Dr. Robert F. Kidd    

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Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a generalized painful condition of the muscles that seems to becoming increasingly common. It usually comes on gradually, affecting mostly middle aged women, and its cause is supposedly unknown. It varies in intensity from mild to severe, and although it does not threaten life, it limits quality of life and in some people can be disabling.

Fibromyalgia is probably the same as the old-fashioned term "rheumatism". Because it is often associated with depression and fatigue, it was at one time felt to be a psychosomatic disease. Research is now proving it to have a physical basis with disturbed sleep patterns and changes in brain and spinal fluid chemistry. No consensus yet exists as to its cause.

Diagnosis is a somewhat arbitrary process. The American Rheumatological Society has agreed that the diagnosis requires:

  1. Pain in both the upper and lower halves of the body.
  2. Pain in both the left and right halves of the body.
  3. Pain duration of at least 3 months.
  4. 11 of 18 possible defined trigger points on the body to be tender.

Rheumatologists generally also perform certain blood tests to make sure that the condition is not a true rheumatological disease such as polymyalgia rheumatica.

Physicians have noted that there is an overlap between chronic fatigue, depression and fibromyalgia. Dr. Kidd has observed that all fibromyalgia patients have low body temperatures (even with normal thyroid function). Dr Kidd's policy therefore is to approach fibromyalgia as a hypometabolic state, and likely a variant that affects primarily muscles. In other words, something is slowing the metabolism and that is what is making the muscles ache.

Most people are aware that the thyroid gland controls the metabolic rate. If inadequate thyroid hormone is produced, body temperature drops, the patient becomes tired and depressed, and certain body processes slow or stop. Less well known is the fact that the same slowing of body processes can be caused by nutritional deficiencies and by the presence of certain toxins. An example is folic acid, a deficiency of which has been documented to cause low temperature As well, heavy metals such as mercury penetrate the mitochondria (the mini-furnaces inside every cell) and lower body temperature.

The metabolism can also be slowed by disturbances in the autonomic nervous system, especially the parts controlling liver, adrenal and thyroid function. Disturbances can be initiated by "interference fields" (see neural therapy), or focal areas of electrophysiological instability. Treatment of interference fields, usually combined with improvement of nutrition and elimination of toxins can in some patients provide improvement or even complete cure of fibromyalgia.