How to overcome the challenge of chronic pain through Fibromyalgia?
The recent medical examiner’s report indicating that the Prince’s death was a result of opioid (Fentanyl) overdose provides an opportunity to address the widespread epidemic of opioid abuse and overdose for chronic pain, including Fibromyalgia. Every day, 44 people die in the United States from an overdose of prescription pain drugs such as opioids.
About 50 million Americans suffer some form of chronic pain related disability. The persistent pain causes physical, emotional and social consequences for those affected. Individuals seeking help for chronic pain and Fibromyalgia are often told that it is all in their head or they are prescribed opioids such as Morphine, Percocet, Fentanyl and Dilaudid. Opioids have serious side effects including reduced mental alertness, abnormal behaviors and respiratory depression that can lead to death. They also lead to physical dependence and addiction. Non-opioid pain medications such as Ibuprofen also have significant side effects related to stomach ulcers and kidney damage.
My Confession regarding the role of physicians
I have to confess that physicians are trained with a biased attitude towards those who have fibromyalgia and chronic pain. I have observed how these patients are labelled as attention seekers or hypochondriacs. Often, they are started on opiates and when they start becoming tolerant to these drugs and they need higher doses, then they are labelled as pain medicine seekers. The lack of knowledge about underlying root causes of chronic pain combined with an indifferent attitude of the physician can lead them towards obtaining prescription drugs illegally or abusing recreational drugs. Four in five new heroin users started out misusing prescription painkillers. As a consequence, the rate of heroin overdose deaths nearly quadrupled from 2000 to 2013.
Is there an alternative to pain medication?
The conventional approach of treating chronic pain with pain medications to suppress pain is neither safe nor effective. The scientific literature indicates that there are multiple factors that limit an individual’s ability to overcome chronic pain and Fibromyalgia including persistent infections, hormonal imbalances, nutritional deficiencies, inflammation, neurotransmitter imbalances and oxidative stress. A functional Integrative approach that focuses on the root cause of chronic pain and fibromyalgia is a better, safer and effective approach to addressing chronic pain and fibromyalgia. It also utilizes treatments that are safe, effective and non-addictive such as low inflammation diet, laser therapy, far infrared radiation and intravenous nutrient therapy.
I think we all have a role to play in reversing the opioid epidemic amongst those suffering from chronic pain and fibromyalgia. The first step is clearly compassion and creating awareness about using an integrative functional approach to address our symptoms and disease. Let the process of healing begin with us….
You can get more information about an integrative approach to chronic pain and fibromyalgia by clicking here.