Edward Leyton, MD, CCFP
Dr Leyton:I have a tremendous number of problems: fibromyalgia, interstitial cystitis, chronic fatigue, hiatus hernia, hypothyroidism and low blood pressure, to name a few.
Dr Leyton:I have a tremendous number of problems: fibromyalgia, interstitial cystitis, chronic fatigue, hiatus hernia, hypothyroidism and low blood pressure, to name a few. I have been given numerous prescription drugs and I believe they are only making things worse.
My husband and I have purchased a small piece of land in southern Ontario where we are growing our own organic food and raising organic poultry and eggs. I cannot eat in restaurants and most store-bought food makes me sick. Can you help?
Chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and interstitial cystitis have many of the same symptoms in common. Interstitial cystitis is a nasty inflammation of the bladder wall, which occurs mostly in women of middle age.
A cystoscopy usually identifies significant visual inflammation in the bladder wall with this condition. Its symptoms consist of burning pain both while urinating and also over the bladder area at different times during the day. Coupled with this are intense fatigue and frequent aches and pains in other parts of the body.
Chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia may have similar causation mechanisms. Sometimes narcotics can only relieve the pain, and anything that is helping to get pain relief is important to continue. Chronic pain itself is a debilitating and depressing condition and must be treated aggressively. Some people have benefited from detoxification. Stop eating red meats and all fried and refined foods. Eliminate alcohol and caffeine. Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, preferably raw and organic. Drink plenty of fresh squeezed fruit and vegetable juices. Follow this regimen for two to four weeks.
Interstitial cystitis and fibromyalgia are inflammatory conditions that may be helped by herbs such as turmeric, curcumin and ginger root. People with these conditions can also have low magnesium and might benefit from supplementation with magnesium salts at levels of 400 to 800 milligrams daily. Sometimes sufferers are unable to absorb the magnesium by mouth and are helped by deep muscle injections.
Those with chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia also benefit from acupuncture, gentle massage, relaxation techniques and stress reduction. Support groups are often important adjuncts to treatment.
In the early 1990s, a number of studies using evening primrose oil and marine fish oils were found to be beneficial for people with chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. I usually use the following regimen--1,000 mg of primrose oil, combined with 1,000 mg of fish oil, three times daily with meals. Make sure you also take 1,000 mg of vitamin C daily, a B-complex vitamin and extra zinc--25 mg daily. These nutrients help the oils do their job.
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