12 May Diagnosed with Fibromyalgia? You Have Been Misled.
Diagnosed with Fibromyalgia? You Have Been Misled.
Paul A. Goldberg, MPH,DC,DACBN,DCBCN
The Goldberg Tener Clinic
Chronic Disease Reversal
Fibromyalgia is a misguided “diagnosis” used by the Medical Profession that has resulted in needless confusion and ongoing chronic illness and suffering for those labeled and treated with it.
Patients with “Fibromyalgia” have chronic problems that can be resolved by addressing the causes of their poor health rather than treating the manifestations of their symptoms as is seen in the practice of conventional and alternative medicine. Our successful work since 1976 with patients diagnosed with “Fibromyalgia” has taught us that once the symptoms of “Fibromyalgia” are understood and addressed, a return to good health almost invariably follows.
Another Medical Diagnosis Created; Another Obstacle to Health
The number of people complaining of generalized discomforts of muscle pain, aching and loss of vitality increased significantly beginning in the 1970’s. Failing to have a title to hang on these problems, physicians created a term to describe this syndrome. Thus, the term Fibromyalgia was born coming about as a “diagnosis of exclusion” meaning if no other title fit the patient’s circumstances it was convenient to apply the term Fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia is rightly referred to as a “Wastebasket or Garbage Can Diagnosis”. Patients with symptoms referred to as Fibromyalgia certainly have discomforts. The title, however, is employed as a matter of convenience to satisfy the patient that something has been determined and treatments applied yet without restoring the patient’s health.
Fibromyalgia is a medical diagnosis associated with chronic pain. In the past, these types of symptoms would have been referred to as muscular rheumatism. Trigger points of discomfort were postulated as part of the “diagnosis” in 1972 and by the mid 1980’s serotonergic drugs to “treat” the symptoms began to be employed.
The diagnosis of “Fibromyalgia” has become common. We have witnessed a plethora of physicians proclaiming themselves to be “Fibromyalgia Specialists” or “Fibromyalgia Doctors.” It is not uncommon to see a doctor establishing his or her own Fibromyalgia Treatment Center. What are they Specialists in? Specialists in treating the symptoms of a disease of exclusion, a garbage can diagnosis?
As more people are handed this “diagnosis”, entrepreneurial physicians have taken advantage of the expanding marketplace of “Fibromyalgia Patients”. While these Fibromyalgia Doctors and Fibromyalgia Specialists talk about their treatments (pharmaceuticals with side effects and potions, pills and therapies from the Alternative Medical Crowd), they do not talk about actually reversing Fibromyalgia.
The Common Threads of Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Each patient I have worked with labeled with this “disease” has been different. They had different causal factors behind their illness and required different health building steps to restore them to good health. Most can recover with a Bio-Hygienic Re-Creation Program™ as the case study below from our clinic exemplifies. Additional details about Wendy’s case can be seen here: Fibromyalgia, Psoriatic Arthritis and Irritable Bowel Syndrome Reversed!
There are some traits that many diagnosed with Fibromyalgia possess. Most are in poor health. They are run down and not just suffering with muscular discomforts. Most suffer with chronic fatigue in addition to muscular pains.
Indeed, more than half of all patients diagnosed with Fibromyalgia fit the bill for yet another wastebasket diagnosis, that of “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.” This has given birth to another set of specialists, the Chronic Fatigue Specialist. Some might ask if they are really just treating the same disease as those treating Fibromyalgia? The answer is that both fatigue and muscular pain are common symptoms representing ill health and a breakdown of the body as it fails to meet the demands placed upon it.
Fibromyalgia and its equally vague cousin Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) are both characterized by extreme fatigue. The Arthritis Foundation estimates that 50 to 70 percent of people with fibromyalgia also fit the criteria of chronic fatigue syndrome. Neither diagnosis gets the patient any closer to achieving an actual improvement in health.
To muddy the waters further, another common wastebasket diagnosis that frequently accompanies these other wastebasket diagnoses is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). This is defined as an individual suffering with varying degrees of alternating constipation and diarrhea often accompanied by cramping and bloating.
It is not uncommon for a patient to be diagnosed with all three syndromes (Fibromyalgia, CFS and IBS) by “specialists” i.e. the Fibromyalgia Specialist, the Chronic Fatigue Specialist and the Irritable Bowel Specialist (often a gastroenterologist using this as a diagnosis of exclusion). To add another layer of confusion, “Clinical Depression” is another common addition. Depression is often severe in those diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. In the Medical World, it is often recommended that patients with fibromyalgia be evaluated for the presence of “psychiatric comorbidity”. This in turn brings in another “specialist”, the psychiatrist, with his own war chest of pharmaceuticals with additional side effects.
Non Traditional Treatments
With the large number of persons suffering from Fibromyalgia symptoms, the market for all types of “natural treatments” has exploded including megavitamin therapies, acupuncture, aromatherapy, anti-microorganism therapies, massage therapies, acupressure, magnesium chloride, juice therapies, apple cider vinegar, iron supplements, electrical modalities, light beam generators, salt water baths, saunas, herbs, homeopathy, magnetic therapy, infrared therapy, Chinese energy work, reflexology, multilevel marketed products, etc. This endless list of nostrums, potions, pills and therapies rarely plays a constructive role in returning the patient back to health as it once again does not address causal factors nor create the right conditions for healing.
Is labeling Patients with the “Diagnosis” Fibromyalgia Helpful?
Handing out a wastebasket diagnosis like Fibromyalgia serves to prevent patients from uncovering the real causes of their illnesses and obtaining the help needed to rebuild their bodies and recover their health.
A qualitative focus group study by Undeland and Malterud explored the consequences of being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. They found that while some patients given the diagnosis of Fibromyalgia found relief in finding a diagnostic title that was not something more serious, they nonetheless experienced sadness and despair when they discovered limitations in treatment options, respect, and understanding.”
We have been trained to want a title for our symptoms, i.e. a diagnosis. This however, is an illusion since medical diagnoses such as Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue and IBS do not reflect anything more than symptoms and therefore fail to help the patient on the path to health. In addition, once patients have been told they have a chronic illness that can only be addressed with symptom suppressing drugs and potions, the patient surrenders to the Medical System and loses the potential to utilize a Bio-Hygienic Re-Creation assessment and approach to recover their health.
Causes of Fibromyalgia
Underlying fibromyalgia symptomatology is impaired health. The patient’s overall well-being has become impaired and the fibromyalgia symptoms are an indication of it. Solution? Address the causes of poor health in the individual as opposed to the “treatment” of symptoms. When the patient’s overall health is improved and their vitality elevated, symptoms of fibromyalgia will dissipate. I have witnessed this repeatedly over the past 45 years. The video interview below with one of our patients is one of many examples of this.
Fibromyalgia is a “Wastebasket Diagnosis” not because sufferers with these types of symptoms do not have serious discomforts but rather because the title is used by physicians to describe symptoms without understanding the causes behind them.
How do we Reverse Fibromyalgia?
We start on the path to resolving these discomforts by understanding that the symptoms are indicative of underlying systemic poor health and are best addressed and resolved by uncovering the individual reasons behind the Fibromyalgia in each patient’s case. Every patient with Fibromyalgia warrants a thorough case history, physical examination and appropriate functional laboratory studies. The initial interview process must be thorough and cover the patient’s life from birth to the present. The patient usually has a long list of symptoms e.g. fatigue, indigestion, irritability, problems in sleeping, and others.
Our focus is not on treatments but on understanding the individual factors leading to the patient’s ill health and addressing those directly. The patient’s symptoms usually represent years of habits that combined with their genetic background has created an internal ecology suitable for the development of disease. Rather than treat the disease symptoms we set about to Re-Create the patient’s cellular structure and optimize their genetic potential. The outcome is the elevation of health, renewed vitality and the disappearance of the burden of dis-ease.
More Articles from the Goldberg Tener Clinic
- Interview with Clint Paddison Part I and II: Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Ankylosing Spondylitis and Other Autoimmune Disorders
- Reversing Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Reverse Rheumatoid Disease and Other Autoimmune Issues
- Tackling Inflammatory Bowel Disease Part I
- Tackling Inflammatory Bowel Disease Part II
- Problems with Prednisone: Why Inflammation is Not the Enemy
- The Dangers of Biological Drugs (part I)
- The Dangers of Biological Drugs (part II)