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What is Fibromyalgia? | Are Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Related?
Symptoms of Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue | Diagnosis of Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome 
What Causes Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
| Magnesium Hydroxide and L-Malic Acid  
The Role of B-12 In Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome | Other B-Vitamin
 
  

fibromyalgia

 

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WHAT IS FIBROMYALGIA?

Fibromyalgia is caused by high homocysteine levels and the body's inability to produce enough ATP.  Fibromyalgia is a rheumatic condition. Its characteristics include widespread muscle and joint pain  and fatigue as well as other symptoms. Fibromyalgia can lead to depression and social isolation.

Fibromyalgia is characterized by musculoskeletal aches; stiffness and pain, soft tissue tenderness, over all fatigue and sleep disturbances.

Common areas of pain include the back; hips, shoulders, neck, pelvic girdle and hands, however, any part of the body can feel the discomfort.

Fibromyalgia occurs worldwide and has no specific ethnic predisposition. In most patients the problem begins during their twenties or thirties. It affects women more than men in a ratio of 20:1.

DIAGNOSIS OF FIBROMYALGIA AND CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME 

Fibromyalgia is often misdiagnosed and misunderstood.

Some experts include Fibromyalgia in the group of arthritis and related disorders. But the pain of bursitis or tendonitis is localized to a specific area. The feelings of pain and stiffness with Fibromyalgia are widespread.

The overwhelming majority of doctors are neither informed, trained, nor educated concerning the symptoms of Fibromyalgia sufferers. Since many Fibromyalgia symptoms overlap or mimic other conditions, doctor?s resort to laboratory tests which are either negative or inconclusive. 

Diagnosis is complicated because the presence of other diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, does not rule out a Fibromyalgia diagnosis. Fibromyalgia is not a diagnosis of exclusion and must be diagnosed by its own characteristics.

There is no known or accepted test available for diagnosing Fibromyalgia. Physicians must rely on physical examination; patient reported symptoms, and manual tender-point examination.

There are no specific laboratory tests to diagnose Fibromyalgia. To make an accurate diagnosis, your doctor will rely on a comprehensive physical examination and your medical history. Your doctor will also use a diagnosis of exclusion. That means the doctor will rule out other conditions that could cause similar symptoms.

Your doctor will also use a diagnosis of inclusion. That means your doctor will make sure your symptoms satisfy the diagnostic criteria for Fibromyalgia syndrome outlined by the American College of Rheumatology.

These criteria include widespread pain that persists for at least three months. Widespread pain refers to pain that occurs in both the right and left sides of the body, both above and below the waist, and in the chest, neck, and mid or lower back.

A physician properly trained in Fibromyalgia diagnosis will also use a tender point examination.

WHAT ARE TENDER POINTS?

Tender points are pain points or localized areas of tenderness around joints, but not the joints themselves. There tender points hurt when pressed with a finger. Tender points are often not deep areas of pain. Instead, they are superficial areas seemingly under the surface of the skin, such as the area over the elbow or shoulder. 

The actual size of the point of most tenderness is usually very small, about the size of a penny. These areas are much more sensitive than other nearby areas. In fact, pressure on one of the tender points with a finger will cause pain that makes the person flinch or pull back. Tender points are scattered over the neck, back, chest, elbows, hips, buttocks, and knees. 

There are 18 tender points important for the diagnosis of Fibromyalgia. These tender points are located at various places on your body. To get a medical diagnosis of Fibromyalgia, 11 of 18 tender point sites must be painful when pressed. In addition, for a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia, the symptom of widespread pain must have been present for three months.

The 18 sites used for the Fibromyalgia diagnosis cluster around the neck, shoulder, chest, hip, knee, and elbow regions. The finger pressure that must be applied to these areas during a "palpation" exam is roughly equivalent to the amount that causes the finger nail bed to blanch or start to become white. Over 75 other tender points have been found to exist, but are not used for diagnostic purposes.

FIBROMYALGIA AND CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME RELATED?

People suffering from Fibromyalgia usually have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome -- there is just a more noticeable muscle aching than the other symptoms. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is simply a type, or a stage of Fibromyalgia.

WHAT CAUSES FIBROMYALGIA AND CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME?

Most researchers agree Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is caused by three major factors.

1)     The body?s inability to produce sufficient amounts of adenosine triphosphate-referred to as ATP.

The body human requires a continual supply of energy. The body obtains its energy by oxidation of foods; however, before energy can be used it is transformed into the ATP molecule. 

Synthesis of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins, all necessary for cell integrity, depend on ATP availability. ATP is the major energy source for just about everything we do. ATP is considered by scientists to be the energy currency of life. ATP also drives the membrane pumps, which transport magnesium into the cells.

Intracellular magnesium deficiencies exist in Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patients and such deficiencies disrupt ATP syntheses. Low ATP levels give rise to even lower intracellular magnesium, causing further ATP reduction. This vicious cycle may be the reason for the ?crash? experienced by CFS patients.

2)     Consistently high homocysteine levels in women suffering from FM and CFS is an established fact.

Excessive homocysteine can damage the blood vessels that nourish the heart and the brain. High levels of homocysteine not only predict heart attack and stroke but probably help cause them as well. People with elevated homocysteine levels also have double the risk of developing Alzheimer?s disease.

Researchers believe Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are a result of deficiencies of substances needed for ATP synthesis and excessive homocysteine levels.

   3) Stress

When under stress the adrenal gland produces cortisol, which leads to adrenal exhaustion and symptoms of chronic fatigue.

FIBROMYALGIA AND CHRONIC FATIGUE SYMPTOMS

Symptoms of Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome can vary in severity and often wax and wane.

MUSCULAR PAIN

Fibromyalgia pain is profound, widespread and chronic. Often beginning in one part of the body, then traveling to other areas, while increasing and decreasing in intensity.

Muscles may feel like they have been overworked or pulled. They'll feel that way even without exercise or another cause. Sometimes muscles twitch, burn, or have deep stabbing pain.

Sufferers describe the pain as shooting or stabbing, throbbing, and deep muscular aching. Prolonged symptoms often add to the discomfort by leading to numbness, tingling, even a burning sensation. Pain and stiffness are usually more intense in the morning.

Factors which help to onset or aggravate symptoms include sleepless nights, cold/humid weather, physical activity, anxiety and stress.

FATIGUE

Fibromyalgia fatigue is like no other. Sufferers often feel as if the energy has been sucked out of their bodies. It?s not simply being tired; it is a comprehensive exhaustion that makes even the simplest physical activity a test.

SLEEPLESSNESS

Researchers have found distinctive sleep disorders in Fibromyalgia patients. Bursts of brain activity wake individuals out of all stages of deep sleep. Sufferers are prevented from getting a night of undistributed sleep.   

ASSOCIATED SYMPTOMS

Migraine like headaches, restless leg syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, loss of memory and reduced concentration, dry eyes and mouth, ringing in the ears, poor circulation in hands and feet similar to Reynard?s syndrome.

These symptoms combine leading to impaired coordination, anxiety and depression, creating an inability to concentrate, so called ?fibro fog.?

FIBROMYALGIA AND CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME RELIEF

There is no known definitive cure for Fibromyalgia. And there is no treatment that will address all of the Fibromyalgia symptoms.

FibroStol contains magnesium hydroxide, the form of magnesium most soluble and bio-available in the human body, and DL-malic acid, the only form biologically active in the body.

MAGNESIUM HYDROXIDE AND L-MALIC ACID

Research has shown DL-malic acid in a ratio of 4:1 over magnesium hydroxide produces the maximum amount of ATP in the body.

Magnesium and DL-malic acid also protect against the toxic effects of aluminum. Aluminum blocks the utilization of phosphate for ATP synthesis. Adequate magnesium levels prevent this toxic effect. DL-malic acid is very potent at reducing aluminum levels in the brain.

Magnesium deficiency is also very common in patients with irritable bowel syndrome, mitral valve prolapse, tension headache and dysmenorrheal.

FibroStol contains the soluble forms of magnesium and DL-malic, in the appropriate ratio, in the correct dosage, for maximum daily production of ATP in the body.

ROLE OF B-12 IN FIBROMYALGIA AND CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME

There is convincing evidence high homocysteine levels is an underlying factor in women suffering from Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

The metabolism of homocysteine occurs in two different pathways. One pathway--methionine synthase--results in the synthesis of methionine from homocysteine, and is dependent on folic acid and vitamin B-12. The other pathway converts homocysteine to an amino acid, cysteine, and this pathway requires vitamin B-6 and vitamin B-12.

Vitamin B-12 is the crucial element in the prevention of excessive build-up of homocysteine.

Vitamin B-12 comes in several forms including hydroxyl, cyano, and adenosyl, but only the methylcobalamin form is soluble, is delivered efficiently to nerve tissues, and is used in the central nervous system. Other forms of B-12 are not soluble and are totally ineffective in preventing build-up of homocysteine.

Methylcobalamin also participates in the synthesis of SAM-e (S-adenosylmethionine), a nutrient with powerful mood elevating properties. Methylcobalamin especially protects nerve tissue and brain cells, and promotes healthy sleep. Because of this, Methylcobalamin is considered important in the treatment of all neurological diseases.

FibroStol contains the only form of B-12 absorbed in the bran cells, methylcobalamin, in the correct dosage to prevent homocysteine build-up.

OTHER B-VITAMINS

Proper combination of B vitamins substantially reduces total homocysteine levels in the body.

Folic acid--a B vitamin--combats anemia, helps to reduce homocysteine levels, relieves pain, and helps B-12 to work better. 

Riboflavin--vitamin B-2--is needed to change vitamin B-6 into a form the body can use, and it helps change the amino acid tryptophan into niacin, another essential B vitamin.  Inside the mitochondria, a cell?s tiny powerhouse, riboflavin acts to move electrons, releasing energy to make ATP. In addition, riboflavin seems to have the power to control migraines.

Vitamin B-6 interacts with magnesium in more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. B-6 has to be on hand when your body breaks down stored sugar for energy, when it creates the building blocks that will become protein. B-6 also helps neurotransmitters, the chemicals our nervous systems produce in order to send out messages. It also helps regulate the central nervous system and helps protect against stress.

Recommended daily dose of FibroStol provides women with the proper form of B-vitamins necessary to prevent the accumulation of excessive homocysteine.

GUAIFENESIN

Guaifenesin is a cough syrup expectorant. For years, guaifenesin has been heavily promoted on and off the internet as a cure for Fibromyalgia. Guaifenesin is available over-the-counter so it's most important Fibromyalgia sufferer?s be informed concerning the scientific research of this product.

Paul St. Amand, M.D. at the Fibromyaglia Treatment Center in Marina Del Rey, California. Amand has published a book on how guaifenesin can cure people with Fibromyalgia.

His book and a cosmetic line are vigorously marketed to people trying the guaifenesin protocol, are sold on his website.

Use of this drug is to rid the muscles, tendons, joints, brain, intestines and other tissues of harmful calcium phosphate deposits. These deposits speculated to be caused by an inherited defect in kidney function that would ordinarily flush the phosphate molecules into the urine where they belonged.

Calcium phosphate deposits were believed to cause serious impediment of blood flow to the tissues, resulting in an impairment of vital cellular functions throughout the body.

Drawing calcium phosphate deposits out of tissues and into the bloodstream causes symptom flare-ups. Even St. Amand acknowledges patients cycling in and out of guaifenesin will suffer severe pain.  

Before St. Armand began to market his guaifenesin protocol there was a research study conducted to look at the potential effect of guaifenesin in people with Fibromyalgia.

The study showed that guaifenesin performed no better than a placebo, and the blood/urine tests revealed that it could not possibly work as suggested by St. Amand.  Due to the negative results, the study was never published in a peer-review medical journal.

Since the original and negative study on guaifenesin there have been numerous and extensive muscle studies, including those by seasoned researcher Muhammad Yunus, M.D., of University of Illinois College of Medicine.

D. Yunus study never revealed or even hinted that calcium phosphate deposits were a problem in Fibromyalgia.

Elaborate muscle metabolic studies were conducted in 1993  by Boston University researcher Robert Simms, M.D., and turned up nothing to support the theory of calcium phosphate deposits as the cause of Fibromyalgia.

Despite solid scientific evidence disproving guaifenesin as an effective treatment for Fibromyalgia, the controversy continued. To get to the truth about guaifenesin the National Fibromyalgia Research Foundation funded a study.

Robert Bennett, M.D., Professor of Medicine and Chairman Division of Arthritis and Rheumatic Diseases Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, Oregon, agreed to take on the arduous task of a one-year double blind, placebo-controlled study.

Twenty female Fibromyalgia patients were placed on 600 mgs of guaifenesin twice a day (St. Amand?s recommended dose) and another 20 patients took a placebo (sugar pill) twice daily. The study was completed in June 1995. 

Bennett evaluated all study participants every three months for symptoms, tender points and serum/urinary levels of uric acid and phosphates. None of these variables significantly changed over the year and the response to guaifenesin was the same as that for the placebo.

Large crystalline deposits present throughout the muscles in patients with Fibromyalgia, has not shown up in a single study.

In scientific studies, guaifenesin, again and again, has been proven to be no more effective than a sugar pill. But the promise of a sure-fire cure always sells. 

NONI JUICE

A botanical extract purported to improve energy, well-being, function, outlook on life, treat asthma, aid with weight loss, improve arthritis and diabetes, decrease the pain of headaches, cancer, and of course, Fibromyalgia.

How does this miracle juice work? No research is cited, but there is a ton of testimonial-type endorsements.

Only one clinical study has been published on Noni Juice, and it involved just five women with osteoporosis (J Altern Complement Med 10:797, 2004). It only lasted three months, there was no placebo group for comparison, and therefore, no conclusions could be drawn.

Research to show that Noni Juice can treat Fibromyalgia or any other medical condition is non-existent.

FIBRONOL AND FIBROBOOST

The main ingredient in Fibronol and FibroBoost is an extract from brown algae, along with aloe vera, magnesium, malic acid, and vitamin B1.

Fibronol promoters, and its cousin product, FibroBoost, claim these products improve sleep, boost energy, and promote pain relief. They cite an article that can be purchased for $10.

This article has absolutely nothing to do with Fibronol, and falsely leads people to believe that the clinical trial must have been meticulously performed and peer-reviewed.

There has never been a scientific or clinical study of any algae extract as a treatment for Fibromyalgia.

By the way, if taken as directed, the two products will set you back $150 per month.

MYERS NUTRIENT THERAPY

Myers was a physician who believed that an IV infusion of the ingredients in the table below would help jump-start symptom improvements in people with chronic illnesses, but never published data to substantiate his theory.

Many treatment centers for Fibromyalgia are heavily promoting the use of intravenous (IV) Myers' nutrient therapy, or a modified Myers' cocktail.

The advertisements often boast that you can receive up to 60% reduction in pain and an 80% reduction in fatigue. They also claim that you will notice these symptom improvements within two days of receiving the Myers' IV cocktail.

They are basing it on a report of seven women with Fibromyalgia (and no control subjects for comparison) by Patrick Massey, M.D., Ph.D., of Elk Grove Village, IL.

Massey selected seven Fibromyalgia patients who were already under his care, to take 8 weekly infusions of the Myers? cocktail. 

These seven patients knew they were being tested with a new treatment for Fibromyalgia. This was not a double blind or placebo-controlled study.

Massey subjectively states in his report that the eight-week therapy reduced pain by 60% and fatigue by 80%. Yet he provides no data to substantiate this claim. But Massey does state the therapy is short-lived, lasting between 24 and 48 hours.

This therapy is unproven, and at $250 per infusion not practical.

LYRICA

Pfizer, makers of Lyrica, asked the FDA to expand the approved uses of Lyrica to include the treatment of Fibromyalgia.

FDA review process is science-based and comprehensive. In clinical trials, Fibromyalgia patients taking Lyrica reported that their pain fell on average about two points on a ten-point scale, compared with one point for patients taking a placebo. Not a big deal, to say the least.

FDA reviewers advised against approving Lyrica for treatment of Fibromyalgia. But the FDA ignored the advice of its own reviewers, and approved Lyrica for Fibromyalgia treatment anyway.

Pfizer estimated the market for Lyrica at $367 million annually in 2006. After it?s approval for Fibromyalgia in 2007, Pfizer estimated the market for Lyrica at $1.7 billion annually. 

Reading the product insert warning reveals Lyrica may or may not help in relieving the pain of Fibromyalgia, while altering the chemistry of your brain.

Side effects from taking Lyrica include weight gain, fatigue, hair loss, headaches and thinning of bones. If you live in Europe this drug is not allowed on the market because it?s performance didn't outweigh the risks in studies.

NSAIDS (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)

Including COX-2, have not been found to be effective for treating FMS pain. Opioid pain medications are usually only prescribed if all other drug and non-drug options have been tried to no avail.

 

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INGREDIENTS
Four tablets contain:

Malic acid 2000 mg.
Magnesium (hydroxide) 500 mg.
B6 100 mg.
Riboflavin B2 75 mg.
Folic acid 5 mg.
B12 (meythcobalamin) 3 mg.
 


DOSAGE
  

Four (4) caplets a day in a divided dose of two (2) caplets twice a day.

While some will experience a rapid response, others may take longer to respond. A majority of patients will feel significant improvement of pain within 72 hours of starting the supplement. Fatigue symptoms take up to two weeks before diminishing. Maximum benefit, at any given dosage, occurs within six (6) weeks.

Many women stop taking FibroStol after achieving total relief from FM and CFS, only to find their symptoms promptly resurface.

The renewal of symptoms cannot be quickly alleviated by simply taking FibroStol again. The FM/CFS sufferer will find themselves back where they began before discovering FibroStol and once again it will take two to six weeks of taking FibroStol  to get their symptoms back under control. The key to success with FibroStol is to be observant and disciplined.


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