The Holistic Approach to Fibromyalgia Treatment
The Real Underlying Cause for Fibromyalgia Symptoms
This article was orginally published by myself in Yahoo in the Writer's Forum. When that was discontinued, we were given back the rights to publish the articles elsewhere.
Fibromyalgia is increasing every year by 3 to 6 percent. The treatment most women are offered is anti-inflammatory drugs, antidepressants, sedatives to help them sleep and physical therapy. Even with these drugs, most women suffer through each day and every day, trying to cope. Drugs do not address the real cause of the disease. Is there a holistic treatment available?
Dr. David Brownstein, M.D., is a Board-Certified family physician for the Center for Holistic Medicine in West Bloomfield, MI. Dr. Brownstein is treating fibromyalgia with a different program. In his many years of experience, he treats fibromyalgia successfully with thyroid therapy. This treatment is supported by physicians such as the late Dr. Broda Barnes who wrote several books on hypothyroidism.
When you visit a conventional doctor, he relies on lab tests to assess your hypothyroid function. For years, doctors used clinical signs and symptoms to diagnose thyroid problems. The problem with thyroid lab tests is that they cannot test how the cells and tissues utilize the thyroid hormone. Just because the gland is producing thyroid hormone, does not mean that it is taken up properly by the billions of cells and hundreds of tissues that use the hormone. When thyroid tests show borderline underproduction, the hypothyroidism won't be treated by the majority of physicians. Dr. Browstein feels the majority of women would benefit from a trial of thyroid treatment. His views are shared by other alternative medicine doctors in the field as well.
Dr. Brownstein experience has shown him that the symptoms of both fibromyalgia and hypothyroidism are closely related. A significant percentage of fibromyalgia patients are also hypothyroid. In one research study 63% of the patients with fibromyalgia also had lab tests that proved hypothyroidism; another research study showed that 50% were hypothyroid. Dr. Browstein's experience with his patients has proved that many patients with initial symptoms of fibromyalgia have negative lab reports for hypothyroidism. However, these same patients, months later, show positive lab tests for hypothyroidism. It takes time for the thyroid tests to substantiate what has been taking place in the body for months or years. It is like cancer. Cancer cells are dividing in your body for years before the x-rays or lab tests confirm the cancer. When your body is out of balance and not working properly, it may take weeks or months for the lab tests to identify the end result, disease or cancer.There are few tests to show the disease in the early stages of its progress.
Which disease develops first? Dr. Brownstein feels that hypothyroidism is the main underlying cause of what doctors are diagnosing as fibromyalgia. The fatigue, muscle aches, and pains are considered major symptoms of hypothyroidism. They are classic textbook clinical signs. He feels that fibromyalgia (muscle changes and weakness) develops after thyroid function is impaired over months or years. Another doctor who supports Dr. Brownstein's views is Dr. Derry, M.D., Ph.D., who is a thyroid expert and researcher. He maintains that since Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and fibromyalgia have only been identified after 1980, that this is due to the reliance on the TSH test. The symptoms of these two diseases were attributed to hypothyroidism in the years before 1980. Before 1980 doctors diagnosed hypothyroidism on clinical signs and symptoms not just on a lab test. Doctors also knew that if the thyroid condition was not treated, other health problems and diseases became much more difficult to treat. Dr. Derry feels the TSH lab test ought to be discontinued. He feels that the evaluation of clinical signs and symptoms is much more accurate. He lectures that many thousands of patients are being missed and go untreated due to the inaccuracy of the TSH test. Now this is an expert in thyroid treatment and a respected researcher who is loudly proclaiming the inaccuracy of the TSH test. These doctors are not alone in their views.
How does thyroid treatment help fibromyalgia symptoms? Holistic doctors treat the thyroid issue first. This improves symptoms such as muscle pain and fatigue. Thyroid treatment also improves the problem that fibromyalgia patients have with poor immune function. The thyroid is one of the most important factors in a healthy, well functioning immune system. If you correct thyroid balance and immune function, you clear out most of the fibromyalgia symptoms according to these doctors.
Overcoming Thyroid Disorders, 2nd Edition, David Brownstein, M.D., Medical Alternative Press, 2002, pages 145-154
Hypothyroidism: The Unsuspected Illness, Broda Barnes, M.D,, Harper and Row Publishers, 1976, pages 1-20
Hypothyroidism Type 2: The Epidemic, Mark Starr, M.D., Mark Starr Trust, 2010, 149-156
Kate Freer. Master Herbalist, Medical Researcher, and Freelance Writer
Moringa and Healing Herbs
http://herbladyisintoday.blogspot.com (Growing and Using Moringa and Healing Herbs)
herbladyisin.blogspot.com (Alternative Medicine In the News Blog)
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