Are you a woman in your midlife years struggling with the debilitating effects of fibromyalgia? If so, you are not alone. In fact, an estimated 8% of the adult population worldwide suffers from this condition. Fortunately, there is hope. In this episode of The Hormone Prescription Podcast, we talk to Dr. Rodger Murphree, an expert on hormones and fibromyalgia, about some of the latest research on this topic. During the show, Dr. Murphree reveals:
Clinically proven protocols for correcting the multiple symptoms of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Why conventional treatments for fibromyalgia often fail
The symptoms of fibromyalgia and how they can be warning signs for other underlying health conditions
The diet and lifestyle changes that can help to address the root causes of fibromyalgia
If you are ready to start feeling better and want to learn more about fixing the root causes of fibromyalgia, then this episode is for you. Tune in now and let’s get started on your journey to recovery! [00:00] Life is short. If you're not careful, you'll miss it. Dr. Roger Murphy is my guest today, and we're gonna talk about fibromyalgia and what it has to do with your hormones. If you're suffering with this, you've likely had a long road and you're missing a lot of your life and it just shouldn't be. So we're gonna tell you how to get out of the predicament you're in, in this episode. [03:12] Oh, I'm so excited to be here. I, you know, last time we got together just enjoyed our conversation so much. And I learned some things that, that I didn't know, and I was really delighted to be able to learn something new and uh, yeah. Thank you. I'm so excited to be here. [03:27] Yeah. Super excited to talk about fibromyalgia. It's actually a part of my story. I don't focus on it too much, but those who know me and listen to my podcast probably have heard me talk about that. I had that. I just had horrible unrelenting pain in many places on my body on a consistent basis. And before I got on my journey, in addition to weighing 243 pounds and being super tired and it's really something that's hard for the general public to understand even those people who have it because they go from doctor to doctor not being diagnosed. And there's so few doctors who really understand what fibromyalgia is all about. So can we just start by talking about what it is and how might someone suspect that they have this? [04:20] So there's writings about fiber Maia in the, the 18 hundreds. Uh, and um, over the years there have been more and more writings about it, but it didn't, you know, it didn't happen to really hit the, the map, you know, be put on the map until 1990 when the American college of rheumatology came out with the criteria for the diagnosis. So it's been around, you know, it's been around for 30 something years is, uh, something that people know about. But unfortunately we still have a lot of misconception about fibromyalgia. We have doctors who still don't acknowledge that, that it's a real entity. Those that do acknowledge that we do have a thing called fibromyalgia. Don't really know how to treat it. They've largely given up on it. [05:12] Uh, but fibromyalgia is a syndrome like Aero bowel syndrome or metabolic syndrome. It's a group of symptoms that people have in common. And we give it a name to describe those symptoms, but fibromyalgia, which affects about 8% of the adult population worldwide. This is what the estimates are anywhere from four to 8%, primarily women between the ages of 35 and 60. It is an illness characterized by diffuse achy, sometimes disabling pain, fatigue, brain fog, irrit bowel, resto syndrome, low moods anxiety. So it's a very long list of symptoms that come underneath this title called fibromyalgia. [05:59] Yes. And there are specific criteria to be diagnosed with it, but like Dr. Roger said, it's really hard to get a diagnosis. There aren't that many doctors that are that familiar with it. And what is a mainstream treatment typically of fibromyalgia? [06:16] . It's just so frustrating that, you know, it makes me laugh because it's so really so sad, but in conventional medicine, as you know, so well, it's all about treating symptoms. Oftentimes that's really what the focus is. And you know, there's a time and a place for that. Thank goodness. You know, we, we, we have the wherewithal and we have the prescription medications and the surgeries and things that we need to be able to treat some of these things. But in fibromyalgia, the conventional medicine protocols, relying on drug therapy alone have been a dead end. The surveys show this, that even the American college rheumatology on their own website, now they've taken this down, but they used to say that they don't recommend that patients take anti-inflammatories pain, medications, sleep aids are anti-seizure medications because they're not effective long term. [07:12] And they have potential side effects. And where we're at right now in conventional medicine is that most conventional doctors will tell their patients that you just have to learn to live with it. And they, they don't believe you can overcome fibromyalgia because what they've seen day in and day out is that there are patients that they've recommended these different medications, Neurontin, and Ella, and AlTiN these other things they don't improve. And their take on it is, well, we've given you the drugs that are approved for fibromyalgia, and you're really no better, you know, four or five years later, it's really your it's your fault. And you're just gonna have to learn to live with it. So that's where we're at right now in conventional medicine. [08:24] Yeah, it's unfortunate. And I would say that's definitely a mainstream model cuz when I see people in my story too, includes this when you really get to the underlying root cause I find that it's extremely treatable. So talk about your approach. You've held a fibromyalgia summit. You've been specializing in this for years. You've written a book about it. You really are one of the gurus about fibromyalgia. [08:54] Hope. Well, so I have to go back a little bit. So 20 years ago when I had my first patient referred to me for fibromyalgia, I had no idea what I was getting into and you know, from your own journey and then from seeing patients, you, you kind of hear their symptoms and you think there's no way you can have this many things wrong with you. You mean you look normal. And then of course you look at their blood work and most of the time everything's normal. Their said rate CRP, their inflammatory markers normally are okay, but there's a tendency to look at this individual as a hypo contract and I'll be candid. That was my first reaction to my patient, Sheila Sheila Jones, who came to see me 20 years ago. But I started just working with her using just good sound nutrition and some functional medicine testing to find out that she had things wrong with. [09:43] She had candid to overgrowth and some food allergies and leaky gut. I started treating her and within three months, this illness that I didn't really know much about and her doctor said, we don't really know what it is, but here you hear some muscle relaxers and some pain pills come back in six months and we'll see how you do well. She got well, Karen in three months just doing some basic stuff that I would do on really kind of anybody is a functional medicine practitioner. [10:32] And I started just kind of bringing those different therapies together and then eventually realized that there's some really key things that if you get these key things right for the fibromyalgia patient, he or she usually is, she is going to have the best opportunity to overcome their fibromyalgia symptoms. And really the only way for someone fibromyalgia to be able to feel good again, long term is they gotta get healthy. And that sounds so simplistic. I realize that, but it's about finding and fixing the underlying causes of these symptoms. And then, so there's four key things that make up what I call the Murry method and the mur jumpstart protocols, which if you do these four things, you focus on these four things as a fibromyalgia patient, your odds of, of dramatic improvement are really good. [11:59] So fibromyalgia is just a name. That's all it is. So it doesn't cause the pain. It doesn't cause the low energy, it doesn't cause the insomnia or the poor sleep. It's just a name. And so what you wanna look at is, okay, what could be some of the triggers for chronic pain, low energy, brain fog, low moods and irritable bowel, resto sex syndrome. What's the common denominator? Well, the first common denominator is poor sleep. So we know with studies, it doesn't matter really to me, whatever your condition is. If you've got a chronic health condition, the place to start is making sure that you're able to get consistent deep restorative sleep. Cuz when you get that deep restorative sleep, that's when the body's repairing itself. [12:48] And what we see with fibromyalgia is a struggle to fall asleep and they struggle to stay asleep. So they all have sleep issues. They never feel refresh. They're not going into that deep Delta wave restorative sleep. And we know that if you're not getting consistent, good sleep, you're gonna have all the symptoms that I've mentioned in fibromyalgia. You're you're obviously gonna be tired, right? Lethargic. You're gonna have brain fog. We know that you increase your inflammatory chemicals by 40%, you create all sorts of stress in the body. Oxidative stress. [13:48] So it made sense to me, let's just get 'em sleeping through the night, right? And that's where I focus is the first thing is to make sure that they're able to consistently get that deeper store to sleep. And a big part of that for me, was realizing early on that everyone with fibromyalgia is low in this brain, chemical called serotonin. And that's, you know, we've had two drugs that have been approved for fibromyalgia, Illa and Alta, which are selective serotonin and no uptake inhibitors. But serotonin is the key for these people. [14:54] So they were not able to produce the serotonin that they needed. And when you're low in serotonin, your pain threshold goes down. And those with fibromyalgia have a condition called ALA Donia, which is low pain threshold. So their pain is magnified. And what I found is as I raised that serotonin by using five ay triptan and then high doses, but safe doses of vitamins and minerals and amino acids, I was able to get their serotonin levels up, which raised their pain threshold, lowered their pain, helped with their mental clarity. Their moods, uh, helped with irritable bowel cuz you have more serotonin receptors in your intestinal tract than you do in your brain. So by getting their serotonin levels up, I was able to help them with many of the symptoms associated with fibromyalgia, but probably the biggest one. [16:39] So many of us, you know, women at midlife have trouble with that. And particularly like you're describing with fibromyalgia this low serotonin that may be innate as well as the disruption in sleep causes all kinds of inflammatory cascades to be set off. And so that started really helping your patients to improve. [17:00] Well, so what I saw is that once I got them sleeping and, and five HTP was how I started that. So I'd have them take five HTP, 30 minutes for bed with a little bit of grape juice to release the, the glucose would trigger insulin response, which would help that five HTP get past the blood brain barrier and work quicker. So once they started taking the five HTP and started sleeping through the night, then the next thing that I had to work on was that these individuals have depleted their stress coping glands, the, the, uh, the adrenal glands. So stress becomes magnified. They they're deficient in cortisol, D H E a. [17:52] And so they would overdo it. They would, they would do things that they couldn't normally do. You know, if fibromyalgia robs you of so many things robs you of your health, that robs you of your social life, a lot of times, your intimacy, your career, you know, all these things are taken from you because you find with fibro, you really can't do a lot. If you try to do more than normal, you have these things called fibro flares where your symptoms are accentuated. [18:35] They could have more stamina and resistance to it. So it didn't really wipe 'em out when they encountered it. And that's when I started, when I had the, for a number of years, I had a medical practice where I had five medical doctors working with me and we use Corte. So we use cortisol, you know, prescription medication, very, as you know, it's a very safe dose. It's it's um, about a fourth or a fifth, the strength of prednisone, but we use Corte and we saw that patients now they could handle stress better. [19:25] Although I recommend that yo