Shannon Beats Fibromyalgia
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I’ve been battling it pretty much for 15-16 years now. I have done everything like you said; I’ve tried all the medicines, I’ve had horrible symptoms from the different fibro medicines that were supposed to make everything better. A few years ago, I really started looking at the whole autoimmune issues, what was causing it and what can I do to make myself feel better? I was doing a little bit of this and a little bit of that, a lot of reading but nothing really seemed to make a big difference. It was a constant battle, we’ll take a little more Vitamin D, we’ll take a little more iron, I’ll stop eating gluten but I needed direction. That’s where you really helped me. The last 6 months through allergy testing, all the supplements and the weight loss program, I’ve been able to lose 24 pounds.
My pain level is significantly less. I’m not saying that I don’t have bad days, but they’re nothing like they used to be. I’m exercising, I’m feeling better, my husband is blown away at the changes and just how well I’m handling stress. I’m a mother of 5 and my youngest has special needs, so we have a lot of stress in our house but it’s just been amazing. I appreciate all that you’ve done for me and to help me, and I look forward to feeling better and better every day.
Here Is The Audio Recording, and Below is the Transcript From My Tuesday Night Treating And Beating Fibromyalgia Teleconference:
Hi good evening this is Dr Rodger Murphree, TheFibroDoctor.com, author of Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Thank you for joining me tonight for my Tuesday night Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia teleconference. I look forward to your questions this evening. A little bit about me: I’m a board certified chiropractic physician and board certified nutritional specialist. I’ve been in private practice since 1990.
For the last almost 2 decades, I’ve specialized in fibromyalgia. For the last 4-5 years, my practice has evolved to where 98-99% of my practice at this point is phone consults, so I work with patients all over the world at this point.
The thing I think is such a challenge for fibromyalgia is that most doctors really don’t understand the illness. Those that actually acknowledge that it’s real, will oftentimes tell you that if you have fibromyalgia you just have to learn to live with it, and nothing could be further from the truth.
Unfortunately we’re at that place now where for years we fought to get the diagnosis of fibromyalgia validated, we fought to have insurance companies actually pay for anything associated with fibromyalgia … we won that battle and that came with a cost. The pharmaceutical industry is now seeing a big void in the therapies for fibromyalgia, so different medications have come out over the years including Cymbalta, Savella and Lyrica. Unfortunately those medications are pretty much a dead end for most people. While they can provide some symptomatic relief sometimes, oftentimes they provide no relief and actually create more problems because they’re all associated with potential side effects.
Now where we’re at is in the conventional medical world, it’s about getting patients on the right medications to cover up the symptoms and then telling them that they’ll always have fibromyalgia and they have to learn to live with it.
We have people who have been beat down so much by either doctors or negative naysayers on support groups … whatever it is, people have come to believe that once you get the diagnosis of fibromyalgia, you’re doomed for life. That is an incredibly sad thing to think, because if you get diagnosed as some of my patients do in the early 20s or certainly in their 30s or even in your 50s, and you think you’re going to live another 40-50 years and it’s going to be no better than it is today … in fact it’s probably going to be worse, how sad is that?
One of the patients that’s had success and has worked really hard, she’s going to be coming on the call here. We’re going to go ahead and see if we can make that happen.
Shannon: Dr Murphree.
Dr. M: Hi Shannon, how are you?
Shannon: Good, how are you?
Dr. M: I’m great, Happy New Year.
Shannon: Happy New Year.
Thank you so much for joining me on the call. I want to hear your story, if you will. If you could share a little bit about where you were before we met, because you had fibromyalgia for a number of years before we ever met and had tried a lot of different things. Can you share a little bit about your history?
Absolutely. I started having a lot of fibromyalgia symptoms about 15 years ago. I woke up one day with a stiff neck and it got worse and worse … No amount of medicines or muscle relaxers, just more and more pain and problems. Had a physically traumatic delivery with my daughter who was my fourth child, and we think that was the thing that pushed everything into the fibro.
I’ve been battling it pretty much for 15-16 years now. I have done everything like you said; I’ve tried all the medicines, I’ve had horrible symptoms from the different fibro medicines that were supposed to make everything better. A few years ago, I really started looking at the whole autoimmune issues, what was causing it and what can I do to make myself feel better? I was doing a little bit of this and a little bit of that, a lot of reading but nothing really seemed to make a big difference. It was a constant battle, we’ll take a little more Vitamin D, we’ll take a little more iron, I’ll stop eating gluten but I needed direction. That’s where you really helped me.
The last 6 months through allergy testing, all the supplements and the weight loss program, I’ve been able to lose 24 pounds. My pain level is significantly less. I’m not saying that I don’t have bad days, but they’re nothing like they used to be. I’m exercising, I’m feeling better, my husband is blown away at the changes and just how well I’m handling stress. I’m a mother of 5 and my youngest has special needs, so we have a lot of stress in our house but it’s just been amazing. I appreciate all that you’ve done for me and to help me, and I look forward to feeling better and better every day.
Most of my patients are scattered throughout the US and actually even overseas, but you were actually able to come in. We actually met face to face. What was that first visit like when I shared with you, that really the only way for you to reach your goals and to feel good was to get healthy? What was that like the first visit?
It was awesome because the first time you actually listened to me and you agreed. So many times, we go to the doctor and the doctor says, “Your blood work looks fine, everything looks fine, there’s no reason for you to be sick.” You didn’t, you said “This isn’t right, we’re out of whack and we’ve got to fix this.” I just appreciated that so much, because I had years of doctors telling me that there’s nothing wrong with you. That was such a blessing and it was wonderful. I felt like we had a program finally. I felt like I had a roadmap to fix this, and that was a big part of it.
You worked really hard by the way, changing your diet and doing everything that I needed you to do to get healthy … that’s really the only way to beat fibromyalgia, and you did. I don’t know if we would call it cured or not cured, I don’t even think that matters. What matters is that you can do the things that you want to do, go back to work, interact with your kids. I would say that the goal is to get you healthy and right now you’re healthy, and there’s no reason why you can’t stay that way. You’ve got to do the things that you’ve learned along the way, and you know that. One of the things that was great, you told me how shocked you were that you had no more migraines. You had had 1-2 migraines a week for a long time, and we were able to get those to go away. How long had you had migraines?
Shannon: Years and years.
It was a combination of finding the allergy foods, putting you on the Petadolex that I talked about on these calls; you can buy that over the counter, and also finding that you had some issues with your thyroid that no one else had found.
Right, nobody else had dug deep, nobody had done the more extensive thyroid tests. They would do the basic thyroid test and say, “Looks fine. As best we can tell, it looks fine.” The thyroid supplement has made a huge difference. The DHEA which was very, very low; the stress coping hormone … like I said, my life is a little crazy and it was taking a toll on my body. I just didn’t have the strength to be able to do that. The number 1 thing that just blew me away was the 5-HTP. I saw that right away, literally within a couple of days. I was a different person, I was sleeping better.
I’m sure you heard me share my little introduction. Oftentimes I hear that people have tried supplements, they’ve tried diets, they’ve tried these things but it’s not worked. How dare you suggest that it can be done because I’ve tried it? What’s the difference of what you’re doing, compared to maybe something you tried in the past that didn’t work?
I think it’s the whole comprehensive program. It’s looking at everything, whereas before I would take some Vitamin D and I really didn’t see a difference. I needed the comprehensive program to show me this is the direction. The testing really was a huge eye-opening experience for me, because I saw that there were definitely food allergies. There was definitely lack of adrenal function. There were definitely thyroid issues … just knowing that so we could deal with that and treat it. I think that’s the biggest difference between shooting in the dark, which is what I had been doing for years before that.
Absolutely. You’d had some results that were always mixed, whereas on this you were able to take the recommendations that I gave you based on the testing. I need to let people know that it’s not easy. The people who’ve come on this call – and every week I’ll be sharing somebody new, that’s my goal is to continue to prove the naysayers wrong, but it’s work. It is definitely work. Would you say it was worth it, Shannon?
Absolutely. You’re right it is hard work, and I tell people all the time. I thought I was eating healthy, I thought I was doing all the right things and when we got the allergy testing back, the things like tomatoes, onions, garlic and coconut – things that are healthy foods that are really good for you, but they weren’t good for me personally. Just understanding that and taking those out of my diet, I was feeling better. I think that’s so important, but it was a major lifestyle change. I had to go dairy free, gluten free and soy free. For me, those were my triggers and I had to make a major lifestyle change.
Everybody is different, some people need allergy testing and some people don’t. For migraines, the main triggers typically are foods and low thyroid so you have to have that detective work. The people who will say it is too hard to change my diet, what is there to eat, I can’t do it … what would you say to those people? Obviously you were able to do it.
Absolutely. There are so many amazing wonderful support groups out there. I was able to tap into several Facebook groups … people like myself that were looking for dairy free recipes, looking for gluten free. We live in a society now where there are so many options. Whole Foods is a great place to go and look, and there are so many people out there who are saying food is my enemy. It’s not helping me. They share recipes and we do things together, it’s just wonderful. The things are out there. The biggest thing I would tell people is, you can do it. Birthday cakes and chocolates were two of my favorite things, but now knowing that if I eat that I’m going to be sick. I will admit to all these folks, gumbo is one of my favorite foods in the world. New Year’s Eve, our family cooks gumbo and I had half a bowl … all day New Years’ day, I was in pain. Now knowing that, you just say it’s not worth it anymore. I want to feel better. Food is not that important.
You have that mentality only because you feel so much better. It’s not a grey thing, it’s very black and white and that’s what is important for people to realize. Let me ask you one last question. What was it like working with me by phone? You came in the first time, but the rest of my time like most of my practice, it was done by phone. What was that experience like?
That was wonderful. Because I was able to speak with you every 2 weeks, knowing he’s going to call me every 2 weeks to check on me and make sure … I was able to run things by you. The nice thing about it was I was able to email you if I needed to, or Juno your wonderful secretary. It was just knowing that I had somebody walking this path with me. It wasn’t just here it is, do it. It was knowing that you were walking the program with me, and I really appreciated that. It helped me stay on track. I knew that you were going to call me and ask how the weight loss program was going, you were going to ask me how the food is going. Just knowing that kept me on track, so I really appreciate that…
In closing, what would you share with others who may be listening to this call or may listen to a recording? What would you share for the people out there who are not really sure about this whole idea that you can actually feel good again?
You can, you absolutely can feel better. You don’t have to be a slave to this horrible condition. You can move forward. I would say first things first, go and buy the book and read through it. If you see yourself in that book, then reach out and call, talk to you and just make the decision that it’s time … especially January is a great time to start a new program. You can feel better, you can be better by the end of the year. It’s going to take some work and some time, but you can feel better.
Shannon, you’re inspiring to listen to and I appreciate our relationship. I really have enjoyed working with you and we’re still working, we’ve still got to finish up a few things. Thank you so much for joining me tonight, I really appreciate it.
Shannon: No problem, thank you Dr Murphree. Have a good evening.
This is Dr Rodger Murphree, www.YourFibroDoctor.com, author of Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
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