How Is fibromyalgia diagnosed?
Fibromyalgia is typically diagnosed if the individual has experienced widespread body pain for three months and demonstrates pain at 11 of 18 tender points on the body.
These points are located on the shoulders, neck, chest, rib cage, buttocks, lower back, shins, knees, thighs, and elbows.
How is fibromyalgia treated?
The allopathic approach to fibromyalgia is to treat with antidepressants, muscle relaxants, anti-seizure drugs, sleeping pills, and pain medications such as anti-inflammatories, and even opiates for severe cases.
Physicians may also use exercise and behavior therapy in conjunction with medications. The allopathic belief is that fibromyalgia is a long-term disorder and that patients will deal with their pain and symptoms for the rest of their life.
Doctors believe healing is unlikely, although may recommend eating a “healthy” diet, avoiding caffeine if they have trouble sleeping, and getting plenty of sleep. The patients will also have to remain on medication permanently in order to treat the symptoms.
Unfortunately, the patients exhibit disabling psychological effects from the psychotherapeutic drugs and heavily addictive and toxic opiate pain relievers. Often, the people will not be able to be contributing members of society. They will fall into a depression, stay at home, and live in an environment unfit for healing.
What does the holistic approach do differently?
Thankfully, there is hope for individuals suffering from fibromyalgia. The integrative approach to healing is to look for underlying causes of the pain and correct them with diet and lifestyle changes.
Lifestyle changes include stress management techniques like acupuncture, massage, meditation, journaling, deep breathing, etc.
Healing through nutrition is also a key facet of the integrative approach to fibromyalgia. Balancing nutrients and hormones while reducing inflammation is the underlying foundation of all healing therapies.
Another idea is to consider supplements. Nutritional deficiencies, especially B12, iron, CoQ10, and magnesium are common in individuals with fibromyalgia or similar conditions. Without proper nutrients, mitochondria are less efficient at producing energy. Nutritional testing and organic acid test can help understand the client’s nutritional needs.
Increasing sun exposure is another good idea because Vitamin D deficiency is a widespread health issue and is especially prevalent in individuals with fibromyalgia.
Sensitivities should also be assessed in a holistic treatment. Consider factors such as nutritional sensitivities, toxicity, yeast infections, parasites, and food/environmental.
Testing for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, adrenal and hormonal saliva tests, food allergy testing, and heavy metal toxicity may all provide insight into a client’s symptoms and help develop a healing protocol that will target the underlying causes of the client’s pain.