Dr Lowe Q & A Metabolic Rehabilitation
June 14, 2002
Question: Ive found your website very
helpful, but Im not clear on one point. You
have a lot of information on fibromyalgia on
the website, but is metabolic rehab useful for
patients with other diagnoses, such as
Dr. Lowe: Fibromyalgia is little more than a pattern of symptoms (widespread pain and tenderness) of some patients who have either hypothyroidism or thyroid hormone resistance.
Most patients fibromyalgia symptoms, however, are compounded and complicated by other factors that slow their metabolism. The most common of these other factors are low physical fitness, poor diet, multiple nutritional deficiencies, and the use of one or more metabolism-impairing medications.
Other patients’those who dont have the fibromyalgia symptom patternhave major complaints other than widespread pain and tenderness. The diagnoses doctors give the patients usually depend on the major
symptom. For example, if a patients major symptom is fatigue, shes likely to get the diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome.
Other major symptoms that can lead to different diagnoses include depression unrelated to life
events, menstrual abnormalities, high cholesterol, dry skin and mucous membranes, and the list goes on and on. Most of these patients symptoms are compounded by the same metabolism-impeding factors that worsenfibromyalgia patients symptoms.
What determines a patient’s major symptom is the particular body tissues most sensitive to
the combination of metabolism-impairing factors impinging on the patient. But despite the patients diagnosis, metabolic rehab is appropriate. This is true because of the aims of metabolic rehabto identify and eliminate all factors impairing the individual patients metabolism, thereby enabling him or her to
fully recover metabolic health. So, we treat not only patients with the fibromyalgia pattern of
symptoms, but also those with a wide range of other major symptoms.
May 16, 2000
Question: I’ve had fibromyalgia for ten years
now. My doctor has let me try several
treatments that didn’t work, including
amitriptyline, guaifenesin, and other
medications. She also recently let me try
Cytomel. She knows you use large amounts, so
when I didn’t improve after a week with the 50
mcg she started me on, she let me increase the
dose to 100 mcg. After three days, I had
tremors, was anxious, and was sweating
profusely. These reactions frightened me, so
I stopped taking the Cytomel. My doctor thinks
that your treatment is not for me. Since your
protocol didn’t work for me, what alternative
fibromyalgia treatments do you recommend?
Dr. Lowe: Several time each week, I receive the same question from other patients. Each has the mistaken impression that she’s tried our treatment protocol. But she hasn’t. Let me say emphatically: Our treatment protocol is not rerely taking T3 (Cytomel)! Instead, its a comprehensive metabolic rehab process. Fine
tweaking all along the therapeutic way is critical to patients improving or recovering. With each patient, we strive to paint a metabolic masterpiece, and we can’t succeed by headlong splattering of Cytomel on the
During the process of metabolic rehab, we guide the patient to improvement or recovery based on frequent feedback from her. The feedback doesn’t simply involve her telling us at intervals how shes feeling. Certainly, we calculate into our therapeutic decisions the patient’s subjective feelings in response to the treatment. But we also regularly use objective measures of the patient’s tissue responses to treatment. We post the scores from the measures to line graphs. Then we study the graphs to learn what we must strategically do to guide the patient on toward recovery. Basedon the patient’s subject feelings, our observations, and the objective measures, we make revised decisions each step of the way.
So, in answer to your question, I do recommend an alternative to what you tried before==-I recommend that you properly go through metabolic rehab. Your physician and you can intelligently approach your treatment by obtaining copies of my book, The Metabolic Treatment of Fibromyalgia. Both of you should carefully study the sections on diagnosis and treatment. Then you should start your treatment over, this time doing it according to the method that our studies have shown to be highly effective and safe. If your physician and you decide to use this informed approach, I’ll be happy to answer any questions that come up during your treatment. I wish you the best of luck.
March 15, 1998
Question: Hello. My doctor and I find your T3 therapy interesting. We would like to know the name (brand name) and dosage for this therapy. He has started me on Armour thyroid 0.25 gr (15mg) tab 1 p.o. daily. Is this the right medicine, and is it the right dosage? Any information would be greatly appreciated.
Dr. Lowe: I am pleased that you and your physician are interested in our treatment protocol. For information on the approximate proper dosage of desiccated thyroid, I suggest you read my answer on February 15, 1998 to asimilar question.
I would urge you to keep in mind, however, that our protocol does not merely consist of taking thyroid hormone. Thyroid hormone is necessary for most patients to improve or recover (albeit unnecessary for some). In general, though, taking the hormone is not sufficient for a patient to significantly improve
or overcome her fibromyalgia. Producing the necessary sustained increase in your metabolism and especially fine-tuning that increase involves considerably more. The indispensable ingredients include a wholesome diet and nutritional supplementation. Also, you’ll have to exercise to tolerance. Many patients, however, are hardly able to exercise before beginning thyroid hormone therapy and nutritional supplementation. After beginning, they find that their capacity for exercise increases. (Of course, to detect increased capacity, you must be doing some amount of baseline activity to start with. This will give youa gauge by which to compare increases in capacity as the thyroid hormone and nutrients
help to encourage those increases.)
By baseline activity, I do not mean activity that is so vigorous as to exacerbate your fibromyalgia symptoms. The intensity of your baseline activities should be below the level that would worsen your symptoms. As you find that your capacity for exercise is increasing, it is mandatory that you take advantage of that increase. The way to do that is to slowly increase your exercise intensity and frequency as your tolerance increases. And remember that throughout this process, you should be careful not to overextend yourself.
Once your symptoms have subsided, you should be able to increase the intensity and/or amount of your exercise more easily. And in doing so, you should suffer nothing more than perhaps some temporary, post-exercise soreness soreness that would be considered normal for anyone who is increasing her exercise intensity. (You’ll find additional information on our full treatment protocol in the section title “Is Treatment Available?”)
When patients and their clinicians use our protocol properly, many of the patients markedly improve or completely recover from their fibromyalgia symptoms. I wish you the best in becoming one of these individuals. (Read a more detailed description of our metabolic rehabilitation and our description of what is necessary for a successful treatment outcome.)