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Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Treatments in Vancouver Are Helping People Get Their Lives Back

If you are experiencing pain in multiple areas of your body coupled with exhaustion that is not going away, then you may have fibromyalgia and/or chronic fatigue syndrome.  If you have already been diagnosed with fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome then you know the debilitating pain and exhaustion that has taken over your life all too well.  Our naturopathic program addresses the whole body, treats the root cause of your symptoms, and will help you take back your life.

Just because we have mentioned fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue together does not mean that they are always experienced together.  Many people have chronic fatigue syndrome without the pain of fibromyalgia and many people have fibromyalgia without the fatigue of chronic fatigue syndrome.  We lump them together in this page because we often see them together and one often can lead to the other.

Some people do not believe that Chronic Fatigue Sydrome accurately depicts the condition and prefer other names; Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS) or Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) or Post-Viral Fatigue Syndrome (PVFS).  For this page we will use Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

My story

My experience with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome started by having a family member suffer from fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.  After experiencing the state the family member was in with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue and then watching this family member find a way to reverse these naturally, I want everyone to experience the amazing difference that can happen.

Unique natural program for fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue symdrome

Every person with Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue will have their own unique set of circumstances that have caused their symtoms.  Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, encouraged us to treat the person and not the disease.  So with that in mind we design a treatment approach that is unique for each person.  

We usually start building your unique program from understanding your history, getting a good physical understanding of where your body is currently, and then doing some testing.

Testing to understand what is causing the pain and fatigue in your body

We start our testing by our initial assessment where we spend one hour with you to understand all the symptoms you are experiencing and get a good assessment of all the factors that may have led to your experience.  Based on previous testing you may have recieved we decide what will be the best tools to further assess for the root cause of your condition.  We are more than happy to work with your General Practitioner or Specialist to get the appropriate diagnostic tests.  If you do not have access to the basic tests recommended for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome then we can run them through our office.  We also offer additional tests when the basic tests have not shown a conclusive path to follow.

Basic Blood Testing in CFS:

Blood and Immune 

  • CBC with diff. to rule out anemias, leukemias, hemoglobinopathies, blood loss, infection
  • Electrolytes to assess pituitary or other metabolic irregularities
  • Calcium to rule out parathyroid dysfunction, malignancy with bone metastases, inadequate intake or absorption problems, renal tubular disease)
  • Phosphate to rule out parathyroid dysfunction)
  • Fasting Blood Glucose to rule out diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance
  • C-Reactive Protein and/or ESR to rule out inflammatory conditions
  • ANA and Rheumatoid Factor to rule out more autoimmune conditions

Kidney Function

  • Urinalysis to rule out infection, diabetes, nephropathy
  • Urea, creatinine, eGFR to rule out renal disease i.e. Kidney function

Liver Function

  •  ALT, AST to rule out liver disease or destruction, viral illnesses, toxicity
  •  ALP to rule out cancers, liver disease, bone pathologyVirology

Nutrition

  • Ferritin to assess iron stores and rule out anemias and hemochromatosis 
  • B12 and serum folate are low in people with poor absorption through the digestive tract as well as in some vegans
  • Vitamin D, 25 hydroxy has shown low in people with pain and fatigue in northern latitudes

Hormones

  • Thyroid Panel- TSH, fT3, fT4, anti-TPO to rule out clinical and sub-clinical hypothyroidism and autoimmune thyroid dysfunction

Pancreatic Function

  • Amylase and Lipase to rule out pancreatic dysfunction

Virology

  • Virology studies: Hep A, B, C, CMV, EBV, HSV6

Mycoplasma

Additional work up if the above is not conclusive:

  • Adrenal Stress Index
  • Metametrix metabolic tests - Comprehensive Detox Profile
  • Heavy metals
  • Metametrix GI Profile
  • Further blood work
  • Food Allergy Testing or Food Sensitivity Testing to discover the appropriate Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Diet for you or Fibromyalgia Diet

Keys to getting over fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome naturally

Our programs are designed for you based on treatments that have provided relief from fibromyaliga and chronic fatigue for many of the clients we have seen in our vancouver clinic but ultimately the program will be uniquely tailored for you.

First, we help stabilize the pain cycle and sleep disturbances that keep the body in a survival mode and out of repair mode.

Second, we optimize nutrient absorption and the gut brain imbalance.

Third, we assess and balance any infectious process in the body (viral, bacterial, parasite, yeast or fungus).

Fourth, we assess and balance the hormonal system and cellular metabolism (adrenal glands, thyroid gland, blood sugar irregularities and mitochondria are major players in this).

Fifth, we assess for systemic toxicity.  This may be in the form of testing for heavy metals (known neurotoxins) or in assessing optimal liver detoxification pathways.

Sixth, we support organs of elimination. (Liver, Kidneys, Lungs, Skin, Bowels)

Seventh, once you are stabilized we create a way of living that sustains health and protects you from fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue.

Our programs will be based on these pillars but designed specifically for your situation and needs.

Experience in reversing Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

We have had patients who have had remarkable success from our unique treatments for Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in Vancouver as well as around the world. By addressing an underlying toxic load and acidity as well as reversing the severe burnout of the adrenal glands, thyroid gland, and the mitochondria (our energy batteries), while cleaning up the toxic load in the system and releasing nerve entrapments in the muscles, we see impressive improvements in both of these conditions.

In treating patients in our clinic in Vancouver with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome we often see multiple initiating irritants. The initiating irritants are often of viral etiology but we often see bacterial, parasitic, fungal or yeast infections with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  Also noted as initiating triggers in some people are periods of extended high stress or stressful events (physical or emotional) as well as digestive disturbances.

An example of a viral initiating irritant is EBV, CMV, or Herpes.  Mononucleosis from EBV is one of the most common viral infections associated with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.  Although mono is the most commonly associated virus we see, there are many cases of post viral complications that lead to fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue.

Another area that is also a major contributing factor to Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia is exposure to one of the above irritants during times of high stress.

Another area to mention especially in fibromyalgia is nerve entrapment.  Usually set off from muscles that have become stuck in an overtightened state.  When muscles overtighten they pinch off optimal firing of certain nerve pathways and lead to hypersensitivity in the area of entrapment or the area that nerve would have innervated.  The tightening can be from injuries that left scar tissue or adhesions, injuries that leave muscles in a spasmodic state, systemic acidity from food allergies or sensitivities or from eating under stress, improper body mechanics, etc...  Properly adressing the muscles and other structural imbalances relieves the nerve entrapment and changes the sensations of pain.

Pain relief and energy in 2 months

In discovering the causes of symptoms in your body and addressing these specific causes we see improvement within two months in the majority of cases we treat.  In some situations where the body has been totally depleted it may take longer but we fully believe in the innate ability of the body to heal once the irritants are removed.

Energize and experience pain free movement

Our approach is to listen to the body and see what it needs, then support the body based on these needs until we can build it back up.  In order for the body to repair, and while it is repairing, we use techniques that give quick effective pain relief to get you in pain free movement.

What is fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic condition with characteristics of intense pain, stiffness, and tenderness of the muscles, tendons, and joints. There is musculoskeletal tenderness and extreme sensitivity to any sensory stimulation and unusually low pain thresholds. Fibromyalgia can sometimes begin after serious traumas, surgeries, infections, or after significant psychological stress has occurred. Symptoms can also become aggravated by noise, weather and emotional stress.

What does fibromyalgia feel like?

Pain is felt equally, on both sides of the body as well as above and below the waist. Acute pain typically occurs in the neck, buttocks, shoulders, arms, the upper back, and the chest. Fibromyalgia is coupled with exhaustion, which occurs in 90 percent of cases. Feelings of stiffness and unrefreshed sleep are common in the morning and believed to be caused by a lack of deep restorative sleep.

Commonly associated symptoms of fibromyalgia

Commonly associated symptoms include anxiety, cognitive and memory problems, depression, and IBS. In addition, some people with fibromyalgia have painful menstrual cramps, vision problems, nausea, dizziness, weight gain, chronic headaches, muscle twitches and feelings of weakness.

The experience of individuals with Fibromyalgia varies widely. Some patients experience few symptoms while others suffer many symptoms. The degree of pain suffered by patients can be reported as mildly annoying to highly debilitating. However, almost all people suffering from Fibromyalgia experience limited physical activity.

What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) / Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) / Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS) / Post-Viral Fatigue Syndrome (PVFS)?

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is identified by severe and long-term tiredness with debilitating effects that cannot be explained by other medical causes. Chronic fatigue strongly differs from drowsiness since individuals not only feel lethargic but also suffer from a severe lack of energy and motivation. Fatigue is a normal response to lack of sleep.

How do I know if I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is diagnosed when fatigue does not diminish after proper sleep, nutrition, and low stress environments are maintained, as well as the condition persisting for more than six months. Individuals at risk for chronic fatigue are between the ages of 30-50 and women are believed to be at higher risk, however anyone can develop CFS.

Four or more of the following symptoms, that last six months or longer and are not explained by another medical condition, are what doctors are looking for to diagnose Chronic Fatigue Syndrome:

  • Impaired memory or concentration
  • Post-exertional malaise, where physical or mental exertions bring on "extreme, prolonged exhaustion and sickness"
  • Unrefreshing sleep
  • Muscle pain (myalgia)
  • Pain in multiple joints (arthralgia)
  • Headaches of a new kind or greater severity
  • Sore throat, frequent or recurring
  • Tender lymph nodes (cervical or axillary)

What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome like?

Symptoms experienced by individuals with chronic fatigue are similar to flu or viral infection symptoms such as muscle aches, headaches, and extreme fatigue that often prevent normal daily activities.

Other commonly associated symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome include:

  • Extreme recovery periods following vigorous but routine activities,
  • Forgetfulness, difficulty with concentration, confusion, brian fog, irritability
  • Joint pain without swelling
  • Tender lymph nodes
  • Sore throats
  • Irritable bowel
  • Abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea or bloating 
  • Chills and night sweats
  • Chest pain, Shortness of breath, Chronic cough
  • Visual disturbances (blurring, sensitivity to light, eye pain or dry eyes)
  • Allergies or sensitivities to foods, alcohol, odors, chemicals, medications or noise
  • Difficulty maintaining upright position (orthostatic instability, irregular heartbeat, dizziness, balance problems or fainting)
  • Psychological problems (depression, irritability, mood swings, anxiety, panic attacks)

I have symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, what should I do?

If you are experiencing symptoms resembling those of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome then please consult with us or your physician to rule out other health conditions.  The following is a list of some of the conditions that mimic CFS:

  • sleep disorders
  • hypothyroidism
  • mononucleosis (mono) 
  • diabetes
  • lupus, multiple sclerosis (MS) 
  • lyme disease
  • chronic hepatitis
  • various malignancies 
  • Medications can also cause side effects that mimic symptoms of CFS
  • depression
  • alcohol/substance abuse

Experience the difference experts can make

The doctors at Springs Eternal Natural Health Clinic  in Vancouver are experts in natural medicine and have been helping people like you for over ten years.  They have studied treatments for fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome from around the world.  Our Naturopathic doctors have combined the best of all medicines to be able to give you the most comprehensive program for fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.  Come experience the difference our doctors can help you make.