Do you ache all over at times? Does fatigue haunt you? Are you noticing other health issues: digestive problems, mood swings and brain fog? Are you wondering if you have fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, a thyroid problem or possibly all three? Tired of taking drugs for your Fibro with all their side effects? Confused because you have been told your thyroid is fine but all your symptoms point to hypothyroidism? Are you on thyroid medication but still feeling hypothyroid? If you answered yes to any of these questions it is vital that you read further and attend one of my up coming seminars.
However you label it Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (FMS/CFS) is caused by the loss of cellular energy. This loss of cell vitality takes place throughout the body especially in energy demanding tissues such as muscles, the digestive tract and the brain. This loss of cell vitality leads to pain and disability, plus research now shows rates of earlier death from preventable chronic diseases.
The wide variety of symptoms with FMS/CFS gives witness to the fact that throughout the body and brain there is not enough energy to properly run and keep these tissues in good repair. This ‘gumming-up’ of your energy production (e.g. muscle, nerve, skin) primarily involves systemic inflammation and oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is when free radicals’ from poor diet and chemical exposure buildup in tissues and cause damage to cells, turning on inflammation. In virtually every patient I treat with chronic pain and fatigue, I find the indicators of oxidative stress and chronic inflammation elevated. Drugs prescribed for fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome such as Lyrica and Cymbalta cover up the symptoms but do nothing to treat these underlying metabolic and nutritional problems causing the damage.
There is hope, and it can be conquered. I have personally witnessed this thousands of times, even with my own daughter! With unique functional laboratory tests now available the nutritional needs and metabolic dysfunction in individuals with FMS/CFS can be determined and treated. A doctor must be trained in utilizing and properly interpreting these biomarkers to make them useful to the patient's recovery.
What about hypothyroidism? It is becoming more known and understood that when diagnosing hypothyroidism just measuring a TSH and possibly a T4 level only catches about 17% hypothyroid patients. To properly diagnose your thyroid at least eight different thyroid tests: TSH, Total T4, free T4, Total T-3, Free T3, Reverse T-3 and Thyroid Antibodies should be tested. This will also determine if you have central hypothyroidism, peripheral hypothyroidism, under conversion hypothyroidism and Reverse T-3 syndrome. A very common problem is the inability to convert your T4 into the active T-3. This can even happen when an abnormal T4 level is being treated with Synthroid or levothyroxine as many individuals do not adequately convert Synthroid or levothyroxine to the active T-3, thus leaving them still feeling hypothyroid symptoms even while on medication. Again, this can be fixed by addressing and correcting the underlying nutritional and metabolic issues.
Then there is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, the cause of 90% of hypothyroidism. Hashimoto’s is triggered when antibodies from your immune system attack your thyroid decreasing the thyroid’s hormone output causing hypothyroid symptoms. It frequently goes undiagnosed because proper thyroid antibody tests are not run. Additionally, even when diagnosed very few doctors know how to stop the immune system from killing off your thyroid. It is important to know that antibodies in Hashimoto's are commonly activated by food allergies, toxic chemicals and metals, chronic bacterial or virus infections that trigger the autoimmune response. To properly treat Hashimoto's disease these autoimmune triggers (see more information on autoimmune disorders) must be identified and removed by a doctor knowledgeable in functional medicine.
About Dr. Greg Fors
Dr. Greg Fors, D.C. is a Board-certified Neurologist (IBCN), certified in Applied Herbal Sciences (NWHSU) and acupuncture. As the clinic director of the Pain and Brain Healing Center in Blaine Minnesota he specializes in a functional medicine approach to fibromyalgia, fatigue, brain fog, digestive disorders, depression and anxiety. He is a sought after international lecturer for various post-graduate departments and state associations. Dr. Fors is the author of the highly acclaimed book, “Why We Hurt” available through booksellers everywhere.