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Good-Bye Dr. Du

April 9th, 2010

Well I went to see my neurologist, Dr. Du, yesterday and told him about my success with going gluten-free. He didn’t seem all that surprised that a food allergy or intolerance could manifest into Restless Leg Syndrome and Fibromyalgia. I told him that I have been sleeping better and have more energy since going gluten-free.

He was very pleased with my progress and said that I didn’t need to see him again unless my condition worsened for some reason. I tried to get him to explain why an allergy or food intolerance can affect the central nervous system, but all he would say is that “It just happens.” He went on to tell me that he was at a conference earlier this week about Fibromyalgia and they didn’t even mention Gluten.

I was frustrated that another doctor could not explain to me why I have Fibro. My GP is always telling me that doctors have just figured out how the heart works and it is just a pump (albeit a very important one). The human body is very intricate and there is much to be studied. It is easy to be angry with doctors, but I just think they don’t understand what is going on either. They can make educated guesses but ultimately they are trained to figure out the best way to manage our pain.

Call for Research
I read an article the other day that talked about the importance of pain management because there is no treatment for Fibromyalgia. When discussing treatments that implies that there is a cure and the medical community currently seems to believe that there is no cure for Fibromyalgia.

Obviously there needs to be more research done regarding Fibromyalgia and food intolerances. The first time I saw my allergist he told me that he was surprised that my skin tests were negative. I had no allergies. He said that it is common for people with Fibromyalgia to have a multitude of allergies. After being a month gluten free I have reduced my Fibro symptoms by half. I’ve been able to stop taking two medications and I am weening off of my Lyrica. I know I am not a doctor, but I think there might be a connection here.

Family History
While I was saying good-bye to Dr. Du I talked to him a little bit about my family background. I have a mother and a maternal grandmother that have also been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia at one point in their lives. Along with my grandma, many of her daughters have thyroid issues. One of my aunts has Crohn’s disease and has had part of her intestines removed. Of course GERD is common in my family and my grandmother has even been hospitalized for bleeding ulcers. Don’t you think they might feel better going gluten-free? I told Dr. Du I can’t convince my mother to give up her bread. He encouraged me to keep trying.

Maybe there is a relationship between all of these symptoms, but we need trained doctors to help get to the root of the problem. What we don’t need are doctors that will just give us some drugs to help with the pain and mask the problem. Luckily I seemed to have caught my food intolerance early enough that maybe I won’t have to have part of my intestines removed like my Aunt Glenda.

The Fibromyalgia conference my neurologist went to didn’t even mention Gluten. Dr. Du wasn’t surprised to hear about my success, but Gluten doesn’t even seem to be on their radar. Hopefully he will share my story with some of his colleagues and help educate his peers. What else can we do to advocate for ourselves?

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  1. Anne
    April 10th, 2010 at 07:07 | #1

    Good luck with convincing family members that food may play a part in their chronic health problems. It is not an easy to do. I am happy to report my two adult children listened to me and they and their wives are all healthier for it. So sad that most doctors don’t look for a food connection. I was able to say good bye to my neurologist 7 years ago.

  2. April 11th, 2010 at 22:18 | #2

    Doctors say there is no cure to a lot of things, because that’s not their business model. They aren’t there to cure. They’re there to manage. It’s sad that gluten was not mentioned at the fibromyalgia conference. Just what were they doing?

    I looked up the nervous system in the book The Gluten Effect. It seems antibodies against gliadin also attack cells away from the intestines, such as Purkinje cells in the brain (that control sensation and movement) and nerve tissues, such as myelin, which can cause pain and various sensations.

    Another thing to look at is your adrenal health. Longstanding inflammation can affect your endocrine system. If the adrenals are weakened, they won’t produce enough cortisol needed to dampen inflammation.

    It’s a vicious circle, but you seem to be on the right track.

  3. April 11th, 2010 at 22:40 | #3

    @Joanne
    Joanne, thanks again for all the info and for sending me searching for more food triggers. I am sort of baffled by how pharmaceuticals seem to be in complete control of what is researched in our country and they seem to pander to doctors. Doctors would rather give me a prescription for Lyrica that costs me about $100 per month, than give me advice on changing my diet. Why does it seem so far fetched that food intolerances might be the main cause for so many illnesses today? I think the poor American diet is creating an epidemic of Celiac and Diabetes. My eyes are wide open now. Sadly, many Americans would rather be handed a pill than to have to give up their favorite foods. I do appreciate all of your help! Keep in touch. 🙂

  4. April 12th, 2010 at 08:30 | #4

    I dont think it’s so much that pharmaceuticals pander to doctors, but that doctors act as salesmen for pharmaceuticals. And considering doctors get only an hour or so of nutritional education, it’s no wonder they know nothing about diet. But an osteopath or a doctor of functional medicine is much more in tune with the holistic picture including diet, parasitical infection, heavy metal toxicity, etc.

    If a doctor were to give you advice on nutrition, they’d tell you to stay away from meat that contains saturated fat and cholesterol and eat a carbohydrate-rich diet. That is supposedly backed by science, but it’s bad science. So you’d be screwed either way when dealing with a conventional doctor. They know very little about health since their focus is entirely on symptom suppression. And the best way to suppress symptoms? Drug or cut them out. Grrrrr.

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