Understanding “Fibromyalgia” Part 4: The Chronic Stress Factor

THE HORMONE FAMILY

Before we talk about chronic stress, there’s something we need to understand about the endocrine system and hormones. So, let’s talk about hormones first.

Hormones, I’ve learned, are a family and cannot be isolated and treated separately.  This is likely why “hormone therapy” is the best we can come up with in treating the symptoms of hormone dysfunction.  In medical science, we do not yet know how to restore function to hormonal glands when they malfunction—or, if we do, we’re not taking that route. The sole approach we’re taking with medicine today is the prescribing and ingesting of synthetic hormones, and in some cases the surgical removal of the malfunctioning gland altogether.  Rather barbaric, I’d say, and a testament to our horse-and-buggy approach to sickness and health yet in this the twenty-first century.

Of course, “natural hormone replacement therapy” is now available. But we’re still putting the hormones into the body instead of correcting the malfunction. The old axiom can be applied here: “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach him  how to fish and feed him for a lifetime.”  You can give the body hormones or restore normal function to its own endocrine system. If you give the body hormones, the demand is taken away and the glands will not be called into action to produce their hormones.

FUNCTIONAL ENDOCRINOLOGY

Here’s were “Functional Medicine” comes into the health care arena to save the day—and our sacred endocrine system.  I’ve taken a few seminars in what is called “Functional Endocrinology” and, believe me, it’s a comprehensive and truly wholistic approach to balancing body chemistry. It also requires specializing, so I would encourage you to seek out an alternative practitioner who specializes in Functional Endocrinology and Clinical Nutrition, or a least uses muscle testing for system strength analysis, such as Contact Reflex Analysis or Quantum Reflex Analysis, in determining functional deficiencies and appropriate nutritional and herbal support.

THE STRESS RESPONSE AND THE “HPA AXIS”

In functional endocrinology we have what is called the “HPA Axis” (Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal).  These are the head coordinators of your endocrine family and are at the core of all hormonal activity, the most common of which is the “fight or flight” stress response.  Here’s how that works. The hypothalamus apprises the pituitary gland about conditions in the body and around it.  It’s the clearing house for information coming in through the five senses via the central nervous system.  It says if it’s hot or cold, dangerous or safe, turbulent or peaceful in your world—including your physical body, your closest and most personal world. The pituitary gland received the information via chemical messengers from the hypothalamus and proceeds to send out a hormone precursor to the adrenal glands (as it does to all the glands) for further hormone production.  The adrenal glands receive the precursors and squirts adrenalin into the blood stream to empower muscle cell activity.  The blood vessels contract and the muscles get ready to act on your command. This is so with all cellular activity in the body. Every cell in your body needs adrenalin to function properly—or to function at all. 

If the stress response is not shut off for a length of time—weeks and months—the stress becomes chronic. Chronic stress is a known contributor to fibromyalgia, as well as Chronic Fatigue (CFS), which is often caused by hypothyroid function. The adrenal and thyroid glands share a close relationship in the hormone family.  The stress response triggers the production of adrenalin to get the muscles moving for flight or fight in the face of a threat—real or imagined.  If a person doesn’t fight or flee from a threat and the threat is not removed, the adrenalin is not used up. 

Adrenalin, like all hormones, becomes a toxin if not used up or removed from the blood stream and muscle tissue.  It is used up in physical exercise.  It is broken down by enzymes and removed by the lymphatic system—which also depends on exercise to move lymph fluid through the tissues and on to its final destination at the left subclavian vein just above the heart where it enters the blood stream.  From there it is sent with the blood to the liver and kidneys to be filtered out and eliminated.  If this doesn’t happen and the adrenalin remains in the tissues, two things happen. One, the adrenal glands are shut down by the pituitary gland, which gets the message from the hypothalamus that there’s no need for more adrenalin as the muscle tissues are saturated with it.  Two, adrenalin, a steroid hormone called “cortisol,” is the bully of the hormone family if it doesn’t get its way.  It wrecks havoc in estrogen chemistry balance and interferes with thyroid function.  

There’s only one answer: deal with the stress factor.  Fight back or flee the situation.  Preferably, resolve it.  Now, you can’t always do that, especially if the stress factor is your job or your marital relationship.  You may need both—for a while anyway— so, denied a successful resolution, you stand or sit there in a state of quiet desperation while chronic stress sets in.  This sends a message to your hypothalamus that you’re not going to do anything about the stress.  A cascade of failures ensue:

  1. The hypothalamus gets confused and frustrated, or at best incoherent, and may simply shut down.
  2. This leaves the pituitary gland without clear and coherent instructions on what hormone precursors are needed by the family members of the endocrine system to make their hormones.  An incoherent pituitary gland spells confusion and depression for the brain.
  3. The thyroid gland falls off in its production of thyroid and parathyroid hormones, directly impacting your metabolism.  You gain weight and lose bone density.
  4. The thymus gland doesn’t get the feedback it needs about outside invaders and the possible need for an immune response.
  5. The Beta cells of the pancreas  (Islets of Langerhans) don’t know how much insulin to make to keep blood sugar balanced, resulting in hypo and/or hyperglycemia.
  6. The adrenal glands just shut down leaving you with restless nights and no stamina during the day.
  7. Finally, the sex hormone glands (the gonads) go haywire without the pituitary gland’s stimulating hormone precursors—the menstrual cycle loses its regularity and your libido shuts down in the absence of any desire to reproduce your stressed-out self.  Survival, not reproduction, growth and healing, is your body’s primary interest at this point.

You get the picture, I believe.  A family feud breaks out among your hormone glands—all because your hypothalamus is confused and your adrenal glands are exhausted. The result is pain and more pain and a complete lack of energy.  (I won’t repeat the diagnostic terms medicine has for these conditions so as not to re-enforce mental fixations that get in the way of healing.)

OXYTOCIN TO THE RESCUE!

There is one out.  Relax, throw your shoulders back, smile and be thankful for your circumstance . . . that you have a circumstance!   A thankful attitude releases oxytocin into the blood stream which disengages the stress response. So does a hug and a hand shake. So, find someone to hug—or just hug yourself— and shake hands with someone, anyone! Get that oxytocin flowing 🙂

CLINICAL NUTRITIONAL TO THE RECOVERY

While medicating for pain and and pep, consider this protocol as a general program until you can find a clinical nutritionist who can evaluate your need more specifically. This protocol will begin giving you back your life and your bubbling personality. The products are all by Standard Process and Medi-Herb. Divide dosages between morning and evening meals,  or between three meals if you’d rather.  

  1. 4 Hypothalmex tablets – ($24/60 tabs)
  2. 4 Symplex F tablets (women),  Symplex M (men) – ($17/90 t)
  3. 4 Black Current Seed Oil pearls – ($15/60 pearls)
  4. 8 Drenamin tablets – ($11/90 t)
  5. 3 Adrenal Complex for adrenal exhaustion – ($21/40 t) 
  6. 3 Thyroid Complex for hypothyroid – ($26/40 t)

To that add these for general wholefood nutritional support: 

  1. 6 Catalyn – ($11/90 tabs) 
  2. 6 Min-Tran – ($6/90  t)
  3. 3 Trace Minerals B12 – ($15/90 t)
  4. 3 Tuna Omega 3 Oil pearls – ($20/120 pearls)

Drop me an email and I’ll have the products drop-shipped directly from Standard Process within a few days.*  The cost for a 30-day supply of the above products with a 10% blog-readers discount is $280.  You will feel so good after taking these therapeutic foods for a month that you will re-order every month for two more months.  After this 90-day intensive therapy period, dosages on most supplements can be reduced to maintenance levels for the next 9 months.  Stay with this program for a year if you want to reap its full benefits.  We’re talking balancing your body chemistry and not just treating the symptoms of hormone imbalances for the rest of your life.  

*Drop-shipping applies to orders within the USA.  Postage and handling for out-of-county shipping will apply.

TOTAL PROTOCOL SUMMARY

1. First, detoxify. Do a 21-day total body purification using the Purification Kit by Standard Process. The cost: $240.  Repeat this purification program every 4 months for a year, then twice a year thereafter.

2. For gouty arthritis and fluid retention, abstain from highly seasoned and high purine foods (turkey, pork, heavy beef, lentils, dried beans, avocados, and beer) and take the following: 

  1. AC Carbamide  – 3 capsules with a tall glass of purified or spring water three times a day to support the kidneys in removing uric acid from the blood and excess fluid from the tissues. ($18/90 caps)  
  2. Iodomere  – 2 tablets with meals (6 a day) for thyroid support and to help the kidneys take up fluid. ($19/90 tabs) 
  3. DermaCo herbal – one or two tablet per day to help maintain a normal level of uric acid in the bloodstream. ($28/40 tabs) 

3.  During and after the 21-day purification, support your lymphatic system with daily brisk walks or rebounding exercise and take the following:

  1.  Take 10 drops of Lymphapar sublingual 3 times daily for 7 days then once daily for 90 days. ($14/1 oz bottle. You’ll need 3 or 4 bottles.  Email me and I’ll send you some as this is not an SP product.) 
  2. Add to that 1 Cal Amo tablet with each meal for 30 days. ($12/90 tabs)
  3. Take 4 Allerplex capsules twice a day to help get rid of metabolic waste and histamines, particularly from the lungs and bronchial tubes. ($24/150 caps)

 4.  Next, support your immune system with the following supplements over the first 90 days:

  1. Echinacea Premium (2/day)
  2. Immuplex (6/day),
  3. Thymex (6/day),
  4. St. John’s Wort (2/day) – Contraindicated with life-dependent medicines as it detoxifies drugs in the liver.
  5. Astragalus (2/day)  

5. Support the stress-response and hormone system as detailed above.   

Take this in steps and stages, and don’t rush the process.  You didn’t get fibromyalgia or CFS overnight.  Allow one month of correction for every year of chronic illness after going through a 90-day intensive.  It takes that long to turn a deteriorating health pattern around and build an integrating health pattern. And, above all, be patient—and aim to maintain an attitude of gratitude! 🙂

This completes my consideration of  fibromyalgia.  I will resume my series “Seven Glands for Seven Spirits” with the next post.  Until then,

Here’s to your health and healing . . . and a happy and healthy holiday season.

Dr. Anthony Palombo

tpal70@gmail.com

Visit my second blog, HealingTones.org, for intriguing thought around the current cosmic event, “4th Density Apocalypse 2012, Part 3: The Ascension Process.” 

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Understanding “Fibromyalgia”—Part 3: The Immune Connection

Tony Pics for SA BookThere’s an old proverb that says: 

“If you make people think they think, they will love you. If you make them think, they will hate you.”  

I trust that you will not hate me for helping you think for yourself on matters as personal and intimate to you as your health.  

THE IMMUNE CONNECTION

Let’s talk about the immune connection to “fibromyalgia.”  We’re talking about infection, a crucial step in the healing process. Without infection, we would quickly succumb to the ravages of toxic metabolic waste and invasive pathogens upon the body cells.  Sounds like what “fibromyalgia” is all about—the ravages of toxic metabolic waste and invasive pathogens upon the body cells, which calls up an immune response to create an infection.  

I’ve just made another “thought-process interrupt.”  We automatically think of infections as something “bad” and a thing to “fight.”  What I said above calls for different thinking—and that’s my intent in writing this blog: to help us think again and anew about dis-ease and health, but mainly about what we’ve called “disease.”

Notice I hyphenate that word when I use it, because there is no such thing as “a disease.”  We’ve been programmed to think there is and that “disease” is our enemy that needs to be fought and destroyed with man-made chemical bullets, bombs and “surgical warfare.”  But we’re only shadow boxing.  Where diseases need to be gotten rid of is in human consciousness, where they are being  invented, labeled and “cured” (as in preserved). That’s what you do when you cure something.  You preserve it.  Well, we need to stop curing disease and start supporting the healing processes of the body, which alone knows what to do about what we call “disease.” 

There is a dis-ease created by such things as inflammation and infection.  They don’t feel good. We’re not at ease with pain, and that’s as it should be, all things considered.  Pain keeps us from hurting ourselves even further with inappropriate lifestyle activities. It should cause us to ask “Why does that hurt?” rather than “How can I get rid of this pain?”  Pain is an alarm. You wouldn’t turn off the smoke or fire alarm.  You would first look for the fire and seek to put it out. The smoke alarm will automatically shut off when the fire is put out and the smoke cleared out of the house.  It’s the same with pain. 

Our immune system creates fires all the time in order to burn up toxic waste.  The only sensible thing to do is support it so it can do its job more quickly and efficiently.  Fevers are life-savers and are not to be suppressed. They need to be allowed to burn at moderate temperatures (100 – 104).  More than that is dangerous and should be brought down with cold applications to the head especially to prevent brain damage.  Covering the body with blankets to help break a sweat will often break a fever. 

So, let’s talk about supporting the immune system.  Here’s its mechanism of action in medical terms.  Read it first then I’ll break it down to help you understand it.

Cytokines mediate and control immune and inflammatory responses. Complex interactions exist between cytokines, inflammation and the adaptive responses in maintaining homeostasis, health, and well-being. Like the stress response, the inflammatory reaction is crucial for survival and is meant to be tailored to the stimulus and time. A full-fledged systemic inflammatory reaction results in stimulation of four major programs: the acute-phase reaction, the sickness syndrome, the pain program, and the stress response, mediated by the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and the sympathetic nervous system.

Phew! That’s a mouth-full.  First, let’s understand what “cytokines” are.  Here’s the Wikipedia definition:

Cytokines (Greek cyto-, cell; and -kinos, movement) are small cell-signaling proteinmolecules that are secreted by numerous cells and are a category of signaling molecules used extensively in intercellular communication. Cytokines can be classified as proteinspeptides, or glycoproteins; the term “cytokine” encompasses a large and diverse family of regulators produced throughout the body by cells of diverse embryological origin

Simply stated, these are the messengers that alert the body’s immune system that the body has been invaded by harmful pathogens or free radicals.  They mediate and control immune and inflammatory responses, just as it says.  There is the “Redox Signaling Molecules,” for example. They play an important role in the body by activating antioxidants and turning on the immune response naturally to restore and maintain homeostasis—balance.

Watch this 5-minute video clip put out by ASEA as it contains a graphic demonstration of how cytokines work.  Just bear with the promo for their product, although it represents a remarkable scientific breakthrough in the healthcare field, and I use the product myself and in my practice.  This is important information to help us understand such modern-day health issues as “fibromyalgia” and “chronic fatigue syndrome.”

As you can see from the clip, the message has to get through to the immune system or else the invasion of pathogens and free radicals and the vulnerability of the cell walls will go unnoticed by the body.  

IMMUNE ALLIANCE, NOT SYSTEM

Let me explain the so-called “immune system,” which is a misnomer. We do not “have” an “immune system” as such, although the thymus gland, spleen and bone marrow play pivotal roles in producing immune-response cells to deal with “non-self” toxins in the body.  What we do have in an immune alliance which involves all the organs of the body, especially the organs of elimination, which includes the skin, by the way.  So, just keep that in mind in your approach to supporting your “immune system.”  For example, if you simply take antibiotics, pharma grade of natural, without doing something to clean out the metabolic waste with herbs, for instance, then you’ll end up crowding your lymphatic system with too much to handle on its own.  

I’ll often give a client Congaplex or Thymex, “natural antibiotics” put out by Standard Process Labs, to support the body’s immune-response to strep and staph infections respectively.  In a day or two the client often comes down with sinus congestion or swollen lymph nodes.  This tells me that the lymphatic glands are congested, so I’ll back off from supporting the body’s immune response and start supporting its elimination system.  

Standard Process and Medi-Herb provide superior products for this purpose, even natural antihistamines, like Antronex,  Allerplex, and Fen-Gre  to break up congestion in the sinuses and lymphatic glands, and ResCo, Broncafect, and PulmaCo to help clear out congestion in the bronchial tubes and lungs.  A company by the name of Energique also provides a product called Lymphapar, which almost magically opens up the lymphatic glands—very helpful with lactating mothers, for which this sublingual homeopathic was formulated.  These are all non-invasive, non-toxic, “natural medicines.”  They are also quite affordable when compared to the escalating cost of drugs.  Unfortunately, they are not covered by most insurance policies. 

Invariably, a “virus” appears on the scene from seemingly out of nowhere to scavenge the debris left by dead cells that gave their lives putting out the fire of infection.  That’s what they are and what they do—and they do appear to come from out of nowhere because they are simply normal cells of the body that have been transformed, morphed, and re-programmed as scavengers to clean up the mess left by the immune response, which I think is simply amazingly ingenious.  So, we can then turn our attention to helping the body clean house so as to eliminate the necessity for the viral activity.  This includes viruses that originate outside the body.  They are still scavengers and they will not invade your body tissues if there is nothing there for them to scavenge. This emphasizes the importance of Fall and Spring full-body purification rituals.  

Immuplex and St. John’s Wort help the body respond to viral infections.  Herbal teas are helpful in eliminating waste.  Bowel, liver and kidney detox products are plentiful.  All one has to do is use them.  Standard Process has a complete full-body Purification Kit with all the nutrients needed to clean out the body’s systems and tissues. Email me for product acquisition.  My readers enjoy a 10% discount on all supplement orders. *

ECHINACEA & IMMUNE-RESPONSE MODULATION

When we are sick we usually think in terms of “stimulating the immune system.” Well, that may or may not be the right call.  It’s far better to think in terms of modulating your immune response. Modulation simply entails balancing the immune response, which will be under-active where infections persist and over-active where autoimmune conditions persist, such as AIDS and rheumatoid arthritis.  

Echinacea herb is probably the most effective modulating botanical in Mother Nature’s cornucopia of natural medicines.  Medi-Herb, a sister company to Standard Process, has the very best Echanicea product in their Echinacea Premium—and it can be taken daily as a preventative, by children and adults alike, to keep the immune response balanced and poised to act appropriately in response to infections and autoimmune issues.

Not all Echinaceas are equal.  For example, the root of the augustifolia plant has more goodies for the immune system than the flowers of the purpurea plant.  Traditional Echinacea is made from the flowers, which is why people who are allergic to plants of the daisy family have a sensitivity to traditional Echinacea (made from Echinacea Purpurea flowers).  Echinacea Premium by Medi-Herb is made from the root of the Echinacea angustifolia.  The natives in Australia, where Medi-Herb manufactures its products, would pass over the flowering  purpurea plants and dig up the root type augustifolia plant, which resembles a carrot, because they knew it worked better than the flower type plants.  

Master Herbalist Dr. Kerry Bone of Medi-Herb has discovered that it’s the high concentrations of alkylamides that impact the immune system and not the polysacharides, as traditional European herbalists believe.  Echinacea Premium combines the roots of Echinacea angustifolia and Echinacea purpurea to enlist properties unique to each one in supporting the immune system. The following are some of it benefits: 

  • enhance immune system function (particularly non-specific immune function)
  • support and promote normal interferon production
  • support and promote healthy white blood cells
  • support healthy immune response following stress, sudden changes in weather or temperature
  • encourage healthy upper respiratory tissue
  • support and maintain healthy throat tissue
  • support healthy lymphatic system function
  • stimulate the body’s normal tissue support and renewal function.

For maximum benefit, combine Immuplex and Echinacea Premium in your supplement protocol for immune response modulation and support. Email me for product acquisition and dosages.  

And friends, you just need to stock up your “Natural Medicine Cabinet” with these products if you’re going to make the break from pharmaceutical drugs and start supporting your body’s immune system naturally.  In this day and age, supplementation with wholefood nutritionals and herbs is unavoidable.  And  I walk my talk. Personally, I take up to 30 different supplements daily. That’s about 60 pills and capsules, a handfull at each meal.  But that’s not much when I compare it to the three plates full of food I eat daily—and these are essences of wholefood concentrates designed and prescribed to reverse the “disease” process by balancing body chemistry—not “vitamin supplements,” which I strongly advise against.

For a personal consultation, email me for my telephone number and to schedule a time.  My fees are very reasonable.  We’ll talk more about the inflammatory and stress response systems in connection with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue, which includes the thyroid’s involvement, in my next post.  Until then, 

Here’s to your health and healing,

Anthony Palombo, DC, ACN

Email address: tpal70@gmail.com

*Network marketing products, such as ASEA and Nopalea, are not included in this discount.

Visit my HealingTones.org blog for inspirational articles about sacred energy.  The current series theme is Fourth Density Apocalypse 2012: The Science of Ascension.