- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
Fibromyalgia Treatment – What Your Doctor Isn’t Telling You
Recently, I was shocked to discover that many fibromyalgia doctors think their patients are crazy! Of course, they would never say that to your face. But, the vast majority of physicians today don’t believe that fibromyalgia is a real condition. They believe it is all in your head; psychosomatic, the result of depression or some other mental problem like hypochondria.
Maybe that explains why they haven’t spent much time looking for a cure for fibromyalgia. If they don’t believe it exists; if they think you’re just depressed or mentally ill; then they can simply write a prescription for some anti-depressants and pain meds, collect their kickbacks from the big pharmaceutical companies and healthcare conglomerates, and send you on your not-so-merry way.
I don’t mean to imply that all doctors are heartless beasts anxious to make a quick buck off the suffering and pain of fibromyalgia patients. The fact is, most healthcare professionals are good people who truly care about their patients. But your average doctor simply doesn’t have the time or resources to become a superstar medical researcher. Your family doctor isn’t likely to discover the cure for any diseases anytime soon. He or she just assesses patients, makes a diagnosis and distributes the most appropriate medications for fibromyalgia recommended by the Physician’s Desk Reference.
Currently, doctors are prescribing medications such as Lyrica, Cymbalta and Savella for their fibromyalgia patients. But these drugs don’t cure fibromyalgia, they just make the pain manageable for short periods of time (if you’re lucky). Then they wear off and you have to take more. They don’t address what’s actually causing the pain, so they can’t make it go away permanently.
So, if traditional treatments for fibromyalgia exist, why do some doctors still think their patients are just crazy, and not physically ill? Well, Fibromyalgia Syndrome (or FMS) generally falls into the dreaded “MUS” category, or Medically Unexplained Symptoms. As with many other mysterious and difficult to diagnose ailments, there is no universally accepted treatment for fibromyalgia, and medical practitioners will typically prescribe drugs and behavior modification therapy aimed solely at symptom management, rather than trying to combat the root causes of fibromyalgia,
New Research Points To The Underlying Cause Of Fibromyalgia Symptoms
If you have the misfortune of reporting such medically unexplained symptoms to your doctor, chances are he or she will run a myriad of very expensive tests, just to “rule out” every other disease known to man, then (thousands of dollars later) they’ll say they can’t find anything medically wrong with you.
That’s when they’ll start looking at you like you might just be a mental case or a hypochondriac, and they’ll whip out their prescription pad and recommend you go on some sort of anti-depressant medication immediately. What they don’t understand is that if fibromyalgia patients are depressed, they have ample cause to be! They’re depressed because they are in pain, they’re exhausted and suffering and no one seems to believe them or be willing to help them!
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Who Doesn’t Think Your Fibromyalgia Symptoms Are All In Your Head
The latest research shows that depression IS NOT one of the causes of fibromyalgia. Rather, it is the chronic pain and fatigue and hopelessness that can make some fibromyalgia sufferers feel disheartened and depressed. Doctors who prescribe anti-depressants for FMS patients are only treating one of the possible consequences of living with fibromyalgia, they are not even addressing what caused their patient’s depression in the first place!
So, what is it that your doctor isn’t telling you?
Unless you’ve found an exceptionally honest physician, you are not being told that most general practitioners (and even many so-called specialists) simply DON’T KNOW what causes fibromyalgia (IF they even believe it exists). And you’re not being told that your doctor cannot cure fibromyalgia. All they can do is treat your symptoms individually.
Got pain? Try this pain reliever. Can’t sleep? Try this sleep aid. Feeling depressed? Try this anti-depressant. Never mind that each of these prescription medications can have some pretty nasty side effects and you may end up feeling even worse than you did before…
Some of the side effects of pregabalin / Lyrica (originally intended to be an anti-epileptic drug) include suicidal thoughts and tendencies in about 1 in 500 patients, serious, even life-threatening allergic reactions, swelling of the hands, legs and feet (which can be a serious problem for people with heart conditions), dizziness, sleepiness, and trouble concentrating (which many fibromyalgia sufferers already have before taking the drug), blurry vision, weight gain, and dry mouth, just to name a few!
Side effects of Cymbalta (an anti-depressant and muscle pain reliever) include suicidal thoughts and behaviors, especially in teens and young adults, nausea, dry mouth, sleepiness, fatigue, constipation, dizziness, decreased appetite, and increased sweating. Cymbalta may also cause liver damage, jaundice, and hepatic failure. There may also be an increased risk of abnormal bleeding due to anti-coagulation if Cymbalta is taken with aspirin or any other type of blood thinner. Not recommended for patients with kidney impairment or a history of seizures.
Some side effects of Savella (similar to other drugs prescribed for the treatment of depression and other psychiatric disorders) may include suicidal thoughts or actions, especially in children, teens and some young adults, nausea, headache, constipation, dizziness, insomnia, hot flush, excessive sweating, vomiting, palpitations, increased heart rate, dry mouth and hypertension (high blood pressure). This is not a complete list of side effects.
To make matters even worse, researchers now believe that the underlying cause of fibromyalgia is a hormonal and chemical imbalance in the blood. Trying to treat a chemical imbalance by pumping your body full of MORE chemicals is probably the last thing you should be doing. Talk about crazy!
Source Material for this article:
Understanding Fibromyalgia Symptoms http://www.webmd.com/fibromyalgia/understanding-fibromyalgia-symptoms
Fibromyalgia Wars by Frederick Wolfe, MD http://www.jrheum.org/content/36/4/671
Fibromyalgia natural treatment http://deldoloralalibertad.com
Fibromyalgia Controversies http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fibromyalgia
Lyrica Side Effects http://lyrica.com/main_side_effects.aspx
Cymbalta Side Effects http://www.cymbalta.com/index.jsp
Savella Side Effects http://www.savella.com/important-risk-information.aspx