Sunday, January 20, 2008

Fibromyalgia and the Adrenals

These are just my personal thoughts after having studied fibro for a while.

I think fibro is a systemic poisoning the symptoms of which are aggravated by the stress on the other body systems that the fibro itself creates. Of course, if it is a systemic poisoning, it would be really smart to find out what is poisoning you. You could start with diet, plastics and environmental poisons like bug sprays or cleaning products.

The adrenal system produces many of the hormones that people need for a healthy and happy life, estrogen and testosterone for example. It also produces adrenalin and cortisol when the person is under stress. But if the body is under constant stress (like when you have a debilitating illness like fibro) the stress hormones produced will cause even more stress in a further debilitating spiral of dis-ease and more stress.

I think this is why it is so hard for doctors to find a simple cure for fibro--so many of the body systems are involved and are functioning below par as the body reacts to the stress of the disease. Depression from the constant stress can further disrupt the immune system and weaken the body's resistant to other, seemingly unrelated, health problems.

Here's a link to an article that discusses the role of the adrenals and an approach to dealing with it that begins with talking to an endocrinologist about adrenal function. Here's another article.

I'm not saying that this is THE ANSWER; I'm just saying it's possibly a tool to manage fibro and reduce the effects to a tolerable level.

I just found a webpage by a fibro sufferer who has worked out what looks like a reasonable approach to managing symptoms. Check it out.

BTW, DHEA supplements are a good idea for almost everyone over 35, but you should get your blood level checked periodically because you don't want too much either. Your endocrinologist can check your DHEA levels for you.

Take a deep breath,

Dr. Ron