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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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