When I first discovered that I have fibromyalgia my rheumatologist prescribed strong prescription pain killers and anti-depressants, none of which did a thing for the fibro. They only made me more foggy and incapable of driving safely! And, I ate Vioxx like candy, also to no avail. To give him credit, he did diagnose the fibro, and for that I still have a soft spot in my heart for this lovely man. He was non-judgmental, upbeat and willing to listen. Unlike many doctors, this fellow was very generous with his time–even giving me his email address. And, when I traveled to Italy for 4 months with 25 undergraduate students in tow, he was encouraging. Best of all, he loaded me up with sample drugs to tide me over while I was out of the country.
When I returned from my stay in Europe I knew I had to take a more pro-active role in my fibro fate. So, I searched for books about fibromyalgia that offered suggestions for treating my symptoms without relying solely on prescription drugs. One of the first books I read was “What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Fibromyalgia,” by R. Paul St. Amand, M.D. and Claudia Craig Marek, Warner Books, 1999. St. Amand suggests that fibromyalgics take large quantities of guaifenesin and avoid salicylates. The book is broken into three parts: The Plan for Conquering Fibromyalgia; Understanding the Many Facets of Fibromyalgia; and, Strategies for the Road Back, and it includes several appendices, a glossary and a list of resources.
St. Amand believes there is link between fibro and carbohydrate intolerance–something I suspect I have. And, he pointed to irritable bowel syndrome as another problem some of us face–another condition I suffer from but hadn’t named. Thanks to Dr. Amand I was inspired to read much more about the disease and to begin taking control of my treatment. I never tried his guaifenesin plan, although I’ve found this inexpensive medication to be helpful with a number of my symptoms.
This ground breaking book is a good resource and an excellent place to begin a journey to better health. It is full of information, and most importantly, the book offers much hope to the reader.