity testing (IgG testing) to see what foods you are allergic to and which foods you might be sensitive to. In my patients, I have seen tremendous improvements in fibromyalgia symptoms if patients clean up their diet and eat more vegetables and avoid processed foods as well as remove their food allergies and sensitivities.
Since fibromyalgia is pervasive in its ability to affect numerous aspects of a person’s physiology, I find that a therapeutic approach where you treat from a ‘bottom-up’ perspective rather than from superficial symptoms downward perspective has been more successful. If you are suffering from this debilitating disease, ask your doctor to look into potential root cause issues instead of just treating superficial symptoms. Hopefully with a more whole system approach to your health, you’ll find the relief that many of my patients have been able to achieve. Start eating clean as well as check in with your doctor for help…best of luck!