What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition, typically very painful, especially in response to pressure, and sometimes patients have symptoms like stiff muscles, joints and connective tissues.
Other symptoms often include depression, anxiety, sleep disturbance, difficulty swallowing, bowel and bladder problems, numbness and tingling, muscle spasms or twitching, weakness, nerve pain, palpitations,
cognitive dysfunction (“foggy thinking”).
Around 2% of the population are affected, usually between the ages of 20 and 50, although not all patients have all symptoms.
Women are nine times more likely than men to suffer from the condition, giving weight to the theory that hormones play a big part in the cause and treatment.
Diagnosis is difficult because there is no formal test. Symptoms are vague and similar to many other conditions.
Often patients with celiac disease are mistakenly diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, and do better on a gluten-free diet.
In fact, nearly everyone will do better on a gluten-free diet, or even better, a diet free from all grains, flour and any other product of grains, regardless of refined, wholemeal or any other form.
Some medical specialists say it is “all in the head” but few patients would agree with this!
Although there is no formal testing for fibromyalgia, the following tests should be arranged by the doctor to eliminate some factors that may indicate or aggravate Fibromyalgia:
- Ferritin (Iron Study) – A serum ferritin level under 50 ng/ml means a 650% increased risk for Fibromyalgia
- Thyroid Function – If autoimmune hypothyroidism is present, it should be treated first to see if Fibromyalgia symptoms subside
- Other autoimmune conditions – Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis and others can resemble Fibromyalgia symptoms and should be treated first
- CRP (C-Reactive Protein) – An inflammation marker. Source of any inflammation should be treated first
- The FM/a blood test (plasma and PBMC (Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells) – Tests cytokine concentration. Low cytokines may indicate Fibromyalgia
Doctors say there is no known cause or cure. However, some approaches can be very effective in reducing symptoms, including:
- Prescription medications may help, including DHEA (“mother of all hormones”), Pregabalin, duloxetine, thyroxine, and milnacipran (most effective), however many patients found zero benefit from any medications
- Acetyl L-carnitine
- DIM (diindolylmethane)
- Magnesium Glycinate
Fibromyalgia patients typically have lower magnesium levels than others
- Zinc with Copper
- D-Ribose. Studies show a 66% benefit for patients of Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome
- Coconut oil
- Active Folate
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D3 deficiency is common in fibromyalgia patients, especially those with anxiety and depression
- B-group vitamins
- Astaxanthin (powerful antioxidant, 500 times better than vitamin E)
- CoQ10 (Co-Enzyme Q10) 40% lower levels of Coenzyme Q10 are found in fibromyalgia patients, indicating probable benefit by supplementation, plus discontinuance of any statin medication
- Glutathione or
NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine) precursor to glutathione
- Digestive enzymes
- Baking soda
- Krill Oil
- Fish Oil
- MSM – Methylsulfonyl Methane reduces pain as well as improving tolerance to pain
- Apple cider vinegar
- Dark Chocolate (with at least 70% cocoa)
- Black Pepper
- Cayenne pepper
- Hydrogen Peroxide
- Acupuncture – Acupressure or a TENS machine can help on the “hot spots” which can help de-sensitise those areas
- Physical Therapy. Often a Physiotherapist or even a Massage Therapist can help de-sensitise nerves and reduce tight muscles. Some Physiotherapists are aslo Acupuncturists
- Exercise will usually help relieve symptoms, even though this is the last thing that sufferers want to do
- Weight loss often helps, as the condition is more prevalent in overweight people
- Deep breathing – increases oxygen, decreasing inflammation and pain
- Mindfulness Training reduces psychological distress and depression
- Yoga, Tai-Chi and other stretching exercises are helpful as they stimulate the lymph glands, increasing our HDL (good cholesterol), improving waste product and toxin removal, also reducing pain, fatigue, mood, cortisol levels and improves coping ability
- Raw Food has been shown in studies to significantly improve the majority of fibromyalgia patients
- Vitamin C and Broccoli consumption in a study found that the combination of 100mg of vitamin C from food, plus a 400mg broccoli supplement reduced pain by 20% and decreased 17% in Fibromyalgia impact scores
Things to avoid
Exposures to toxins definitely increase fibromyalgia risk:
- Breast Implants have been linked to cancer, autoimmune disease, fibromyalgia and chronic pain
- Aspartame (an artificial sweetener) should be eliminated from the diet, as it turns into formaldehyde in the body, which can aggravate fibromyalgia.
Natural sweeteners such as Erythritol, Xylitol and pure Stevia are healthy alternatives
- MSG (MonoSodium Glutamate) should be eliminated from the diet. Known to cause headaches and fibromyalgia
- Vaccine Adjuvants containing mercury or aluminium have been shown to cause musculoskeletal pain conditions like fibromyalgia
- Fluoride comes from fluoridated tap water, foods irrigated with fluoridated water, toothpaste, dental treatments and antibiotics, and must be avoided. A fluoridated water supply should be switched to rainwater and/or install a Reverse Osmosis water system for all drinking and cooking. Ordinary water filters do not remove fluoride, and even boiling water makes little difference
Prescription Medications increase risk
Many prescription medications increase risk of fibromyalgia, or actually cause it.
- Statin Drugs reduce CoQ10 and vitamin D3, causing hundreds of health problems, including fibromyalgia and muscle pain, vastly outweighing any benefit in many cases
- Prescription antidepressants like Celexa (Citalopram), Paxil (Paroxetine) and Prozac (Fluoxetine) include fluoride which makes fibromyalgia even worse, and causes weight gain.
Antidepressants increase risk of cancer by over 40%, and most of the time do not work any better than a placebo
- Many drugs contain bromide, which is even worse than fluoride, and more easily displaces iodine from the thyroid gland
- Antibiotics destroy many bad bacteria, but also much of the good bacteria as well, compromising our immune system, which can take up to two years to rebuild
- Paracetamol, Panadol, Tylenol and other names for acetaminophen should be avoided as studies show them to start causing liver issues even at the recommended dose two 500 mg tablets four times a day (4000 mg) for a few days. Unfortunately, patients who experience a lot of pain invariably over-dose, and just a 50% increase starts causing severe liver damage. The advertising slogan “safe and effective” is one of the biggest lies of the drug industry, and the most common cause of liver poisoning in the Western world. The majority of all patients on the liver transplant waiting list are there because of Panadol overdose. Panadol also reacts with an enzyme in the body to destroy our natural glutathione, which is one of the body’s main defenses against pathogens, often called the “master antioxidant”. Less glutathione means more Fibromyalgia
Here is a list of some drugs commonly prescribed that contain Fluoride or Bromide, two halogens that displace iodine from the thyroid and cause hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s disease, depression, weight gain, hair loss, cancer, and will aggravate Fibromyalgia:
- Advair (fluticasone) – fluoride
- Alphagen (brimonidine) – bromide
- Atrovent (Ipratropium) – bromide
- Avelox (moxifloxacin) – fluoride
- Adovart (dulasteride) – fluoride
- Celebrex (celecoxib) – fluoride
- Celexa (citalopram) – fluoride and bromide
- Cipro (ciprofloxacin) – fluoride
- Clinoril (sulindac) – fluoride
- Combivent (from the ipratropium) – bromide
- Crestor (rosuvastatin) – fluoride
- Diflucan (fluconazole) – fluoride
- DuoNeb (nebulized Combivent) – fluoride
- Enablex (darifenacin) – bromide
- Flonase (fluticasone) – fluoride
- Flovent (fluticasone) – fluoride
- Guaifenex DM (dextromethorphan) – bromide
- Lescol (fluvastatin) – fluoride
- Levaquin (levofloxacin) – fluoride
- Lexapro (escitalopram) – fluoride
- Lipitor (atorvastatin) – fluoride
- Lotrisone topical cream – fluoride
- Paxil (paroxetine) – fluoride
- Prevacid (lansoprazole) – fluoride
- Protonix (pantoprazole) – fluoride
- Prozac (fluoxetine) – fluoride
- Pulmicort (budesonide) – fluoride
- Razadyne (galantamine) – bromide
- Risperdal (risperidone) – fluoride
- Spiriva (tiotropium) – bromide
- Tobra Dex (from dexamethasone) – fluoride
- Travatan (travoprost) – fluoride
- Triamcinolone – fluoride
- Vigamox (moxifloxacin) – fluoride
- Vytorin (from eztimibe) – fluoride
- Zetia (eztimibe) – fluoride
An immune response to intestinal bacteria may cause some symptoms, so an alkaline diet with plenty of enzyme-rich raw vegetables and fresh fruit may help, along with a little cheese, yogurt, whey, fermented vegetables such as Sauerkraut, and/or supplemental probiotics such as Acidophilus
to build up beneficial intestinal bacteria. 75% of our immune system is in the gut, and this is where the immune system often first breaks down.
MSG (monosodium glutamate) has been shown to aggravate symptoms, so most processed food, which contains MSG, often hidden in the ingredients list by being called other names or chemicals, should be eliminated.
Eliminating yeast from the diet may also help. Yeast is a raising agent found in most breads and other flour-based baked foods, also Vegemite. Changing to a fresh food diet of vegetables and fruit can eliminate yeast, lose excess weight, build immunity and improve general health.
Casein from milk and other milk products may also help, although some people are sensitive to dairy products and do better with no milk or other dairy products.
Food allergies can be a problem and I would start by eliminating wheat, flour, bread, cakes, anything made from flour, sugar, soy, milk, corn, eggs and nuts for at least a week or two.
If that helps, introduce them back into the diet one at a time (except sugar, which should be omitted forever, and all flour products), until the culprit is found.
If that is not enough, see my Vaccinations article and read about the relationship between Panadol, Vaccinations, Glutathione and Autism.
Many Fibromyalgia patients also suffer from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis) and SLE or Lupus (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus), but the above treatments can improve all of these conditions.
While these natural alternatives may not work for everyone, nearly all patients report improvement in their condition, and of course, these are all good for weight loss, fighting diabetes, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, better sleep, improved mood, reduced pain, better pain tolerance, building muscle and reduced cancer risk. Many patients are deficient in GH (growth hormone) so high-intensity exercise and weight loss will help by increasing natural production of Growth Hormone.
Updated 24th January 2020, Copyright © 1999-2020 Brenton Wight and BJ&HJ Wight trading as Lean Machine abn 55293601285