Monday, August 10, 2009

SHIN Approach to Treating Fibromyalgia

I've been dealing with my Fibromyalgia without prescription pain meds since early 2008. After getting into a bad car accident as a result of the side effects of one of the drugs I was taking, I decided I was sick and tired of medications that help my pain while harming my brain or my organs. Even so my committment to this has always been wishy washy, and when I found out that Ross's aunt, who also has FMS, has gone back on medication after trying to go without, I felt even more discouraged. But then I picked up the September issue of O magazine and read the Dr. Oz feature on Fibromyalgia recommending alternate treatments it was a huge encouragement to stay the track.

The actual article featured four approaches, but Dr. Oz seemed most impressed with Dr. Teitelbaum's approach, so that's what I'm focusing on right now. At some point O Magazine will post a list of supplements Dr. Teitelbaum recommends at but as of yet it hasn't been posted. Instead I found this article on Tietelbaum's SHIN treatment plan, which wasn't even mentioned in the magazine. I defintely want to talk to my doctor about this.

Copied from Oprah's website.

Many people suffer from a combination of all-over body pain, exhaustion, short-term memory loss and trouble sleeping. Just a few decades ago, doctors would not have known how to diagnose the symptoms, but today it is diagnosed as fibromyalgia. Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum treats people from all over the world suffering from fibromyalgia. He talks with Dr. Oz about his own struggle with the painful condition and the remedies that helped him and thousands of others recover.

As a young medical student, Dr. Teitelbaum says he became very ill with something that his father called the "drop dead flu." It has now been recognized as fibromyalgia. Dr. Teitelbaum says he couldn't get out of bed for six weeks, and he had to drop out of school for a year and became homeless. During his time on the streets, Dr. Teitelbaum says he sought out herbal remedies that greatly improved his condition and soon was able to return to medical school.

Since that time, Dr. Teitelbaum says he has devoted much of his medical practice to treating people with fibromyalgia. "If you are exhausted and can't sleep and it doesn't go away with vacation and you hurt all over, you've probably got fibromyalgia," Dr. Teitelbaum says. "In addition, you will have brain fog and probably loss of libido."

Dr. Teitelbaum recommends both medications and herbal remedies to people suffering from fibromyalgia. One treatment method that Dr. Teitelbaum says he recommends to patients is the SHIN treatment. He says you should think of the SHIN treatment as a checklist for getting well once diagnosed with fibromyalgia.

The SHIN Treatment:
  • Sleep: It is critical that you get eight hours of solid sleep a night, Dr. Teitelbaum says. There are more than 25 natural and prescription therapies that he says he uses on patients if they're having trouble falling asleep. Also, taking a hot bath before bed and keeping your bedroom cool are tips Dr. Teitelbaum recommends to his patients.
  • Hormones: Dr. Teitelbaum says it's important to treat any hormonal deficiencies you may have. "Pretty much everybody with this disease needs to try a bioidentical thyroid hormone," he says. It may also be necessary to get treated with thyroid hormones, adrenal and reproductive hormones, Dr. Teitelbaum says.
  • Infections and immunity: Fibromyalgia can compromise the immune system, Dr. Teitelbaum says. It's important to treat infections, especially conditions in which yeast or fungal overgrowth is affecting your sinuses or colon, he says.
  • Nutrition: Avoiding sugar—except for dark chocolate—increasing your water intake, eating a high protein and low carb diet and increasing your salt intake are part of a nutritional plan that Dr. Teitelbaum recommends to his patients. Also, restoring energy through walking, swimming and yoga are ways to help in recovery. Dr. Teitelbaum says any physical activity that releases muscles helps the pain associated with fibromyalgia go away


Andy said...

Go for it Kim. Janett had a terrible day and didn't know whether to blane FM or the medication (or me leaving town tomorrow). She just knew she was miserable.

Kimberly Cangelosi said...

Poor Mama :( My FMS has been bad this week, I think it may be the humidity. And I'm sure she's going to miss you a lot.

Janett Sue said...

Interesting blog post Kim. Sometimes I feel willing to try anything and sometimes I feel too worn out to try anything. I subscribe to the National Fibromyalgia Association ( but most of the time I feel to worn out to read any thing they have to say.
I see your rose is making a comeback.