Dr. Chris Heimlich DC, Founder of the Arizona Fibromyalgia Institute Comments:
One of the questions I seem to always get asked is “What caused my Fibromyalgia”. Honestly, it is no single cause for Fibromyalgia. Although we know through research that it is a neurological problem, there are many factors that contribute to it. For most doctors it is a diagnosis given when they feel they have run out of options. It is really it is a syndrome, or a name that describes a group of symptoms. Now before I go any further I don’t mean to imply the pain, fatigue, insomnia, or other symptoms are not real, not at all.
My position on this has always been… “there is something definitely wrong, and if we look hard enough, at the right things, we can create a phenomenal outcome for fibromyalgia patients.” I want to share a story of one of our patients that flew in to see us. Her daughter, who was suffering with Fibromyalgia as well, had told her she needed to come see us.
She was looking for real answers, not just more pills. I don’t mean to demean or put down any patient who must take medications to create some resemblance of normalcy, but they DO create long term side effects, and they NEVER address the source of the problem. Anything that is going to make things more bearable in the short term, are often necessary. You have to get through the day. Certainly though, just getting through the day can’t be the long term goal.
So let me tell you about a particular patient I have had the pleasure of beginning to work with. At the onset, after reviewing a lengthy case history, we decided that there was very likely a number of metabolic underpinnings that lied at the root of her pain and other symptoms. So we agreed to run some laboratory tests that would give us great information about her condition in addition to our findings on her neurological evaluation.
So what did we find? Well we had several significant findings on her blood test, stool test, and exam. Now I don’t arbitrarily order these tests. In this case the history necessitated that THESE tests be ordered. There were definitely many things that were wrong with her body, that were specific, and that led us to very specific action steps to change her life in a profound way.
After reviewing the results, she actually was a little angry, not at me, but angry at the medical system that had pushed pills and band-aids on her, and never really worked hard for her. When you deal with something for 30 years, and never really get the answer you are looking for, you can become a bit jaded.
We were fortunate enough to be able to help her get her life back. What she called a “normal life”. I am happy to say that we were also able to help her daughter rid herself of Fibromyalgia as well. Although have not seen her in over 2 years, she still sends me emails during the holidays (as well as a few funny ones in between) to let me know she is doing great.