I've been putting off writing a page on fibromyalgia cure for a long time. I have a lot of first hand information - or at least second hand information, since my wife, Joyce had a terrible bout with fibromyalgia 13 years ago.
Before our chiropractor informed us that she was suffering from fibromyalgia, I had never heard of the condition. Joyce had known of a lady at church who had been diagnosed by a doctor, and was taking powerful drugs.
I knew the lady fairly well, and I knew she had been very sick - but I had no idea of the nature of her illness.
The time of Joyce's experience with it was spring and summer of 2000, and really, most of that year.
Our experience began with Joyce finding that she was running out of energy long before the end of the day. She began to have difficulty sleeping, with increasing numbers of bouts with restless legs.
As I write this page now, I've been talking with Joyce about the experience from her viewpoint.
She remembers clearly the barrage of symptoms, which started to kick in while she and our daughter, Robin, were planning Robin's wedding. Fortunately, Robin was doing most of the planning, but as Joyce was assisting - or trying to assist - the frustration became intense.
Frustration because planning and working with details had always been one of Joyce's strengths. This should have been a time of great enjoyment, since Joyce normally would have enjoyed greatly the this time leading up to the wedding in the mountains.
Instead, Joyce was experiencing overactive senses - confusion, inability to think, and chronic exhaustion. A fibromyalgia cure would be a long time coming.
Then the pain started. Not bad pain at first, but it became progressively worse. Meanwhile, the fatigue was becoming debilitating.
Sometimes it seemed that every muscle was aching, and movement made it worse. There were anxiety attacks - extreme panic over not being able to breathe. Something was preventing her body from being able to use oxygen, as if the composition of the air she was breathing had suddenly changed.
Often, when the symptoms were at their worst, I had already left the house for work.
We thought we had been eating quite carefully for a number of years - even juicing from time to time. We were also drinking distilled water almost exclusively. But there were some very serious flaws in our diet.
At that time, we had no idea what a huge problem wheat is.
Joyce had gone through some very high-stress years, and had put on some weight. She was never really heavy, but she thought she was.
Working with our daughter who had started a small private school, Joyce often skipped breakfast. Lunch was an apple and half of a wheat roll, with the other half eaten as a snack in the late afternoon to give her the energy to correct a stack of papers from her students.
We had pasta with tomato sauce every Friday night, and pizza on most Saturday nights. Whenever she did eat breakfast, such as on weekends, she would eat granola or other cereals, which often included wheat. Not infrequently, on Sundays, pancakes made from scratch, along with maple syrup were on the menu.
Joyce went on a low-fat diet. Maybe the worst diet she could have adopted, even for a short time.
So this thing, as it became progressively worse with depression becoming a very real part of the picture, weighed on both of us very heavily.
I considered calling a medical doctor, but we really didn't know any doctors on a professional level. There was one doctor who had attended our church, but we'd lost touch with him after we left the church 8 years previously.
Joyce was looking to me for direction. She did not want to go to a medical doctor.
We had avoided medical doctors since about 1979, when the medical folks mis-diagnosed a respiratory illness she had, and caused her to be hospitalized. Joyce only recovered from that one through juicing with organic veggies.
If we had stayed with a juicing routine much more consistently, we probably would not have needed a fibromyalgia cure.
Joyce had used chiropractic for chronic back pain for about 20 years, but she wasn't too pleased with any of the chiropractors she had used, because the relief from the pain was always relatively temporary.
I called several friends to get some recommendations for a chiropractor or naturalpath.
I was able to find a doctor who is both a chiropractor and a naturalpathic doctor. He also has other credentials in his arsenal. Seems Jeff is always reading, taking classes, and improving his craft, which is to assist his patients to heal themselves.
Jeff Honert, D.C. was very much a God-send, as he has been for many of his patients here in Arvada and elsewhere across the country.
So, what is fibromyalgia?
Apparently, until about 1990, it was hardly recognized as a disease, or even as a condition.
Many in the medical community still refer to it as a syndrome. They say that a syndrome is a collection or group of signs, symptoms, conditions and characteristics that happen to a patient at the same time - or during the same time frame - which with fibromyalgia, may be an extended time frame.
The list of symptoms is long. Severity varies drastically from one patient to another. The precise symptoms and combinations of symptoms vary as well.
No small number of doctors still struggle to understand or even recognize fibromayalgia. Many say there's no such thing as a fibromyalgia cure.
Those who say something close to the last statement may come closer to understanding the disease than most.
When Joyce was going through her terrible misery during the year 2000, neither she nor I understood what was happening. For a while, she would have welcomed death - the depression and pain were that severe.
Anyone who had known Joyce, especially members of her immediate family, knew that Joyce had always been very accepting of whatever came along. She was amazingly strong and happy.
Among many other trials, she was the primary care-giver as her mother went through the months-long agony of succumbing to ALS, or Lou Gherig's Disease. By the time of her battle with fibromyalgia, Joyce and I had been married for 35 years. That she has lasted all those years and more as my wife is a testament to her ability to adapt to difficult circumstances.
For the first time in thirty-five years, I saw her with tears streaming down her face - tears of pain and frustration from the debilitating effects of fibromyalgia.
Seeing the incredible turn-about, gradual as it was, was further evidence of her strong determination and character.
Using no medication at all except a few aspirin at first for severe pain; through radical changes in diet along with following other instructions from Dr. Honert, Joyce was able to reverse her fibromyalgia.
The fibromyalgia cure was developing steadily.
We know now that the aspirin most likely aggravated the condition. We really don't know whether there was any real relief from the pain.
The first two weeks of the treatment meant reducing carbohydrates to nearly zero. No cereals, breads, no fruit, none of the relatively high carb veggies such as corn, peas, and potatoes. No dairy, no juices. Raw greens with no dressings were the order of the day, every day.
She began doing some simple exercises to ease the pain in her right shoulder and arm. A big rubber band was used to provide resistance to work those muscles.
She saw Dr. Honert at least once a week for a period of several months. He is an artist among chiropractors, knowing where and how to manipulate bones and work with muscle tissue.
Joyce also visited a fine massage technician recommended by Dr. Honert. Those visits were also vital for her healing.
Dr. Honert also suggested she begin walking every day. At first the distance was short.
When I say she walked every day, I really mean it. Even now, 13 years later, she almost never misses her daily walk.
Sometimes I walk with her.
I'm taller with longer legs, but I have to work to keep up with her. She maintains a consistently brisk pace, letting her arms swing freely, as instructed by Dr. Honert.
The daily walks have been vital for the fibromyalgia cure.
Joyce's diet has become very consistent. No wheat or other gluten grains, no high carb foods at all, of course no sugar, no artificial sweetners and no processed foods. No dairy, no red meat.
Some fruits and vegetables have been eliminated from her diet, including corn, potatoes, lima beans, certain other dried beans, tomatoes, rice and bananas. She usually leaves the other nightshades alone.
Joyce has been fine, now, for more than 11 years. By strict adherence to a very healthy diet and by consistent daily exercise, she stays very healthy. That she uses no drugs at all is part of her secret, her fibromyalgia cure.
Very recently - that is, within the last two months, I've been reading a book I found at Vitamin Cottage here in Arvada.
The book is What Your Doctor May Not> Tell You about Fibromyalgia by R. Paul St. Amand, M.D., and Claudia Craig Marek. The sub-title is The Revolutionary Treatment That can Reverse the Disease.
This book really does embrace an effective fibromyalgia cure. It's also a fascinating, even entertaining read.
If you or someone you care about are going through a battle with fibromyalgia, I strongly urge you to buy this book.
A lot of medical books are overly pedantic, boring, and hard to read.
Dr. St. Amand writes in a style which draws you in. Much of it is a narrative telling of the journey of this dedicated medical doctor bucking the tide of standard medical practice the pharmaceutical companies promote which essentially shields most medical professionals from innovative and effective practices.
Central to the protocol described in the book for producing a fibromyalgia cure - or more accurately, for reversing the disease - are dietary changes which come amazingly close to those Joyce has continued to adhere to.
There are some individual differences in diet described in the book. Those differences have to do mostly with whether the patient is also diagnosed as being hypoglycemic. Dr. St. Amand coins the term, fibroglycemia. Highly fascinating.
Dr. Honert, through a process of removing nearly all carbs from Joyce's diet then gradually putting a particular fruit or vegetable back in and monitoring the results, was able to confirm his suspicion that Joyce was more or less addicted to carbohydrates. Another way of describing this is to use the term, hypoglycemic.
Dr. St. Amand suggests that hypoglycemia should only be used to describe very severe drops in blood sugar levels, and that carbohydrate intolerance syndrome should be used for most cases.
It's fascinating that addiction to carbs also means intolerance of carbs. Seems paradoxical.
But if you understand the built-in system of homeostasis that we humans all possess, you know that it's not a paradox.
The internal glands which regulate blood sugar levels through the infusion of various hormones actually produce some drastic changes resulting in some severe, even seemingly nearly lethal results.
High blood sugar levels trigger excess insulin, which triggers a precipitous drop in blood sugar, which causes a craving for the stuff that caused the problem in the first place.
This is a gross simplification, since other hormones also enter the picture.
A fibromyalgia cure is simple on the one hand, but very complicated and seemingly impossible on the other.
It's difficult because the typical western diet consists of huge quantities of carbs. It's simple because omitting the carbs is the key to the successful fibromyalgia cure. It's very hard because there is a true addiction involved - a physical addiction as well as psychological addiction.
Any addiction is very difficult to overcome - but this one has to be among the most difficult.
Dr. St. Amand discovered that the use of a very safe medication which has been used for maybe a century as a cough medicine is very effective as part of a fibromyalgia cure.
Guaifenesin, amazingly enough, is a drug I've never heard of. Yet it's an over-the-counter drug which apparently has no known side effects.
He also found that using the drug as part of the treatment is ineffective unless the patient avoids all contact with a certain group of compounds known as salicylates.
The good doctor states that the use guaifenesin for treating fibromyalgia is not yet accepted in mainstream medicine. That would be enough to strongly suggest its effectiveness as a fibromyalgia cure.
Dr. St. Amand's book has a chapter devoted to what he calls, "band-aid" drugs for fibromyalgia. In chapter 14 he names some two dozen drugs commonly prescribed for fibromyalgia.
But those drugs are not only not a fibromyalgia cure, in many cases they make the condition worse.
Many fibromyalgia victims are unwittingly victimized additionally by the medical profession. Unwittingly at least from the standpoint of individual doctors, who know little or nothing about fibromyalgia.
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