Fibromyalgia is a form of generalized muscular pain and fatigue that affects approximately 2 to 4 percent of the US population, or as many as 6 to 12 million people. The name, Fibromyalgia, means pain in the muscles and the fibrous connective tissues (the ligaments and tendons). Fibromyalgia lacks standard laboratory abnormalities, your doctor can’t detect it in your blood or see it on an X-ray or an MRI. Symptoms sometimes begin after a physical trauma, surgery, infection, or significant psychological stress. In other cases, symptoms gradually accumulate over time with no single triggering event.
The conventional medical diagnosis depends mostly on a person’s report of complaints and feelings and their doctor's interpretation of symptoms. Pain is the most prominent symptom of Fibromyalgia, in fact, researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain processes pain signals in part due to imbalances in the central nervous system. It generally occurs throughout the body although it may start in one region, such as the neck and shoulders, and spread to other areas over a period of time.
Most people with Fibromyalgia experience moderate or severe fatigue with a lack of energy, decreased exercise endurance or the kind of exhaustion that resembles the flu or lack of sleep. Sometimes the fatigue is more of a problem that the pain. Headaches, especially muscular (tension headaches) and Migraine headaches, are common in Fibromyalgia. Abdominal pain, bloating, alternating constipation and diarrhea, bladder spasms and irritability may cause urinary urgency or frequent infections. Your skin and blood circulation can also be sensitive to temperature changes, resulting in temporary changes in skin color.
When the upper part of your brainstem called the Mesencephalon over fires or becomes hyperactive, strong nerve impulses go racing down the spinal cord, overstimulating pain fibers throughout the entire body. This is what causes the fibromyalgia pain pattern, as well as the other related symptoms mentioned above. But, what causes the brainstem to over fire? Although Fibromyalgia can’t be diagnosed through a simple laboratory test, our specialized Functional Labs have shown us that this disease has many common root causes. Problems ranging from systemic inflammation and neurological dysfunction in the brain and spinal cord to metabolic problems like hidden infections, nutritional deficiencies, food allergies, and toxicities related to our ever-increasing body burden are all major contributors.
Unfortunately, most who suffer from this condition are only offered pain medications and drugs that manipulate the chemicals of the brain and nerves that carry pain signals. The problem with this “solution” is that it does not address the root causes that lead to the development of this disorder. It will continue to progress and can lead to permanent changes in the way your body perceives pain resulting in ever-increasing sensitivity to stimuli and abnormal pain sensitivity. Which will likely also mean ever-increasing medications. This is why it is so important to take a functional medicine approach to Fibromyalgia.
Unlike conventional medicine, our Comprehensive Functional Programs look and address all the root causes of dysfunction and utilize brain-based therapy (if indicated) and metabolic treatments to "quiet" this overactive part of the brainstem, giving you the relief you desperately need. Also unlike conventional treatment plans, no pharmaceuticals are needed. No matter how long you've suffered or how severe it is, this program can uncover and resolve the root causes of your Fibromyalgia.
If this approach of treating the root causes of dysfunction and not the symptoms of Fibromyalgia makes sense to you, call (309) 222-8806 or use the contact form below to see if you are a good fit for one of our programs. I do not accept all cases, only those I truly believe I can help pinpoint the cause of your Fibromyalgia syndrome, correct it, and give you your life back!
After you submit our New Patient intake form, Dr. Duquette will call you to schedule a 45-minute consultation to review your case in detail. If you are a candidate for one of our functional medicine programs, he will then go over our intake process and scheduling options.
If you have any questions or need help with your Intake form, feel free to call us at (217) 249-4808.