Functional Medicine – Fibromyalgia
The future of fibromyalgia treatment is here today
Photo by Peter Conlan on Unsplash
Consider that fibromyalgia is one of the most prevalent chronic musculoskeletal conditions, and yet it is commonly misunderstood and misdiagnosed. Around four million people in the US – that’s about two percent of the adult population – live with fibromyalgia, with many struggling to keep on top of painful, often debilitating, symptoms.
You don’t have to live with joint and muscle pain, fatigue, and other life-altering symptoms anymore, and you don’t have to resort to medications to live your life the way you want to. By taking a functional medicine approach, you can overcome the challenges of fibromyalgia and regain control of your health.
In this article, I will discuss how functional medicine treatments for fibromyalgia work. But first, what is fibromyalgia?
What is fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes fatigue, pain, and other symptoms. Pain associated with fibromyalgia is typically described as tenderness that is localized in 19 specific areas across the body.
Fibromyalgia is diagnosed using criteria endorsed by the American College of Rheumatology in 2010. The criteria take into account tender points, as well as non-pain symptoms, including fatigue, brain fog, poor sleep, and depression. Each symptom is ascribed a severity score – to be diagnosed with fibromyalgia, the patient must experience symptoms at a similar severity level for a period of three months.
What are the symptoms of fibromyalgia?
The most common symptoms of fibromyalgia include the following:
- Tender points across the body
- Low pain threshold
- Muscle pain, tightness, burning, or twitching
- Insomnia or other sleep issues
- Feelings of nervousness, anxiety, or depression
- Difficulty concentrating and recalling details – this is often called the ‘fibro fog’
Some living with fibromyalgia might also experience:
- Frequent headaches
- Sensitivity to light, sound, heat, and cold
- Dry nose, eyes, and mouth
- Numbness and tingling in the hands, feet, legs, arms, and face
- Stomach pain, bloating, and nausea
How does fibromyalgia affect quality of life?
Living with fibromyalgia is an invisible struggle. Unlike other health conditions, those with fibromyalgia can look happy and healthy from an outsider’s perspective.
Unfortunately, this chronic condition can have complications that severely impact someone’s quality of life. Here are some startling facts and statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that paint a more complete picture of fibromyalgia:
- People living with fibromyalgia are two times more likely to be hospitalized.
- People living with fibromyalgia are more than three times more likely to have major depression.
- Death rates from injury and suicide are higher among fibromyalgia patients. However, overall mortality rates are similar to those of non-affected adults.
- People living with fibromyalgia have higher rates of related rheumatic conditions, such as systemic lupus erythematosus, osteoarthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
How is fibromyalgia treated in conventional medicine?
Fibromyalgia is treated using a combination of prescription and over-the-counter medications, lifestyle, and environmental modifications. These latter interventions include:
- Aerobic and strengthening exercises
- Stress management techniques, such as meditation and yoga
- Efforts to improve sleep quality
- Therapy to address depression, anxiety, and other mental health struggles
Functional medicine treatments for fibromyalgia
Photo by Radu Florin on Unsplash
If you’ve been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, you’ve probably been told by your doctor that the cause of your condition is unknown, there is no treatment, and you’ll need to rely on medication to manage symptoms for the rest of your life. These so-called realities can be extremely frustrating.
Conventional medicine diminishes hope. It hands you a life sentence and takes your health out of your hands. As a conventionally practicing neurologist, I witnessed my fibromyalgia patients’ devastation first-hand and knew there had to be a better way.
And there is – a functional medicine treatment option for patients with fibromyalgia. As one of the only neurologists that is also a functional medicine doctor, I decided to help people living with fibromyalgia regain control of their health, vitality, and quality of life. And that’s when he developed Brain Tune Up!.
Brain Tune Up! is a neurology-based functional medicine protocol that empowers patients to identify and address the root causes of their condition. Accomplishing this requires participants to work through the functional medicine operating system, which consists of:
- The Functional Medicine Timeline
- The Functional Medicine Matrix
- Therapeutic Lifestyle Factors (Sleep & Relaxation, Movement & Exercise, Nutrition, Stress, and Relationships)
This enables my team and I to evaluate imbalances on a cellular level to uncover the specific reasons why this chronic condition occurred.
Functional medicine sees each and every patient as a holistic individual. Health is multi-faceted, and our functional medicine treatments ensures fibromyalgia patients have the tools they need to overcome hurdles and live the life they deserve.
What are the benefits of the Brain Tune Up! protocol?
Outcomes will vary from patient to patient. However, many people living with fibromyalgia that have completed the advanced Brain Tune Up! protocol enjoy the following life-changing benefits:
- Significantly reduced pain
- Better mental well-being, including less anxiety and depression
- Fewer headaches
- More energy
- Less stiffness
- Higher quality sleep
- Reduced stiffness
- Better concentration and no more ‘fibro fog’
Who can benefit from the Brain Tune Up! protocol?
Sick and tired of being told there’s nothing more you can do to improve your fibromyalgia symptoms?
If you can relate to the following statements, the Brain Tune Up! protocol is for you:
- I want long-lasting results, not just another pill.
- I want to be treated as an individual by a doctor that makes personalized care their ultimate goal
- I want a doctor that understands fibromyalgia and can back up their treatments with the right qualifications
- I want a doctor that can address the root cause of my fibromyalgia – I am always let down by band-aid solutions.
- I want a doctor that takes a functional medicine approach to my treatment while recognizing the value of conventional medicine.
Your journey toward a better quality of life starts here.
If you’re ready to reclaim your health and improve the quality of your life, find out more about the advanced Brain Tune Up! protocol.
I’m Dr. Ken Sharlin, and I want you to know I have a functional medicine treatment option to help you reverse your fibromyalgia. Schedule your free 15-minute telephone consultation today. At Sharlin Health and Neurology, we are here to answer any questions and give you the information you need to set forth on your journey to well-being.