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Fixing the Roots of Fibromyalgia

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

  • And more!

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 you get a particular type of adrenal glandular, it needs to be just cortex, whole glandular, adrenal supplements have not only the cortex, which is mainly cortisol DHA, but also have the me doula part of the adrenal, which is very stimulating, cuz it has adrenaline. And the worst thing you can do for these individuals is to hype them up. They can't tolerate that. They're their autonomic nervous system is already on overload. It's already hypersensitive. So for those you listening, make sure you're gonna get adrenal supplements. [20:30] Now the RDA that recommended dietary allowance is some 60 years outta date. And it's really just enough to keep you from getting scurvy or Berry Berry. You know, it's not, you know, it really ain't gonna do anything. That's why people take a multivitamin, a central or whatever. They never feel any different. They never look any different. You've gotta use high doses. What I call optimal daily allowance, which is sometimes 5,000 times stronger than the RDA recommended disease allowance [21:34] But we were using that protocol before every people really knew what it was. And we were seeing when we gave them these high doses of vitamins and minerals, that they slept better. They had less pain, they felt better mentally and physically, but UN you know, it wasn't feasible for people to come get an IV every week, travel 2, 3, 4 or five hours away. Like some people did between the cost and the inconvenience. It just, you know, it wasn't compatible. So years ago I developed a formula, a fibro formula, which has high doses of vitamins and minerals, all the B vitamins in the methylated form, malic acid, high doses of magnesium, which is a natural muscle relaxer, all the amino acids, which are the building blocks of the hormones that I know you talk so much about. [22:39] That is my new favorite wording for RDA is yeah. Recommended disease allowance. [22:48] <laugh> why, I mean, you think about that. I know like the multivitamin I'm sure that you have you recommend right. Is, is, you know, probably got, I don't know, was 50 to a hundred milligrams of B2 in it. And which is what I think that's what 500 times stronger or a thousand times stronger than what the RDA is. And if you don't use these higher doses, people are just not gonna improve. [23:08] Right. I always talk to people about that. So listen up, you know, the one a day, Centrum, silver, it sounds great. They're cheap, but you don't want it. It's a waste of your time and your money. So I love that recommended disease allowance. I just had to say that. And you know, the other thing I wanted to share is that you mentioned Myers cocktails. They actually used to give the nutrients rectally like a Myers cocktail. They called it a Murphy drip on the battlefield in wars, going back a hundred years ago. So it's not new. [24:03] No, please. And you know, I think the thing is, I, I know you encounter this too. You're interacting with a patient and you're sharing with them the importance of vitamins and minerals. And they're giving you this look like how are vitamins and minerals gonna help me when I've been on Neurontin and I've been on oxycodone or whatever it is. I mean, they they've been on heavy duty pharmaceutical therapies. And you're, you're saying, you know, the only way really to do it is to get healthy and to get healthy. You know, you've gotta take these vitamins and minerals, but you need to do it in a dosage. That's gonna make a difference. [25:04] Know, even I saw my hairdresser selling vitamins and all these little gummies that you take, they're supposed to help your hair. And I'm just like, what? But it's so true. It's that simple. Y'all, it's the basics, you know, like Dr. Rogers talking about and nutrient support at high doses, optimal doses, not the recommended disease. Allowance is a key part of that. Yeah. It's a key part of healing. Anything really? [25:30] I think so. I think so, you know, people ask me, what's the number one supplement you'd recommend. And I would say, get the best multivitamin that you can, one that you like, you know, you're, if you like a li you know, if you can't take a pill, find a liquid, whatever it is, but get the best multivitamin that, that you can tolerate. That's where you put your money and then you build around that. Otherwise you're gonna be like the patients set Dr. Karen. And I see where they've got this big Santa Claus bag of supplements that they, you know, usually it's the spouse, you know, in my practice, it's, they're mostly female. [26:18] Seriously. I, that, I mean, you know, that makes me so sad because it's really, it's just diagnostic of our current medical system that, that isn't doesn't have the answers, but also Dr. Google. And so people are looking for information all over. And so what's lacking in the information, age is wisdom. So if you're listening to this, no matter what you've got to heal, vitamins and nutrients are a part of it, but you've gotta have be strategic about it. [26:52] So number four, but before I go there, you triggered this. I just wanna mention this yeah. That the, um, Janet trave, which she was a very prominent physician back in, well, she's the physician to Kennedy and Johnson mm-hmm <affirmative> and she wrote the trigger point manual. So bifacial manual. And in that book, there's, uh, I think there's two or three chapters. And all it is in those chapters is about vitamins and minerals and the role they play in reducing pain. And, you know, so this is not, this is not something that we don't know about. It's just something that's been ignored. You know? So this was being written about 50 years ago, 60 years ago. [28:00] So definitely your diet is super important. No doubt about it, but it's just as important. What you're able to absorb as it is what you eat. So what I have found is the fibromyalgia community is notorious notoriously deficient in these nutrients because of number one, poor diet, oftentimes, but even the individuals and you get these who are what I, what I call health nuts in a, in a very nice way who eat even healthier than I do, which I eat really, really healthy. And I know you do, but they eat. What I would think is even healthier than I do. And they're still just miserable. [29:03] They had these things that were preventing them from absorbing the nutrients in their foods. And also even, even being able to use the supplements, the nutrients that they were taking in a pill form, they couldn't even digest those because so many of them would have a problem where they would eat. They'd take their supplements and then have a dumping syndrome. They'd have to run to the bathroom. 70% of the people with fibromyalgia have irritable valve. And, and so I realized that we're gonna have to make sure that we clean up the diet that's important. So a low sugar, low carb diet is most effective for, for these individuals usually, but they also need be on digestive enzymes. That was the simplest quickest way to make sure that they were absorbing their nutrients and getting the most out of them is by getting them on a good digestive enzyme. [30:31] And you know, it's funny when I practiced mainstream medicine, I am guilty of that too. That fibromyalgia was this enigma and it was untreatable and nobody knew what to do with it. And even with myself, I didn't know what to do and my physician didn't know what to do. And now I look at it from a functional perspective and I go, it's so super simple. You treat the cause. Yeah. And these are the causes and when you treat the cause the symptoms go away. So <laugh>, how has your practice evolved since you, I mean, you came from more of a chiropractic background, right? [31:22] Yeah. It's it's, I mean, I never would've chosen fibromyalgia, who would be crazy enough to do that. <laugh> and I love 'em. I mean, you know, so I, I think they're the most wonderful people in so many ways. They're very challenging, no doubt about it, but just like your complicated patients, once you figure out some of the common denominators, it becomes a much easier, but yeah, I started off as, just as a chiropractor and I had a very busy practice. [32:12] And then that started growing into my realizing that that was more fun than doing the hands on work. I really enjoyed the biochemistry mm-hmm <affirmative> and really started doing the training in functional medicine. And then I got kind of a reputation here in Birmingham, Alabama being a, a doctor who was really good with medical misfits. The people who'd been everywhere, tried everything or just wanted something different than conventional medicine. And, and I started getting referrals from the medical community and one of those was a patient with fibromyalgia. And when Sheila came to see me, I mean, again, my first thought was she's a hypochondriac, but the more I heard her story, I realized she's 35, she's a career. [33:29] <affirmative>. And so you've held a summit that people can still access on fibromyalgia and you've held several others. Tell everybody about all the resources that you have available. [33:39] Well, depending on when this airs, the fibromyalgia summit is being launched in may of this year 2022. And you can learn more about You can, but it's a free online summit. It's free. You can, there's 30 different specialists. We cover everything from insomnia and poor sleep to balancing neurotransmitters, to brain chemicals for anxiety and depression. We have presentations on IRO, bowel, leaky, gut food allergies, thyroid, which we hadn't really mentioned. I know that's a big one for you, hormone replacement therapy. So there's all sorts of, you know, various dynamics that go into rebuilding this individualized fibro. It's kinda like, um, peeling the layers of an onion. You know, you have to peel these layers away till finally you peel 'em all away. And there's this person who radiates health again. [35:02] Yes. And then don't you have, you have other books and you've got, tell everybody about all the, the goodies that you have for them. <laugh>. [35:11] So in uh, October I'll be doing a super healthy lung summit and that's all gonna be about respiratory health, including long haul protocols. Mm protocols for asthma food allergies, seasonal allergies, Mo talk, all allergies, mold toxicity, mass cell histamine dominance. So that'll, that'll be out in October, 2022 and I've written five books. So three on fibromyalgia and then two, one book on, uh, heart disease, which your doctor won't tell you. And then one on anxiety and depression using orthomolecular medicine, which is vitamins minerals, amino acids, and essential fatty acids to treat mood disorders. [35:52] Boy, could we have a whole conversation about heart disease? What your doctor won't tell you [35:56] <laugh> oh, so many medical myths out there, right? About, about cholesterol and, and all the, all the stuff that's out there that when you really look behind the, the smoke and the mirrors, you see that it's much you do about nothing, right? [36:10] Yes. So we'll have to do that on another episode, but this has been wonderful. You really have laid out a path for people to follow who are suffering with fibromyalgia or maybe for people who suspect that they have it, but they're not sure. Or they've gone from doctor to doctor and they're not getting a diagnosis. So thank you so much for that. If we are able to air this before the, your fiber summit airs will definitely have a link in the show notes, we'll try and get it out before then. But if not, you're, if it's after you can still access it and we'll have that link in the show notes for you, Dr. Rogers shared this quote with us before that we recorded the episode that life is short. If you're not careful, you'll miss it. And I love that. It's so true. [37:22] Well, just for more information about the jumpstart protocols, you can go to your fibro and there's four free videos that are about 10 minutes, 10 minutes each, but it goes over in a little more detail than I could today about how and why these things work. And these are things you can buy anywhere over the counter. So, but the videos really go into a little bit more detail to explain how it all comes together. [37:46] Right. Thank you so much for these incredible resources. And thank you for listening to another episode of the hormone prescription with Dr. Kirin. I'll see you next week until then peace, love and hormones. Y'all thank you so much for listening.

Learn more about Fibromyalgia by joining Dr. Rodger Murphree's The Fibro Summit:

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