I went to see Dr. David Edelberg, Whole Health Chicago on Tuesday. (www.wholehealthchicago.com) He's on the good doctor list on this board so FM & CF don't scare him. I am MOST impressed with the "Healing Path" that he prescribed for my FM/CF. In contrast with the 24 page questionnaire from FFC, his method of taking my history was very different than anything I've ever experienced. He came out to the waiting room to get me himself even though he had an office full of office and medical staffers! No visit with the nurse or medical assistant for the arduous history taking and vitals check with the dreaded weigh in. No torturous pressing of my tender points which reduces all of us (including me) to tears. He just checked one tender point on my knee. I jumped about 2' in the air almost flying out of the chair. Instead of the typical recitation of my prior diagnoses and symptoms, he sat with me in an office while he typed on a laptop. He asked me to imagine my life as a movie. What was my health like as a baby? A child? A teen-ager? What were my 20's like? My 30's and my 40's? When we finished he recited it all back to me from his notes and got it all correct. He was ACTUALLY LISTENING! A clear pattern began to emerge: mainly stress due to under treated fibro and other chronic pain because of numerous health problems along with serious hormonal imbalances. Added to the stress of the chronic pain is the run around I have gotten for the past 25 years going from doctor to doctor and not getting adequate treatment or a real diagnosis. I almost didn't keep my appointment because of the title of his book "The Triple Whammy Cure." I bought the book in the apothecary and can't put it down. www.triplewhammy.com The chapter on fibromyalgia is one of the longest in the book. Whammy #1: Stress, the Fibro Trigger. Whammy #2: Low Serotonin, the Cause of Fibro? There's a good paragraph here on our pain enemy, Substance P. Whammy #3: The Hormone Connection. I do have some "homework" which is two test kits. One is called Adrenal Health. It's a saliva test kit for DHEA x2 and Cortisol x4. The other is a urine test kit for epinephrine, nor-epinephrine, dopamine, serotonin, GABA, and creatinine. After I fill up the specimen containers I mail them in with prepaid labels. My personal healing path involves: Changing my pain medication to a MUCH more potent one -- this typically lasts from 6 months to 1 year and is used to break the cycle of SEVERE pain; Staying on the same dose of T3 (FFC just raised that to 125 mcg. 12/23/06); Lowering my hydrocortisone from 20 mg. SR to 5 mg. 2X per day -- Cortef brand instead of more expensive compounded version; Upping my Bi-Est from (Estriol 2 mg. Estradiol 1.25 mg) to Estriol/Estradiol 3.75; Upping my Testosterone from 1.25 to 2.5 mg. I'm supposed to stay on: Fish Oil 1,000 mg. 2X per day; Vitamin D 1,000 IU daily; 5 HTP 100 mg at bedtime; DHEA 50 mg. Add: B Complex -- high potency to the FFC Ultra Genesis multi; St. John's Wort 450 mg. 2X per day. Natural ways to boost serotonin (feel good brain chemical): Exercise -- walking OK -- 20 minutes -- outdoors preferred; Get some sunlight every day; Eat good quality carbs (that I'm not intolerant to) with every meal. In a nutshell, Dr. Edelberg explained to me that I have a genetic predisposition to low levels of serotonin. I was born a few bucketfuls short. This is my buffer against stress and it's gone. That I agree with because I crash when I exceed my boundaries. I'm subject to the changing tides of hormones as estrogen and serotonin are closely related. That I also agree with because I've had almost all of the whammies described in the book: CF, FM, IBS, memory loss & brain fog, menopausal issues, migraine headaches, postpartum depression, PMS, SAD (winter blues), sleep problems, smoking & weight loss agonies and problems with TMJ. I'm at the point with FFC where they would like me to come in every 2-4 weeks for AV IV therapy. I've already spent tons of money with FFC for doctor visits, testing, IVs, and supplements. After doing their treatment for 9 months, my AB titers for infections are the same as when I started! My hormone levels are still low. I still have every symptom listed under hormone deficiencies on the FFC website. In spite of religiously following the candida diet and taking 9 months of Nystatin + a 30 day cycle of Diflucan then another 60 day cycle of Diflucan -- I'm no closer to lowering my Candida AB titers either. I've had 9 IgG shots and swallowed a million FFC supplements. We’ve spent almost $11,000 out of pocket in 2006. It's time for something different.