9 Tips for Drug-Free Care of Fibromyalgia from Dr. J G Moellendorf, DC, ND, LCP

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Fibromyalgia is a very common cause of chronic pain and fatigue. Dr. J G Moellendorf, DC, ND, LCP examines recent findings and offers several tips for various natural alternatives to medications and their side effects.

The primary complaint in fibromyalgia is “widespread musculoskeletal pain”. This is the primary focus of Chiropractic—to restore movement in restricted spinal joints, resulting in improved nerve function, improved muscular function, and pain reduction.

Fibromyalgia is one of the most common causes of chronic pain and fatigue according to Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin Chiropractor Dr. J G Moellendorf, DC, ND, LCP. The most common symptoms are widespread musculoskeletal pain, sleep disturbances, unremitting fatigue, and mood disorders. Other frequent symptoms are stiffness, pain after exertion, headaches, dizziness, numbness, cognitive disturbances (fibro-fog), fluid retention, overactive bladder, irritable bowel syndrome, and restless leg syndrome. Less often are symptoms of hypothyroidism, anxiety, depression, and inflammatory arthritic diseases.

Victims of fibromyalgia go from one doctor to another hoping for a cure. Unfortunately, there is no accurate test for fibromyalgia. Its diagnosis is made when no other specific cause can be found. Their doctors attempt to treat their symptoms with anti-inflammatory medications, analgesics, corticosteroids, sleep aids, anticonvulsants, and even opiates. Sadly, most patients are repeatedly disappointed to find that very few treatments work, and often they cannot tolerate the side effects of their medications.

Tests have shown that individuals with fibromyalgia have low levels of the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, making them more sensitive to pain. There is also commonly an excess of glutamate and substance P, causing increased sensitivity to pain. Overwhelming stress, along with chemical imbalances in the hormone and brain systems, leads to the symptoms of fibromyalgia. To be treated successfully, the whole package must be addressed. The doctor will look to alleviate the patient’s pain, restore normal sleep, and improve his or her physical function.

Following are 9 tips from Dr. J G Moellendorf, DC, ND, LCP, in the natural, drug-free treatment of fibromyalgia.

1)    Select a Chiropractor familiar with treating fibromyalgia to be your natural health care coordinator. The primary complaint in fibromyalgia is “widespread musculoskeletal pain.” This is the primary focus of Chiropractic—to restore movement in restricted spinal joints, resulting in improved nerve function, improved muscular function, and the reduction of pain.
2)    Your Chiropractor can teach you how to safely do home-based exercises to include stretching, core stabilizing and strengthening, along with balance training and aerobic exercise. Strength training with low weight and high repetition should be started slowly with just a few minutes of gentle exercise, gradually building up. Light aerobic exercise should include walking and water exercises.
3)    Massage is very beneficial in relieving tight muscles and producing overall relaxation. Other useful therapies could include electrical muscle stimulation, ultrasound, pulsed magnetic stimulation, and trigger point therapy.
4)    Since restful sleep is often an issue, supplementation with 5-hydroxy tryptophan (5-HTP) is often beneficial for increasing the serotonin levels in the brain. This should usually be taken about 30 minutes before bedtime, but on rare occasions, it is better taken on rising in the morning.
5)    An anti-inflammatory diet is vital. A quality omega-3 fatty acid supplement (anti-inflammatory) is needed to balance out the excess omega-6 fatty acids (highly inflammatory) in the typical diet. A low fat/high protein diet also helps regulate blood sugars and reduce inflammation. Refined carbohydrates such as white flour and sugar should be avoided. Over 40% of Americans are gluten sensitive, so they should avoid wheat, barley, and rye (oats are often cross-contaminated with wheat, look for gluten-free certified). While fruits and vegetables should be increased, avoid the nightshade family (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and egg plant) which can cause a flare-up of symptoms.
6)    A quality multiple vitamin/mineral supplement should be taken, along with magnesium and calcium to reduce muscle spasms, extra vitamin D, and CoQ10 as an anti-oxidant. Malic acid is also often beneficial for improved liver and gall bladder function.
7)    Monosodium glutamate (MSG) should be avoided because of brain excitation and increased pain sensitivity. One study demonstrated that the avoidance of aspartame (an artificial sweetener) showed a complete resolution of fibromyalgia symptoms.
8)    Low level laser therapy (cold laser) has been showing benefits in increasing healing by upregulating the function of the mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cells. This in turn gives more energy to deal with the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
9)    Be sure to drink enough water. A rule of thumb is 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight. Water is needed to flush excess toxins from the body.

With the above suggestions for natural health care, reliance on powerful medications with their many side effects can be reduced, and hopefully eliminated.

More information about fibromyalgia and natural alternatives for care can be found at http://drjgmoellendorfblog.com/category/fibromyalgia . More information about Dr. J G Moellendorf’s natural health care services can be found at http://www.All-About-Wellness.com .

About: Dr. J G Moellendorf, DC, ND, LCP

Dr. J G Moellendorf, DC, ND, LCP attended the University of Wisconsin—Superior where he majored in Physics and Mathematics, with a minor in art photography. While attending the University of Minnesota—Minneapolis, he assisted in research on ribosomal proteins. Completing his Chiropractic studies at Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa, he graduated Cum Laude (with high honors) in 1983. He started Moellendorf Chiropractic Office, Ltd. in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin in 1983. In 1996, Dr. Moellendorf was awarded his Doctorate in Naturopathy from Trinity School of Natural Health. In 2001, he received Chiropractic’s most prestigious award, the honorary Legion of Chiropractic Philosophers degree, for his thesis “The Workings of Innate Intelligence in Obsessive/Compulsive and Addictive Behaviors.” This paper was chosen for publishing in the book Philosophic Contemplations vol. 2 in 2002. Dr. Moellendorf can be contacted by phone (920) 493-2126, fax (920) 743-1145, email jgmoellendorf(at)itol(dot)com, his website at http://www.All-About-Wellness.com, or send a carrier pigeon to 44.84722N and 87.36416W.

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