Fibromyalgia – it’s not all in your mind!

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Fibromyalgia

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes a broad spectrum of symptoms.

These include;

  • Pain,
  • Fatigue,
  • Headaches,
  • Memory issues, including brain fog
  • Sleep problems, including poor sleep quality and restless legs
  • Stiff joints, especially on waking
  • Lower abdominal cramping,
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Numb or tingling extremities
  • Heightened sensitivity to noises, bright lights and temperature changes

What causes Fibromyalgia?

Even though there is no definitive cause of Fibro, there are a number of potential possibilities such as;

  • Food sensitivities or allergies
  • Chemical sensitivities or allergies
  • Viruses including; Epstein-Barr, Ross River, influenza, hepatitis B & C, Herpes, Lyme
  • Hormonal imbalances (such as hypothyroidism)
  • Poor digestion
  • Candida overgrowth
  • Spinal misalignments
  • Stress; physical or emotional
  • PTSD
  • Drugs; pharmaceutical and recreational
  • Neurotransmitter deficiencies
  • Genetics

Risk Factors;

  • Being female (80 – 90 % of sufferers are women!)
  • Family history
  • Genetic defects including MTHFR
  • Rheumatoid conditions such as; R.A and Lupus
  • Excess blood vessels and extra nerve fibres known as Arteriole-Venule (AV) Shunts in the hands, legs and feet. AV shunts regulate body temperature and blood flow. In sufferers of fibro, there are not only up to 2-8 times more nerve fibres but the AV shunts are up to 4 times larger. This may be why fibro sufferers feel worse in the cold.

Diagnosis;

There is no definitive test for Fibromyalgia, but 100% of sufferers have pain at multiple sites (see diagram). Other specific symptoms for diagnosis include; 87% have general fatigue, 76% suffer from stiffness, 72% have sleep disorders, 62% feel they hurt everywhere, 60% feel anxiety and stress and 52% feel swelling in tissues.

Fibromyalgia tender points

How to Treat Fibromyalgia;

  1. Address previous virus issues.
  2. Remove any foods that may be causing sensitivities. If these are unknown, I recommend a hair analysis test by Naturopathic Services which tests for 500 foods and household items. For more information check out this article; https://equilibriumnaturalhealth.com/2016/11/23/nightshades-food-sensitivities-pain-autoimmune-disease-ibs-and-leaky-gut/
  3. Avoid foods that cause inflammation, check out this list; https://equilibriumnaturalhealth.com/2015/06/17/inflammation-and-how-foods-and-drinks-can-exacerbate-it-or-improve-it/
  4. Improve digestive function, particularly if there’s bloating and excess wind.
  5. Improve gut bacteria with a practitioner only brand probiotic.
  6. Repairing gut lining.
  7. Support liver function as well as adrenal function and work on stress reduction techniques.
  8. Natural supplements that may help to reduce the severity of the symptoms associated with Fibromyalgia. These will be assessed on an individual basis, but may include;  Acetyl L-carnitine, magnesium, EFA’s, vitamin D, anti-inflammatories, herbs for pain and inflammatin and to address any virus infection.
  9. Address lifestyle changes such as; exercise, massage (including Lymphatic drainage as well as Remedial, depending on the individual),  acupuncture.

 

 


 

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