David Brady, ND

Fibro Fix: The Functional Medicine Approach to Fibromyalgia

Date Aired: October 13, 2017

Episode Description

Fibromyalgia affects many people and is often confused with other medical conditions. As it is often misdiagnosed, it often does not get appropriate treatment leading to the frustration of fibromyalgia patients. Dr. Brady discusses his multi-prong approach to finding the underlying causes and comorbid conditions. He addresses toxins and detoxification: the role of gut health, mitochondrial dysfunction, thyroid health, diet, mood, sleep, stress, and stress reduction.

David Brady, ND





functional medicine

  • largest, evidence based approach to medicine that is considered outside of the orthodoxy of standard medicine. I
  • t does not base conclusions on whether you have a disease or not, but they are concerned with the overall function of the body and its continuum.
  • They appreciated the difference between being healthy and not having a disease. This is based on functionality of different organs in the body
  • Rather than screen for disease, they look under the hood, genomics, metabolism
  • Optimize function rather than rule out and treat disease.


  • It is a central brain problem on central nervous system
    • In the way pain is processes so it perceives pain
  • First dx criteria put out by college of rheumatology in 1990
    • Was too broad
      • This was revised several times
    • Diagnosis is illusive. Hence it is over-diagnosed
    • Diagnoses correct 33 % of the time
  • We can have a disease even when all the lab values are normal. There might not be a study that can conclusively show that you have the disease.  There might be no pathonmeumonic measure if one has fibromyalgia (FM)
  • Widespread global pain in muscles and soft tissues (fibrous tissues) not joints, no bone
  • Pain last more than six months
  • They have profound fatigue
  • They have non refreshing sleep
  • Rule out that I is not caused by another condition
  • May have depression, anxiety, vague gastro intestinal complaints, brain fog (cognitive dysfunction0, significant stress, trauma
  • Much higher history of childhood trauma
  • Mostly a disease of women
    • Female brain deals with stress and trauma differently than male brain. They deal with prior abuse by internalizing violence
    • Men tend to become repeat abusers, violence, act out physically
  • Is not an autoimmune disease. It I not a disease of inflammation

Chronic fatigue Disorder

  • Totally different condition. Many don’t have pain
  • Less anxiety, less irritable bowel syndrome
  • Usually comes after a viral event

Three masqueraders of fibro Myalgia (hence will be misdiagnosed

  • These may be comorbid; must be ruled o
  • Myofascial pain disorder
    • Muscle disease
    • Areas of inflammation and pain: are myofascial trigger points
      • Tender points are associated with fibromyalgia

Need manual therapy

  • Hypothyroidism
    • Suboptimal thyroid function
      • Problem with conversion
      • Problem with receptor recognition
    • Mostly in females
    • Will be fatigued, muscle achiness, brain fog, slow bowels, tired all the time.
  • Down regulation of he mitochondria
    • Cells are not efficient in making energy ATP
      • Genetic polymorphisms
      • Look at Organic acid test and Krebs cycle
    • Symptoms
      • Tired, achy (because not enough energy for muscles
      • Muscles do anaerobic metabolism, which makes acids that hurt the muscle.
    • No making energy: tired, brain fog, achy because not enough energy to keep muscles working right. Make acid which hurts
  • Adrenal glands
  • GI problems
  • Arachnoditis
  • Anemia
  • Ankylosing spondolosis
  • Lyme disease
  • Cancer, lupus, multiple sclerosis, scleroderma
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

Approved drugs

  • Only 25 % of people get better
    • SNRIs
      • Make serotonin and epinephrine
    • Seizure medication similar to GABA
    • Pain medications don’t work
      • Opioids, anti inflammation drugs don’t work

HIs Treatment

  • Correct diagnosis
  • Treat thyroid disorders, mitochondrial disorders, myofascial pain
  • Precursors to neurotransmitters to optimize neurotransmitters
    • Can determine status with organic acid tests
    • GABA
    • 5 hydroxy tryptophan (precursor to serotonin
  • Optimize adrenal glands
  • Help with sleep
    • Melatonin, chamomile, GABA
    • Sleep hygiene
    • Circadian rhythm therapy
  • Calm Central nervous system and get out of hyper vigilance
    • Biofeedback
    • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
    • Heart rate Variability
    • EEG biofeedback
    • Devices on phone to retrain brain
    • Guided imagery, mediation yoga
  • Get them moving again: don’t want to over work them
  • Look at toxins
    • Can be involved in any chronic disease that involves fatigue and neurocognitive dysfunction
    • Mold
    • Occupational exposure
    • Dental amalgam
    • Consider skin brushing, Epsom salt baths
  • twenty one day detoxification program
    • dietary
    • functional food products
  • Treat Gut
    • Dysfunction in the central nervous system is going on in the enteric nervous system involving same neurotransmitters
    • Is gut brain connection
      • Gut influences brain , how we think
      • Bad stuff from gut influences brain
        • Inflammation
        • How brain processes
    • Most have irritable bowel syndrome,
    • many have SIBO
    • molecular or DNA based stool analysis GI Map
  • Diet
    • Anti inflammatory diet
    • Look at food intolerances
    • Whole fresh, organic non GMO
    • Lean proteins
    • No dairy, no grain
      • Because these fuel autoimmune disorders which are confused with fibromyalgia


  • Eat whole organic foods
  • Lean protein
  • Avoid Processed foods
  • NAC, glutathione
  • Conjugates drag toxins out of the body
    • are amino acids, from proteins especially sulfur containing protein amino acids
      • methionine, cysteine
        • these build up glutathione which helps detox

His book is meant as self help guide

Help physicians

Helps locate functional medicine practitioners

It is good for the health of the people who don’t have fibromyalgia