Friday, August 17, 2012

Most Common Thyroid Disease: Especially For Women With Fibromyalgia

A majority of my fibro and CFS patient's complain of low thyroid symptoms. They relate that they, and sometimes even their doctors, suspected a thyroid problem only to have their blood work come back "normal". Most physician's won't recommend thyroid replacement therapy if the blood tests come back "normal". Most don't know or choose not to accept the well-documented studies that show a low body temperature is indicative of low thyroid function and perhaps true hypothyroidism. 

And most doctors don’t realize that blood tests for low or hypothyroidism is notoriously inaccurate.

Do you have a number of these symptoms, associated with hypothyroidism- fatigue, headaches, dry skin, swelling, weight gain, cold hands and feet, poor memory, brain fog, hair loss, hoarseness, nervousness, low sex drive, brittle nails, constipation, poor immune function, chronic sinus infections, high cholesterol, high or low blood pressure, anxiety, depression, joint and or muscle pain, and burning or tingling sensations in the hands or feet? Reads like the symptoms of fibromyalgia and or CFS doesn’t it?

Ok, how many symptoms did you have? Several I imagine. So if you have most of the symptoms associated with hypothyroidism, why doesn’t your blood test show that you in fact do have hypothyroidism? Good question.

One major reason is that most doctors don’t do the complete tests to uncover hypothyroidism, especially when it comes to those with fibromyalgia and or CFS.

You may have a common autoimmune disease known as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. It may be the most common thyroid disease, especially with women with fibromyalgia.

What is Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis - Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is an autoimmune thyroid disease where the immune system immune system aggressively attacks your thyroid gland-attempting to destroy your gland as if it’s some dangerous enemy. It can cause nodules or lumps in the thyroid. However most of the time there is no physical change in the appearance of your thyroid.

It typically starts out silently, slowly, but soon enough inflammation, low thyroid function and gradual destruction of your thyroid gland begins-symptoms like fatigue, weight gain, or other symptoms associated with low thyroid function, become common. Unfortunately typical blood tests (TSH, T4 blood levels) won’t uncover this disease! Symptoms from thyroiditis can go on for years and years. Doctors may continue to suspect from all your symptoms you have hypothyroidism but since your blood work always comes back “normal,” you must just be depressed or lazy or….here take an antidepressant.

Year after year your doctor treats the symptoms of the uncovered Hashimoto’s disease with drug after drug-antidepressants for your depression, cholesterol medicine, high blood pressure medicine, stimulant drugs for your fatigue…it goes on and on. Why not treat the CAUSE of this symptoms-the Hashimoto’s?

What are the symptoms of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis? Again for most, the symptoms are silent–at least in the early stages. But eventually, you start to notice the same symptoms of hypothyroid, including poor stamina, easy fatigue, feeling cold, gaining weight, dry hair and skin, constipation, etc.

There are special blood tests to uncover Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, which I routinely perform on ALL my patients-why would you want to miss such a valuable piece of information? If your fortunate enough to get a doctor who isn’t blindly following the herd, and does actually have some “smarts” and runs special thyroid tests to uncover Hashimoto’s, they’ll typically take a wait and see approach to a positive test.

This ridiculous! “Miss Jones you have the beginnings of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis but since we can’t treat it affectively with prescription drugs, or at least not until your thyroid has been destroyed from the Hashimoto’s disease.”

“Doctor, how will you know when my thyroid has been destroyed.”
“Your thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) level will finally be elevated and we will then be able to prescribe a synthetic thyroid hormone like Synthroid or Levothyroxine, which you’ll need to stay on for the rest of your life.

Allowing the attack to continue on your thyroid until your TSH is elevated is crazy-not only last for years, but cause all sorts of problems along the way of its destruction, including years and years of poor health. Instead, why not just stop the attack and all the consequences?

Why because traditional medicine doesn’t have a drug to stop the attack. Fortunately there natural over the counter remedies and protocols that will in fact stop the destruction and correct the altered thyroid function.

Listen if you have symptoms similar to the ones discussed above do yourself a favor find a doctor who’ll do more than order the typical run of the mill tests. You know what I’m talking about, the same tests your doctors runs every year and then reports your labs look great it is just your fibromyalgia that is the problem.

The real problem is you’ve got a doctor or doctors who are content to do the same tests, ask the same questions, and prescribe the same recommendations, and you get worse every year. WHAT YOU NEED is a detective, a health professional who based on his or her experience knows that the only way to reverse a complicated illness like fibromyalgia is to order the uncommon tests (no one with fibromyalgia is common), ask the questions not asked, and pursue every health clue until you are know the TRUE cause of the symptoms-then start treating the CAUSE not the symptoms.

If you suspect you have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or a low thyroid function and can’t get your doctor to help you then please consider taking the time to find a doctor who will listen to you and order the right tests.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have uncovered hundreds of missed Hashimoto’s thyroiditis cases and have helped spare these patients of years of misery. There are ways to correct Hashimoto’s thyroiditis short of letting your thyroid burn out and health become shattered.

I’ve helped thousands reverse their fibromyalgia and get their life back. Are you next?

Phone and in clinic new patient consults available 205-879-2383

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Magnesium is Essential for Fibromyalgia

Magnesium is one of the most important minerals in the body-especially for those with fibromyalgia.

It is responsible for proper enzyme activity and transmission of muscle and nerve impulses, and it aids in maintaining a proper pH balance. It helps metabolize carbohydrates, proteins, and fats into energy. Magnesium also helps synthesize the genetic material in cells and helps to remove toxic substances, such as aluminum and ammonia, from the body. Magnesium and calcium help keep the heart beating; magnesium relaxes the heart, and calcium activates it. A deficiency of magnesium, then, may increase the risk of heart disease.

Magnesium also plays a significant role in regulating the neurotransmitters.
A deficiency can cause muscle pain, joint pain, headache, fatigue, depression, leg cramps, high blood pressure, heart disease and arrhythmia, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, insomnia, hair loss, confusion, personality disorders, swollen gums, and loss of appetite. High intake of calcium may reduce magnesium absorption. Simple sugars and/or stress can deplete magnesium.

Magnesium is a natural sedative and can be used to treat muscle spasm, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and constipation. It is also a potent antidepressant. It helps with intermittent claudication, a condition caused by a restriction of blood flow to the legs. It’s effective in relieving some of the symptoms associated with PMS, and women suffering from PMS are usually deficient in it. New studies are validating what many nutrition-oriented physicians have known for years: a magnesium deficiency can trigger  migraine headaches. Magnesium also helps relax constricted bronchial
tubes associated with asthma. In fact, a combination of vitamin B6
and magnesium, along with avoidance of wheat and dairy products,
has cured many of my young asthmatic patients.

Unfortunately, dietary magnesium intake in this country is steadily declining. It has been consistently depleted in our soils and further depleted in plants by the use of potassium- and phosphorus containing fertilizers, which reduce a plant’s ability to uptake magnesium. Food processing also removes magnesium, while high-carbohydrate and high-fat diets increase the body’s need for it. Diuretic medications further deplete total body magnesium.
It is estimated that up to 80% of those with FMS/CFS are deficient in magnesium.

What are some risk factors for magnesium deficiency?

1) Excessive stress in your life whether from physical, emotional, or psychological stressors. Stressful conditions cause the body to use more magnesium and a lack of magnesium tends to make stress responses more severe. The hormones associated with stress, adrenaline and cortisol, were also associated with magnesium deficiency.

2) Eating or drinking highly sugary products including those with artificial sugar. Refined sugar has no magnesium and actually causes your body to excrete magnesium through the kidneys. In addition, these products also strip your body of many other highly essential nutrients and can leave you at risk for many health problems.

3) Drinking alcoholic beverages. Alcohol also increases kidney excretion of magnesium. Alcohol also tends to lower the efficiency of your digestive tract and lower Vitamin D levels, which can further lower magnesium levels. 

4) Drinking caffeinated beverages. Caffeine works similarly to refined sugar in that it causes the kidneys to excrete magnesium.

5) Taking diuretics, heart medications, asthma medication, birth control pills, or estrogen replacement therapy. These medications increase magnesium excretion through the kidneys and can lead to deficiency.

6) Drinking dark colored carbonated beverages. The phosphates contained in dark beverages bind with magnesium in the body to reduce your magnesium levels.

CFS/Fibromyalgia Formula

In the “old days,” when I used to own and oversee my medical practice we would have patients come into the clinic for high dose vitamin and mineral IV therapy. These IVs had large doses of magnesium, as well as other vitamins and minerals and patients usually felt tremendously better after receiving them each week. The IVs weren’t without fault-they were expensive, $75-$90 a treatment, required one and half hours to be administered and their results were short lived.

Realizing the shortcomings of these IVs, I set out to create a “pack” of easy to take high dose supplements that could be taken in a pill and capsule form. This is where my CFS/Fibromyalgia Formula was created.

The CFS/Fibro Formula is loaded with the high doses of the essential nutrients including all the vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, amino acids, malic acid, and extra magnesium (680mg).

The Amino acids are what make our brain chemicals. They help restore normal brain function, increase mental clarity, reduce depression, anxiety, and fatigue.  The Essential Fatty Acids reduce pain, inflammation, depression, anxiety, allow brain cells to communicate with one another, increase mental clarity, and boosts energy.  The Formula contains all the high dose vitamins and minerals based on The Optimal Daily Allowance according to Orthomolecular Medicine.

For anyone with fibromyalgia I recommend taking an Optimal Daily HIGH DOSE MULTIVITAMIN WITH minimum of 600mg of magnesium, preferably magnesium citrate or chelate (has best absorption, won’t irritate the stomach). You can also add magnesium in 150mg doses-take until loose bowel movement then reduce dose until have normal bowel movement (remember magnesium is a natural muscle relaxant and will relax the colon as well-great for IBS and constipation as well as stiff achy muscles.