An estimated of at least 10 million people today suffer from the effects of fibromyalgia. In addition to the widespread painful sensations, fatigue, mood issues and moodiness among many other symptoms, those affected must contend with the frustration of knowing there is no cure. Physicians do what they can, often prescribing medications to treat these symptoms — but they often are accompanied by side effects or simply don’t work.
If you’re feeling the helplessness that comes from living in pain and knowing that the medical community is puzzled about how to treat fibromyalgia, rest assured that there are proven and natural remedies to treat your symptoms.
For patients in Chicago who have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a true solution to help reduce suffering exists. Chicago Natural Health Care offers holistic treatment for fibromyalgia that is designed to stop the pain, alleviate symptoms and restore mobility, health, and wellness. By combining proven and effective treatment modalities, Chicago Natural Health Care provides true relief to those suffering the pain of fibromyalgia.
What Is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a complex disorder causing widespread pain that is chronic and, at times, debilitating. It also causes memory problems, mood changes, and fatigue. While more commonly occurring in women, fibromyalgia also can occur in men. This disorder can significantly impact the quality of life for affected individuals, particularly if symptoms are severe. It is not life-threatening, nor does it cause permanent damage to the muscles or joints.
Patients with fibromyalgia may experience tenderness in their lymph nodes or in various localized areas of the body. Depression is another common issue, and the pain can cause anxiety, Raynaud’s Syndrome and irritable bowel syndrome among other symptoms and conditions. It’s considered a rheumatic autoimmune syndrome, and symptoms can come and go — one day the patient is able to function normally, only to be bedridden with pain the next.
We have helped many patients recover from fibromyalgia. Below are the top ten root causes of fibromyalgia I see in my clinic.
10 Root Causes Of Fibromyalgia
Gluten has been liked to more than 55 diseases and is often called the ‘big masquerader’. The reason for this is that the majority symptoms of gluten intolerance are not digestive in nature but rather neurological such as pain, cognitive impairment, sleep disturbances, behavioral issues, fatigue and depression.
Candida is a fungus or yeast, and a very small amount of it lives in your intestines. However, when overproduced, candida breaks down the wall of the intestines and penetrates the bloodstream, releasing toxic byproducts into your body causing a host of unpleasant symptoms such as brain fog, fatigue, digestive issues, and pain. Virtually every one of our patients with fibromyalgia have had Candida overgrowth of some sort.
More than half of the people with thyroid issues have no idea they have one and 90% of these have hypothyroidism, low thyroid or an underactive thyroid gland. It is vitally important that your doctor check at least six different blood markers to measure your thyroid gland’s function, and it’s imperative that your doctor use the optimal levels rather than the standard reference range when assessing and diagnosing thyroid disorders. Getting our patient’s thyroid levels into an optimal range, typically alleviates their fatigue, brain fog, sleep disturbances and depression.
Magnesium, vitamin D, and B12 deficiency are the most common vitamin deficiencies we see in those who have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. We have had several patients completely reverse their fibromyalgia symptoms with magnesium alone. The best way to measure magnesium is a red blood cell (RBC) magnesium level, which we routinely order on our patients suffering with fibromyalgia.
Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) and Leaky Gut:
There are more bacteria in us and on us then there are of our own cells. We are made up of more bacterial DNA than human DNA. When these bacteria get out of balance through the use of antibiotics or a diet high in sugar, we can lose our ability to digest and absorb nutrients, particularly B12. Gluten can also cause SIBO and leaky gut and SIBO and leaky gut can lead gluten and other food intolerances. It’s a vicious cycle and a catch-22. You must ‘fix the gut’ first in anyone with fibromyalgia or any chronic illness.
Adrenal fatigue is a result of the chronic stress whether real or perceived. Chronic pain is a stress to the adrenal glands, though typically not the initial adrenal stressor. The initial stressor is usually something such as food intolerances, Candida, mercury toxicity, vitamin deficiencies, or mycotoxins. Our goal is to support the adrenals with adaptogenic herbs while we search for the root cause of the stress and correct it.
Mycotoxins are very toxic substances produced by toxic molds. Only about 25% of the population carries the genes to be susceptible to the effects of mycotoxins. Conventional environmental mold testing only tests for levels of mold spores and does not test for mycotoxins. We use a urine mycotoxin test in our clinic to determine if someone has been exposed to toxic molds.
We recommend that all our patients find a biological dentist and have their mercury amalgam fillings removed. Mercury is toxic to our bodies and can be one piece of the puzzle for those with fibromyalgia and other chronic illnesses such as chronic fatigue syndrome, autoimmune diseases, neurological disorders, and cancer. We then recommend heavy metal testing using a pre and post DMPS urine challenge test.
This is a genetic test we routinely run on our patients dealing with fibromyalgia as well as other symptoms and conditions. The more mutations you have at the MTHFR gene the less able you are to methylate and detoxify, particularly toxins such as mercury and lead. The more mutations you have at this gene the higher your requirements for methyl-B6, methyl-B12, and folic acid in order to keep your detoxification pathways working properly.
Glutathione, a molecule, is the most critical part of our body’s detoxification system and the body’s master antioxidant. Glutathione gets recycled in our body unless our toxic burden gets too high or we lack GSTM1 and GSTP1, the enzymes needed to recycle and produce glutathione. Taking a glutathione supplement or the precursors (N-acetyl-cysteine, alpha lipoic acid, milk thistle) often help patients dramatically with fatigue.
As you can see from the above list, many of these causes are interrelated and often there is no one single root cause to fibromyalgia or any chronic illness or disease. It is a combination of several or possibly all of the above.
How to Treat Fibromyalgia
Because fibromyalgia is a complex autoimmune disorder, its treatment is not simple. At Chicago Natural Health Care, we believe in treating each patient as an individual and addressing the entire body through a combination of treatments. This works well, particularly for patients with fibromyalgia, because our goal is to address the root cause of the problem while also providing immediate and effective relief for pain. Some of the treatment options available for fibromyalgia patients include:
Functional Medicine and Clinical Nutrition
Are the foods you’re eating making your fibromyalgia worse? They might be. But before you go on a juice fast to try to determine a trigger, take the time to talk to our functional medicine team.
Our functional medicine and clinical nutrition team use modern diagnostic tools such as comprehensive laboratory testing to help you find areas in your diet and lifestyle that could be triggering the fibromyalgia response. After helping you find your specific and unique triggers, our functional medicine doctors and team will help you learn how to adjust your lifestyle so you can live free of unnecessary pain and discomfort. Often, this is where traditional medicine falls short in treating fibromyalgia because it doesn’t focus on the root cause of the inflammatory response, but rather just the symptoms. Our functional medicine doctors and team at Chicago Natural Health Care helps you take control of your health by improving your diet and lifestyle to help support the effects of the other treatments.