whole food supplements Archive


Fibromyalgia and Children

Fibromyalgia and Children

As a fibromyalgia sufferer yourself, chances are you began having symptoms of fibromyalgia at an early age. Seldom are these symptoms noticed or associated with fibromyalgia and therefore are not identified at a younger age. Early detection and treatment  might have stopped its debilitating effects. Author Miryam Williamson wrote Fibromyalgia: A Comprehensive Approach in Copyright 1996. She shares in chapter seven the following quotes:

“… a study published in the Journal of Rheumatology in 1993, a team of doctors in Israel reported that 6.2 percent of 338 healthy schoolchildren between the ages of nine and 15 met the criteria for the fibromyalgia syndrome.”

“…Growing pains are a particularly pernicious myth. It should not hurt to grow, and the child whose pain is brushed off that way is a very unfortunate little person.”

“You should suspect fibromyalgia in a child who sleeps restlessly, kicks or twitches during sleep, and has a difficult time getting out of bed in the morning. […] Insomnia coupled with pains or aches is a trouble signal and should not be ignored, particularly if one of the child’s parents has FM..(Emphasis mine.) Sometimes an alert teacher is the first to notice a problem. […]Children with fibromyalgia often have trouble in school. A considerable amount of schoolwork requires memorization. The cognitive difficulties that often accompany FM may make this difficult, if not impossible.”

In my Mesa AZ chiropractic clinic I too have seen children that I suspected fibromyalgia. One example is a young man who has had to miss attending school due to a incessant headache. He has been treated for just about every thing. Treating him specifically for fibromyalgia is his best and perhaps only approach.

Chiropractic care can be useful but will not address all of the needs for the fibromyalgia child. The use of significant nutritional and life-style changes is required but here lies the true dilemma. Most parents do not know that their child has fibromyalgia, do not know what can be done and worse cannot make all of the necessary changes alone. Schools, doctors, extended family, social groups, etc. are potential contributors to the cause or the “cure” yet they are often beyond our positive influence for change. But, we do our best anyway. Education and patience is required to make a difference.

Begin at home first. What changes can you make to help your fibromyalgia child? Below is a short and incomplete list that may help.

  1. Create a home environment that is happy and positive. Stress is perhaps the biggest trigger for fibromyalgia.
  2. Make sure your house is free from known fibromyalgia irritants.
  3. Control refined sugar and bleached flour intake in the diet
  4. Use whole food supplements / vitamins in place of synthetics whenever possible. (Vitamin B from coal tar has been suggested as a significant contributor of fibromyalgia.)
  5. Boost the immune system during the cold and flu season.
  6. Get outdoors frequently. Exercise, games and the sun are all important factors to fibromyalgia control.
  7. Don’t forget that children (especially those with fibromyalgia) need chiropractic care too! A minor car accident, fall or sports injury may precipitate the cause of fibromyalgia.
  8. Dental and visual needs must be addressed promptly! It is believed that some possible causes of fibromyalgia begin with tooth disease/abnormalities or visual impairments.
  9. Help your child sleep sound through the night. Check for disruptions in sleep. Is his mattress or pillow supportive? Is she too cold or too warm? Restless Leg Syndrome for example is believed to be a possible early warning sign for fibromyalgia. (Iron may be needed if RLS is present but be sure to consult your doctor or nutritionist before supplementing with iron.)
  10. Above all, do not ignore a child’s complaint of aches or pain. Have it checked out and never pass it off as simply growing pains!

Fibromyalgia in children can be controlled and possibly eliminated. Many children, when properly cared for, have their fibromyalgia resolved completely.



The Important Role of Magnesium and Calcium in Fibromyalgia

The Important Role of Magnesium and Calcium in Fibromyalgia

There have been many research articles written about the important role of Magnesium and calcium in fibromyalgia. I am not going to attempt to add or replace the research findings but to explain why calcium and magnesium need to be properly given to the fibromyalgia sufferer. Too much calcium or too much magnesium can diminish the positive effects these minerals have in controlling fibromyalgia.

In my Mesa, AZ chiropractic clinic we recommend both calcium and magnesium to our fibromyalgia patients; but not equally in dosage and in every case! There is a reason for this. Even though every chiropractor learns the value and use of vitamins and minerals for the prevention of illness and healing of disease in chiropractic school, not every chiropractor is qualified to properly administer these. For that manner, neither are most medical doctors. So why is it then that if calcium and magnesium are so important to our bodies and knowing that there is an important role of magnesium and calcium in fibromyalgia, that doctors, chiropractic and medical, are not properly administering these minerals to their patients?

It’s complicated! But as a chiropractic physician, professor of nutrition and clinical nutritionist I will attempt to simplify it the best that I can.

Calcium and magnesium are essential minerals that are most often imbalanced in people suffering from chronic illness like fibromyalgia. When these minerals are not properly balanced between themselves, havoc can occur inside your body. For example, your heart rate can become too rapid, too slow and too irregular. Your heart can also beat too hard or too weak due to these imbalances.

When I perform a chiropractic / nutritional examination on my fibromyalgia patients I will most often take their blood pressure and pulse. If I find any variation from a normal heart rhythm and heart strength I can highly suspect that calcium and magnesium are imbalanced. (There can be other causes as well but that is another subject I won’t discuss here in this article.)

Calcium is responsible for the ability of the heart muscle to contact; pushing blood throughout the body. Magnesium on the other hand relaxes the heart muscle after a contraction, allowing blood to flow back to the heart. When a heart is experiencing a rapid heart rate, this can be due to too little calcium or too little magnesium. But if the rapid heart rate also has a weak pulse then I know that magnesium is dominant and that calcium is needed. Likewise, if the heart pulse is rapid and strong, then magnesium is needed.

One final thought: an irregular heart rhythm is often due to thyroid problems. Many fibromyalgia sufferers have thyroid issues too. The use of certain whole food vitamins like Vitamin B5, are frequently required along with the correct amount of calcium and magnesium to normalize heart rhythm and strength. When at all possible, seek out the advice of a competent clinical nutritionist, chiropractic physician  or medical professional before beginning any vitamin / mineral therapy.


Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia – Is it your Fault? A Follow-up!

This article has opened wide the door to how those of us with fibromyalgia can be more proactive with our illness. I asked others to please share their feelings regarding this. Below is a question and answer between a fellow fibromyalgia sufferer and me. I hope you will enjoy it and find it beneficial!

Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia – Is it your Fault? leechiropracticaz.com

If you do not attempt to understand what I am about to share and if you aren’t willing to takes steps to improve yourself then it is partially your fault. Ouch!

A Response from Beth (name has been changed):

So, the theory that whole foods that we buy from the supermarket do not provide is with sufficient vitamins and minerals and by buying them is actually just a waste of money. Question, why do I feel so much better and revived when I have intramuscular Vitamin B6 and B12 injection. My mood is elevated and I just sleep so much better.

Thank you, Beth for your very good question. I am pleased to here of the success you have had in battling FMS!

Food alone most often cannot heal a sick and stressed body. Whole food supplementation, the use of nutrients from a whole food source rather than from synthetics, is what the body needs to heal. Synthetics in high dosage, as many B vitamins come in, can have a pharmaceutical like response in the body. This is not necessarily a “bad” thing initially and can successfully boost the body into feeling better. But to have a chance at complete healing, as my article briefly discusses, the human body needs to be given what nature intended it to have. Whole food supplementation provides just that; a long term continual feeding of natural nutrients.

It is ok to use synthetic vitamins on occasion to assist the body, and often that is better than using a stronger, more dangerous drug. But when possible, I prefer to use the natural approach nature intended; for myself and my patients.

Thanks Mark for coming back to me. Next question, is there a whole food supplement that is formulated for the FM patient that is guaranteed not to cause any weight gain?

Most FM patients gain weight due to the high levels of cortisol, lack of physical activity due to muscular pain and prescription drugs that are supposed to alleviate Fibrofog and general symptoms of depression that most FM patients suffer from depression for a wide range of reasons including the lack of energy and the inability to participate in normal exercise regimes, which is caused by the pain sensitivity from which all FM patients suffer.

I am on a very strict Vitamin D Regime that includes Omega 3 and 6 to feed my brain and assists with the absorption on Calcium and Magnesium and which also helps to feed the damaged brain. Give me a Fibromyalgia whole food that includes Krill Oil, DHEA, Melatonin, and Burn Out(TM) that have helped me to regain some form of sanity. I really was a borderline Alzheimer’s case until I switched to the Solal regime, which is all made up of natural products and not the chemicals obtained through synthetic means.

I have always followed a dietary regime that is specifically formulated by Dr Cohen to stimulate the pituitary gland to make the human growth hormone, which is lacking in most FM patients. Nothing could make me give up my eating regime and I must say that the last full blood tests indicated that the HGH is back and functioning. My natural levels of oestrogen is back to normal and that also helps me to sleep better.

The only problem that I have is the fact that without my Vitamin B and D supplements, I have no means of fighting fibromyalgia. I have been very anaemic until I stated taking the vitamin B injections. The reason for this is that even though the red meat that I consume, is from the farm where the animals live on grass, are frozen at home, because I freeze it in portions for consumption. No need to tell you that the freezing proses destroys most of the Vitamin B obtained in red meats only.

My vitamin D intake includes Krill Oil, which I see as the most successful of the Omega 3 range. Do your supplements include krill oil? Do they include foods that will stimulate the pituitary gland to form human growth hormone? What is in your supplements reduce the levels of cortisol made by the adrenal glands, which is ultimately the cause of brain damage, weight gain and fibromyalgia?

I know that the above are a wagon load of questions, but I need clarity in whole food supplements, as I have not had any success in using any of them. Note that I am gluten sensitive and have to avoid sugars such as in sugar beet and cane sugar. I therefore have to avoid all breads including rye bread. Most starches are included in the group given above with the exception of maize. I therefore use baby maize cobs in my salads.

The fruit that I eat mostly is an apple, which is low in glucose and high in fructose. However, fruit such as oranges and apples are stored in cold storage for months before reaching the consumer. Fresh from the tree is best, but even apple trees and orange trees do not produce fruit throughout the year. This I know from my brother who exports his fruit all over the world and oranges do not sell in the northern hemisphere until the actual orange season, which would affect all people living in the northern hemisphere. Our consumer markets are consumer driven. Therefore the natural fresh product that we need is compromised. What whole supplements do you encourage your patients to take to compromise for the lack of nutrition obtained by having not such fresh fruits that we on the table when we need it most?

Do the whole food supplements address the issue of IBS, which means very often that foods pass so fast though the body that all nutrients are lost?

A whole list of questions that all need specific answers for the benefit of all FM patients who use this forum.

PS Mark, there are are some users on this forum that experience financial constraints. Are whole food supplements covered by their medical insurance? I know that a visit to a health shop can dent a pocket.
Quite a number of FM patients had to leave work or changed work. Read through the threads just to see how many patients fear the onset of winter and pain. Do any of the food supplements actually alleviate the effects of the cold air, and damp conditions experienced by FM sufferers in the northern hemisphere?
I am recently medically boarded and just the fact that I put law behind me, helped me to relax and to regain more rest and deep sleep, which contributed to my current feeling of general well being. However, not all FM patients are as blessed as I am in that I do not have any concerns about money, which enabled me to retire early.
There you go again. More questions, but you can deduce that I have once earned a living by asking questions?

Wow, Beth! Where do I begin? First, you have discovered a very successful regimen that works for you. Why would any body want to change that? I certainly wouldn’t. What you have discovered should be obvious to every FM sufferer and every practitioner that attempts to treat a fibro patient. That is, fibromyalgia requires a specific, customized program for each individual and their specific health care needs. I do believe that there are basics that in almost every case, can be beneficial to just about every fibromite but originality and individuality are required to achieve a higher success rate in treating and controlling fibromyalgia

The reason I prefer to use whole food supplementation is all about balance; the balance of vitamins, minerals, co-factors, etc. But a “one size fits all” approach cannot and will not work. My patients, including myself (did I mention that I too have fibromyalgia?) receive a clinically designed whole food nutritional protocol. Although I prefer and utilize one manufacturer of a line of whole food supplements dominantly, I can and do use others too. If there is a need for something beyond this (medication, high dosage vitamins, a proprietary blend of nutrients – synthetic or not – from a specific company) this can be incorporated into the treatment protocol.

Whole food supplementation can become expensive, especially to the disabled or unemployed! My heart goes out to every person who struggles in this economy to make ends meet. At least in my clinic, we try to assist people with financial difficulties as much as is possible. Each treatment protocol takes into consideration the cost of health care. Even then, there are some who simply cannot afford to take the healthy, whole food supplementation alternative. Thankfully and sadly, (I know that that sounds like a contradiction) these folks have the government to fall back on for help. It is grossly lacking in what I feel they need, but it is better than nothing.

Again Beth, you have been richly blessed to discover a working formula for you. Now it becomes your duty to teach and encourage others who must fight this monster we call fibromyalgia. I know that you are doing just that and thank you for doing so.

Dr. Mark E. Lee


Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia – Is it your Fault?

Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia – Is it your Fault?

If you do not attempt to understand what it is I am about to share with you and, if you are not willing to takes steps to improve yourself, then yes,it is at least partially your fault. Ouch!

Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue are siblings. In my Mesa AZ Chiropractic and Fibromyalgia Clinic, I have not found a person yet that has fibromyalgia but does not have chronic fatigue with it. Fatigue can be caused by many things. From a simple restless night to a more serious deadly infection, fatigue is a symptom of your body’s inability to return to homeostasis. If your body is functioning normally, rest gives the body a chance to restore itself at a cellular level.

Every cell of the body needs to do three things in order to provide optimum energy and total body restoration; assimilate nutrients, eliminate wastes and replicate properly. In theory, if your cells are doing all of this correctly, you would have no cancer, no fibromyalgia, no fatigue, no aging and no death. But, we know that this is an imperfect world with pollutions, chemicals, “non-food” foods, insects, bacteria, molds, fungi, viruses, trauma, stressors….. the list goes on and on. So, is there any way to fight all of these bad things and to support our body’s cells to function at their best? The answer is an absolute yes!

A body deprived of the vitamin B complex begins to show symptoms of poor health and cellular energy loss. Chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia are the result of this. The vitamin B complex from whole foods is responsible for a variety of functions in your body: cellular metabolism, transmission and health of nerve cell energy, heart pulse rate, muscular contraction, digestion, brain function, thought processes and energy production. Without an adequate amount of vitamin B complex from whole foods you will experience any one or more of one of these symptoms:

Soreness all over, mental problems, heart palpitations, heart arrhythmias or fibrillation, indigestion, chronic fatigue, chronic exhaustion, inability to sleep (insomnia), anxiety, fear that something dreadful is about to happen, nervousness, ADD (attention deficiency), inability to concentrate, irritability, feeling of uneasiness, thoughts of dying, easily agitated, frustration, restlessness, tingling in hands, tingling fingers and toes, rashes, crying spells, inability to cope and/or paranoia.

Does this not describe fibromyalgia!!!

Dr. Vic Shayne, PhD (Vic Shayne, PhD ©2005 Author, Man Cannot Live on Vitamins Alone) Wrote:

“Before delving into the problems of vitamin B complex deficiency and its symptoms, it is first important to understand the difference between vitamins that are in pill form versus vitamins that are contained within nature’s foods. There is a world of difference — a difference between sickness and health. Vitamins just do not work like foods, and foods are what our bodies were designed to use for healing, prevention and energy. There is no substitute, and no matter how you look at it, vitamin pills are an invention of scientists, so they are prone to cause side effects, be incomplete and lack what we need to overcome our health problems.

Vitamins have been sold and marketed as the “magic bullet” for all health problems, yet food science researchers are bringing out the truth about vitamins, minerals, multivitamins and antioxidants— and it’s not an easy pill to swallow. The problem is that vitamins, when not still contained in their original food (oranges, bananas, spinach, broccoli, etc.) are merely chemicals. Our bodies do not recognize vitamins as nutrients, because they don’t work the same way as whole foods for these simple reasons:

Foods contain not just vitamins, but the co-workers (synergists) and helper nutrients that allow vitamins to work.

Foods are never found in high potency, so you won’t suffer any toxic side effects that have been proven to exist with ALL vitamin pills. As one expert stated, “Foods never deliver toxic doses [of vitamins]. (Hamilton, p.205)

For these reasons, and more, vitamin pills, despite their use and overuse, are not turning people’s health around.”

To combat the evil forces of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue you must begin to feed your cells properly. This starts with a healthy digestive system and a healthy diet. Together with whole food supplements (including Vitamin B complex), stress control, exercise, rest, a positive mental and emotional attitude and a healthy reduction of life’s “poisons”, you too can begin to feel less chronic fatigue and better control of your fibromyalgia.

What will you do today to improve your body’s ability to help its cells perform at their optimum level and thereby improving your chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia?


What Vitamins Should I Take for Fibromyalgia?

Let’s stop right here for a brief moment and discuss an important point regarding healing fibromyalgia with vitamins. There are many companies, many people who are willing to tout their vitamin product as the means to the end for your fibromyalgia pain. But all of us should know by now that vitamins alone are not going to make your fibromyalgia go away, nor are they going to make you feel a whole lot better overnight. I am a clinical nutritionist, Professor of Nutrition and chiropractic physician and I really want to see a cure for Fibromyalgia discovered in my life time. A very good place to begin is with what you’re consuming. I know that your diet, what you eat and do not eat, can affect you for the good or for the bad. However, it takes a whole lot more than just vitamins to heal the body of anything, let alone fibromyalgia.

So, should you take vitamins for fibromyalgia? Yes, you should. As a chiropractic physician, I hope to help you discover an important truth about your health. It is that you are unique. There is no one just like you anywhere else in the world. Your needs, physical and emotional, are uniquely yours; and so are your nutritional needs! To use a cookie cutter approach to treating your fibromyalgia is sadly a waste of money and valuable energy. Preferably, having an expert in clinical nutrition is the best way to find out what it is that your body needs. Your chiropractic physician and/or your medical doctor may have some training in this, or perhaps they can refer you to a clinician that does. This way, you will know what is right for you personally and can avoid taking the “stuff” mentioned on television, the internet, from your well intentioned friends and especially the nutritional salespeople.

Vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, enzymes, co enzymes, antioxidants, co factors, macro and micro nutrients are all vital to your health and well-being. So it stands to reason that if you are low on any one of these things it could adversely cause problems to your health; including possibly making your fibromyalgia worse. You may be wondering if you then should take a multivitamin that has most or all of these important nutrients. I like to tell my patients to use caution when buying multivitamins. Some are manufactured using synthetic materials or even coal tar! When using vitamin supplements you must use whole food nutrition!!! You should read more about this from another posting of mine regarding vitamins. Please do so as it is very important for your health and well-being.

If you have fibromyalgia you need to invest in the highest quality nutrition available. Cheap, synthetic and poorly manufactured products may make your fibromyalgia much worse. You also need to know what to take, how much to take and how often it should be taken. There are some basics that every fibromyalgia patient should consider like zinc, magnesium, and manganese. Calcium, vitamin B1, B2, B3, Vitamin E, and Beta Carotene are needed. Vitamin B12 and Iron are important too but too much in your system may harm you. You will need enzymes and co enzymes, antioxidants and co factors as well to maintain healthy muscles, nerves and organs. Getting it right the first time can save you a lot of time, hassle and money. More importantly, it may help you begin to repair
your body from the negative effects of fibromyalgia and improve the quality of your life.

I do not want to discourage the reader from using nutrition for fibromyalgia. On the contrary, I hope that the reader will take the time to learn what is needed to help them to get better, faster; and fibromyalgia nutrition is a critical part of the equation. Take the time to learn and to do it right. If at all possible, consult someone that is versed in the use of nutrition and fibromyalgia for advice and counsel. Ask your chiropractic physician and/or medical doctor for assistance.

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