Chiropractic Archive

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This may be a reason for fibromyalgia pain – Oxygen (Or the lack thereof!)

Out of BreathThis may be a reason for fibromyalgia pain – Oxygen (Or the lack thereof!)

Recently, I was asked to talk about a condition called Hypoxia and the possible cause of muscle pain and weakness as it relate to fibromyalgia. Sometimes, as an adjunct professor of a nationally acclaimed nursing college and Fibromyalgia chiropractic physician, I get “scientific” and “wordy” with my explanations’ of things. But|I will endeavor to keep it simple to and to the point in this article.

It is important to start with a simple understanding of how oxygen is used by the muscles and the body as a whole.  When we breathe in air, our lungs absorb the microscopic molecules found in the atmosphere. Oxygen, carbon dioxide, hydrogen and nitrogen are the main ones but there are other molecules as well. When we exhale, mostly carbon dioxide is released back into the air. Our body’s muscles need oxygen in a constant, balanced amount to be used as energy in muscle contraction. For those with fibromyalgia, this is where problems can begin!

There are a number of things that can keep those with fibromyalgia from getting enough oxygen into the muscles. The lack of iron (anemia) in the diet is a common cause. For example, if you are a woman with fibromyalgia you may have notice that you fibromyalgia is worse during or right after your menses. If you smoke or live or work with a smoker you may be inhaling a heavy metal called cadmium that can block iron from carrying oxygen to the muscles. If you have fibromyalgia, find a way to quit smoking now. If you don’t have fibromyalgia, find a way to quit smoking now. Asthma, COPD, severe allergies, a bad cold or pneumonia can decrease the amount of oxygen that your body needs.

Is your house making you sick?

Poor circulation is another cause for fibromyalgia pain in muscles. Whether it is due to age, obesity, injury or related diseases, circulation of oxygen can become reduced to the muscles; especially if you have fibromyalgia. A research article written by Ratchakrit Srikuea; et al. entitled: Association of fibromyalgia with altered skeletal muscle characteristics which may contribute to postexertional fatigue in postmenopausal women(http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/art.37763/full) shares insights to how circulation is a factor in women with fibromyalgia.

Lastly, much of the latest research has suggested that oxygenation to the muscles of patients with fibromyalgia may not be the primary factor at all but that it may be the lack of oxygen to the nerves and or the hormonal glands.

Breathing article for fibromyalgia and low back pain

So what can you do about oxygenation and fibromyalgia? The simple answer is to breathe and breathe often. Simple breathing exercises can help. Exercise can help. CPAP machines (for sleep apnea patients) can help. Stop smoking can help. Iron, calcium and magnesium supplementation might help (be sure to have blood work done before and after supplementation).

Here is the good news. No more are scientists and doctors dismissing fibromyalgia as a non entity! There are many research studies being conducted to support the validity of fibromyalgia and perhaps someday, there just might be a solution to everyone’s favorite nightmare: fibromyalgia.

Dr. Mark E. Lee is a chiropractic doctor, Adjunct professor of Pathophysiology, community leader, family man and a fibromyalgia sufferer.  He has helped hundreds of fibromyalgia sufferers overcome the daily misery often associated with fibromyalgia syndrome. He owns and operates a fibromyalgia clinic in Mesa, Arizona and a fibromyalgia support group on Facebook. You may visit his website at http://leechiropracticaz.com or email him at drlee@drmlee.com.

 

 

 

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Is Your Attitude Making You Sick?

Is your attitude making you sick?

Health issues can be discouraging. Chronic illnesses like fibromyalgia , MS and others will most definitely lead to discouragement, frustration, depression and occasionally hopelessness. I see it in my chiropractic practice daily. The quality of your health will have an effect on the quality of your attitude! But does your attitude have an effect on your well-being?

About 30 years ago I met a man named CB Clausen. CB was in his late sixties I believe, but he had the demeanor of a young vibrant twenty year old. You would not have guessed he had a problem by just listening to his cheerful salutations but when you looked at CB you could not ignore his overwhelming bend at the waist. CB had severe arthritis and disc disease in his low back that caused him excruciating pain and suffering. But nevertheless, he never stopped smiling while in your presence and a handshake was always extended to you. Though CB was a joy to be around for everyone he met, to me he was an inspiration.

I never forgot this amazing man and his enthusiasm for life. Little did I know then that I would later in my own life suffer from a similar ailment of arthritis and fibromyalgia.  There are some days that I feel down right awful . But when I, or you, are feeling down we do have a choice to make, don’t we?. “Will I allow my fibromyalgia pain to ruin me today?”

There will be times that fibromyalgia will control us with an iron fist. Anyone who suffers from fibromyalgia or any chronic illness knows this all to well, but choosing to battle its negative effect on our happiness is something that we can try to do.

I know that your situation will be different from mine as every fibromyalgia sufferer’s symptoms and intensity is unique, , but I do know what I can do for myself. I want to be able to look my wife and my children in the eye and let them see that their husband and father loves them; and that no level of pain, fear or frustration will push away my love for them. Because I love them I want to share my best emotions and feelings with them. Happiness and peace are the emotions I enjoy the most. When I become self centered on my fibromyalgia pain I fail to acknowledge the feelings my loved ones have. When this happens, I become more discouraged and depressed; I lose my happiness. And guess what? my fibromyalgia gets worse too! However, when my attention is focused on them instead of my fibromyalgia, I feel joyful. It is not a chiropractic adjustment that I need but an attitude adjustment. Then, my fibromyalgia is weakened and I amin charge.

Now you know, the quality of your attitude will have an effect of the quality of your health!

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Chronic Pain – Cope or Cure?

Chronic Pain – Cope or Cure?

Fibromyalgia, debilitating arthritis, severe headaches, neuropathy, these are all common causes for chronic pain. I have been talking about the effects of fibromyalgia for sometime now but I felt it important to address the needs of those who suffer from many forms of chronic pain; including fibromyalgia.

Once a person begins to experience constant, debilitating pain that does not seem to ease, a frequent questions that is asked is “will I have to live with this for the rest of my life?” This is a very difficult question for any doctor, chiropractic or medical, to answer and it is even more challenging for the chronic pain sufferer to learn whether she must cope with it or seek for a cure. As your fibromyalgia and chronic pain chiropractic physician, it is my hope in writing this article that every chronic pain sufferer will learn that you can cope with your illness while seeking a cure.

Almost every health condition, illness or diagnosis comes with its very own disclaimer. Although science, chiropractic and medicine have made significant breakthroughs with the treatment of many diseases, seldom is there a guarantee of a cure! Do cures exist? Yes they do and they occur more often than one might expect. “But what about fibromyalgia, can fibromyalgia be cured too?” Whether it is fibromyalgia or any chronic pain illness, the answer this chiropractic physician  always gives is -maybe.

There are many cases of people who have suffered the debilitating effects of chronic pain due to arthritis or fibromyalgia who, through a series of steps or procedures, report having been cured from their illness. I have seen it personally in my Mesa, AZ Chiropractic clinic. Allow me to share a story of on of my chiropractic patients suffering from fibromyalgia.

Angie (not her real name) suffered from fibromyalgia for over 14 years but was diagnosed just eight years ago. I first saw her in my Mesa, AZ Chiropractic Clinic approximately 3 1/2 years ago where we discovered a possible beginning to her fibromyalgia. Our treatment, which included whole food nutrition / supplementation, chiropractic therapy and massage (very gently I must add) began immediately. The process was expectantly slow but after one year Angie’s pain intensity fell from a frequent 7 to 9 out of 10 to an occasional 2 to 3. She went several weeks, even nearly two months without pain or her other multiple symptoms. After the completion of her second year of treatment she had been pain free for over 5 months. During her third year of chiropractic and nutritional care she had fibromyalgia like symptoms only once for one week; during the cold and flu season. She continues to be pain free and over 90% of her other fibromyalgia related symptoms have resolved.

However, in medicine, chiropractic and science you can never proclaim a permanent victory in recovery and you must “never say never” to a cure. One can be permanently cured from an illness like fibromyalgia or from any cause of chronic pain but their must be caution in proclaiming it so. Cancers return many years later for example or, illness or injury may open up a reoccurrence of any previous illness; including fibromyalgia or chronic pain. But cures do happen sometimes.

Hope is so important to the chronically ill. When in pain, you must never give up hope for a cure. Yet you must also learn to cope properly with your illness while searching for that possible cure for you! Never give up and never give in to your illness; whether it is fibromyalgia, arthritis, neuropathy or any cause of chronic pain.

When necessary, medications can be beneficial in controlling pain. However, prolonged use of almost all medications has the potential for serious long term consequences. These may contribute in the long run to an increase in your perception of pain and limit your body’s ability to provide its own miraculous healing capabilities! I believe in the use of whole food nutrition and other non pharmaceutical means to strengthen you and your body’s pain fighting capabilities.

To learn more about natural healing, search the internet for articles that may give you an idea or two on how to cope or discover a possible cure your chronic pain. Seek the advice of a chiropractic or medical physician that has training in the use of whole food nutrition or you may read about the use of chiropractic, whole food nutrition, balance, exercise, massage, drug toxicity, environmental causes of fibromyalgia and many more articles of interest found in my blog.

Most importantly, remember not to ever “give up or give in” to your chronic pain! There is a chance that you will find your specific answers to the question: Chronic pain – cope or cure. (May I suggest you can successfully have both!)

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Three Things to Stop Fibro Pain Due to the Cold and Flu

The Cold and Flu season is upon us and, for those who suffer from fibromyalgia; this is a common time for deep fibromyalgia pain. But you may not have to endure such terrible fibromyalgia pain if you can avoid catching a Cold or the Flu.

These three simple things may prevent the Cold and Flu season from attacking you and your fibromyalgia. They cost you practically nothing but are priceless jewels to your immune system.

Humidifiers

It has been suggested that low humidity may result in the weakening of the immune system. For those with fibromyalgia, this is a common reason for fibromyalgia flare-ups. You can help increase humidity levels by using humidifiers that add moisture content to the air of your room(s).

Humidifiers may assist you in other ways too. Dry and flaking skin, chapped lips and sinus inflammation are common in dry air conditions. Humidifiers can also help fibromyalgia patients with congestion and other respiratory problems to manage their symptoms.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is derived when human skin is exposed to the sun. This is why it is sometimes referred to the sunshine vitamin. Research has shown that it plays a key role in boosting the immune system. It does this by triggering the body’s immune fighters: the T cells! These powerful and necessary cells search out and destroy bacteria and viruses: the causes of the Cold and Flu. Scientists at the University of Copenhagen have found that Vitamin D is crucial to activating our immune defenses and that without sufficient intake of the vitamin; the killer T cells will not be able to react to and fight off serious infections in the body.  As a chiropractor, I have been recommending Vitamin D in my chiropractic clinic to my chiropractic patients with great results. Imagine, your fibromyalgia has a natural enemy and Vitamin D is it!

 Apple Cider Vinegar

I began using Apple Cider Vinegar several years ago. I had a chiropractic patient recommend this to me when I was suffering a cold. Since then, I have used it on and off; mostly in the winter time to prevent the common Cold and Flu. I truly believe that it works! I recall one Cold and Flu season where I was totally faithful at taking 1 ounce every night. I never got sick; not even the sniffles. As I researched Apple Cider Vinegar I learned that it is also good for many other health issues. It even helped my fibromyalgia I believe! Science has yet to “prove” any claims of vinegar’s medicinal properties but several research studies have found promising results and according to this chiropractor
“the proof is in the pudding”!

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Is Your House Causing Fibromyalgia Flare-ups?

Is your house causing fibromyalgia flare-ups?

One of the suspected causes of fibromyalgia is a compromised immune system. If your house, your car, your work place or any building you find yourself in is “sick” then chances are your immune system is being challenged and your fibromyalgia pain is heightened!

Wherever you go, you will find buildings that contain unhealthy levels of air pollution. I am not talking just about smog (although that is part of it) I am talking about bad air! Bad air is everywhere and buildings are traps for it. Mildew, smoke, dust, pollens and germs are part of the poor air quality. But, did you know that you and your family are the biggest contributors of a “sick home”? In other words, you may be adding to your fibromyalgia pain.

Human contaminants come in the form of sweat, air expelled from your lungs, saliva, urine and fecal waste/gas. Your shoes track in just about anything you can think of too. Colds and flu, contaminated surfaces like your phones, computer or countertops, unclean foods or improperly washed utensils are but a few of the many culprits of a “sick house”.

You cannot completely escape from these pollutants and contaminates but you can do something about them in your home. And when you do, you are helping your immune system to work smarter and with less stress thus helping to keep your fibromyalgia under control.

Start by cleaning your house thoroughly. I know that this is difficult for many of us who suffer from fibromyalgia but get help where possible.

  1.  Steam clean your carpets at least twice a year and your air ducts once a year. Shop around for an honest and qualified company and get it done right. Hepa filters are good but they cannot and will not catch everything
  2. Clean and disinfect your walls and fixtures four times a year.
  3. Keep the air circulating in your house 24 hours a day. Use fans where you can and consider the purchase of ionizer fans.
  4. Use Lysol or similar disinfectant products regularly and on multiple surfaces.
  5. Wash your waste baskets out monthly and consider replacing them annually.
  6. You may want to consider purchasing a product called Odor Away and use as directed. This actually helps to absorb pollutants right out of the air.
  7. Thoroughly clean your food containers, including canned foods (they often have dust, insect and rodent waste on the top and side of the cans) before use. Never cross use knives or cutting boards. Keep your refrigerator and freezer clean!
  8. Wash you hands often for heaven’s sake!

Keeping fibromyalgia under control is a constant but necessary battle. These are but a few small steps that you can take to improve the air quality and common areas of contaminants found in your home and improve your chances against fibromyalgia flare-ups. You may want to search the internet for other good or better suggestions as well. Whatever you do, be sure to stay vigilant and keep your house safe.

(Dr. Mark E. Lee is a practicing chiropractic physician and fibromyalgia doctor. His Chiropractic clinic is located in Mesa, AZ. For more information regarding chiropractic and fibromyalgia please call email Dr. Lee at www.drlee@drmlee.com)

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