Louisville To Host Fibromyalgia Seminar - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Louisville To Host Fibromyalgia Seminar

By Lori Lyle

(LOUISVILLE) -- The overwhelming response to recent health alert reports on fibromyalgia treatment is getting results: the president of the Fibromyalgia Treatment Center in California is coming to Louisville this weekend to help answer your questions. WAVE 3's Medical Reporter Lori Lyle has an update on how over-the-counter congestion meds may ease the pain.

Seeing Beth O'Hara today, it's hard to believe she has lived most of her life in pain.

Only 18 months ago, she was ready to resign herself to living the rest of her life in pain. "I was getting desperate," she says, "because my symptoms were getting worse. I was getting sicker. And I felt like, in a year or two, I'm going to end up in a wheelchair. I'm just going to be unable to walk. And that was frightening."

After finally being diagnosed with fibromyalgia, she tried the standard treatments: anti-depressants. But they didn't work.

Then she found a book that helped change her life: What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Fibromyalgia.

The book was written by Dr. Paul St. Amand -- an endocrinologist at UCLA Medical School -- and his medical assistant, Claudia Marek.

Both fibromyalgics, they developed a treatment protocol using an ingredient found in many over-the-counter cough medicines: guaifenesin.

Marek says that when people have fibromyalgia, "something is clogging up energy production. The only thing that can do that is an excess of phosphate inside certain parts of the cell where energy is produced."

They now treat thousands of patients each year.

Marek says guaifenesin "somehow gets the body to drain out that excess phosphate that's clogging up the energy production in the cell."

Once that happens, Marek says the illness begins to reverse, but Beth warns it's a "really slow process. It took about six months before I felt like, OK, this is working."

After using the treatment herself, Beth is now back to teaching yoga. "I not only teach it ... I practice it two hours a day. I'm able to walk my dogs for about an hour a day. I rarely sit down. I have so much energy."

But patient testimonies aren't proof enough for many in medicine who need science to back the claims.

Marek says she tells "people we're really so positive that what we do works we're willing to finance these two studies."

The non-profit Fibromyalgia Treatment Center has been raising money for research -- $450,000 so far -- and is funding two genetic studies.

"These are not studies specifically to prove guaifenesin works," Marek says, adding: "when we find out what guaifenesin does on a cellular basis, we may have the answer as to why it works and how it works, and really even if it works, because there are people who are not sure it does."

But Beth doesn't need research results. "I don't really know why it works. But I know it works for me."

After our reports, Beth formed a Kentuckiana support group for fibromyalgia. That group is organizing Marek's visit to Louisville. It's set for this Saturday, May 14th, at 1:30 p.m. in the UofL Business School auditorium.

The cost is $20 per person. All proceeds after expenses will be donated to research.

For support group info, contact: fibroky@gmail.com.

For more information on treating fibromyalgia with guaifenesin, visit: http://www.fibromyalgiatreatment.com/GuaiProtocol.htm.

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Online Reporter: Lori Lyle

Online Producer: Michael Dever

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