Fibromyalgia is characterised by long-term, widespread pain in connective tissues and muscles without any specific cause.
Symptoms of fibromyalgia
- Chronic muscle aches and pains and stiffness
- Brain fog (‘fibro fog’)
- Memory problems
- Issues with sleeping
- Tenderness all over the body
- Depression or low mood
- Digestion issues like bloating, constipation or diahorrea
What causes fibromyalgia?
- Gut dysbiosis and digestive issues – bacteria and yeasts in the gut can release toxins into the system that can be antagonistic to nerves and pain perception.
- Genetics – especially affecting liver detoxification pathways.
- Chemical sensitivities and heavy metals – mycotoxins by-products from bacteria and yeasts or from our environment can increase inflammation. Metals can affect energy production and increase pain sensation.
- Food sensitivities, especially gluten.
- Viruses – active or latent viruses have been linked to fibromyalgia.
- Postural issues.
- Stress and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – fibromyalgia is often triggered by a big life event. Constant output of stress hormones can eventually cause adrenal fatigue.
- Imbalances in neurotransmitters that regulate mood, sleep, motivation, and perception of pain.
- Energy production issues can cause muscle aches and pains.
- Thyroid issues – the body can produce antibodies to the thyroid, there is a correlation between a dysregulated immune system and fibromyalgia.
- Nutrient deficiencies can exacerbate fatigue and muscular aches and pains.
There is no test to diagnose fibromyalgia and treatment usually involves managing pain with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), anti-depressants and anti-seizure drugs.
Things you can do:
- Reduce stress levels – take up meditation, relaxation, yoga, tai chi. Yoga is especially helpful in reducing pain levels and lowering cortisol levels.
- Eat whole, organic real food. This means 10 portions of vegetables a day with protein and healthy fats. Organic is best to reduce chemical exposure. Include fermented foods and drinks like sauerkraut, kombucha and kefir, these help to improve digestion and the diversity of the gut microbiome which can help with ‘fibro fog’ and aches and pains. Magnesium rich foods can also help to reduce aches and pains – dark green leafy vegetables, pumpkin seeds, almonds, avocadoes as can Epsom Salt baths.
- Moderate exercise regularly. Can help relieve stress and pain, just move gently.
- Try acupuncture – can help to relive pain and help with relaxation.
What can Functional Medicine do to support?
- Use functional testing to find the root cause of your fibromyalgia symptoms – investigating the gut, liver function, nutrient deficiencies, adrenal health, immune health, thyroid functioning, viral load, heavy metal load.
- Support your gut immune system by restoring balance.
- Address nutrient deficiencies through food and supplements to help energy production.
- Use lifestyle and herbs to support the adrenals and help manage stress levels.
- Support liver detoxification pathways through food and supplements.
5 Pillars of Functional Medicine
Fibromyalgia and Functional Medicine
Do you suffer from fibromyalgia and have tried all the usual approaches?
Functional Medicine can help you, simply book an online consultation or arrange a free 15 minute discovery call and ﬁnd out how we can help.