Welcome scoopers!

Welcome scoopers!

Monday, January 25, 2016

The TRUTH about Fibromyalgia Saved My Life

Disclaimer: I'm not a doctor. I'm writing this to honor the doctor who saved my life, whose years of dedication and research have led me to this journey of healing. His name is Dr. Paul St. Amand. He wrote, "What Your Doctor May NOT Tell You About Fibromyalgia," and he has helped thousands of people regain their lives. Dr. St. Amand, whose office is in Marina Del Rey, CA, is turning 90 years old this year. 

Disclaimer #2: This is a long post. You've been warned! ;) I want to help educate people about what Fibro really is, what to expect from the first year of treatment, and to help spread HOPE.


This month will be the one-year anniversary of my new life…my "guai-birthday” as they call it. Last night I was exhausted and felt like there was a brick sitting on my right kidney. It hurt like crazy. But I was super excited about it. Why? I have Fibromyalgia. That pain means it's on its way OUT.

 I'm cautious using the word "Fibromyalgia" for two reasons:

 First, there's this popular idea that it's what hypochondriacs get diagnosed with when their doctors can't find anything wrong. Most of these "crazy" people complain of physical aches and pains, while others have symptoms like anxiety and depression. They get prescribed pain pills or anti-depressants. Even if their doctors believe "Fibro" exists, they don't believe there is a treatment that will do anything other than band-aid the symptoms.

Second, as Dr. Paul St. Amand says, the word "Fibromyalgia" barely encompasses what can go wrong in this disease. It affects EVERY SINGLE CELL in the body. It's something I've found has a simple solution, and yet, gone untreated, it has the capability to destroy someone's life. Fibro is a KIDNEY dysfunction. This is the TRUTH about Fibromyalgia...it is a legitimate, inherited, and progressive disease. The good news is, it can be completely reversed with a simple medication - guaifenesin.


Let’s back up a bit… In Jr. High School, I began realizing I didn't have the kind of energy most kids did. I played on the tennis team through high school, but my coaches always yelled at me,... 
"Pick up your feet!"..... "MOOOOVE!" But, I just didn't have the stamina.

 Kids during those years, told me literally hundreds of times
"You look tired."
"You look dead"
I got asked… "Are you OK?"

 During those years, my parents started noticing that I actually looked different too. My face was very puffy every morning. I began feeling extremely self-conscious and awkward. I remember taking money from my parents’ room to ride my bike to go buy makeup for the first time. I had to cover up what had become a chronically red nose. It was embarrassing. Strangely enough, I always looked better by nighttime. After high school, I moved out of my parents’ house for the first time. I continued to get good grades and do well in school, but my fatigue was worsening. I lived with a cousin and her family. My aunt would call my mom and tell her I was depressed and sleeping too much. Later, I spent about a month in Hawaii with another relative, who also expressed her opinion that, “Christie is obviously depressed." 

 When I returned home, my mom looked at me and said, "You know what? I think something's physically wrong because you look like you just don't feel well." 

 Since my nose seemed to be where the problem was, I eventually convinced ENT doctors to increase the opening of my airways. I had sinus surgery (twice), even though my doctor(s) didn't think I needed it. I figured a narrow airway must be causing all my trouble. I tried telling myself that I felt better afterwards, but in reality, I didn't. Instead, a severe reaction to the anesthesia (upon coming out of one of the surgeries), led to chronic insomnia. I ended up on medicine for sleep for four years. Fast forward to age 26...I had fought my way through what had turned into ongoing exhaustion, chronic headaches, and anxiety. Through it all, I still managed to graduate at the top of my psychology class, but it’s hard for me to look at this picture because I vividly remember my graduation day being one of the most miserable, exhausting days ever.

After college I knew I needed to get a full-time job, but working a full 8-hour shift every day seemed impossible. Thankfully, I began teaching piano lessons, and was eventually able to fully support myself. Still, I didn't feel well. I soon became very proactive with my health, and started this website, Celiac Scoop. I learned I did indeed have some of the Celiac genes and went gluten free. I paid close attention to my body and how it reacted to food, which led to me giving up other types of gluten, corn, and also soy because they all made me sleepy and bloated. For the first seven years of living this way, I definitely saw improvements in my life. I got leaner and more fit. However, I'm lying to myself if I don't admit I spent literally HUNDREDS of dollars every year at the vitamin store, because something still just wasn't right. 

 By 2013, I had just accepted I was very "Type A," ...hardworking, anxiety prone and tired…and this was "just me”. I was teaching over 40 kids private piano lessons each week. I had chronic pain in my neck, head, and shoulders. It must be from teaching, I told myself. So, I spent hours in the gym, sat in the sauna almost every night, and tried every detox plan out there. I drank straight chlorophyll and aloe juice, and made "green drinks" out of bags of kale. I literally tried everything to feel better. Although all those veggies made my eyes turn bright green, I still knew something had to be wrong. I still woke up to a swollen face and red nose. I still slept until almost noon, unable to get out of bed. I still had to take Valerian Root or GABA to calm down at night, and additionally took all sorts of vitamins…every single day. 

 So if you're still reading...here's where it got all too real. 

 2014 was the worst year of my life. 

I will leave out the too-painful details, but I will say this: people don't end up hospitalized for anxiety or insomnia when it's just "normal" anxiety or insomnia. I simply could no longer fall asleep no matter what drug or combination of drugs a doctor gave me. I eventually found myself so severely suicidal, I had to be admitted into a psychiatric hospital. Doctors had no idea what to do. Some people scolded me with… "grow up" or "be an adult." Others just thought I was crazy. 

A friend of mine from church heard about what I was going through. Turns out, she had experienced something surprisingly similar at about my same age (33). She told me she was on the guaifenesin protocol for Fibromyaligia. Hearing that word "Fibro" made me cringe. But I was at a point where trying this protocol was my last hope. 

Within THREE WEEKS of beginning Dr. St. Amand's guaifenesin protocol, my anxiety was gone. COMPLETELY GONE. Within a week I began to sleep again. Within three months, the puffiness in my face started to subside. Here I am in 2014…on the left…and now, after one year, I am nearly back to my “old self”.

I am finally, really on my way to healing. After one year on this protocol, things I didn't even know could get better have gotten better. At six months I noticed my vision was sharper, my skin was  clearer, and even my hair thicker. My brain now doesn't feel as "foggy" as it used to, almost as if the "depression" I would struggle with is being lifted away more and more each month.

If you have Fibro, your body is like a snow globe.
Every year, since birth, you've been packing more and more "snow" into the globe. It's not toxic - it's "friendly phosphate" - there's just wayyyyy too much of it. Your kidneys don't flush out enough, so it starts to build up. It gets trapped all over. It hides deep in the tissues of your legs, arms, feet, hands, back, neck, shoulders, and yes…even in your head. (So it turns out some people were right - it was "in my head..." just in the rest of my body, too!!) 

Some people with Fibro believe stressful life events or emotional trauma CAUSE their illness. This is NOT true. You were already filling up the globe, STRESS just shakes up the symptoms. ANY stress such as a surgery, a car accident, or pregnancy can "shake up" the disease. 
  Unfortunately, many people will never know they have Fibro because their symptoms remain mild or dormant. 

That's why increased awareness is needed.
 Knowing the TRUTH is healing.

 Dr. St. Amand has found that Guaifenesin works, simply because it helps the insufficient or “bad plumbing" of Fibromyalgic kidneys to open up more and allow the excess phosphate (all that darn snow....) to get OUT. Once the kidneys work better, little by little, 
the body starts functioning like it should. 
 I know this because I have lived it. I do this website because I've been gluten free for almost NINE years now. Life definitely changed for the better when going gluten free. However, if you have FIBRO, no amount of restricted dieting or kale or juicing veggies will relieve it.


 If you think you have FIBRO, get MAPPED. If YOU DO HAVE FIBRO, your body map will look something like this. (Those marks are the lumps of phosphate hiding in your tissues.) To find a mapper in your area, go to fibromyalgiatreatment.com for more info.

 If you've started treatment with guaifenesin, I just want to share
 (from my own experience) what to expect the first year: 

 1) You will cry A LOT for the first few months. It's normal and due to the changes your body is going through to get the phosphate OUT! It's going to mess with your neurotransmitters a bit. But remember, it's TEMPORARY!
 2) You will have pain in places you never knew could hurt - even in your fingers and toes. That stuff literally is hiding EVERYWHERE. 
 3) NO ONE will ever appreciate fully what you're going through, but that’s okay. The point is, you’re going to feel better and it will all be worth it. Everyone with Fibro experiences it differently. But it's still good to join a support group, so you'll have others cheering you on through this process. The Fibro Buddies on Guaifenesin Facebook Group is amazing! 
 4) You will sometimes mourn the loss of your old life because you will often feel worse before you feel better. That's just the way this protocol works. As the phosphate comes OUT, you will re-experience some symptoms. But remember, they flare up as they are LEAVING your body. Soon enough, they will be gone for good! 
 5) If you're on other medication, don't worry! The further along in the treatment, the less dependent you will be on other medications. Dr. St. Amand's protocol helps you throw out all that other stuff you won't need anymore as your body heals. 
 6) You need to be committed to every detail of the protocol so it will work as quickly and as perfectly as possible. This means being 100% Salicylate-Free, so you don't "block" the guaifenesin. I'll let fibromyalgiatreatment.com explain that part for you. ;) Don't forget, eating right and exercise is still just as important as always. 
 7) Many people feel MUCH BETTER within six months, but you must expect “ups and downs” for the first year, (or couple years, depending on your individual condition and symptoms). In general, people clear out at least 1 year of buildup every two months. My friend felt totally better at 18 months, even though she wasn't completely cleared yet. If you remain on the guai for the rest of your life, you will be completely "reversed" eventually. Because guai is inexpensive and a natural product from a tree, it is harmless…there are no side effects. Any "effects" you feel mean it's working to reverse the Fibro. 

 Remember… FIBROMYALGIA is a real disease with a physical cause that can be reversed.
 That's the TRUTH. 

If you have Fibro, or think you have Fibro, find out the TRUTH. 
Join me on this journey of healing. 
Little by little, as you feel better, you, too, will regain your health and your life. 
 Dr. St. Amand’s protocol is a miracle. His life’s work has strengthened my faith in God because I have seen for myself that there really are angels here on Earth. 
God has a plan for each one of us…no matter what we go through. 

 Life isn’t about avoiding suffering, it’s also about creating meaning.” (Dr. Paul Kalanithi)


 My hope is that someone out there reading this will be helped by my story. This is also a THANK YOU to Dr. Paul St. Amand. Because of him, thousands of people have their Balm of Gilead, and so do I. I will forever be grateful to you, Dr. St. Amand. My life from here on out will always be better because of your work. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.
 I am eternally grateful!! I love you!! ~Christie

 For information on Fibromyalgia Treatment and Research, visit fibromyalgiatreatment.com

UPDATE!!! It's been TWO YEARS NOW... and I've noticed even more improvements. If you find out you have this....STICK TO THE PROTOCOL. IT WORKS.. and it's truly a miracle. Here's a progression from 2014-2016-2017. It's so good to breathe again ;) Please check out my Fibro site... www.fibrofree.net