Is Fibromyalgia the Real Diagnosis?
What is the real diagnosis for fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome? Does the long list of symptoms that accompany these very real diseases warrant the conventional treatments, such as pain medications, sleep-aids, anti-seizure medications and anti-depressants?
Clinically, we have seen in these diseases a strong correlation to infections including viral, bacterial, fungal, and parasitic infections, along with tick-borne infections like chronic Lyme disease complex. To complicate matters, it is not uncommon for patients to also have chemical sensitivities or heavy metals toxicity.
Unfortunately, most patients are sent to a psychiatrist and prescribed the aforementioned medications and treatments instead of treating the root cause of the problem. After a decade of experience in this area of medicine, we have used detailed testing to show that over 80% of the patients experiencing these symptoms also have infections. Why are so many doctors missing the possible underlying problems and real diagnosis?
This video shows how Lyme Disease is many times misdiagnosed as Fibromyalgia.
Epidural - The New Problematic Band-Aid for Fibromyalgia
When steroids are used with pain medication, in the very beginning it seems to help, however, in the long run, it suppresses the immune system and allows the infections to multiply and drive themselves deeper into the connective tissue and nervous system. Patients with infections, such as Lyme disease, are already immune compromised (noted by a sharp decrease in CD57 levels) and have a host of secondary infections including opportunistic bacterial, viral, parasitic and fungal infections.
The steroids impair immunity, especially when used in combination with pain killers. In fact, patients with latent infections, such as chronic Lyme disease complex, develop various neuropathies and neurological pain when the Lyme disease is not diagnosed and treated in a timely manner. Therefore, the epidural block will provide temporary relief, but bring about more neuro-borreliosis, a version of Lyme disease that impairs major neurological function. These patients may develop other symptoms such as headaches, tremors (like those seen in Parkinson's) and neuropathic pain.
Why are Doctors Missing the Correct Diagnosis?
Many times, when a patient visits the doctor, they think along the lines of there are too many symptoms to treat, this is a hypochondriac type, the patient has depression, short-term memory loss, possible autoimmune disease that needs to be ruled out, digestive problems, and has hormonal imbalances. Therefore, the patient with fibromyalgia gets a referral to see a rheumatologist and receive anti-depressant medication.
Doctors coined these patients as "difficult," because nothing worked. The sequence of symptoms used to diagnosis fibromyalgia are: key trigger points, depression, and sleep disturbances. There is a reason that these are never presented in a textbook manner. In fact, most patients have even more symptoms than what is covered in the basic diagnostic write-up for fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndromes. However, when a proper infectious work-up is conducted alongside chemical toxicity and heavy metal screening, the complete symptom picture for each patient becomes clear. And now, you can treat that real pathology that is causing the symptoms, instead of masking the pain.
The Medical Confusion on the Topic
Most physicians are not trained to look for latent infections in a ten minute office appointment. Why, you ask? The answer is clear: there are no simple treatments or testing solutions in the conventional model. However, once Cymbalta, the anti-depressant, came to market with a target for fibromyalgia patients, doctors started to recognize and "treat" the condition. The pharmaceutical drug model drives the healthcare industry and ignores the necessary personalized diagnostics and treatment to take care of the cause of the disease.
At Envita, our approach is powerful in both treatment as well as testing. We recognize the actual root cause and utilize a personalized approach for treatment and testing to target each individual's unique needs. When the proper testing is conducted it becomes obvious that anti-depressants are not the answer.
Is Fibromyalgia Really a Latent Infection?
Most fibromyalgia patients have lymphocytosis. This occurs when infection has penetrated into the lymphatic system and deep into the connective tissue or even the nervous system. Some infections require specialized testing and trained physicians to recognize the clinic manifestations.
The infection itself is protected by layers of biofilm communities. When the infection is found by conventional methods, prescribed antibiotics, will only provide temporary action against the bacteria. We have discovered, from our experience, that over 80% of patients that are presented to us, are either undiagnosed or have untreated infections. We use specialized testing with LLMD's (Lyme literate medical doctors) and an integrative approach to help our patients reach proper health by treating the cause of the disease, not just the symptoms.
Understanding Latent Infections, Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
We alluded to the symptoms earlier of fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and found that they also exist in a host of other autoimmune diseases. Here is the textbook definition: "Fibromyalgia patients suffer from a "'chronic syndrome'" that involves generalized pain, multiple defined tender points, chronic fatigue, disturbed sleep issues and numerous neurological and musculoskeletal pain and discomfort."
These patients often have many more symptoms such as, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), hormonal imbalances, anxiety and depression, simultaneously. But just what is the cause of these problems?
Infections! But There is More to the Story: Neurotoxins
Imbalances in key hormones like testosterone, thyroid, and cortisol are seen regularly in fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue patients. With the advent of "bio-identical hormones", low dose cortisol titration and nature's thyroid, patients have started to see some improvement. These patients have constant competition occurring at the receptors sites on their cells for hormones and neurotransmitters versus the neurotoxin.
The neurotoxins produced by the infection blocks and interrupts the body's normal hormones and neurotransmitters balance and function. Essentially, the neurotoxins impair multiple systems in our body, systems we need on a daily basis to function with quality of life. By artificially balancing the hormones that are already low in most patients, you start to see improvement, but unless the infections are treated, the neurological, mental health and full hormone function will not fully improve in the long run.
In the treatment of fibromyalgia and other arthritic conditions, patients taking testosterone have more energy, including women. As part of returning a patient to full health, improving sleep and reducing pain and inflammation, the infection must be treated and hormones rebalanced along with proper immune function re-established.
The Stages Of Fibromyalgia By Infection, Time and Exposure
Most of these patients have latent infections that are found deep in connective tissue, muscle, digestive tract, and nervous system including the brain. A better way to explain it is in 3 stages: 1st Pre-fibromyalgia; 2nd fibromyalgia; and 3rd complicated or complex fibromyalgia. It all depends on how long the patient has gone untreated and undiagnosed with infections like Lyme disease. Based on the chronicity of the infection and impairment of the immune system, you will see the different stages in patients. Hidden infections impact immunity and allow other opportunistic infections to take hold. In the patient history, it is not uncommon for patients to feel some improvement when given an antibiotic for some other reason. Treatment for all infections must be targeted, drug resistance must be overcome and the immune system needs to be reestablished for patients to maintain improvement.
Structural Problems Can Also Complicate the Cervical Spine Nerve Root Compression in Fibromyalgia
The brain and spinal cord make up the central nervous system. Stimuli comes from the peripheral nervous system, which then comes back to the cord. The stimulus can become interrupted when nerve compression occurs, especially in the neck regions. This also impairs and delays the healing process for patients. The discs of the spine often become degenerative in fibromyalgia patients because of the infection. This occurs when the infection has impacted the disc. If you look closely, the patient's pain is often found in the muscle and soft tissue regions and not really in the joint because of the neurotoxin impacting nerve innervation to muscle.
How did your Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Start?
The short answer: triggers. Another critical point is that fibromyalgia syndrome is initiated by a triggered physical trauma; a car accident, surgery, the death of a loved one or other psychological and emotional stressors. This is what we have also seen in several autoimmune diseases, chronic fatigue syndrome and especially Lyme disease. The infection is already present in the body the whole time, but it is usually the trigger that weakens the immune system. Then the body's defense system goes down, then Pandora's Box is opened and you start to see the full-blown disease expressed. The "trigger" phenomenon is often related to HPA (axis) system in the brain. The term chronic Lyme disease complex was developed by the doctors at Envita to explain to our patients that numerous bacterial (including Borrelia), viral, fungal, parasitic infections, and other tick-borne coinfections all bring about musculoskeletal pain, joint pain, neurological pain, digestive issues, hormonal problems, headaches, cognitive problems and the list goes on. To learn more about how we can help you, please contact us today.