This is a review of the book, Fibromyalgia In A Nutshell: A Safe and Effective Functional Medicine Strategy by Dr. Alex Vasquez. The book is written for health science students and doctorate-level clinicians. Although I am neither, I found the book to be quite enlightening and to the point.
Disclosure: I was not given a copy of this book nor was I compensated to write this review. This post contains affiliate links. If purchase this book through a link on this page I will receive a small commission. All opinions are my own.
The book begins by stating that research has already given the answers we need, as to the cause and effective treatment of fibromyalgia. The author states fibromyalgia is clearly a disease and advocates the use of disease rather than syndrome when describing FM. It is a disease of metabolic dysfunction and it can be effectively treated.
Dr. Vasquez goes on to say, the prevailing medical view is:
- Unscientific – not based on science
- Counter-scientific – ignores and contradicts published and validated research
- Unethical – fails to provide effective treatment when such treatment is available; condemns patient to medicalization and suffering
- Commercially leveraged – diagnostic criteria and many review articles discussing treatment are sponsored by drug companies; medical profession benefits financially by having long-term drug-dependant patients (I wrote a post about this: Whom Can We Trust?)
The focus on drug treatments to mask/suppress fibromyalgia pain detours doctors and patients away from focusing on the treatable causes of fibromyalgia pain.
The Treatable Cause Of Fibromyalgia
Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is the ultimate cause of and most logical explanation for fibromyalgia. Studies show that 90 to 100% of patients with fibromyalgia have SIBO, which can cause central sensitization and nutrient malabsorption.
Treatment of fibromyalgia must emphasize eradication of SIBO, prevention of SIBO reoccurrence, restore and establish nutritional status and specific support for mitochondrial function.
Diet optimization and supplementation are the basis for treating fibromyalgia and he outlines this treatment in the book. Dr. Vasquez does say this should be done with your doctor and not to try this on your own. One reason is because you need to have a complete thyroid panel done. Impaired thyroid function causes abnormal intestinal contractions which lead to overgrowth of bacteria in the intestinal tract.
Fibromyalgia, In A Nutshell, ends with:
Current research indicates that fibromyalgia results from impairment of cellular energy/ATP production (mitochondrial dysfunction) and induction of pain hypersensitivity (peripheral and central sensitization) due to absorbed metabolic toxins from bacterial overgrowth of the gastrointestinal tract. This is complicated by induction of tryptophan deficiency which leads to serotonin and melatonin insufficiencies.
About The Author
Dr. Alex Vasquez is the founding Program Director of the world’s first fully-accredited university-based graduate program in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine. Dr. Vasquez holds three doctoral degrees as a graduate of University of Western States (Doctor of Chiropractic, 1996), Bastyr University (Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine, 1999), and University of North Texas Health Science Center, Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, 2010).
Dr. Vasquez’s explanation of what causes fibromyalgia and the effective treatment made sense to me. I am going to talk to my doctor and see if she will read this book and hopefully help me implement the treatment outlined in the book. Here is the link through Amazon.com: Fibromyalgia in a Nutshell: A Safe and Effective Functional Medicine Strategy, if you would like to check it out.