Functional Medicine For Fibromyalgia

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Table of Contents

What is fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a disorder associated with widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, sleep, memory, brain fog, depression, and mood issues. It affects 6% of the US population –  75% to 90% of cases are in women. Conventional treatments primarily concentrate on symptom reduction.

Imagine being so tired that you can not work working a regular job or one which just permits doing a few hours of chores before having to return to bed from being wiped out. Usually, exercise provides you a little energy, but here physical activity makes it worse.

Even the rest will not help to have this sort of fatigue all the time.  Insomnia may present as well, so although one may be so tired that one can’t even get a sound night’s sleep. This state is known as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). It is a syndrome as there’s not a direct cause for the fatigue.

Added pain to the fatigue around tender trigger points is known as fibromyalgia. Approximately half of the people with fibromyalgia also have CFS. If you’ve tried the traditional route and are prepared for fibromyalgia natural remedies to search for the underlying sources of your health issues, then continue reading.

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Fibromyalgia diagnosis

The first step for most is to get a proper diagnosis. Many doctors still doubt that fibromyalgia diagnosis even exists. Instead, they point to depression, sleeplessness, or pain as the primary issue. Fortunately, more patients are receiving the proper diagnosis, followed by effective treatment that’s rooted in integrative and functional medicine. There are many different body systems to research and treatment modalities to incorporate into a plan that gets to the root cause of this syndrome.

Fibromyalgia is a clinical diagnosis. There’s not a particular laboratory test or imaging study which makes the diagnosis. Having persistent and widespread pain around the waist meets the definition of fibromyalgia.

Other symptoms that accompany fibromyalgia include severe fatigue for many months, exhaustion, sleeplessness, depression or brain fog, gut difficulties, and several drug sensitivities.

Many patients may be leaving their doctor’s office with a diagnosis of fibromyalgia and no answers as to why. In traditional medicine, doctors prescribe medications for managing pain and other symptoms. However, their side effects start to accumulate over time.

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Fibromyalgia triggers

In the root of the majority of Fibromyalgia cases, there is some triggering event where the person hasn’t fully recovered. Some examples are divorce or death of a loved one or any other stressful event in your lifetime.

In treating fibromyalgia naturally and efficiently, it’s essential to address the original source and/or triggering event. Support throughout the healing journey is critical to one’s general health. A thorough functional medicine approach can address the acute phase of getting chronic fibromyalgia pain.

Dysfunction in a few critical systems appears to be the common denominator with fibromyalgia. Areas involved include the mitochondria, the hypothalamus in the brain, and the immune system.

Defects in the mitochondria lead to a lack of energy, fatigue, and pain. Incorrect control signals from the hypothalamus lead to disrupted sleep, which then causes a deficiency of significant hormones, rest, and tissue repair. The immune system changes contribute to the altered balance of immune pathways, which result in excess inflammatory chemicals called cytokines.

These dysfunctional systems are brought on by a combination of ailments. These include genetic defects in detoxification and metabolic pathways, outside stressors such as infections, toxic compounds, or heavy metal accumulation in the body. Inadequate nutrition and anxiety are two significant lifestyle factors that play a role.

Fibromyalgia affects nearly 6 million people, causing chronic pain, especially muscle pain, fatigue, sleep disturbances.

Allopathic medicine focuses solely on managing your symptoms using pain medications and antidepressants.

Functional medicine has a holistic view of the problem. It looks to discover the root cause of fibromyalgia and other chronic conditions. Once the root cause is apparent, functional medicine treats the issue at the core to be able to restore patient health. What are the possible root causes of fibromyalgia?

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Root Causes Of Fibromyalgia

The following are some of the leading root causes of fibromyalgia:

1. Thyroid:

More than half of those people with thyroid problems have no idea they have one. The majority of them have hypothyroidism or an underactive thyroid gland. Your doctor must check six distinct blood markers to measure your thyroid gland’s function.

2. Vitamin Deficiencies:

Magnesium, vitamin D, and Vitamin B12 deficiency are among the most common vitamin deficiencies with fibromyalgia.

3. Gluten Intolerance:

Many chronic conditions found gluten intolerance as a possible cause. Most symptoms of gluten intolerance aren’t digestive. Instead, they are sleep disorders, behavioral problems, depression, fatigue, neurological like pain, and cognitive impairment.

4. Adrenal Fatigue:

Adrenal fatigue can result from chronic stress. Persistent pain is a stress to the adrenal glands, though usually not the first adrenal stressor. The primary stressor is often something like food intolerances, Candida, mercury toxicity, vitamin deficiencies, or mycotoxins.

5. Candida:

A tiny amount of it is in your intestines. However, when overproduced, Candida (fungus or yeast) breaks down the wall of the intestines and penetrates the blood vessels, releasing toxic compounds into the body, causing a plethora of unpleasant symptoms like brain fog, fatigue, digestive problems, and pain.

6. SIBO and Leaky Gut:

When the bacteria in our gut are out of equilibrium through triggers such as the use of a sugar-rich diet, we could lose our ability to digest and absorb nutrients, especially B12. Gluten can cause SIBO (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth) and leaky gut that, in turn, can lead to gluten and other food intolerances. It is a vicious cycle.

7. Mycotoxins:

Mycotoxins are extremely toxic substances made by toxic molds. Only about 25 percent of the population carries the genes to be vulnerable to the effects of mycotoxins. Traditional environmental mold testing only tests for levels of mold spores and doesn’t check for mycotoxins.

8. Mercury Toxicity:

I recommend that my patients locate a biological dentist and have their mercury amalgam fillings removed. Mercury is toxic to our bodies and maybe one piece of the puzzle for those with fibromyalgia and other chronic diseases like chronic fatigue syndrome, autoimmune diseases, neurological disorders, and cancer.

9. MTHFR receptor mutations:

The MTHFR mutation test is a genetic test one can get in any conventional lab. The more mutations you have in the MTHFR receptor, the less able you are to methylate and detoxify, especially toxins like mercury and lead.

10. Glutathione Deficiency:

Glutathione is the most critical part of our body’s detoxification system. Glutathione gets recycled in our own body unless our toxic burden reaches too high, or we lack GSTM1 and GSTP1, the enzymes required to recycle and create glutathione. Taking a glutathione supplement may help radically with fatigue.

There isn’t any single root cause of fibromyalgia or some other chronic illness. It’s a combination of many factors. Identifying the root cause can be complicated, but a functional medicine physician can help. You don’t have to mask your symptoms with pain medicine and antidepressants. Consult with a Functional medication doctor who can help.

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Functional medicine treatment for fibromyalgia

The general treatment goals would be to rest, heal, and restore. Natural supplements, nutrition changes can help in better sleep management, nervous system balance, and hormone supplementation. It’s critical to get rid of energy drains such as anxiety and allergies.

Restoring cellular energy entails using numerous supplements that help heal the energy-producing mitochondria. A simple urine test can identify specific brain neurotransmitter levels. Amino-acid precursors and organic compounds that alter the production of certain neurotransmitters can treat the imbalances. The majority of the nutritional supplements for energy and brain chemistry aid are ceased with an improving condition.

Treatment for hormone imbalances or deficiencies is often a cornerstone of therapy. A distressed adrenal stress hormone system contributes to alterations in cortisol regulation. Undetected low thyroid or thyroid immunity disorders are common. Imbalances in sex hormones like estrogen dominance or menopause are causes of fibromyalgia.

The immune system defends the body from outside harm. The cytokines (a broad category of small proteins that are important in cell signaling) help keep a balance in the immune system. Cytokines influence mood, energy, sleep, cognitive function, and several other essential aspects of health. Physical causes (infections, toxins, allergens) and emotional events (psychological trauma, mental stress) lead to the increased production of cytokines. If these triggers aren’t solved, cytokine levels stay high, leading to chronic systemic inflammation. The result is symptoms not recognized as inflammatory.

Fibromyalgia often starts following some infection correlated with persistent, chronic diseases. These illnesses can be yeast/fungal, parasitic, bacterial, or viral. Most illnesses involve the respiratory tract, such as bronchitis or sinusitis, gut infections, and chronic prostatitis. If the infections do not resolve with an overall treatment, then direct therapy is advised.

Working with nutrition, removing delayed food allergies, and curing the inflamed or leaky gut is crucial. Lifestyle problems include eliminating migraines and aggravating factors.

Sleep and pain issues can be addressed with mixtures of herbal supplements and prescription drugs. Finding time for relaxation, workout, laughter, and small exercises can help. Mental counseling and support of family and friends are key in healing.