Reversing Chronic Disease
Reversing Chronic Disease
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How I Overcame Fibromyalgia Using AD/HD Medications


I am sure there is a connection between fibromyalgia and attention deficit disorder.  Not only did my fibromyalgia symptoms go away on medications used to treat AD/HD, but I have watched many other FMS patients respond as I have. This connection must be explored in order to help FMS patients regain their health and well-being.

My Story

13 years ago, I was totally disabled. I had been a teacher for 22 years and found that I could no longer function in the classroom. My life was filled with relentless pain, including headaches, neck, back, and TMJ pain. I had three surgeries on my face to stop the pain, including surgery to restructure my upper and lower jaws. Three doctors told me this needed to be done to stop the jaw pain. These surgeries did not work. I ate soft foods for 7 years.  My brain fog kept me from remembering lessons I had taught for over 20 years. I could not sleep without medication. Even though I had been very high energy the first 40 years of my life, I got to the point that I could hardly cross the room.  If I overexerted, I paid heavily the next day. My life was filled with misery and pain.

After going from doctor to doctor for 7 years, I finally got a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, which is thought to be incurable. I had been to the best doctors all over the Southeast, including Mayo Clinic. They kept telling me, “You will have to learn to live with it,” but I just could not accept their prognosis. Even though I had carefully explored everything used to treat FMS conventionally without benefit, I believed there had to be a way to get well.  

A very strange incidence set me on a course of recovery. At the time, I was in a fibromyalgia support group. One day, I filled in to call support members about our upcoming meeting. What a depressing job it was to learn how awful they felt!  I knew they were telling me the truth because I was hurting as well. Finally, on the last call, I asked, “How are you doing?”  To my surprise, she said, “FINE”, and that got my attention. She said, “I have no pain”.  I immediately asked, “What have you done and where have you been?” Her answer changed my life.

She told me she went to a doctor who diagnoses and treats attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder. After a thorough evaluation, the doctor diagnosed her with AD/HD. When she started 5 mg. Ritalin, for three days, there was no change in her FMS symptoms. After three days, she was told to go up to 10 mg. on her dosage. When she did, every pain in her body went away. When I asked her about AD/HD, she described it and I could see myself. I decided to go see her doctor, and it was clear to this doctor and myself that I also fit the AD/HD criteria. I didn’t respond as easy as she did, but within 6 months I found the right combination of medications and hormones. I not only was pain-free, but my other FMS symptoms were clearing out as well.

As I worked with the medications, I learned how important correct dosing is, and that some medications work better for some than others. My rule was: The RIGHT medication, in the right amount, taken at the RIGHT time of the day can “turn a lot of lights on in a very dark room.” This rule helped me to fine-tune my dosage of medications, which eventually spelled dramatic pain relief, improved energy, clearing of my brain fog, better sleep, and improved mood.

I wondered if others with FMS might also fit the ADD criteria, so I launched a web site in 1998 about what I believed was a connection between FMS and ADD. I received thousands of letters from all over the world that document this connection. Many others with FMS have responded as I have.

Over 11 years ago, I declined my total disability which led to an opportunity to work in natural medicine. I completed training as a certified nutritional consultant. Shortly after beginning my work in natural medicine, I was able to get off all my drugs mainly by balancing my hormones. Today and for the past 11 years, I have taken no conventional medicine for my condition and remain pain-free.  I do use bio-identical hormones daily.

My journey to recovery is described in my book Reversing Chronic Disease: A Journey Back to Health, which was released March 30, 2010. It is my hope that the book will provide fibromyalgia patients some new tools to fight the chronic symptoms that rob us of our quality of life.

The book is endorsed by Patricia Quinn, MD, Medical Director of the National Center for Girls and Women with AD/HD, Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, Medical Director of the National Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Centers, and Glenda H. Davis, MD, my diagnosing physician. 

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