Dr Mark Dailey

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Fibromyalgia - Just what is a syndrome?

 Fibromyalgia is a Syndrome


In order to understanding what fibromyalgia is, it is necessary to understand the proper definition of a syndrome. According to Webster's dictionary, “A syndrome is a bunch of symptoms that often occur together.” Importantly, many different diseases can cause the same syndrome.  Patients should be aware of this when diagnosed with fibromyalgia syndrome. For example, fever and a sore throat is a very common syndrome. It can be caused by diseases as different as bacterial pharyngitis, the flu, and cancer of the larynx. Thus, it is clear that three completely different diseases can cause the same syndrome. Accordingly, the syndrome cannot be resolved without precisely determining the actual underlying cause of the symptoms. Subsequently, it is necessary to address each of these three causes differently.

This is very simple to understand, as no one would treat the flu the same way as bacterial pharyngitis, neither try to heal cancer of the larynx with the same treatment as the flu. However, what is important is the fact that such completely separate diseases or conditions cause the same or very similar symptoms. So, although the symptoms are the same, treating the underlying causes and the road to health are completely different. This is a vital concept for understanding fibromyalgia.

Put simply, people suffering from fibromyalgia syndrome share many common signs and symptoms. However, there is also a great variety of predisposing factors and numerous previously diagnosed or undiagnosed conditions, as well as different lifestyle choices, leading to a diagnosis of the same syndrome. Accordingly, each case of fybromyagalia must be treated on an individual basis.  Moreover, for this reason, there will never be a single pill that will cure fibromyalgia.

Remarkably, this is actually good news for the patients. Patients with fibromyalgia do not have to wait for someone to discover the cause or the cure for fibromyalgia to regain their health. From a functional medical perspective, it is not the disease that is treated, but rather the person.  As medical professionals, we need to have in-depth information about each aggravating condition, underlying predisposition, and aggravating factors of each patient to peel back the layers of dysfunction like an onion. We do a complete medical history and a lifestyle evaluation and use metabolic assessment forms to give us insight into each patient individual condition. 

We use this information to determine what advanced testing might be necessary.   The advanced testing might consist of:

•    Stool samples

•    Urinalysis, toxicity screening

•    Food sensitivity testing

•    Autoimmune testing

•    Saliva analysis

 Once we gather that information, we design a treatment protocol specific for each patient.  That is what we call the discovery phase of our treatment protocol, followed by the treatment phase. The treatment phase is efficient because,  of course, we treat what we find.

To summarize briefly, fibromyalgia is a syndrome. As any other syndrome, it can be caused by many underlying diseases, predisposing and aggravating factors. Although fibromyalgia patients have many common symptoms, the actual cause can vary with each person. Accordingly, to be healed, patients must peel back the layers of dysfunction.

The next post will talk about Multiple Layers of Dysfunction.

Dr Mark Dailey is offering a free "Freedom from Fibromyalgia Consultation" to learn more click the link below.

"Freedom from Fibromyalgia Consultation"