Fibromyalgia is a very common problem presenting itself as pain and tenderness in the muscles, ligaments, joints and connective tissues. In severe cases, the whole body aches and can feel as if it is "on fire" - no wonder as there is a lot of inflammation present. The muscle pain in fibromyalgia is often similar to conditions which occur as a result of injury or muscle overuse, but these causes are not present. Tenderness in the muscles and tendons which are painful to touch are known as ‘trigger points’.
Pain may be chronic or intermittent and to qualify for the diagnosis of fibromyalgia it must have been present for at least three months.
Fibromyalgia affects both men and women; however, women are more commonly affected. Fibromyalgia often begins during the peri-menopausal years.
Fibromyalgia is also often associated with chronic fatigue, headaches and disturbed sleep.
What causes fibromyalgia?
Causes of fibromyalgia are many and include:
- Immune dysfunction with increasing inflammation in the connective tissues and bones.
- Hormonal imbalances such as decreasing production of the steroid hormones from the ovaries, testicles and the adrenal glands.
- Deficiencies of minerals will increase fibromyalgia and are very common in peri-menopausal women.
- Vitamin D deficiency.
- Hidden infections in the body.
- Build up of toxins and acidic waste products in the connective tissues and muscles.
- Overgrowth of bacteria or fungi in the small intestines.
Tests such as X-rays and blood tests are often normal in fibromyalgia. A nuclear bone scan may show up widespread inflammation in ligaments and can be useful to exclude bone cancer. I think it is important to check blood levels of testosterone (both free and total testosterone) and cortisol, because deficiencies of these hormones can cause aggravation of fibromyalgia. Natural testosterone can be prescribed in the form of a cream or troches. If blood cortisol levels are low, this signifies adrenal insufficiency. In such cases, the use of the bio-identical hormone called pregnenolone in a dose of 200 mg daily can reduce pain; but in more severe adrenal deficiency, a low dose of bio-identical hydrocortisone tablets can be prescribed by your doctor. Vitamin C can also help adrenal insufficiency. You should also have a blood test to check your level of vitamin D, because vitamin D deficiency can cause severe fibromyalgia. You may need an injection of vitamin D, more sunshine or a supplement containing 5,000 I.U. of vitamin D daily with food. Vitamin D can work wonders!
Fibromyalgia may be associated with:
- Autoimmune disease such as Lupus, Sjogren's Syndrome and Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Periodontal disease (gum disease) leading to loss of bone in the jaws and tooth loss
- Headaches and chronic fatigue syndrome
- A regular exercise program, such as gentle yoga, Pilates, walking and stretching, is essential. Build up slowly and gradually. It is wise to see a physical therapist, massage therapist, or osteopath before beginning your program.
- Acupuncture or specific massage techniques can make a huge improvement.
- Follow the vital healthy eating principles outlined in the "Liver Cleansing Diet Book". Eliminate sugar from your diet and if you want something sweet eat fresh fruit. Sugar promotes inflammation.
- In severe cases, sufferers may be so incapacitated they cannot function and this may lead to depression and stress. Therefore, they may need anti-depressant drugs such as the newer generation of anti-depressants known as Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors (SSRIs). For example low dose Efexor and Aropax. We do not recommend high doses.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as Orudis or Naprosyn can help but are best used intermittently as they can damage the gut lining.
- Mineral supplementation such as Magnesium Ultrapotent powder in a dose of one teaspoon daily can greatly reduce pain in the muscles and ligaments.
You will find this recipe on fibromyalgia to help with this condition in my book "Raw Juices Can Save Your Life".
- 1 carrot
- 2 small Lebanese or 1/2 continental cucumber
- 3 sticks celery
- (1 inch (2.5 cm) fresh ginger
- 3 slices pineapple
- 1 lemon or lime
- Wash, trim, chop and process in juicer.
- Drink 1 cup or approx. 8 oz (250 ml), twice daily.
- "Healing Autoimmune Disease"
This book provides information about healing the gut and reducing inflammation.
- "Hormone Replacement - The Real Truth"
Many women will find that their fibromyalgic pain responds well to the use of natural bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy. If your blood tests reveal low levels of testosterone, I recommend you use a testosterone cream - in women doses range from 2 to 10 mg of testosterone daily and in men doses range from 30 to 60 mg of testosterone in a cream daily. Testosterone can be a fantastic pain reliever and many doctors do not know this.
Recommended supplements for fibromyalgia
This helps to boost estrogen levels and contains natural plant estrogens - dose is 1 to 2 capsules twice daily to help reduce aches and pains in the connective tissues and muscles. This supplement is for women only.
Take 2 tablets twice daily or 1 teaspoon of Magnesium Ultra potent powder once daily. Magnesium is essential to reduce fibromyalgia.
- Co-Enzyme Q10
Take 30 – 200 mg daily – this is helpful for aerobic energy production in the mitochondria inside the muscle cells.
Take one capsule daily. This is excellent to reduce inflammation in the muscles and also improves muscle strength.
The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.