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Unraveling the mystery of fibromyalgia.

The Fibro Fix: Get to the Root of your Fibromyalgia and Start Reversing Your Chronic Pain and Fatigue in 21 Days

by David M. Brady, ND

Rodale Inc.; New York

[c] 2016 Rodale Wellness; $16.99; trade paperback; 300 pp.

Dr. David M. Brady's book The Fibro Fix is a cutting-edge, definitive guide for patients who have fibromyalgia to better understand what is going on and to start getting real relief from chronic pain and fatigue. This is a book that clinicians should read and to give to all their patients with fibromyalgia.

In the beginning of the book, Brady outlines the core principles of functional medicine as a science-based, systems approach to get at the root cause(s) of chronic disease. In The Fibro Fix, he articulates that the functional medicine approach to treating fibromyalgia is about "changing the way we do medicine and the medicine we do." This is a paradigm shift in how we think about health and disease. When I was in medical school, the term fibromyalgia was not in even in our lexicon; now fibromyalgia is so common that there are advertisements on television touting the latest drug to treat fibromyalgia ranging from antidepressant drugs to antiseizure medications.

Brady as an experienced leader in the field of functional medicine has created a program to help patients fix their fibromyalgia. Through a combination of dietary interventions, nutritional support for detoxification and oxidative stress, structural movements, and mind/body interventions, Brady outlines a scientifically based, step-by-step, practical solution to help patients get relief from the pain and fatigue seen with fibromyalgia.

So what causes fibromyalgia? No one really knows, but we do know that in a large number of patients, there is evidence of gastrointestinal abnormalities, which involve increased intestinal permeability, bacterial dysbiosis, and translocation of bacteria and bacterial cell wall components. (1) Brady discusses this concept in detail in his book.

Unfortunately, there is no conventional test for fibromyalgia; in fact, one of the features is that pretty much all conventional tests will be normal and conventional doctors might think, "It's all in your head"; which paradoxically it is--not in the sense that you are crazy, but rather the central pain processing centers of the brain are hypersensitive from neuroinflammation. Brady explores the root cause of fibromyalgia as aberrant pain processing in the brain. Recent medical literature shows that SPECT scans of patients with fibromyalgia have increased activity in the brain areas that process sensory input. Comparison between SPECT imaging of FMS patients and healthy subjects revealed elevated activity in the somatosensory cortex and reduced activity in the frontal, cingulate, medial temporal, and cerebellar cortices. (2) This knowledge alone will confirm for both fibromyalgia patients and their loved ones (who also suffer silently) that fibromyalgia is not "all in your head."

Brady makes an important distinction between classic fibromyalgia and other conditions that can present like fibromyalgia, such as hypothyroidism, small fiber neuropathy, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and stealth infections. In the past, the great imitator of almost any disease was syphilis, and today the great mimicker, including fibromyalgia, is Lyme disease, which Brady explores. Every symptom found in fibromyalgia can be seen in a patient with chronic Lyme disease. (3) My observation is that chronic Lyme disease is all too often missed by physicians when a patient presents with symptoms of fibromyalgia. The difficulty is that with chronic Lyme disease, the conventional tests that doctors order are not very good. The standard of care for diagnosing Lyme disease is to screen with an ELISA test. If it is negative, then stop there, and if the ELISA is positive, confirm the diagnosis with a western blot test. Unfortunately, the "gold standard" western blot test for Lyme disease will miss Lyme 40% to 50% of the time, so it is no better than a coin toss! I bring this up as a practicing functional medicine doctor who has seen patients carry the label of "fibromyalgia" for years, when in fact they had chronic Lyme disease that was uncovered with advanced testing which Brady outlines in his book.

In The Fibro Fix Brady nicely lays out a straightforward, clear, and concise program to understand what fibromyalgia is, what kind of advanced testing can be helpful to work up fibromyalgia, and what therapeutic options there are for treating it. These interventions include structural manipulation, dietary changes, nutraceutical supplementation, and if needed pharmaceutical prescription to bring about excellent results. Brady in The Fibro Fix can help guide your patients on the path to erasing pain and ending chronic fatigue. In the final chapter he explains how to continue with a healthful lifestyle once finished with his initial 21-day Fibro Fix foundational plan. This chapter includes some delicious, nutritious, and clean recipes from soups, salads, and entrees to desserts and snacks for the maintenance phase for a new Fibro Free life.

The Fibro Fix needs to be on your bookshelf and in the hands of your patients who have fibromyalgia. Learn more about the book at


(1.) Shukla SK, Cook D, Meyer J, et al. Changes in gut and plasma microbiome following exercise challenge in myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). PLoS ONE. 2015;10(12):e0145453. doi:10.i371/journal.pone.0145453.

(2.) Efrati S, Golan H, Bechor Y, et al. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can diminish fibromyalgia syndrome--prospective clinical trial. PLoS ONE. 2015;10(5):e0127012. doi:10.1371/ journal.pone.0127012.

(3.) Smith AJ, Oertle J, Prato D. Borrelia burgdorferi: cell biology and clinical manifestations in latent chronic Lyme. Open J Med Microbiol. 2014;4:210-223. ojmm.2014.44023.

review by Todd LePine, MD
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Title Annotation:The Fibro Fix: Get to the Root of your Fibromyalgia and Start Reversing Your Chronic Pain and Fatigue in 21 Days by David M. Brady
Author:LePine, Todd
Publication:Townsend Letter
Article Type:Book review
Date:Aug 1, 2016
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