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Fibromyalgia, Internal and External Toxicity: What YOU Can Do!
By Dr. Marianne Beck, DC
You've finally been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. You've had chronic aches and pains all over, you couldn't sleep, you were tired all the time, then came the digestive problems, headaches and finally anxiety and depression set in. Who wouldn't be depressed! It took visits to your primary care physician, the rheumatologist, the neurologist, the endocrinologist, the orthopedist and finally the psychologist over the past several years to finally get a diagnosis. You were prescribed anti-inflammatories like Celebrex, Vioxx and Mobic. Then you took sleep aids and anti-depressants. You were recently on Neurontin but were switched to Lyrica and told you would have to learn to live with your fibromyalgia symptoms because there is no cure for the disease!
Medical science still does not know the true cause of fibromyalgia and the traditional medical approach of drug therapy alone has not had much success in treating the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Drug therapy only masks the symptoms, creates further health problems and increases toxicity in the body as all drugs are toxins. What medical science does know is that people with fibromyalgia have pain in the upper and lower parts of the body on both the left and right sides and that it involves a physical response to stress. Other symptoms include sleep disturbances, chronic fatigue, headaches, memory loss, gastrointestinal problems, anxiety and depression. fibromyalgia seems to be a composite of symptoms rather than a "specific" disease. We also know that fibromyalgia is usually caused by stress or trauma, nutritional deficiencies and toxicity. These can all be treated by natural healthcare methods!
The Stress Hormone-Fibromyalgia Connection
The adrenal glands, which sit on top of each kidney, are responsible for releasing specific hormones in response to stress. These hormones allow us to be resilient and cope with day to day stress whether the stress is physical, emotional, chemical or environmental. One of the primary adrenal hormones is cortisol. Most fibromyalgia sufferers are found to have a disruption of their daily cortisol cycle leading to adrenal exhaustion. Once in adrenal exhaustion, the adrenal glands can not produce enough cortisol and DHEA to keep up with daily demands. This can lead to disturbed sleep, chronic fatigue, chronic infections, headaches, low sex drive, hypoglycemia, gastrointestinal disturbances, decreased metabolism and muscle and joint pains. Rebuilding the adrenal glands and restoring optimal adrenal function with natural therapies and specific nutritional supplementation is crucial for the person with fibromyalgia. It is also interesting to note that food sensitivities or intolerances also weaken the adrenal glands and exacerbate fibromyalgia symptoms. The biggest offenders are gluten (wheat), soy, dairy and eggs. Of course toxins such as sugar, food colorings and chemical additives also weaken adrenal gland function. Utilizing saliva testing, specific food sensitivities can be identified and specific diet recommendations can then be made so that the offending foods can be avoided.
The Toxicity-Fibromyalgia Connection
Another key to helping fibromyalgia symptoms is a detoxification program. Most people think of detoxification as something we only need to do to get rid of excess or unusual toxins in the body. The truth is our body detoxifies all of the time. Every time you move your bowels, urinate and exhale, you are detoxifying-because the wastes you eliminate and the air you exhale, include many toxins that your body is trying to get rid of. Your liver, kidneys, skin and lymph all try to get rid of the toxins that otherwise would build up in your organs, tissues and cells. If theses systems are not working properly, toxic sludge can build up in your body and clog the primary detoxification systems in the liver and lymph. When this happens, all sorts of illness can occur from mild to life threatening. Most fibromyalgia sufferers have sluggish detoxification systems that allow toxins to build up in the tissues of their bodies.
The use of lymphatic massage, far-infrared saunas and ionic detox foot baths are some of the latest technologies used to allow the body to detoxify at the cellular level. Now, I'm not talking about colon cleansing, colonics or fasting here. Naturally, we must keep our bowels working in order to help push toxins out of the body. If we don't move our bowels every day, we run the risk of "autointoxification" where toxins remain in circulation throughout the body making us sick. Colonics can only remove toxic build up in the colon and lower part of the large intestine. Therefore, colon cleanses and colonics are not detoxifying your body at the cellular level. Fasting for several days will allow toxins to exit your organs and cells, however, if your lymph is stagnant and not working properly and your bowels are "clogged", those toxins will remain circulating in the body. That is why fasting can cause headaches, constipation and various other symptoms as the toxins create a "ping pong" effect in your body moving from organ to organ through the circulatory system. What I am describing is a deep cleanse at the cellular level. In order to do this, we must mobilize the lymph, liver and skin to drain toxins out of the body. Think of the lymph system as the "sewer system" of the body that cleanses every cell. Lymphatic massage increases lymph flow and immune function as toxins are pushed out of the tissues and neutralized in the lymph nodes. Symptoms of chronic lymph blockage include join aches and pains, headaches, arthritis, tissue swelling, mental fuzziness, fatigue, depression, etc. (sounds very much like fibromyalgia symptoms). Stagnant lymph can interfere with the body's ability to remove viruses, bacteria and cancerous cells from your system. Far-Infrared Saunas emit waves that penetrate deep into your body-about 1 ½ inches below the skin. These waves stimulate cellular metabolism and break up the water molecules which hold toxins, thus allowing the body to get rid of these toxins through the skin as heavy perspiration. Far-Infrared Sauna treatments restore and rejuvenate you at the cellular level and are quite beneficial in the treatment of fatigue, insomnia, pain, arthritis and other symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Ionic Detox Foot Baths work by sending a small current of positive and negatively charged ions into the body. These ions attract the positive and negatively charged toxins, neutralize them and then they are expelled through the approximately 2000 pores on the soles of your feet. The ionic foot bath assists with removing heavy metals, improving seep, relieving pain and joint stiffness, increasing energy and improving liver and kidney function.
Getting a Handle" on Your Fibromyalgia
So, to sum it up, the ways "get a handle" on your fibromyalgia symptoms are:
-Complete a salivary hormone test to assess adrenal gland and immune system function
-Saliva tests should be done to test for food sensitivities that can be the cause of body inflammation
-Replace missing nutrients your adrenal glands need in order to function properly and rebuild
-Eliminate toxic substances from your environment beginning with your home. Discard toxic personal care products, laundry detergents and household cleaners. Opt for "green" cleaners.
-Eat organic foods which are free of hormones and pesticides.
-Detoxify at the cellular level using lymphatic massage, far-infrared saunas and ionic foot baths to mobilize your lymph, sweat toxins out through your skin and remove toxins through the soles of your feet.
Detoxification at the cellular level will not only help fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome but will be of great benefit for anyone suffering with arthritis, allergies, migraine headaches, insomnia, depression, anxiety, memory problems, chronic infections and increased weight. Detoxification will allow you to have more energy, less pain and better sleep. You will feel more relaxed, have a greater sense of well being and be able to handle stress easier.
Remember, periodic detoxification is not just for the ill or sick patient! Everyone should detoxify-be proactive-get rid of your excess toxic burden and live a longer healthier life. Detoxifying is true preventive medicine!
If you are finally tired of being "sick and tired", contact Dr. Marianne Beck at Women's BestHealth today. Call 954-782-4855 to to set up an appointment.
Women's BestHealth is a functional medicine and nutritional health center specializing in women's health issues and wellness. Dr. Marianne Beck, founder and director, provides natural treatment for menopause, perimenopause, adrenal fatigue/stress, thyroid problems, Hashimoto's, osteoporosis, gastrointestinal problems and autoimmune disease. We offer our services locally in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties.
Serving: South Florida (South Fl), Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Sunrise, Oakland park, Pompano Beach, Deerfield, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Miramar, Coral Springs, Cooper City, Pembroke Pines, Tamarac, Coconut Creek, Weston, Hollywood, Plantation, Wellington, Palm Beach Gardens. Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties.
Marianne Beck, D.C., Functional Medicine Practitioner and Director, Women's BestHealth