May 31

Bedridden by Chronic Pain and Fibromyalgia

Shannon Johnson is Finally on the Road to Recovery Thanks to Dr. Jyothi Rao and Shakthi Health and Wellness Center

Shannon Johnson’s pain symptoms came on gradually, but by 2014 her pain was so bad she says she felt like she could die. Test after test and doctor after doctor couldn’t reveal the true reason for her pain. By the spring of 2015, Shannon had to quit her job and was bedridden. While she was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, no doctor she saw could successfully treat her symptoms which, in addition to constant pain all over her body, included sleeplessness, anxiety, depression, headaches, skin hives and even indigestion and irritable bowel syndrome.

Here Is Shannon’s Story

“Over the past couple of years, I’ve been to allergists, rheumatologists, dermatologists and internal medicine doctors. I’ve had endoscopies, colonoscopies, blood work and so many other tests. No one could tell me what was happening and why I was in so much pain. I couldn’t function, sleep, eat, you name a symptom, I had it. Finally, a rheumatologist told me I had fibromyalgia and just gave me a medication that didn’t work. No one knew how to help me.

That’s when I went to see Dr. Jyothi Rao in October 2015. She had treated my grandmother years ago, knows my brother and I knew she was a good doctor. Once I started seeing her I realized how truly brilliant and caring she is. Because of Dr. Rao, I have more hope for recovery than I ever had before.

First, Dr. Rao explained that with a diagnosis like fibromyalgia, it was important to look at the whole body and how everything works together as a system. After a thorough exam and medical history, she put together a long term plan for managing the condition and controlling my pain. But she did tell me that treatment for fibromyalgia is different for everyone and that it would be a process.

She began by detoxing my liver and identifying food sensitivities that could be pain triggers. She found that my gut was very unhealthy and went to work healing my gut, eliminating foods that were causing sensitivity and inflammation like gluten, and putting me on IV supplements to help my body absorb the depleted vitamins and minerals that my gut was not able to absorb from the food I was eating.

Then, Dr. Rao started to work on regulating my hormone levels. Tests showed that in addition to other hormone fluctuations, my cortisol levels- the fight or flight hormones that my body was releasing in response to the constant stress it was under, were very high. She is also addressing my sleep issues, teaching me relaxation techniques that calm anxiety and help promote sleep. We’re still working on the sleep problems and some other issues, but it’s getting better.

My journey has been long and I know I have a ways to go, but I’m getting better and Dr. Rao never gives up on me. She’s always looking for ways to make me well. I’ve never met another doctor like her in my life. She has renewed my hope and my motivation to live. She’s open, honest and I trust her. She spends a lot of time with her patients and really listens. Dr. Rao is so wonderful and I feel blessed to have her in my life”.


Chronic Illness, fibromyalgia

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