|Posted on October 6, 2017 at 4:45 PM|
Pain, pain go away, don’t come again another day. If you find yourself singing a similar tune, and other possible causes for pain have been ruled out, you may be suffering from fibromyalgia.
I myself suffered from fibromyalgia for 14 years before healing myself, and today I’m going to share with you how I did this.
What is fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a term that was “coined in 1976 and refers to pain in fibrous tissue” (Lessard-Rhead 2013). This definition is pretty vague, as a variety of underlying conditions or incidents could contribute to “pain in fibrous tissue”. Thus, a diagnosis of fibromyalgia is only made if “pain is widespread for more than three months, and exists in at least 11 of 18 specific muscle sites”. “Any other possible cause for the pain must also be excluded” (Lessard-Rhead 2013).
What are the symptoms of fibromyalgia?
You’ve likely gathered this by now, but the main symptom of fibromyalgia is “diffuse muscular pain”. Malaise, or a general “unwell” feeling, is another symptom (Lessard-Rhead 2013).
Like I said above, all possible causes for widespread pain have to be ruled out before a diagnosis of fibromyalgia is made. This can be difficult to do, and sometimes “pain from abdominal organs, due to its ability to refer to muscle groups, can be misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia” (Lessard-Rhead 2013). Hypothyroidism can also cause all of the symptoms mentioned above, so be sure to rule it out before jumping to fibromyalgia.
What causes fibromyalgia?
The exact etiology of fibromyalgia is largely unknown, though there is speculation that it may have a “viral origin”. This speculation comes from the fact that many people experience fibromyalgia onset following a bout of the flu.
Here’s the science behind the theory: A person becomes infected with a specific virus known as “influenza virus type A”. The body produces antibodies in response to this virus. Sometimes, these antibodies may “cross-react with antigens in the autonomic-nervous system (ANS)”. In short, this means the ANS is inflamed, and this “leads to many of the symptoms seen in fibromyalgia” (Lessard-Rhead 2013).
Another prominent etiology theory is that fibromyalgia results from gut dysbiosis. The theory goes that dysbiosis allows for the production of toxins, which prevent cells from making energy using aerobic respiration (aerobic means oxygen is present). Instead, cells have to use anaerobic respiration (anaerobic = oxygen is not present). This produces less energy, but lots of lactic acid. As the lactic acid builds up, “muscle fibre pH lowers, leading to pain and excessive fatigue after minor exertion” (Lessard-Rhead 2013).
There is another, more likely etiology for fibromyalgia: that it is an autoimmune disease. As a fibro sufferer, I was able to heal myself by diet and meditation. Almost all illnesses and disease start in the gut, which affects our immune system. When our immune system is not functioning as it should be, we open ourselves up to all sorts of illnesses. I actually got 5 autoimmune diseases after the Epsein-Barrr virus which wiped out my immune system. By eating a whole food, plant based diet I was able to reverse these.
What can you do about fibromyalgia?
As I mentioned above, diet and lifestyle changes can significantly reduce the intensity of symptoms you experience, or may even heal you completely.
As with all autoimmune diseases, there is an element of inflammation in fibromyalgia. Thus, following an anti-inflammatory diet may help reduce inflammation, and with it pain and fatigue. Probiotics may also help restore healthy gut bacteria and help combat dysbiosis. However, taking probiotics is not enough. To properly address dysbiosis you must take the proper steps to heal the gut. Adrenal support is another important factor to address, as many people with fibromyalgia are suffering “adrenal exhaustion” (Lessard-Rhead 2013).
Tackling fibromyalgia is best done from a holistic perspective. Playing with your diet is tricky business, and definitely should not be undertaken alone. I cannot stress enough the importance of seeking guidance from a holistic nutritionist to ensure you’re getting the proper nourishment. To find harmony today, contact Harmony in Health!
Brenda Lessard-Rhead (2013): Nutritional Pathology