Fibromyalgia Syndrome – “Doctor, I hurt all over!”
Fibromyalgia is not a disease; it’s a “syndrome” which means that is just a collection of symptoms. The problem is that there may be many different causes of the same symptoms so it is very difficult to diagnose and treat, but when the cause of the fibromyalgia symptoms is known, then the treatment can be very effective.
Marilyn is in her 50’s, an interior decorator and very active in her community. Over a year before she came to see me, she suddenly “got sick.” She had been to many doctors trying to get her health back. She was in pain all the time and felt such a profound fatigue that she could no longer function in any of her activities. Her hormone, liver, kidney, and metabolic tests were all normal so her doctors told her it was all in her head. However, when we did further testing she was found to have a significant amount of mercury and lead on a provoked urine test. She started a chelation protocol and gradually improved. Though her heavy metal tests are now normal, she is still not. However, she is on no medications and is able to continue most of her activities.
In this case, a fibromyalgia cause was found. Heavy metals can prevent the production of energy in cells to create the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Nerve cells are especially sensitive. Moreover, it has been found that certain combinations of heavy metals, like mercury and lead, may have ten times the effects of either one alone. The symptoms don’t all resolve immediately upon removing the metals because damage has been done that need to be repaired, which can take years in the nervous system.
There are many other potential causes of fibromyalgia syndrome besides heavy metals. This is by no means a complete list, only a sampling of possibilities: