Oh…LOOK! Two new studies on FM have ‘solved’ the on-going mystery that is FM. How many causes of this mystery is that, now?
These studies focus the problem on the thyroid, pituitary and hypothalamus, and suggest new avenues of relief for sufferers.
Research from the FM Research Foundation reveals deficient thyroid hormone regulation (DTHR) as an underlying cause of FM. Poor diet, poor physical fitness and metabolism slowing drugs are primary contributors to symptoms as do additional hormonal imbalances of cortisol, estrogen and progesterone.
Another study, by Dr John Lowe, Diplomat of the American Academy of Pain Management and Director of Research at the FM Research Foundation in the UK claims “indisputable proof” that the primary cause of FM are with the pituitary gland or the hypothalamus.
The most often reported symptoms of FM so closely match with hypothyroidism that many physicians order a standard thyroid test in response to complaints from FM sufferers. When that test comes back negative, physicians dismiss a thyroid or hormonal disease.
Many of those tested show ‘thyroid anti-bodies’ with a normal TSH. The presence of anti-bodies indicates the thyroid is in the process auto-immune failure. However, because the TSH levels are normal, doctors do not prescribe medications.
Endocrinologists support treating the thyroid even if the TSH test is within normal range. The patient may present with symptoms of hypo-thyroidism, hyper-thyroidism or a flux of the two and often told they have FM.
The UK studies claim this description is, in fact, FM.
Many doctors do not understand this is a bell curve measurement and ‘normal’ may not mean ‘individual,’ and two different laboratories may indicate two separate results.
The words of Dr Elizabeth Vliet who runs a women’s health clinic art All Saints Hospital in Fort Worth TX and is the author of Screaming to be heard: Hormonal connections women Suspect and Doctors Ignore, seems to support the UK findings.
“The problem I have found is that too often women are told their thyroid is normal without having the complete thyroid test done. Of course, what most people and many physicians don’t realize is that a ‘normal range’ on a laboratory report is just that: a range.
A given person may require higher or lower levels to feel well and to function optimally. I think we must look at the lab test results along with the clinical picture described by the patient.
I have a series of more than 100 patients, all but two are women, who had a normal TSH and turned out to have significantly elevated thyroid anti-bodies that meant they needed thyroid medication in order to feel normal.
This type of oversight is particularly common with a disease call thyroiditis which is 25 times more common in females than males. A woman may experience symptoms of the disease for months to years before the TSH goes up.”
This fits with the UK research which states the condition may not rest with the thyroid but with the pituitary gland or the hypothalamus.
The UK research claims plausible evidence of at least 40 abnormalities of FM patients as a result of testing within range and show such symptoms as:
Widespread pain, tenderness, chronic fatigue, stiffness, depression, fuzzy brained, anxious, intolerance to cold , hot flashes (dependant) bowel issues, sleep disturbances, numbness and tingling, dry skin and mucus membranes, headaches and exercise intolerance-all hallmarks of FM.
Too little thyroid regulation also affects the metabolic aspects of FM and the UK studies concluded resting metabolic rates of those with undetected thyroid issues measured 29 percent lower than average.
Basal body temperature was 96.38. This lower core temperature combined with a poor resting metabolic rate can make an FM victim run the gamut in symptoms.
The new research provides hope for a cure for FM sufferers. The FM Research Foundation ran clinical trials with FM patients using thyroid hormone therapy without using the T4 hormone and found those in the controls groups that had FM improved substantially when re-tested one to five years after initial treatment.
The researchers claim “granite hard findings” for the cause of FM and the relief via treatment.
FM sufferers may benefit from consultations with a neuro – endocrinologist for diagnosis and treatment. An all-natural, reduced calorie diet along with moderate exercise is mandatory to diminish or eliminate symptoms. Analgesics and sleep medication may also help reduce the symptoms of FM (so they say this time!)