Fibromyalgia is a syndrome rather than a disease, and affects up to 10 million American a year. My mother was finally diagnosed after years of frustrating and often mystifying misdiagnosis. Unlike a disease, which is a medical condition with a specific cause or causes and recognizable signs and symptoms, a syndrome is a collection of signs, symptoms, and medical problems that tend to occur together but are not related to a specific, identifiable cause.
Fibromyalgia is one of the most common chronic pain conditions. The disorder affects an estimated 3 to 6 percent of the world’s population. That’s a staggering stat. While it is most prevalent in women —75 to 90 percent of the people who have FM are women —it also occurs in men and children of all ethnic groups.
Bringing together the best natural and prescription therapies, Fibromyalgia expert Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum adds his recommendations for more natural lifestyle modifications. Author of “The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution” (amazon.com) has created a lifeline for anyone seeking compassionate, proven approaches for restoring wellness and regaining optimal energy and vitality. He says, “If you are tired, achy, brain fogged, gaining weight regardless of what you eat, and suffering from low libido, see your doctor and rule out this syndrome if you suffer from chronic pain and fatigue.”
Organic Spa Magazine (OSM): What is the scope of this tiredness problem?
Jacob Teitelbaum: Most adults find themselves wishing they had more energy. Beyond this, 31% of adults have severe chronic fatigue lasting over six months, and 2 to 4 percent suffer from the most extreme results of the human energy crisis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia.
OSM: An interesting term, this “human energy crisis.” Can you explain?
JT: Americans face an energy crisis that’s more important than gasoline. This is being triggered by first, horrible nutrition. With 150 pounds of sugar being added to each person’s diet in food processing each year, 18 percent of calories coming from white flour, plus the added fat, almost half of our food’s vitamins and minerals have been removed in food processing. This is why we are seeing malnutrition in obese people for the first time in human history.
OSM: Can you name other factors for low energy that might, in fact, be FM?
JT: Poor sleep is another factor. The average night’s sleep until 130 years ago when light bulbs were invented was 9 hours. We are now down to 6 ¾ hours a night, a 30 percent pay cut to our body’s rest and regeneration systems. Meanwhile, the iodine in our diet has decreased by 50 percent in the last 40 years, contributing to thyroid hormone deficiencies. These are a few of the causes.
OSM: How do you test for this highly subjective and confusing syndrome?
JT: Most physicians first round up the usual suspects, doing a blood count and chemistry to look for anemia, hepatitis, diabetes, and kidney failure, and then a TSH blood test to screen for low thyroid. These tests miss the vast majority of problems causing fatigue, but the physician will often say “the blood tests are normal, so you are okay.” Investigate further — do your homework if you are tired all the time.
Do you think excess fatigue might be Fibromyalgia?