by Nathan Jaynes, MH

Fibromyalgia (or “FM” for short) is a complex, chronic condition which causes widespread pain and fatigue as well as a variety of other symptoms.

The name fibromyalgia comes from “fibro” meaning fibrous tissues (such as tendons and ligaments), “my” meaning muscles, and “algia” meaning pain.

Unlike arthritis, FM does not cause pain or swelling in the joints.  Rather, it produces pain in the soft tissues located around joints and in skin and organs throughout the body. 

Because FM has few symptoms that are outwardly visible, it has been nicknamed “the invisible disability” or the “irritable everything” syndrome.  The pain of FM usually consists of diffuse aching or burning described as “head to toe”, and it is often accompanied by muscle spasm.  Pain can vary in severity from day to day and change location, becoming more severe in parts of the body that are used the most (i.e., neck, shoulders, and feet).  In some people, it can be so intense that it interferes with the performance of even simple tasks, while in others it may cause only moderate discomfort.  Likewise, the fatigue of FM also varies from person to person ranging from a mild, tired feeling to the exhaustion of a flu like illness.

Although the exact prevalence of FM in the U.S. population has not been thoroughly studied, conservative estimates place the total between 4 and 6 million.  Other experts believe the true number is closer to 10 million.  An estimated 80% of sufferers are women, most of them working age.
 
Symptoms and syndromes associated with FM:
Pain, fatigue, stiffness, headaches, facial pain, sleep disturbances, cognitive disorders, digestive complaints, genito urinary problems, paresthesia (numbness or tingling), disequilibrium, restless leg syndrome, sensory sensitivity/allergic symptoms, itchy, dry, or blotchy skin, depression, and anxiety

Causes:
The causes of FM are so far unknown by the medical community.  There are several factors that may play a role in FM and other related diseases (chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, multiple chemical sensitivity, and Lymes disease).

Contributing factors may include:
• Increased use of chemicals in foods
• Home and personal products
• Decreased nutrients in food or lack of good food in diet
• Acidic body chemistry caused by poor diet
• Lack of exercise
• Exposure to environmental toxins
• Exposure to vaccinations
• Yeast infections
• Exposure to pharmaceutical drugs including antibiotics
• Lack of sleep

Herbal Therapy:
• Vitalerbs:  multivitamin to provide the body with increased nutrients
• Jurassic Green:  alkanalizes the body creating a healing internal environment
• Immuncalm: Strengthens the immune system but does not over-stimulate it.
• Skullcap: the best nerve food available
• Lower Bowel Formula: helps the body cleanse the lower bowel
• Kidney Formula: aids in eliminating wastes from the kidney and urinary tract
• Liver & Gallbladder Formula: helps cleanse the liver and gall bladder
• Blood Stream Formula: helps the body cleanse the blood

Other Therapies:
• Massage is effective against some muscle and tendon pain, relieves tension and stress
• Hydrotherapy is effective against pain
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