The purpose of this blog is to keep track of my illness and progress. If someone else can benefit in any way from my rambling, even better.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013



I was very happy with my quality of life after seeing significant improvement from taking guai for 15 months, I could finally keep up with my kids! Then I came across a book called "Clean-The Revolutionary Program to Restore the Body's Natural Ability to Heal Itself" by Dr. Junger and it changed everything. I was so impressed with Dr. Junger's explanations for why so many of us are getting sick and how we can get healthy again, it all made sense and wasn't over my head. Also, he's not selling anything (there's no kit to buy, just lots of fresh food) and it is not one of those new fad diets/detoxes, this is the real deal. Dr. Junger is a cardiologist in NYC who learned first hand how our body is able to heal itself through good nutrition and resting your digestive system for a short time period (I had no idea that 80% of our immune system was in our digestive tract!). My husband and I followed this 3 week cleanse to the letter and had amazing results. We lost a combined 21 pounds, my husband no longer needs the shoulder surgery he's been waiting years to get, we are both sleeping better, have more engery and don't experience ups and downs in our energy level throughout the day anymore. And the best part...FIBROMYALGIA IS GONE!!! It has been 3 months since we completed the cleanse so I can safely say I am cured and it feels great! Really you have nothing to lose, it's not going to be easy but it's so worth it and the best $10 I've ever spent!

"Clean-The Revolutionary Program to Restore the Body's Natural Ability to Heal Itself" by Alejandro Junger


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Another Block

For weeks I've been suspecting that I'm blocking my medicine but couldn't figure out where. Then one morning I started the routine of triple checking everything (again) that comes in contact with my skin and that is when I caught the culprit, dish soap. I switched to a new bottle of the same brand (Palmolive) and even went online and checked the ingredients to make sure it would be ok, but I missed the small letters on the front that say "natural extracts", so for now 4 weeks I've been blocking the guai and building phosphates up in my system.  Because of dish soap. It seems like a silly thing, but since I'm a stay at home mom and use this soap not only for washing dishes but also washing my hands (which I probably do 20 times a day with 2 preschoolers) this is actually the product that touches my skin more than any other. Lesson learned, again. Unfortunately, I am now going through the initial reversal for a third time and this is extremely frustrating to me. It is much less painful than it was five months ago (I'm no longer up all night writhing in pain) but it is still incredibly painful and small things like walking up the stairs feel almost impossible. It took five days after throwing out the old dish soap to unblock and hit the true reverse cycle, and today is day two of that cycle.

On another note, I began taking malic acid and magnesium per a previous post to help with muscle pain a little while ago. One symptom of fibro for me has been horrendous periods each month, something which no doctor has been able to help me with. After only a week on the malic acid and magnesium combination I had a completely normal period-so I suspected it was from these vitamins. Shortly after, I stopped them in case they could be the salicylate culprit and the next month it was horrendous again, verifying that it was indeed the malic acid and magnesium that were helping with this symptom. I have called fibropharmacy to verify that all of their pills are sal-free (they are) and since figuring out the dish soap I have restarted this vitamin combination since it does appear to have big benefits for me. I have discontinued the vitamin E since I did not see an improvement.

Five months of treatment, 2 long term blockages and TONS of pain later--I have to remember that I have made a lot of progress, I will not give up!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Can Vitamins Help?

Now 4+ months into the guaifenesin treatment, I'm still seeing progress but the past few weeks have been difficult to read. I cannot tell if I am blocking again or just plateauing in this stage of headaches, joint pain and fatigue. It would make sense that this cycle would last the longest since these are the symptoms I have had for the longest amount of time, but I plan to double up my dosage one night just to be sure I'm not blocking--I just haven't had the guts to do it and forfeit my sleep yet.

In the meantime, I have heard some potentially helpful advice about vitamins and their benefit to people who have fibromyalgia. From what I have read, it sounds like most people with fibromyalgia are deficient in at least one vitamin/mineral-I know that I'm low in vitamin D and anemic in iron even with supplements. Instead of trying all of the following at once, I am introducing them one at a time for about two weeks to see if there is any noticeable improvement. If I've learned anything it's not to make a bunch of changes at once, if something works you'll have no idea which one it is. Here's my "to try" list:

1. Vitamin E: I've heard this will help some people with fibromyalgia a little bit and some a lot, you just have to try it and see if it's a good one for you. I've already introduced it and haven't noticed any significant improvement so will likely not continue when the bottle runs out.

2. Iron: I was shocked to find out that 1 out of every 3 women is iron deficient. This can cause your fatigue to be even worse than it already is. Even after being on a heavy-duty prescription iron supplement my levels are still low. Now I'm looking into foods that are iron rich (eating meat and beans at the same time). Eating vitamin C at the same time will increase absorption, calcium will block absorption, so orange juice with a meal is great but like my chiropractor pointed out-drinking the calcium fortified kind will negate any effects. Also, cooking in a cast iron pan increases the amount of iron you get in your foods as well. I will be trying all of these since fatigue really is my least favorite part.

3. Magnesium + Malic Acid: I don't know the science behind this one so you might want to look it up, but apparently the combination of the two taken daily for 8 weeks will help with muscle soreness and pain. Take 100-300 mg. of magnesium with 1,000-2,000 mg. of malic acid. I just started this one today and will let you know if I see any improvement, my muscle pain is horrible (though not anywhere near what it used to be before the guai) so this would bring much relief!

4. Protein Shakes: Again I don't know the science behind this one, but after speaking with another woman who has had fibromyalgia for 20+ years who attests to the significant improvement she saw after introducing these at breakfast time, I'm willing to try it!

5. Multi-Vitamin: If you aren't sure what you are low in this is a good way to boost everything.

*PLEASE REMEMBER to look for salicylates when purchasing vitamins! They are in a lot of vitamins and I had such a hard time that I finally just ordered mine all from Fibro Pharmacy's website (everything is sal-free) so I wouldn't take the chance of blocking again. Their prices were pretty good too, I think the vitamin E was only $4 for a 3 month supply.

I will post updates as I try things out and see or don't see results, please feel free to share your results, questions or anything else in the comments area below any of my posts.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Light At the End of the Tunnel?

Today is the third day of a cycle that has included burning arthritis-like pain in all of my joints and intense headaches and migraines regardless of how much water/rest/pain medication I take. The first day I kept thinking, "how could joint pain be coming back? It's been gone for months!" and then I realized that these were the first two symptoms I had when the fibromyalgia started. So if this guaifensin truly does reverse the process, as it seems to be doing, then I should be nearing the end of the terrible cycles of pain and close to home free! I know I will most likely never be pain free, but at least I can see the light at the end of the tunnel after 4 months.

On another note, I was lucky enough to meet a woman who has been living with fibromyalgia for 20+ years and she has found several things to be successful in taking away the pain and fatigue so I will do my best to pass those onto you as I'm trying them myself. A few quick tips from her:

  • Always eat breakfast, protein shakes worked great for giving her energy.
  • Take vitamins, obviously if you're going the guai route you'll need to be careful to avoid salicylates (I will be doing a post entirely on vitamins next)
  • Don't exercise after 5:00 and end your day at 7:00 regardless of how much is left on your "to do" list
  • If you can handle it get out and walk several times a week

This woman mentioned that she has met over 50 women with fibromyalgia and they have had two things in common: They have all had a type A personality and were stressed to the max and they have all experienced some kind of extra stress or stress-related event/injury in their life around the time their symptoms started. She gave me some great reminders to keep myself from worrying, trust that God is in control and let Him take care of it. Forget about how clean the house is and the four hundred things on your to do list. Live in the moment and take one day at a time, and most difficult for me-give up control. So I am doing my best to follow some wise words this week. God clearly put this wonderful woman in my life for a reason and I've learned the hard way to listen up when God's speaking or my hard-headedness will only bring me more frustration (and probably pain) and less peace in the long run.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Being Vigilant

If you read my previous two posts, you know that I started taking a new iron pill that blocked my guai from working and it took me 41 days to figure out this was the connection. The reason why no red flags went up when my pharmacist told me it was an iron pill loaded with vitamins, was because the first time I read Dr. St. Amand's book I didn't make a mental note of what to look for in vitamins-because I wasn't taking any. I mentally skipped over the sentences that did not apply to me, not realizing that they could apply to me at some point in the future.

It has taken me a few weeks to get the vitamins out of my system and reverse back to the point where I was before this mistake, in effect pausing my treatment for two full months. As you can imagine on the good days it has been disappointing and on the bad days it has been downright depressing, the depression came in like a wave this time and I think was harder to handle because it was such a drastic change so quickly.

I have no re-read the chapter on how to avoid salicylates and I plan to re-read it every month or two in an effort to prevent something like this from happening again. I couldn't believe how many things I had just passed over the first time around. Also, it's a lot of information on which ingredients to avoid and I will likely need to read it a good dozen times before I can remember them all.

Lesson learned: be vigilant about checking ingredients and thinking through any changes. Getting comfortable and lax about what goes in/on my body is not worth the pain in the short term or the setback in the long term.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Fortunately, it took less than 24 hours for the guai to start working again and to confirm that the iron pills were in fact blocking it from working. I had forgotten that in my attempt to figure things out I've been taking a double dose each time, so last night was quite rough.

Even better news, I can finally put into words the difference between fibro pain and guai reversal pain. For typical fibro pain resting and laying down will bring relief, or at least not add to your pain level. For reversal pain you will still feel an increase (sometimes significantly) a few hours after taking your pill whether you are laying down or not--resting will not bring relief. Obviously the pain is usually much worse as well, but this is at least a somewhat easy test to see whether or not I'm having a cycle or just experiencing normal fibro pain (and maybe blocking).

I think it will only take a few days of cycling to get me back to where I was prior to the switch in meds, since 41 days of pills (and blocking) is equal to approximately 2-3 days of reversal according to Dr. St. Amand.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Crash and Burn

I was feeling pretty good, and so I let a few things slide. I ate more sugar (a lot more), didn't get as much sleep, missed a few days on my medicine (due to having issues with my prescriptions renewing), missed a few chiropractor appointments and picked a lot of strawberries without using gloves-I did not realize this is a big guai blocker. The result was a complete crash for two days that felt like before I had started this treatment. By the third day my efforts at getting back on track were rewarded as I slowly started feeling better, but it took a good 8 days to feel like I had recovered from my little bender.

At this point I'm pretty sure I'm blocking the medicine somehow since I still feel pretty bad and I'm not noticing a change after I take the guai like I used to. Even small amounts of activity are leaving me in extreme pain and difficulty moving. My theory is that I started blocking about a month ago, so I started asking myself: what has changed since then? Here is what I've come up with.

1. I started using sunscreen on my kids as the weather has been nicer.

2. With the humidity kicking up I've gone from straightening my hair to leaving it curly, and using a specific product to keep it under control. I've checked the ingredients at least 3 times, but maybe I'm missing something.

3. My iron pills changed from plain iron to iron plus (includes vitamins and minerals).

My goal this week will be to determine what is causing me to block and eliminating it. One thing I've learned from experience is that I cannot change all three of the above things at the same time, otherwise if I get better I will have no idea which one was causing me to block. So my plan is to start with the iron pills, I'm going to stop taking the prescription pills and take some pure iron over the counter ones. That's my plan for this week, will update next week on whether or not it worked and if I need to try something else.