Fibromyalgia - recommend USANA which is also in Physicians Desk Reference

I suffered for a number of years with tiredness, aching joints and pins and
needles in my arms at times. After taking the products which Dr Ray Strand
also recommends I feel a total different person.

I have been a subscriber toDr Ray Strand website for over a year and have
found useful
information in helping people suffering from chronic degenerative diseases. I have also had the privilidge of hearing him speak and
have alo read his books. His wife suffered from fibromyalgia for 18 years.

The following information may help suffers of Fibromyalgia if you would like
a copy of
the case studies send me an email at wight@xxxxxxxxx more details of what Dr
recommends to his patients are at bottom of page.

Dr Ray D. Strand, M.D. is quickly becoming one of the world's leading
authorities in Nutritional Medicine. Dr. Strand is an international speaker,
and consultant on health and preventive medicine as well as the author of,
What Your Doctor Doesn't Know About Nutritional Medicine May Be Killing You.
A graduate of the University of Colorado Medical School, Dr. Strand has been
in private family practice for over 30 years. This site is the culmination
of the doctor's last seven years dedicated to the emerging field of
Nutritional Medicine.


or Chronic Fatigue

Fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue is a disease of exclusion. In other words,
these patients have an array of symptoms and complaints, which mimic many
illnesses. Physicians usually do very extensive workups only to find that
everything appears pretty much normal.

This disease used to be called "psychosomatic rheumatism." I fear that many
physicians still believe this disease is simply in the patient's head. More
and more doctors, however, are beginning to realize the seriousness of this
disease and its tremendous affect on patients' lives. Statistics estimate
there are over 8 million people in the United States alone suffering with
this disease. Eight out of nine are women.
Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue are considered by many to be different
expressions of the same disease. All of these patients suffer from
overwhelming and usually disabling fatigue. Fibromyalgia patients experience
total body pain, unrestful sleep, and a myriad of other symptoms. Patients
with chronic fatigue, on the other hand, have more swollen glands, recurrent
fevers, and frequent infections.

Fibromyalgia is diagnosed by excluding other possible diseases and then by
doing tender point testing. By eliciting tenderness in at least 11 of 18
predetermined spots, a physician is able to diagnose the disease.
Essentially all laboratory tests, X-rays, biopsies, and MRI's will come out

Chronic fatigue patients are diagnosed by eliminating all other possible
causes of fatigue. Anyone who has suffered for more than six months with
disabling fatigue essentially has chronic fatigue. The sad truth is that it
usually takes approximately 6 to 8 years for these patients to finally be
diagnosed by their physician with one of these diseases.

Traditional medicine has no specific treatment for these diseases. With
fibromyalgia, physicians typically place patients on a non-steroidal
anti-inflammatory for pain, amitriptyline for sleep, perhaps a muscle
relaxant and anti-depressant and then they tell the patient to find a
support group and learn to live with it. What is even more concerning is the
frequency with which these patients are being treated with narcotic pain
medication. Now, they not only have a horrible disease but are also hooked
on narcotic pain medication.

My wife has suffered with fibromyalgia for the past 18 years. During the
first 12 years of our marriage she needed to be in bed before 8 P.M. She
never had a restful night's sleep and would get up just as tired as when she
went to bed. Living with this illness for the past 17 years has totally
changed my perception on the seriousness of this disease. Early morning
stiffness, mental fog, muscle spasms (my massage technique has certainly
improved), fatigue, and pain were daily encounters with which she had to
learn to live.

My wife has always joked that she thought marrying a physician would allow
her to improve her health. But I'm afraid I was not the answer. The
frustration felt by a physician when he or she is unable to do anything for
a patient cannot be overstated. And I now realize, first-handedly, the
frustration patients with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue have with their

When my wife was struggling with the most difficult fatigue, she asked if
she could try some nutritional supplements given to her by a friend. For 23
years, I would do most anything to get my patients off any kind of
supplements. However, my response to her shocked even me. I told her she
could certainly try since I had not been able to find anything to help her
through traditional medicine.

Within a week she saw marked improvement and within three weeks she was back
to her normal self and off all medications. Over the next year she not only
totally recovered, but felt more energetic than she had in years. She has
added three to four hours to each of her days. She has significantly less
pain and fewer muscle spasms, and her energy level has now surpassed mine.

Obviously this caught my attention. Her recovery challenged me to try to
understand what had happened. This was the beginning of my newly found
interest in nutritional supplements.

Shortly after this experience, I read a book by Kenneth Cooper, M.D., called
"The Antioxidant Revolution." I have always admired Dr. Cooper, who started
the exercise revolution back in the early 1970s. I became so intrigued with
his book I researched his research. One part of the book especially caught
my attention: at his aerobics clinic in Dallas, Dr. Cooper evaluated several
athletes suffering from over-training syndrome. His theory was that
oxidative stress was the cause.

When people exercise moderately the body is able to handle the amount of
free radicals produced. However, in cases of excessive exercise as in the
training of professional athletes, the amount of free radicals goes up
exponentially. It struck me that these athletes with over-training syndrome
had the same symptoms as patients with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue
syndrome. I was baffled and wondered, Could it be possible that the root
cause of fibromyalgia /chronic fatigue is oxidative stress?

As we learn more and more about how oxidative stress can cause degenerative
diseases, one has to wonder if this is the cause of the fibromyalgia/chronic
fatigue syndromes. These syndromes are not high on the totem pole for
research dollars. I have been unable to find any significant studies that
have considered this as a possibility. I am hopeful more funds will be
allocated toward these disabling diseases in the future.

For the past six years, I have been evaluating and treating a group of
patients with the belief that the underlying cause is oxidative stress.
Since these diseases are able to mimic many other diseases, I must first
rule all other possibilities out. I then place these patients on a complete
and balanced nutritional supplement program.

I have observed a fairly consistent pattern of improvement in my patients.
The most common response I get at the two-month follow-up exam is their
thinking and focus is significantly improved. They feel they have come out
of a mental fog. At the four-month exam, they are usually sleeping better
and noticing some improvement in their energy level. The last things to
improve are the pain, fever, and frequent infections. The decrease of
infections and fevers is evidence that one's immune system is definitely
improving. Many of my patients comment, "I actually have my life back!"

I have now been involved with over 500 patients with fibromyalgia and
chronic fatigue and have been able to achieve good to excellent results in
over 70 to 75% of these patients. By bringing oxidative stress back under
control, their disease has been captured.

The majority will have significant improvement while using high-quality,
complete and balanced nutritional supplements along with necessary
optimizers. I have found that the optimizers must be varied or increased
depending on the initial response of the patient or the severity of one's
disease. It often takes six months for these patients to be convinced of
their improvement and they may still not be fully recovered at that
point-but they know they are on the right track.

Once I see a significant clinical response, I keep my patients at that level
of optimizer (in this case, Grape Seed Extract) for another two to three
months. I then slowly start to back off the level of grape seed extract
until the patient reaches what I call a maintenance level. If she becomes
worse for any reason while pulling back the amount, I move her to a higher
level again until she begins improving. Economically, it's best to use the
least amount of grape seed extract necessary in maintaining the patient's
improvement. Patients usually continue to improve even at lower levels once
oxidative stress has been brought back under control.

Patients with fibromyalgia /chronic fatigue have flare-ups and remissions.
Therefore, I advise my patients who have had a great response and are now on
a maintenance nutritional program that they will have flare-ups and some
difficult days. When this happens, I simply have them increase the amount of
antioxidants and grape seed extract they are taking. They may need to stay
at this increased level of antioxidants for 10 to 14 days or until they are
feeling better, and then they slowly drop back to the maintenance level

Everyone needs to review the web page on "Oxidative Stress" to learn what
factors increase the amount of free radicals produced by the body. Patients
do best who've learned to anticipate situations that cause more oxidative
stress. This may include a highly stressful situation, a vigorous work out,
or even exposure to an increased amount of toxins which otherwise cannot be
avoided. By increasing the amount of antioxidants before a potential
setback, it allows the patient a jumpstart and the possibility of even avoid
the setback altogether.

Nutritional Supplement Recommendations

I recommend that all my patients take the basic nutritional support I refer
to as cellular nutrition. This foundational regime provides all the
necessary micronutrients to the cell at ideal levels (not RDA levels) for
significant health benefits as documented in the medical literature. When
the cell is given maximum support, it can then determine what it does and
does not need. Over a six-month period each cell is able to not only
overcome nutritional deficiencies but also to optimize ALL the nutrients,
which are needed to combat oxidative stress.

The synergistic affect of providing all the nutrients needed by one's body
at the most advantageous levels results in optimizing and rebuilding the
body's natural immune system, antioxidant, and repair systems back to their
fullest fighting potential against disease.

Minimal support for Cellular Nutrition:

My minimal recommendation for creating cellular nutrition is to simply take
Usana's Mega Antioxidant and Chelated Minerals, called "The Essentials" at
their recommended doses (3 of each daily). The Essentials offers the cell
ALL of the antioxidants, B-cofactors, and antioxidant minerals needed by the
cell at ideal levels. In order to achieve the best results, I recommend
taking 1 Mega Antioxidant and 1 Chelated Mineral with each meal.
Nutritionals should always be taken with food because of better absorption
and better tolerance. However, as a physician, I realize that compliance
with taking supplements three times a day is a major issue. Therefore, if
you tend to frequently forget the lunchtime dose, I suggest taking the
supplements twice daily: taking 2 Mega Antioxidants and 1 Chelated Mineral
in the morning with breakfast and 1 Mega Antioxidant and 2 Chelated Minerals
in the evening with the evening meal.

Optimal support for Cellular Nutrition:

For the most favorable results for basic cellular nutrition, I also
recommend adding to the Usana Essentials either OptOmega (2 tsps daily) or
BiOmega-3 (4 capsules daily), which provides the essential fats and Fibergy,
which assures the individual is receiving the additional fiber his or her
body needs. I also recommend adding Active Calcium (4 tablets daily) to
provide additional calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D that our bodies need.
These recommendations provide all the nutrients at their ideal levels
creating the cellular nutrition I recommend in my book, What Your Doctor
Doesn't Know About Nutritional Medicine May Be Killing You.


It is critical that you know the necessity of adding optimizers to your
foundational cellular nutrition for optimal results. Patients who are
suffering from a chronic degenerative disease or illness are under more
oxidative stress than the average healthy individual. Therefore, adding
potent Optimizers to the basic cellular nutrition offers you the best chance
to bring this oxidative stress back under control. The synergy and increased
potency created by this approach to nutritional medicine is why I'm able to
get such consistent results in my patients.

However, to suit each individual's unique needs, I always offer both an
optimal and a minimal plan for cellular nutrition and for adding Optimizers.
Obviously, one's improvement will be quicker and more consistent with the
optimal recommendations; however, a minimal regime can still produce
significant clinical results.

Recommended Optimizers: Optimal:
a.. Proflavanol 90*--3 tablets daily
b.. Coquinone 30-2 capsules daily
a.. Proflavanol 90*--2 tablets daily
*Proflavanol 90 is equal to 3 Proflavanol C
Optimal Recommendations

Nutritional Supplement Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Mega Antioxidant (Mega AO) 1 1 1
Chelated Mineral (Multi Mineral) 1 1 1
Active Calcium 1 1 2
Proflavanol 90 1 1 1
Coquinone 30 1 1
Optomega 2 tsps
Biomega-3 (an option instead of Optomega) 1 1

*Adding at least one serving of Fibergy daily will enhance these

Minimal Recommendation

Nutritional Supplement Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Mega Antioxidant (Mega AO) 1 1 1
Chelated Mineral (Multi Mineral) 1 1 1
Proflavanol 90 1 1

If you are frequently going to miss taking your lunchtime dose, it is better
to simply take your nutritionals twice daily. I recommend taking 2 Mega
Antioxidants, 1 Chelated Mineral in the morning with breakfast and then
taking 1 Mega Antioxidant, 2 Chelated Minerals in the evening. You should
try to divide up your Active Calcium, essential fats, and Optimizers equally
as possible between the AM and PM dose.

Consider a Power Shake

USANA has a fantastic line of nutritionally balanced drinks that many of my
patients consume as a meal substitute. In fact, I personally start every
morning with 2 scoops of Fibergy, 2 scoops of Soyomax, and 2 teaspoonfuls of
OptOmega. This provides me with a perfect, balanced, unpolluted meal to
start my day. It allows me the opportunity to supplement my diet with soy
protein; extra needed fiber, and essential fat. This meal is also a
low-glycemic meal, which will not spike my blood sugar. Likewise, many USANA
associates are using their imaginations to create exceptionally tasting
meals with Fibergy and OptOmega. By blending in frozen, whole fruit for
added flavor they are creating a variety of great tasting drinks.

Isn't it remarkable that by simply taking USANA Essentials, Active Calcium
and a power drink (remember, to consider this part of your food budget,
since it is replacing an entire meal), the body is supplied with complete,
and balanced cellular nutrition for every cell in the body? The synergy that
is created, especially when adding needed Optimizers is phenomenal.
Remember, the underlying problem is oxidative stress NOT a nutritional

Why I recommend USANA Products

USANA strictly follows pharmaceutical-grade Good Manufacturing Practices
(GMP). This means they not only purchase pharmaceutical-grade raw products,
but also manufacture the products according to tough pharmaceutical-quality
guidelines. In addition, USANA Health Sciences follows USP guidelines for
potency, uniformity, and dissolution of the tablet. In a nutshell, USANA
manufactures their products to the strict standards of over-the-counter
drugs even though not required to do so-assuring all of their customers and
associates that what is on the label is actually in the tablet.

Usana's essentials are complete and balanced and provides the cellular
nutrition that I strongly recommend in my book, What Your Doctor Doesn't
Know About Nutritional Medicine May Be Killing You. This improves compliance
and makes taking these advanced levels of nutritional supplements easier.

Starting Your USANA Nutritional Program

Over eighty percent of my patients are able to start the USANA Nutritional
Program with absolutely no set backs while beginning to experience the
health benefits of high-quality nutritional supplements immediately. Please
keep in mind these supplements are extremely potent and optimal levels of
nutrients are being provided that the body has never had before. The body is
therefore able to finally rid itself of toxins, which have been accumulating
for years (called detoxification). This is especially true in those who are
suffering from a serious illness and are taking a significant amount of
medication. It is important to understand the possible signs and symptoms of
detoxification so that you can deal with them confidently and properly.


The most common detoxification reaction is muscle aches and/or mild
headache. These symptoms will usually pass within a few weeks. If the
discomfort is not unbearable, I simply have my patients continue their
program as I have prescribed. However, occasionally there is a more severe
reaction. The patient is not in danger, rather, the amounts of nutrients are
just too much too fast. In this case, I have my patients quit their
supplements for a few days until the reaction subsides. I will then have
them start back on their program but initially at lower doses (approximately
one third of the recommended dose). Once they are tolerating this amount of
supplementation, I suggest slowly building up to the recommended doses.

Some of my patients actually develop a "detox" skin rash somewhere on their
body. As you know, the skin is an important route for ridding the body's
toxins. This rash is a dry, red rash that looks almost like a mild sunburn.
Some people confuse this with an allergic reaction to the supplements. This
is not typically so. I have never seen an allergic reaction to the USANA
Essentials and can only recall a couple of patients who reacted to
Proflavanol because they were actually allergic to grapes.

Patients may also experience some aspect of loose stools or even diarrhea.
This again is a common "detox" reaction because the GI tract is another
prime route for eliminating toxins from the body. This symptom will usually
diminish within a couple of weeks. It is an important part of the
detoxification and healing process. Therefore, I usually encourage my
patients to continue the supplements as recommended unless their bottom gets
too sore. I will then again recommend lower doses of the supplements until
they feel better and then begin adding the supplements back more slowly
until the recommended doses are reached. Diarrhea can be the result of the
magnesium in the Active Calcium or by the Proflavanol. Again, this is
usually a mild reaction and will improve over the first week or two.
However, some of my patients need to discontinue the Active Calcium and/or
the Proflavanol until this settles down. I then have them slowly add back
the Proflavanol and eventually the Active Calcium.

Increasing dietary fiber may also increase the amount of intestinal gas and
the frequency of bowel movements. This will improve with time as the body
adjusts to the higher intake of fiber, but is an important aspect of getting
rid of the toxins, which have accumulated in the body.

Natural Relaxation Response:

A small percentage of patients develop a natural relaxation response when
minerals are absorbed into their body. This is of great concern to those
patients who have just been told that nutritional supplementation will help
improve their energy level. They take the supplements as recommended only to
find themselves more fatigued and dragging themselves through their day. If
you experience this response, I recommend that you take all of your minerals
(including the Active Calcium) with a light bedtime snack. This allows you
to take advantage of your body's response while getting a good night's

Stomach Upset:

A small percentage of patients have difficulty tolerating vitamin C. It can
cause an upset stomach that will usually become evident a couple days after
starting their nutritional program. With USANA's specially combined vitamin
C into Poly C, I have seen many of people who could not previously tolerate
any nutritional supplements do very well with USANA's Mega Antioxidant.
However, if nausea is experienced, I suggest taking one Mega Antioxidant
with the largest meal. Once this level of supplementation is better
tolerated, I suggest slowly adding another Mega Antioxidant to the next
largest meal. I anticipate building them up to the recommended level of
supplementation, but sometimes this is just not possible. For those
extremely sensitive, I advise using Body Rox (the teenage dose of
Antioxidants and Minerals) as the best alternative option.

Taking Your Supplements with Your Medication

I am often asked, "Can I take my nutritionals with my medication?" To this I
respond with this question, "Can you eat?" I hope my point is made gently
but clearly-nutritional supplements simply contain nutrients we should be
getting from our foods, but at levels we can no longer obtain from our
foods. If you can eat anything, you can also take nutritional supplements.
The only exception to this is for those taking the medication, Coumadin
(Warfarin), which blocks vitamin K in the body as a way of thinning the
blood. If a patient is on Coumadin, I recommend he or she take the Canadian
Essentials and Canadian Active Calcium because they contain no vitamin K.
Also, patients who are on thyroid medication should take their medication on
an empty stomach at least 1 hour prior to meals or prior to taking
supplements. Thyroid medication should not be taken with food or with
supplements because calcium can block the absorption of the medication.



Every effort has been made to make this web site as accurate as possible.
The purpose of this site is to educate and inform. As such it is based on
scientific evidence and my clinical training and experience. No individual
should at any time use the information found on this web site for
self-diagnosis, treatment, or justification in accepting or declining any
medical therapy for any health problems or diseases. Any application of the
advice herein is at the reader's own discretion and risk. Therefore, any
individual who has a specific health problem or is taking medications must
first seek advice from his or her personal physician or healthcare provider
before starting a nutritional supplement program. Dr. Strand shall have
neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to
loss, damage, or injury caused or alleged to be caused directly or
indirectly by the information contained in this web site. We assume no
responsibility for errors, inaccuracies, omissions, or any inconsistency
herein. Any slights of people, places, or organizations are unintentional.

© 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 Ray D Strand, M.D. P.C.


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best wishes