Everything you need to know about the FM/a test.

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What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a chronic disease with many symptoms, sometimes it lays dormant for a while and patient’s experience ” flare ups” a time where symptoms become more dominant and overwhelming. This can happen when you have a surgery, become ill with another sickness such as a cold or flu, during your menstrual cycle and even during stressful or emotional times.

Symptoms of Fibromyalgia include, headaches, brain fog, memory problems, insomnia, muscle spasms, tingling and numbness to limbs, irritable bowel syndrome, intense muscle pain, pain that feels like growing pain in bones and joints. Patients with Fibromyalgia suffer from depression and anxiety disorders. Being in chronic pain can really wear a person down.  Often times doctors don’t believe Fibromyalgia is “real”. This disease is invisible. Up until 2012 there was no physical evidence of this disease. No known cause, just theories and doctors believing this disease to be a psychiatric condition. I felt that Fibromyalgia was often diagnosed when doctors give up on a patient or refused to do further testing.

All that is changed thanks to Dr. Bruce Gillis of Epi Genetics. He decided that there had to be a specific physical clue to the disease. Dr. Gillis started a research program and found one particular thing in common with all patients he studied with Fibromyalgia. The similarity was the presence unique biomarkers of the immune system. He lays to rest the controversary of Fibromyalgia medically. Dr. Gillis confirms through FDA approved blood testing that Fibromyalgia is infact an immune system disorder. It’s truly physical, not just a fragment of your imagination.

I am not going to go into great detail about the specifics of the immune biomarkers, you can find more information on that at https://fmtest.com/  

I already know I have Fibromyalgia, why do the testing?

  1.  Testing confirms a true physical aspect of this invisible disease.
  2. This disease is chronic and consistently plaques a person with a variety of symptoms that can have similar patterns that fall closely to other auto immune diseases. It gives the patient peace knowing that a doctor has made the right diagnosis for them.
  3. Physicians will take patient’s more seriously knowing fibromyalgia is “real”.
  4. The test is FDA approved and covered by most insurances.
  5. The test is extremely accurate, it is as accurate as HIV testing.
  6.  Having testing completed allows you to participate in Dr. Gillis clincial trial to cure Fibromyalgia. How awesome is that?
  7. Testing may help patient’s filing for social security benefits.

The road to diagnosis.

When my Rheumatologist told me he thought I had Fibromyalgia. I was actually really mad about it. I thought great, such a BS disease, no cause or cure.  Just a chronic condition that basically leaves you ignored by physicans. I was skeptical that I had the disease in the first place, I’ve been suffering from symptoms since I was 15 years old. Until last year (at 26 years old) no doctor ever knew what was wrong with me. This doctor diagnosed me before my blood work even came back.  I was also concerned that maybe he overlooked something. I researched Fibromyalgia and the FM/a test came up. I looked it over and the next day I spoke to someone at Epi Genetics ( the lab where the FM/a testing is done) the person was extremely helpful and explained the entire process to me. First I needed a doctor to order the test for me. When I intially spoke to my Rheumatologist he would not order the test, he said he never heard of it and that is wasn’t necessary. I didn’t take no for an answer so I contacted my primary physican and he agreed to order the test for me. YES!

The staff at Epi Genetics contacted my insurance company once the order was received, there was no agreed upon amount that my insurance promised to pay. They said that they maybe would pay something towards it. I had to front the money for the test, it was 740.00 ( without insurance out of pocket the test cost 900.00 at the time).  I ordered it. The test came in a little box with all the instructions and a test tube.  I had to take the test tube to my doctors where they drew the blood for me. I packed the test tube as instructed and sent it to Epi Genetics via Fed Ex overnight shipping. The label and bag was already created, all I needed was a receipt. It’s important to know you need to send the blood out right away and never have your blood drawn on a Friday. The specimen would be ruined due to the lab not being in office over the weekend. I waited about 3 weeks and received my results via snail mail. My ordering doctor also received the results via fax.  Any value over 50 is considered positive. I tested positive with a value 65.  I felt relieved for sure.  Through out the process, I was contacting Epi Genetics regularly to find out more information, ask about costs and the process of mailing and the testing itself. I even emailed Dr. Bruce Gillis  and he got back to me. Epi Genetic’s staff were extremely helpful and pleasant during the process.

 

A few things you should know about the testing process.

  1. A doctor needs to order the test for you, if a doctor will not do it. That’s ok, Dr. Gillis himself can order the test for you. You just need to contact Epi Genetics and tell them about your struggle.
  2. You need to find someone to draw the blood for you. Lab corp and Quest in my area would not do blood draws for third party testing. Luckily my doctors office agreed to doing the blood draw for me. Call different labs in your area first and see who will do third party blood draws. Before you order the test. Tell them you have a third party kit and will handle the shipping process back to the lab. ( do not trust the lab doing testing to send you kit back, make sure you do it yourself)
  3.  My insurance paid for the test in the end however, it did take a long time to get my refund. A total of 9 months ( it was allot to pay out of pocket)
  4. A payment plan can be made with Epi Genetics if you do not have insurance. Just know you won’t receive the kit for testing until ALL your payments are made.

If you found this information helpful please give me a follow on my instagram @namastehealth._

Resources / more information

To order the FM/a test go to https://fmtest.com/

For pain and anxiety relieving CBD oil please check out my affliate link for My Soul CBD at    https://mysouldcbd.com/?afmc=2

If you are looking for an online community for support http://www.myfibroteam.com

If you are looking for good quality natural supplements, blood testing and knowledge check out http://www.lifeextension.com/

Disclaimer

I was not paid or asked by Epi Genetics to review this blood test. I am not endorsed or backed by any of the sites mentioned above. Although I am an affliate of My Soul CBD they did not ask for me to post anything here. All the information I include is my personal story that I chose to share with you. I hope you find it helpful and perhaps you will consider completing the test for yourself. If you have any questions please ask.

It’s important to remember when you have new or worsening symptoms of Fibromyalgia whether testing is completed or not. You need to review each symptom case by case. Just because you have Fibromyalgia does not mean you can’t be sick with something else.I always encourage people to do all necessary blood work and exams to rule out other disease even if you have received a positve FM/a test. Fibromyalgia often co- insides with other auto immune diseases.

BE WELL ~ Namaste~

 

So what’s all the hype about CBD?

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Everyone is always talking about CBD oil and it’s benefits. You’ll now find it at your local cafe being added to coffees and smoothies; the pharmacy has CBD at the register as edible gummies, oil ,even CBD infused water, smoke shops have it available to be vaped etc.  I always thought it was some hype much like virgin coconut oil. Of course coconut oil works well for numerous things and is a great addition to your beauty regime as well as ingesting it. However, there is this running joke that you can basically use coconut oil for everything, this is where I was at with CBD. I figured it can’t be as helpful as everyone says… until I needed it.

First off let me explain what CBD oil is. CBD is a chemical compound found in cannabis. it’s called cannabidiol. Cannabis is the fancy plant name for Marijuana and hemp, just like bell peppers and tomatoes are apart of the nightshade family. CBD can be extracted from the stalks and seeds of hemp or be extracted from the buds of marijuana. CBD extracted from hemp has little to no THC present. THC is the active ingredient in marijuana that makes you feel high. CBD is legal for purchase and available in most states. In short CBD oil blocks the reuptake of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, allowing the neurotransmitter to be increased in the brain. This increase causes there to be more oxygen supplying the heart and aids in blood flow throught out the body, relieving anxiety and inflammation. Check out http://www.projectcbd.org for the specific neurotransmitters involved.

While CBD is legal and contains just trace amount of THC. You may not want to consume CBD in large quanities if you need to pass a drug test. Some tests maybe sensitive enough to assume that you are using marijuana. I saw something on the news one day that a truck driver was strictly taking CBD oil, he tested positve on his drug test resulting in being fired. I am using CBD regularly at the moment,  I am not currently working as a nurse (due to health reasons) other wise I would seriously need to consider getting a medical marijuana card and making my employer aware of medical conditions just to be safe.

I tried several CBD companies…

Once I was aware of the benefits. I gave CBD oil a shot. My first purchase was from Blue Ridge hemp co. I purchased a headache/stress relief topical roll on, its packed with pure aromatic essential oils.  I found some benefits and relief from my headaches. My headaches are a symptom of Fibromyalgia as well as frontal lobe seizures. I would massage my temple with the roll on and behind my neck and ears. The benefits would last about an hour before my headache would reappear. It was a great relief to experience some break from my headaches without using medication. After experiencing some kind of benefit, I decided to try Thought Cloud’s CBD full spectrum tincture. I found it gave me a feeling of euphoria, like 1 glass of wine kind of good (I rarely drink) and in about 20 minutes that would wear off and my chronic pain would hit me instantly. Concerned that there was more THC in the product than I wanted, I gave the bottle away. Months had gone by when I decided I would try the real good stuff, Charlottes Web is well known and promoted to me by my friends with anxiety disorder. I purchased a bottle from them. I tried the oil on several occasions hoping for some decrease in seizure activity or pain. I found myself awake all night long, not able to sleep. I spoke with someone in the company and they said, their hemp oil does include THC. I quickly stopped using it because I didn’t find a benefit. It increased a choking sensation that is an aura to my frontal lobe seizures. It may be that the THC in the product was interacting with my seizure medication in a bad way.

Aura definition-  preceptual distrubance that is related to epilepsy. It can be an unpleasant, taste, smell or feeling.

After that I was convinced that CBD oil did not work, it was all hype. See! I knew it! A group discussion on epilepsy had several people raving about CBD oil. I was wondering why it doesn’t work for me! I purchased CBD dark chocolate coconut oil from Blue Ridge hemp co. I was taking it along with my seizure medication Toprimate. I found it was helping me quite a bit. The only down side to it was eating chocolate and coconut oil everytime I felt an aura. It is also only 15mg of CBD per tablespoon. It is delicious, if I were you I’d give it a try.

Eventually in need of something that worked a bit quicker and had a higher CBD concentration per serivng, I found a company, out of the blue. Very recently a friend from yoga teacher training posted a picture of My Soul CBD oil on her instagram. She said their oil was tested by a third party to ensure its quality. It’s THC free and with the guarantee of a good quality product, I couldn’t resist. I clicked the link and spun a little discount wheel. I received 10% off my first order. I purchased the peppermint flavored CBD drops in 500mg/ 30ml bottle. Please note that the bottle is 500mg but you are recieving approximately 16.7mg per 1ml.  Simple no gimmic ingredients pure peppermint essential oil, mct oil and of course the best CBD isolate.  I am currently taking 1ml 3 times a day. I am off my seizure medication right now due to having some future EEG testing completed where I need to be drug free. Just know that this product works for me. If you have epilepsy do not go off your medication (as stated above, I have a specific medical reason why I am currently off my meds) or make changes without speaking to your neurologist first.  If CBD oil is already apart of your health regime, I would  certainly recommend giving this oil a try. I have been ridden with anxiety from seizures that caused this choking feeling almost constantly, this product did remove that feeling for me and I am forever grateful. I’ve been sleeping better and feel more relaxed overall.

Do topicals work?

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As mentioned before, I did find relief with my headache roll on from Blueridge Hemp. I think because of the esssential oil combination it is effective. I haven’t found much pain relief or benefit from using the massage oil or the body scrub. This is my personal experience however, If you feel you want to try them by all means do it. They are nice products aside from being CBD. I have a very intense chronic pain issue, it may relieve your sore muscles. It just doesn’t work for me.

Thank you for reading. My intention is to provide my personal opinion of these products and a fair overview on how CBD has benefited me personally. I wish you wellness.

~ Namaste ~

Rescources/ learn more.

Check out http://www.projectcbd.org for lots of great information and comprehensive over view  on the way CBD works in the body.

If you like to purchase some My Soul CBD oil please click on my affilate link https://mysoulcbd.com/?afmc=x2

If you are interested in some great CBD topicals go to http://www.blueridgehempco.com

If you enjoy my blog, give me a follow on instagram @namastehealth._

 

Disclaimer

I am an affliate of My Soul CBD however, I was not asked to review the product by them. I was not sponsored or paid by any of the other products mentioned in my review. As always consult your physican before trying any new supplementation and check for drug/ food interactions with your current medications. Thank you- Danielle

 

ABOUT ME

I am a wife to an amazing man, a mother of two little girls, yoga instructor and a nurse. I created this blog to begin sharing my health journey. After the birth of my 2nd daughter ( December 2017 ) I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and a seizure disorder. I intend on sharing my journey back to wellness with you. I will be reviewing some of my favorite health foods, supplements and of course there will be lots of yoga along the way!

I’ve recently started listening to an audio book called ” You Are a Badass’ by Jen Sincero. I was truly inspired to get off my butt and pursue some of my passions in life and sharing them with you! My husband is one of my greatest supporters in life. He is always nudging me ahead when I am lacking motivation. With my husband’s support and some inspiration from the book, I am beginning my journey.

Give my instagram a follow @namastehealth._


“If you’re serious about changing your life, you’ll find a way. If you’re not, you’ll find an excuse.” 

– JEN SINCERO, YOU ARE A BADASS: HOW TO STOP DOUBTING YOUR GREATNESS AND START LIVING AN AWESOME LIFE