By Dr. Nadia Noori
Oh the Frustration!
It isn’t uncommon to find that the most frustrating aspect for those who suffer of Fibromyalgia (FMS) is not always the clinical manifestations itself, but the unknowingness of the actual cause. The complex myriad of symptoms ranges from, persistent depression, abdominal discomfort, sleep disturbances, numbness and pain that may eventually lead to frequent visits to a variety of specialists. In turn one might begin to accumulate a variety of pharmaceutical drugs, each prescribed to alleviate a variety of symptoms. The side effects of each drug then many times lead to the exacerbation of other already existing symptoms, and as you can imagine the outcome only leads to more frustration, but let me not diverge.
So what is it!?
Although Fibromyalgia has caused a lot of heads to turn, it is important to take a multifaceted approach in not only determining the diagnosis itself but also in understanding the underlying and contributing elements. Similar symptoms can arise with chronic nutrient deficiencies, chronic environmental exposures, and even chronic infections such as Lyme disease. Many people go years before arriving to a diagnosis with Lyme simply due to the discrete nature of Lyme. Many don’t recall a tick bite nor remember ever experiencing the “bull’s-eye” rash that is suggested to be closely associated with Lyme. Symptoms may not be obvious initially and this is mainly due to the infection’s ability to remain dormant and surface when the immune system is either suddenly compromised or compromised over time. Believe it or not there can also be a combination of culprits and one may never really know what came first. But don’t fret; it may not be all that important. Focus on the fact that there are key influences that determine our well-being like our level of physical activity, the quality of food we consume, the level of toxic exposure, and how well our internal systems are working, like digestion. Our bodies want to maintain balance, it naturally wants to get rid of invaders and flourish in the process.
We’re simply complicated! It’s not enough to focus on one organ, one system, or even one symptom. We are complex entities with multiple systems working simultaneously and synergistically with each other. It’s critical to first identify the potential initial and/or ongoing offense, be it an infection, a toxin, a deficiency or a combination of all. Diagnostic tests are a great tool in being able to achieve this. Think of it as an isolated internal snap shot that allows one to gauge the burden being experienced by ones system. Addressing symptoms in a palliative fashion initially may be a priority to ensure patient comfort. This can be achieved through a variety of modalities such as acupuncture, hydrotherapy, craniosacral therapy, ozone therapy, and much more. By isolating the offense, we begin to limit the exposure and focus on clearing its remnants. This establishes an internal environment conducive to healing while the palliative care allows for the body to experience a sense of ease as the body works its way towards health.
It’s all in the approach!