Recovery from Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia

Hi and thanks for stopping in! Today I’m talking about how I’m  getting better from chronic illness. Despite all of our amazing advances in medicine, there is still so much we don’t know about the human body.  Our doctors and alternative health care workers try their best, but it doesn’t always help that much. For many years now I have been experiencing Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue. It’s been pretty awful. I had to stop working because of the fatigue, pain, depression, and brain fog. Finally I am feeling so much better. Knock on a lot of wood.

I have been trying all sorts of treatments for the last few years, but recently my Primary Care Physician (who is the “specialist” in chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia at Kaiser) and I had hit a dead end. She’s a good doctor, but I knew I needed to do something else. After reading the very helpful book, CFS Unravelled – One man’s search for the Cause of Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and the Discovery Essential for You To Recover by Dan Neuffer, I started seeing a naturopath.

I had genetic testing done through 23andme and it turned out that I have MTHFR, CBS, and COMT genetic defects.  These defects are common, so I’m not that much of a mutant.  The main result is that I have problems with my methylation pathway. I’m not going to try to explain it all because it’s very confusing, and others on the internet probably can explain it better than I.  What I can say is that it affects the way my body processes nutrients (like not being able to get benefit from regular B vitamins) and the way my body processes toxins (like not being able to get them out of my body very effectively). If you want to learn more about it I’d say look up “methylation” on google. Or look up “methylation and [condition you’re interested in].” It can cause lots of issues, like Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, Depression, Anxiety, Autism, and Addiction, to name just a few.

I have been getting methylcobalamine (methylated B12) shots every two weeks and taking methylfolate (non prescription methylated B9) pills (Douglas brand), Zinc, Fish Oil, Magnesium, Vitamin D, and NAC. I cannot tell you the difference this has made in my energy, brain fog, and depression. I’m a different person.  My fibromyalgia pain is still here, so I hope that next steps with the naturopath will help with that. We’ll see. As far as the depression, I had a storm of bad stuff happen recently and I was upset, but didn’t fall into a hole. I feel like my bad feelings are not sticking around as long as they did before. Hallelujah!

If you are suffering with an illness and not getting relief from traditional medicine, I recommend you try naturopathy and get tested for genetic snps (defects) that may be precluding your healing.

P.S. Here’s an article of interest regarding methylfolate and depression, if you’re interested.  I’m surprised that this connection is not talked about more.

Ten More Easy Ways to Detox

More easy ways to detox

This is a follow up to my earlier post about detoxing. I’m trying to keep these simple, and just talk about what I have actually tried.

I’m not a doctor or a scientist, although for most of these there is reliable scientific evidence to support their use in detoxifying the body.

1.  Pesto:  My naturopath told me about this one.  Cilantro and parsley naturally bond to toxins in your body, helping them to move out.
–Combine1 bunch cilantro, 1 bunch parsley, 2 cloves garlic, juice of 1/2 a lemon, and 1/4 cup olive oil in your food processor or blender.
–Eat one tablespoon every day.  It’s delicious on sandwiches and eggs!

2.  Vegetable Juice:  Vegetable juice also pulls toxins out of the body.  You need a juicer for this one, or if you buy your juice from the store, check that it doesn’t have a bunch of extra sugar in it from being mixed with fruits.  The best combo I find is carrot and celery.  If it’s too bitter, add a little bit of apple.

3.  Bieler Broth: This is actually really easy and tasty.  You can also make it with homemade chicken broth if you have it.  Don’t use the store bought chicken broth though.  I put a little pesto (see above recipe) and paprika in mine, mmm.  Recipe

4.  Epsom Salt Bath  Dissolve 1 to 2 cups in your bath water.  This is great for muscle relaxation as well as detox.  It is said it also cleanses the aura (if you’re into that!).  Don’t worry about what temperature or how long.  Remember, make it easy.  What feels right is right.

5.  Castor Oil Belly Rub (called a castor oil pack if you want to look it up, but I think belly rub sounds better).  When I looked this up online it looked really hard and like my sheets would get stained and it would be disgusting.  No, not true, not at all.  Easy.  Pour a quarter sized amount of castor oil in your palm and rub it all over your belly before you go to bed. Be sure to get it over your liver where it really works wonders!  (The liver is located in the upper-right portion of the abdominal cavity under the diaphragm.) Wear a t-shirt you don’t care that much about.  Put a heating pad over your belly for about 15 minutes before you go to sleep, or go to sleep with it on! (My electric one goes off by itself, and my friend has a bag of rice heating pad that naturally cools down over time, so those are a couple of options.)  Very relaxing and helps with digestion too!  I use Heritage Store Castor Oil 4 oz.

5.  Dry Brushing  a great way to wake up in the morning!  Before your morning shower, use a natural bristle brush that’s not too hard and starting at your ankles, brush your skin in a circular motion moving towards your heart.  This is so good for your circulation.  Good circulation gets those toxins moving out.  I got the Fantasea Natural Bristle Body Brush, 3.5 Ounce on amazon for pretty cheap.

6.  Breathing  Pranayama is the Sanskrit name for Yogic breathing exercises.  There are many different methods, but the one that’s easiest for me is the three part breath.
1.  Inhale deeply and slowly.  Feel your stomach rise, your chest rise, and then finally your collar bone rise.
2.  Exhale very, very slowly feel your collar bone move downward, your chest empty, and finally your belly empty.  Suck in your stomach to push that last little bit of stale air out.

You can do this as many times as you like.  Remember to keep it easy.  If once sounds easy, do it once.  If ten times sounds easy, do it ten times.

9.  Stretching  Remember learning stretches in school?  Do some.  Bend at the waist and touch your toes, hang there a while.  Raise your hands over your head, clasp your hands together, and make a half moon with your body by bending over to the right.  Go back to center and bend to the left.  There are many great stretching and yoga videos on youtube, and your probably remember some good stretches from Junior High P.E. or somewhere!

10.  Hang in Nature Put your bare feet on the grass.  Pet the dog.  Watch the sunset.  Sit or walk near moving water (like the ocean or a river).  Listen to the birds.  Watch a bug. Plant something and watch it grow.