There is no medical condition harder to live with than one for which the medical system has no cure. Fibromyalgia is for sure one of these conditions. For most people diagnosed with fibromyalgia, it means living with chronic pain, often feeling tired and stiff, having sleep problems, sometimes even depression or anxiety. The saddest thing about having this syndrome is that doctors might even label you as a hypochondriac and assume that it is all in your head, which is not what one would expect to get from someone who swore an oath to help the sick to the best of their ability.
Unfortunately this happens all too frequently with autoimmune and related disorders, including fibromyalgia. Autoimmune diseases have no universal cure, there is no pill or potion that would eliminate their symptoms. One in ten people (in most industrialized countries) are afflicted with more than one of these, and are completely frustrating and baffling the medical professionals who don’t know how to manage autoimmune conditions.
Fibromyalgia is a whole body problem, most common (but absolutely not exclusive) to menopausal women. One of the symptoms is chronic pain that usually moves around in muscles, joints, and bones and is of varying severity and duration. Symptoms that often go along with it include depression, irritable bowel, hormonal imbalance, and fatigue. This condition has a number of causes; lets review the most common ones. Adrenal and thyroid issues are very closely connected to Fibromyalgia. Tired adrenals lead to thyroid problems and this might trigger the onset of fibromyalgia. Adrenal fatigue can be caused just by too much work, a stressful life, lack of sleep, or even excessive exercising. When we are tired and stressed, we are generally more sensitive to pain. And for someone with chronic, daily pain issues, this is not good news. To reveal whats wrong with our thyroid, it is best to run a test for TSH, free T4 and T3 hormones, as well as thyroid antibodies to check for Hashimoto’s syndrome. To check your adrenal function, have the adrenal stress test with multiple saliva samples taken during the day.
Leaky gut, food intolerances, bacterial dysbiosis, eating under stress, gluten sensitivity all these things may lead to fibromyalgia as well. It is important to know that gluten, the most common cause of leaky gut, is not only present in foods we eat. It can be found in skincare products like lipsticks, shampoos, hand creams, toothpaste, and dish soap. It doesn’t have to be just bread, it can be the crumbs from it. If a person is very sensitive to gluten, even a small particle of it in the air can be dangerous (making pizzerias and bakeries equivalent to walking into a minefield). People with the combination of gut problems and fibromyalgia should strongly consider testing and treating themselves as Celiacs (or Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitive) and avoid grains at all costs. This may not have to be a permanent change for non-Celiacs, but they should give their bodies enough time to heal (one could expect this process to take between 3 months and a few years depending on the extent of damage previously done to the digestive system).
Along with digestive issues comes other common causes of fibromyalgia: overburdened detox system and nutrient deficiencies. Too many toxins in our bodies and not enough necessary nutrients puts too much stress on our bodies. Toxins we absorb through our skin or ingest with food make our bodies unable to complete many biological processes. Martin says: There is no cure for it, but there is a behavior for it. Painkillers might help reduce the pain, but they will for sure not help to heal the body; they merely put a bandage over the wound. In this podcast we explain what fibromyalgia is, how it affects your body, and offer an approach you could use to tame the pain, to ease the symptoms, to reduce the inflammation, and to start your healing process.
By healing your gut and your immune system with a biologically compatible diet that includes plenty of fermented food (unless you have identified histamine intolerance or a Mast Cell Activation Disorder as a piece of your puzzle, in which case it would be best to avoid anything aged, cured, or fermented and substitute histamine lowering or soil based probiotics), fermentable fiber and glycine-rich foods like bone broth or supplements like l-glutamine, removing toxins and chemicals from your life, learning to manage stress and sleep, you can drastically improve your health without the need for prescription medications that moderate the symptoms, but don’t cure the root cause. And that is what we should always do search for the cause and start eliminating it. Our bodies deserve the best treatment we can possibly give them they are literally the only place in the world we have to live.