Christie is a 47 year old lady who has been a patient of mine for the previous 4 months. She initially came to see me seeking help for fatigue, excess weight and fibromyalgia. Her biggest concern was the fibromyalgia.
Christie mostly experienced it in her neck, across her shoulder blades and both arms. She often woke with a painful neck, and from there, the pain spread across her upper body throughout the rest of the day.
As is typical with fibromyalgia, Christie also experienced fatigue throughout the day. This made it difficult to carry out her job, which involved writing lengthy documents. Christie said she regularly had a foggy head and said “My brain often feels like it won’t cooperate and I can’t get going in the mornings”. This led to quite a lot of stress because her job contained tight deadlines.
Another common feature of fibromyalgia is poor quality sleep and unrefreshing sleep. Christie would wake briefly several times throughout the night and rarely woke feeling refreshed in the mornings. She said “When I open my eyes in the morning I usually feel completely exhausted; like I haven’t had any sleep”.
There is a lot that can be done for people like Christie.
Nutrient deficiencies are extremely common among my patients; even the ones who eat healthy home prepared meals. Vitamin D, magnesium, selenium and iodine are all helpful for improving energy levels and reducing the aches and pains of fibromyalgia. It is also important to realize that diet plays a critical role in the levels of inflammation in the body. Inflammation can cause pain and fatigue, and reducing inflammation will always help a person with these conditions to feel better.
My recommendations for my patient:
- I asked Christie to follow an anti-inflammatory diet. This involved removing foods that raise inflammation in the body – sugar, gluten-containing grains, dairy products and food additives. Christie already ate fairly well, but she did snack on cookies most days in the afternoons when she felt stressed and overwhelmed by her workload. She also ate oats in the mornings for breakfast. Many people can tolerate oats, but they gave her mild heartburn, which is a sign they were not appropriate for her body. I asked Christie to follow the eating plan in my Syndrome X book. The good news is, that diet also helps with weight loss. I asked Christie to take 2 Glicemic Balance capsules with her lunch each day, to reduce cravings for cookies in the afternoon.
- As is the case with most of my patients, Christie didn’t have enough vitamin D in her blood when I gave her a blood test. This can cause pain and fatigue. I also arranged a urinary iodine test for Christie and found she was deficient in this nutrient, as I suspected. Iodine is necessary for an efficient thyroid gland. If you are low in iodine, you can feel tired and not be able to lose weight. Selenium is a mineral that many people don’t get enough of in their diet because very few foods are a rich source. It helps to reduce inflammation and helps the liver to produce glutathione, which is a powerful, natural detoxifier. I asked Christie to take 2 Thyroid Health capsules each day with breakfast, which would provide her body with all these nutrients.
- Serrapeptase is a powerful enzyme that can help to rapidly reduce pain and inflammation in the body. The strategies I’ve described above can take some time to have their benefits. I wanted to give Christie a remedy that would help her feel better as quickly as possible. I asked her to take 2 serrapeptase capsules first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.
- Good quality sleep is so critical to overall health and emotional wellbeing. The chronic sleep deprivation was greatly reducing Christie’s quality of life and she realised she had developed a temper and was snappy with her husband. I asked Christie to take one teaspoon of magnesium powder at bedtime.
- Gentle exercise is so important for reducing the pain and stiffness of fibromyalgia. Often when you’re feeling sore and exhausted, exercising is the last thing you feel like doing. However, getting some movement helps to improve the overall prognosis of fibromyalgia. One of Christie’s friends is a yoga instructor and I encouraged her to join the class.
Four months later
I have seen Christie several times and am thrilled with the progress she has made. She managed to lose the 12 pounds that previously wouldn’t shift. Christie said she stopped trying to lose weight and instead started to focus on her overall health, energy and sleep quality. Once they improved, weight loss was just a positive side effect.
The biggest improvement has been in the fibromyalgia. She has only experienced it on two occasions since starting her treatment program. Christie had forgotten to mention to me that she experienced pain in the joints of her fingers and wrists, particularly when typing at her computer, which was now gone. She said to me “I’d forgotten how much pain I used to be in. I don’t know how I used to get through the days. No wonder I used to crave cookies all the time”. Yes, improving her health and energy level made it so much easier for Christie to stick to a healthy diet.
The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.