3--Unusual infections. Many studies have shown immune system dysfunction in FMS/CFS. Although there are many causes of this, I suspect that poor sleep is a major contributor. The immune dysfunction can result in many unusual infections. These include viral infections (e.g. –HHV-6, CMV, and EBV), parasites and other bowel infections, infections sensitive to long-term treatment with the antibiotics Cipro and Doxycycline (e.g. mycoplasma, chlamydia, Lyme’s, etc) and fungal infections. Although the latter is controversial, both our study and another recent placebo-controlled study found treating with an antifungal to be very helpful with the symptoms seen in these syndromes. Avoiding sweets (stevia is OK) and taking Acidophilus Pearls (healthy milk bacteria –2 pearls twice a day for 5 months) can be very helpful. We often also add prescription antifungals as well.
4--Nutritional supplementation. Because the western diet has been highly processed, nutritional deficiencies are a common problem. In addition, bowel infections can cause poor absorption, and the illness itself can cause increased nutritional needs. The most important nutrients include: a) vitamins -- especially the B vitamins (most at 25-50 mg/day), vitamin B12 (50-3000mcg/day), antioxidants (e.g. -- vitamin C and E). b) Minerals -- especially magnesium, zinc, and selenium and c) amino acids (proteins). To replace the 25 - 35 tablets that people needed to take, I developed a good tasting product that contains 50 key nutrients in 1 capsule and 1 scoop of a good tasting powder taken daily. It is called “ Energy Revitalization System” by Enzymatic Therapy, and is available at health food stores or on my web site.
There are many other treatments available as well. Although space does not allow for a full discussion of these in this article, I discuss them at length in my book "From Fatigued to Fantastic!" and at my www.Vitality101.com website (click on the "Treatment Protocol" link on the bottom left for detailed instructions on treatments for each of these problems).
So can I make my pain go away?
Fibromyalgia and Myofascial Pain and associated nerve entrapments are now very responsive to treatment! In many cases, they usually will improve dramatically and often even go away if you simply get the eight hours of sleep a night I discuss above, take the vitamin powder, take thyroid hormone, and treat the underlying yeast infections. Other patients require the more thorough evaluation and treatment. Localized myofascial pain also requires an evaluation for structural causes.
Aspirin family medications (including ibuprofen) are not very effective for most Fibromyalgia and Myofascial Pain patients. I avoid Tylenol because it can markedly deplete a critical antioxidant (glutathione). Helpful natural treatments include the “End Pain” formula, an herbal remedy that includes Boswellia, Willow bark, and cherry. This combination can be more effective than Celebrex and Motrin and are much safer. I recommend 1-4 tablets three times a day. Although some effect can be seen immediately, improvement continues to build over six months. At that time, the dose can be lowered . The medications I find to be most helpful for myofascial pain include Celebrex (celecoxib) and Skelaxin (which are not sedating) and Neurontin, Baclofen, Zanaflex, and Ultram which can be sedating. Lidocaine patches and creams creating a mixture of medications can also be highly effective for local areas of pain without significant side effects. There are many other medications and other effective ways to treat pain as well. These can be used to help keep you comfortable while we go after the pain’s underlying causes.