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Fibromyalgia, a complex and often misunderstood condition, presents a myriad of challenges for both patients and healthcare professionals. Dr. Michael Lenz, a seasoned medical professional in fibromyalgia treatment, brings a nuanced and holistic perspective to the forefront.
During this episode of the NHA Health Science Podcast, Dr. Lenz and host, Dr. Frank Sabatino, delve into various aspects of fibromyalgia management, from medication intricacies to lifestyle medicine and the interconnected web of comorbidities.
Medication Nuances in Fibromyalgia Treatment
Dr. Lenz shines a spotlight on the challenges posed by conventional medications, particularly opioids, in the realm of fibromyalgia treatment. Drawing a clear distinction, he discusses the unique nature of medications used in treating Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Unlike opioids, where tolerance often leads to an escalating dose, ADHD medications maintain their efficacy without constant adjustments.
With years of experience treating ADHD, Dr. Lenz underscores the importance of finding the right medication dose. He highlights the absence of tolerance development, offering a new perspective on potential treatment avenues for fibromyalgia.
Unraveling the Complex Web of Comorbidities
The conversation with Dr. Lenz extends into the intricate web of comorbid conditions associated with fibromyalgia, particularly ADHD and autism spectrum disorders. Dr. Lenz clarifies the connection between fibromyalgia and hypersensitivity, noting that individuals on the autism spectrum often share this characteristic.
The discussion explores individuals with ADHD who find success in highly creative, hands-on professions and activities.
Drawing parallels to iconic figures like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, Dr. Lenz emphasizes the importance of pairing such individuals with those who excel in executive functioning. This collaborative approach allows individuals to thrive in their areas of strength while compensating for potential challenges.
Dr. Lenz also discusses the impact of a plant-based diet on fibromyalgia symptoms. With a dedicated chapter in his book, Conquering Your Fibromyalgia: Real Answers and Real Solutions to Real Pain, and episodes on his podcast, he explores the transformative potential of a whole food plant-based diet, citing studies that demonstrate a significant reduction in fibromyalgia symptoms with this dietary approach. This underscores the importance of considering lifestyle factors in managing the condition.
The Role of Exercise and Nature in Fibromyalgia Management
Transitioning to lifestyle medicine, the conversation delves into the crucial role of exercise in fibromyalgia management. Dr. Lenz emphasizes the need for a personalized approach, considering individual functional limitations and baseline activity levels. By establishing a baseline and gradually increasing activity levels, patients can build consistency and avoid the pitfalls of overexertion.
Dr. Lenz discusses the therapeutic benefits of outdoor exercise, particularly in natural settings. He notes the heightened interest and engagement of individuals with fibromyalgia in outdoor therapy compared to indoor exercise. Connecting with nature, especially in parks or natural environments, becomes a powerful tool in distraction and activating the descending pain pathway.
In addressing the challenges of motivation and consistency, Dr. Lenz explores the potential collaboration with pain psychologists. Highlighting the importance of addressing the mental mindset, he acknowledges the value of incorporating psychological tools and strategies to enhance the overall fibromyalgia management approach.
Simplifying the Complex Landscape
Dr. Lenz, through his extensive experience and multifaceted approach, provides valuable insights into the complex landscape of fibromyalgia. From unraveling the intricacies of medication tolerance to exploring the interconnected web of comorbid conditions, his expertise offers a holistic perspective on fibromyalgia management.
In the ever-evolving landscape of fibromyalgia research and care, Dr. Lenz remains committed to raising awareness, knowledge and understanding, guiding both patients and healthcare professionals toward a more nuanced and integrative approach to managing this complex condition.
[01:45] The turning point from broke college student to health issues to plant-based
[06:00] The politics of medicine doesn’t need to be the story we tell.
[09:45] Understanding chronic pain conditions and family history.
[14:30] The power of suggestion based on what others do.
[19:00] Symptoms of fibromyalgia are plentiful.
[26:00] Short-circuiting the pleasure centers of the brain.
[27:30] ADHD and the correlation to working in highly creative jobs.
[34:30] Adding exercise to the mix.
[40:30] The biology of hope.
[43:00] The Plant-Exclusive solution to the 360 approach to healing.
[48:30] Withdrawals from a whole food, plant-based diet
About Dr. Michael Lenz
Dr. Michael Lenz, the author of “Conquering Your Fibromyalgia,” is a highly qualified medical professional with a diverse background. Graduating from the Medical College of Wisconsin in 1996, he specializes in Internal Medicine/Pediatrics and Internal Medicine. Dr. Lenz is currently based in Delafield, WI, and is affiliated with Waukesha Memorial Hospital and Oconomowoc Memorial Hospital.
Board-certified in pediatrics and internal medicine, Dr. Lenz provides comprehensive care for patients spanning from newborns to adulthood. His commitment to holistic health is evident through his board certifications in Lifestyle Medicine and Clinical Lipidology. Additionally, he holds a T. Colin Campbell plant-based nutrition certificate, reflecting his dedication to promoting healthy dietary choices.
Having completed his residency at the Virginia Commonwealth University Hospitals in Richmond, Dr. Lenz has been practicing a whole food, plant-based diet since 2011. His broad interests in pediatrics and internal medicine, coupled with a specific focus on challenging conditions like fibromyalgia and related diseases, inspired him to pen the book “Conquering Your Fibromyalgia: Real Answers and Real Solutions to Real Pain.” As a practicing physician in Delafield, Waukesha County, Wis., Dr. Lenz brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the forefront of patient care.
More information at: https://www.conqueringyourfibromyalgia.com/
About Dr. Frank Sabatino
As a recognized authority on the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle, Dr. Frank Sabatino has cared for and inspired thousands of people for over 40 years. Dr. Sabatino has a PhD in cell biology and neuroendocrinology and has done extensive landmark research on calorie restriction, stress, and aging. He currently is on staff at the TrueNorth Health Foundation in Santa Rosa, CA, and serves as the Director of Health Education at the NHA.
Dr. Sabatino’s passion and life’s work include raising awareness about the benefits of whole-food, plant-exclusive nutrition (without added salt, oil, or sugar), health rejuvenation and stress management.
The National Health Association (NHA), founded in 1948, is a nonprofit organization that promotes the benefits of a plant-based diet. The Association provides educational materials, educational events, and services to thousands of people around the world.
The mission of the National Health Association is to educate and empower individuals to understand that health results from healthful living. The NHA recognizes the integration of all aspects of health: personal, environmental, and social.
The NHA also provides travel experiences around the globe through the NHA Plant-Based Travel and cruise division.
More information: https://www.healthscience.org/
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