Fibromyalgia--'Irritable Everything'


Fibromyalgia is a "catch-all" name for a combination of conditions, which include pain in multiple areas of the body as well as a wide variety of other symptoms such as chronic fatigue. The pain is in the softer tissues such as the muscles, tendons and ligaments. It consists of a burning or aching sensation that can change location and severity. The fatigue is different in each individual. Some experience mild fatigue, while others are completely exhausted.

The other symptoms of fibromyalgia are diverse in nature and affect many different and seemingly unrelated areas. They include sleep disturbances, intestinal disorders, muscle stiffness, headache, facial pain, abdominal discomfort, irritable bladder, altered sensations, cold hands and feet, skin conditions, chest pain, difficulty concentrating, poor memory, irritability, anxiety and eventually depression.

The diagnosis of Fibromyalgia usually comes about after years of unsuccessfully treating these symptoms with pain killers, muscle relaxants such as Flexeril and anti-depressant drugs such as Prozac or Elavil. Eventually, it must be labelled as something, hence Fibromyalgia. Since there isn't any official diagnostic criteria, routine lab tests or x-rays, diagnosis is made using the following criteria from the American College of Rheumatology (1990).

Chronic, widespread, musculoskeletal pain for longer than three months in all four quadrants of the body. Widespread pain means pain above and below the waist and on both sides of the body.
Absence of another systemic disease that could be the cause of the underlying pain such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus or thyroid problems.
Multiple tender points (or points of extreme tenderness) at characteristic locations. There are 18 tender points that doctors look for in making a Fibromyalgia diagnosis. According to the ACR requirements, a patient must have 11 of the 18 tender points to be considered as having Fibromyalgia. Approximately four kilograms of pressure (or about nine pounds) must be applied to a tender point, and the patient must indicate that the tender point locations are painful.
An article by Dr. Hugh A. Smyth MD. of No. 10/94 on Fibromyalgia states that the areas of pain can be traced back directly to the spine. The location of pain and of the different tender points is determined by patterns of referred pain associated with mechanical problems in the lower neck and back, which is what chiropractors are trained to correct.

I am a chiropractor who has been in practice for 25 years. During this time, there have been several thousands of people come through our doors with these types of symptom pictures. Some have the label of Fibromyalgia and many don't. Chiropractic treatment combined with the other alternative techniques has been achieving considerable success with these patients.

There are two conditions that must be present in order to manifest such a wide variety of symptoms as found in Fibromyalgia.

Multiple subluxations in the spine and/or misalignments of the bones in the skull.
A seriously compromised immune system resulting from a condition such as candida albicans, parasites, bacterial infections, hormonal imbalances, thyroid problems and free radical damage.
The combination of these two conditions directly results in the wide variety of symptoms attributed to Fibromyalgia and when neither of these causes is addressed, the condition continues to deteriorate. I would like to explain these two conditions and how they relate to all the aforementioned Fibromyalgia symptoms:

This is a side view of three lumbar vertebrae. Two are in proper position in relationship to one another, and the other is misaligned or subluxated. The size of the hole on the side between the vertebrae, where the nerves come out, is smaller where the vertebrae is misaligned. This compresses or pinches the nerve, interfering with the nerve messages being relayed from the organs and tissues to the brain. This interferes with the communication between the brain and organs causing malfunction, lowered resistance, and pain.

The size of the hole on the side between the vertebrae determines if there's any interference to the nerve impulses. These holes are called intervertebral foramina (IVF).

You'll notice in this photo that the IVF on the bottom is of normal size and one at the top is partially occluded. This occlusion occurs when the vertebrae become misaligned, causing the size of the hole to become considerably smaller.

These next diagrams are cross-sections of the nerves that come through the IVF. There are two bundles of nerves that exit through each IVF. One bundle controls the function of the organs and the other controls the action and pain sensitivity of the muscles and corrective tissues.

In the normal size foramina there is plenty of space for the nerves allowing for a normal range of motion without any interference to the nerves. The IVF at the top that is occluded (smaller than normal) compresses on the nerves interfering with function and-or producing pain. The smaller the IVF, the greater the malfunction and pain.

A subluxation produces pain. This pain can be classified in many different ways, or they can be called "tender points". The 18 tender points used in the diagnosis of Fibromyalgia can be related to subluxations in the different parts of the spine.

In the course of 25 years of practice and examining some 19,000 different patients, I have found that it is not uncommon to have patients with three or more areas of subluxation.

Compromised Immune System
This second condition that can lead to a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia is caused by candida, parasites, bacterial infection, hormonal imbalance or free radical damage.

1. Candida Albicans (Yeast, "Yuppie Flu")

A healthy person has a balance of yeast and bacteria in the intestines and in females, the vagina. This balance is upset by the overuse of such drugs as antibiotics, birth control pills, sulfur drugs, cortisone drugs, steroids, some street drugs, excessive alcohol intake, and a high sugar diet. For example, antibiotics that are taken for ear, tonsil or throat infections do not just go to that area but also kill off the good bacteria in the intestine and vagina. When this balance is disrupted, the remaining bacteria can no longer keep the yeast in check. The more antibiotics or combinations of drugs that are involved, the faster the yeast will grow. The yeast grows through the wall of the intestine and gets into the blood. The yeast then starts to eat up the blood sugar, which lowers the amount available to the host, resulting in less energy and fatigue. A lowered blood sugar level in the brain produces such symptoms as irritability, headaches, poor memory and a decreased ability to concentrate.

When yeasts digest the blood sugar, waste material passes back into the blood and these wastes must be neutralized by the immune system. The holes in the intestines through which the yeast has grown allow some fecal matter to leak through and get into the blood. This is a foreign and toxic substance in the blood that the immune system also has to handle. The immune system is therefore working overtime to combat these two types of toxins, leaving the host more susceptible to allergic reactions and infections. The areas of the body that are most affected by the yeast are those with a compromised nerve supply due to subluxations and therefore a decreased ability to function and resist infection.

2. Parasites are a common cause of many of the fibromyalgia symptoms. Since 80 percent of the population has parasites, they must be evaluated as a possible cause in Fibromyalgia. To be sure of the degree of their involvement a Darkfield Microscope analysis of the blood should be done.

Bacterial infections are also a contributing factor to the deterioration of the immune system. When the immune system is compromised, bacterial infections will flourish. A Darkfield Microscope analysis of the blood will also help to determine their presence.

Hormonal imbalance is another consideration. There are many hormones to be considered: H.G.H., I.G.F., thyroid, adrenal, progesteron, estrogen, D.H.E.A., and melatonin. Blood tests can be done to determine if these hormones are out of balance.

Free radical damage is becoming increasingly apparent as a contributing factor to many conditions.

Any of the above factors, or combination of them, can interfere with how the immune system functions. When immune dysfunction is combined with subluxations of the spine, a multitude of symptoms can appear.

Here is a brief review of the symptoms of Fibromyalgia and their related causes:

Widespread Pain: The pain of Fibromyalgia can be directly traced to subluxations of spine and skull producing referred pain and related tender points.
Chronic Fatigue: Can be directly attributed to Candida and some other factors that must be investigated as well, such as pituitary problems, cranial misalignments, thyroid malfunction, certain drugs, obesity, toxicity, allergies, stimulants such as caffeine and the presence of parasites.
Sleeping disturbances: Can be caused by yeast, cranial and spinal subluxations and hormone imbalances such as melatonin.
Stiffness: When a nerve is pinched it produces pain and muscle spasms in the corresponding muscle. When a muscle is constantly contracted, the natural byproduct of lactic acid is not able to be reabsorbed and therefore builds up. This produces muscle stiffness. Inactivity is another cause of stiffness. This is why exercise is a widely accepted treatment for Fibromyalgia.
Headaches and Facial Pains: Most headaches are caused by subluxation of the top two vertebrae in the neck, which may be combined with misaligned bones in the skull. Another common symptom of Fibromyalgia is TMJ (jaw) pain. TMJs also get misaligned and need adjusting.
Abdominal Discomfort: The abdominal bloating, diarrhea, constipation and irritable bowel syndrome are caused by a combination of lumbar subluxations (the nerve supply to the intestines) and yeast imbalance.
Irritable Bladder: This is caused by subluxation in the low back (nerve supply to the bladder) and yeast.
Paresthesia: Numbness and tingling in the hands and feet result from subluxations in the neck or lower back, which produce altered sensations along the course of the nerve.
Skin conditions: The function of the liver is to cleanse the blood and when it gets overloaded from high levels of toxicity, the next largest organ of elimination -- the skin -- is called upon to help. This results in the toxins being eliminated through the skin as rashes or pimples, often accompanied by itching.
Chest Pain: Upper chest pain can come from the cervical vertebrae C5.6. being subluxated. Subluxations of T1 and 2 can affect the heart. Also subluxated ribs can produce chest pain.
Cognitive Disorders: Misaligned bones in the skull can produce poor memory and decreased concentration. Combine this with a yeast infection and there will certainly be problems.
Depression: When a person has all these things wrong with them and, after two or three years of unsuccessful treatment is finally diagnosed as having Fibromyalgia and then told "there is no cure, you will have to learn to live with it", they tend to get a little depressed.
The Current Treatment:
Fibromyalgia sufferers learn there is "no specific medication" for them but there are drugs for the "relief" of some of their symptoms. The two most popular are Elavil, which is used as an anti-depressant and Flexeril, which is a muscle relaxant. Other pain killers and anti-inflammatory drugs like Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Tylenol as well as tranquilizers such as Valium and Ativan are commonly used. Research shows that patients who use this kind of treatment still have their condition 10 and 15 years later.

Other forms of treatment include hot and cold packs, behaviour modification, counselling, electrical stimulation, aerobics, massage, relaxation therapy, ultrasound, yoga and acupuncture. These therapies have proven to be effective.

Our treatment program is centered around finding the causes for the various symptoms and treating them accordingly with our 10 Step Program.

Spinal and cranial subluxations: These can be determined through examination and x-rays and corrected by chiropractic adjustments.
Parasites/Candida: An in-depth evaluation is done to determine if yeast or parasites are present. When detected, they are treated with a strict diet and a combination of herbs to eliminate them, clean the system and replenish the good bacteria. This can take as little as three weeks or last as long as six to nine months, depending on the severity.
Increase Immunity: As mentioned in the causes section, there are many contributing factors that adversely affect the immune system that must be detected and corrected. In Fibromyalgia the immune system has been severely compromised. General measures can be taken to improve its function. For example, large doses of Vitamin C, the addition of Echinacea and also Golden Seal to the protective nutrients and the use of garlic and other herbs are helpful. There are other products that we also use with our clients.
Exercise: It is agreed that this type of modality must be encouraged and continued.
Diet: A great deal of emphasis must be put in this area. To decrease the level of toxins ingested, increase the nutritional content, decrease unhealthy types of fat intake, establish a balance of 40 percent carbohydrates, 30 percent good fat, 30 percent protein, increase fruits and vegetables, decrease night shade vegetables when necessary, while encouraging the patient to have a much higher ratio of alkaline foods. Eating according to your blood type is essential to a full recovery.
Cleansings: Once the immune system is functioning better, then the intestines are cleansed and the liver and blood detoxified. These can all be done with herbal combinations and special diets.
Protective Nutrients: There are many nutrients that must be supplemented to help with the various areas of the body that are deficient. Supplementation is no longer a luxury; it has become a necessity for everyone who wishes to stay healthy. Recommendations vary depending on deficiencies, but include:
Vitamin E to increase the body's ability to carry oxygen to blood and muscles for cramping and fatigue.
Calcium and magnesium for pain, muscle spasms and cramping. This will also help with anxiety.
Anti-oxidants and free radical quenchers: These help reduce the effects of toxins and free radicals that are damaging cells. There is a free radical quencher called Microhydrin that is 2,000 times more powerful than pychnogenol.
Stress: Our approach to stress is one of taking more responsibility for one's condition in life. This involves doing whatever it takes to educate a personf about their condition and taking the action necessary to make the lifestyle changes essential to reverse their unhealthy condition. There are also supplements that help with the affects of stress, such as Oil of Evening Primrose, or Borage Oil.
Mercury and environmental sensitivities: These should be evaluated and acted upon accordingly.
Massage and lymphatic drainage: Massage is helpful in treating stiff and sore muscles.
Most Fibromyalgia Sufferers can be successfully treated by correcting their subluxations, reversing the yeast imbalance, maximizing the function of the immune system, cleansing the body systems, exercising, gaining a thorough knowledge of diet and taking protective nutrients.

When the backaches, the neck pains, and the headaches start to appear, see a chiropractor to have this corrected. The tender points are caused by subluxations.

If the signs of yeast start to appear after the use of antibiotics, birth control pills etc., seek out a holistic practitioner who can help you with this.

Everyone needs to educate themselves about nutrition and cleansing processes. The health food stores can be your source for this.

Also, everyone needs to be taking protective nutrients to guard against the harmful effects of our environment and the foods most people consume.

Fibromyalgia can be treated successfully. It requires coordination of the 10 Step System.

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Barrie ON L4N 5J4
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104-269 Main St. W.
North Bay ON P1B 2T8
(705) 497-9355

By Dr. Roger Turner, D.C.

Dr. Roger L Turner has been a practicing chiropractor since 1974. He originally concentrated on the treatment of Asthma and Allergies. Then he wrote his first book on exercise called "Body Culture", which attracted new clients with training problems and sports related injuries. He has also extensively studied nutrition and supplementation, and the correction of Learning Disabilities, A.D.D., Autism, and Downs Syndrome with a special cranial adjusting technique, which is practiced by only two other chiropractors in Canada. He also treats head injuries. His current are of involvement is the correction of Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue. He is just completing a new book on the subject entitled "Irritable Everything -- Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Can be Corrected."

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