So many people with CFS and fibromyalgia are incredibly sensitive to any treatments. This makes figuring out how to treat them quite the challenge. So in this part 18 of my series "Fatigue & Fibromyalgia Are Optional," I'll discuss things you can do to begin:
- Consider mast cell activation syndrome if what you are sensitive to varies from day-to-day. No testing is needed. It is better to try the treatments below and see if they help. They tend to be well tolerated and often work within a week or two. Give six weeks to see the full effect. So simply try the following:
- Quercetin: Available from any health-food store. Take 500 milligrams twice a day.
- Antihistamines: Can try loratadine (Claritin) or any over-the-counter, non-sedating oral antihistamine in the morning and diphenhydramine (Benadryl) at night
- Montelukast (prescription — Singulair): Take 10 milligrams at bedtime.
- When your computer goes on the fritz, the first thing tech support tells you to do is reboot. Simple techniques can help you hit the reset button on your brain and immune system. A simple acupressure technique called NAET can eliminate food and other sensitivities, rebooting your immune system. And another simple exercise can help you reboot your nervous system (vagal nerve). I also highly recommend the ANS Rewire by Dan Neuffer or the Dynamic Neural Retraining System (DNRS) by Annie Hopper, which you can do at home. Once you do either of these, you're much more likely to be able to tolerate other treatments, and you will feel dramatically better. I will discuss these in more detail in Part Four on the mind-body connection. These can be dramatically helpful with your sensitivities — and CFS/FMS symptoms in general.
- Consider mold toxins if:
- You do not respond adequately to the S.H.I.N.E.® protocol.
- You have severe environmental and treatment sensitivities, including sensitivity to light, sound, smells, and even electromagnetic fields.
- You have severe anxiety or depression.
- Electric shock sensations (not numbness or tingling in the extremities, which are present in 44 percent of people fibromyalgia), ice pick–like pains, vibrating or pulsing sensations running up and down the spinal cord, odd tics and spasms, or seizure-like events.
- The sensitivities do not go away with treatment for mast cell activation.
Addressing mold toxins is not to be undertaken lightly, as it can be pricey to get rid of mold in your home or work environment. The good news? If your illness began before you moved into your current home or work environment, then it may simply be a matter of clearing the persistent mold toxins from your body, using low-cost binders. A urine test ($400 to $700, not insurance covered, but not necessarily critical for treatment) can help tell if you have elevated mold toxins and guide treatment, but I doubt that it is completely reliable. It often takes twelve to eighteen months to see improvement, but it may occur much more quickly. Start very slowly with the toxin binders we discuss, increasing the dose as is comfortable.
So many people with CFS/FMS are incredibly sensitive to any treatments, especially to medications but sometimes even to herbals, nutrients, their environment, and sometimes even cell phone and other electromagnetic frequencies (EMF). This makes it tricky to treat individuals.
So, how can you take the treatments you need if you react to them? Although this sensitivity does make treatment more complex, the good news is that you can bypass this problem.
From My New Edition of From Fatigued to Fantastic
To remind you, BFFs (Brain Fog Friendly Summaries) are just the short summaries I include at the beginning of each chapter in my newest edition of From Fatigued to Fantastic. I added these to my new edition to help readers with brain fog quickly get the main points of a topic. Then, as able and interested, they can dive into each topic to get far more detail. I invite you to get the book. It will rock your world!
Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D. is one of the world's leading integrative medical authorities on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. He is the lead author of eight research studies on their effective treatments, and has published numerous health & wellness books, including the bestseller on fibromyalgia From Fatigued to Fantastic! and The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution. Dr. Teitelbaum is one of the most frequently quoted fibromyalgia experts in the world and appears often as a guest on news and talk shows nationwide including Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, Oprah & Friends, CNN, and Fox News Health.