People usually find out they have fibromyalgia after a heck of a lot of testing yields no results. It’s still a diagnosis that gets backed into. Western medicine looks for specifics; if there’s pain, there must be a reason, and often, if we’ve had a traumatic accident, doctors look for something that could still be causing problems.
If you were expected to recover completely after an accident and haven’t, then I would say your pain might be fibromyalgia or some sort of myalgia type of syndrome. See a rheumatologist for a definitive diagnosis. Fibromyalgia is trauma-triggered pain, supposedly because of a genetic predisposition in a gene that allows inflammation and pain that gets activated by trauma.
I think the worst part of fibromyalgia is the fact that it’s fellow sufferers who help diagnose the condition rather than a doctor doing so--I was helped that way both for fibromyalgia as well as for my IBS and from what I hear anecdotally, I’m not alone. Yes, a doctor diagnosed me, but only after I went to him after years of fruitless testing and specfically said, “I think this is fibromyalgia, (and then, with another doctor, “I think this is IBS,” What do you think?”)
A lot of doctors think it’s all in our heads- I was certainly treated that way by my neurologists, and I’ve been to several. It wasn’t until I went to a rheumatologist that I got some satisfaction. It’s been speaking about my pain to other women that led to me happening to say the right thing to someone who had first one and then the other. Just think of how many people haven’t spoken up?
My interpretation of fibromyalgia and its cousins is that yes, you need to be genetically susceptible to develop these syndromes, but it’s how the brain processes trauma and life after trauma that locks in pain and that I believe can be reversed.
Alternative medicine is where I’ve found the most help. Alt med docs believe that fibromyalgia makes the body not accept thyroid into the cells, which leads to the common low thyroid symptoms found in fibromyalgia. My lack of energy and sensitivity to hot and cold has definitely gotten much better since I started taking Armour thyroid. Taking thyroid isn’t the whole answer, but it’s helped.
At first I needed 1 1/4 grains of thyroid a day. Over the years since I started it, I've needed less and less. At this point, I'm no longer taking it. The biggest difference? Yoga, plus getting John Barnes' MFR. I had lots of fascia throughout my thyroid. Since releasing it with MFR treatment, my thyroid has bounced back. I know of someone else who has had her kidney function improve dramatically. Look for someone near you at myofascialrelease.com.
Photo by Mohamed Nohassi on Unsplash
No one ever mentions omega 3 fatty acids grow hair, but this is the experience I had with it: I tried a remedy that is supposed to help stop post-nasal drip: start with 1 fish oil capsule the first day. Then take 2 on the 2nd day, increasing by one capsule per day until you get to day 7, when you’re taking 7 capsules. Stay at 7 capsules until you get to day 30. That’s the suggestion. No, it's not something that I heard from a doctor, and I wouldn't try it again, since fish oil can thin one's blood.
It did nothing to help my post-nasal drip, but a month later, I noticed a bunch of fuzzy short hair coming in that didn’t used to be there. It was particularly noticeable in the front of my head, which has less hair than the back half of my head. I’ve been pretty good about keeping up with taking fish oil capsules and that hair has grown in to be the real deal.
Meanwhile, I’d told my mother about the post-nasal drip protocol I’d been trying and she tried it out too. It also did absolutely nothing for her post-nasal drip, but about a month after she finished, she called up and said the same thing had happened to her hair: she was suddenly sprouting baby-fine new hair where only the shortest down had been before.
I’m not vouching for the safety of taking that much omega 3 at all– be sure to check with your doctor if you’re thinking of trying it! Adding in a reasonable daily amount of omega 3 sounds much better. Here's what I suggest: make sure you’re getting enough omega 3 in your diet, since it could add to your hair’s fullness over time. That's the healthy way to do it.
Some things are pretty danged boring, even if they’re important to know. Chocolate isn’t. I recommend eating chocolate while reading this post.
I’ve read a few good books on the digestive system. The latest one that I really like is called “Gut and Psychology Syndrome” by Natasha Campbell-McBride. This is the kind of book that’ll kind of make your head spin if you haven’t done a lot of nutrition research. It kind of takes everything you’ve learned about a healthy diet and turns it upside down.
Despite that, it makes sense.
It argues that folks on the autistic spectrum as well as folks with ADD/ADHD, depression and schizophrenia all have problems with bad gut flora, which causes toxins to poison their brain. Throw in the overuse of antibiotics and it leads to even more gut flora issues, because parents pass along their gut flora to their children.
I haven’t talked much about my mom yet, but she has spent her life chronically anxious and depressed. She had symptoms of fibromyalgia as well, though she was never diagnosed, and ended up constantly catching colds. She decided the way to avoid chronic sinus infections was to get her doctor to prescribe 3 days of antibiotics each time she got sick (which was around once a month). She wound up with early onset Alzheimers and I don’t think it was coincidental.
What I think is this: good digestion allows us to get all the nutrients we need to repair and rejuvenate our bodies. If we don’t eat healthy food and if we get poor gut flora passed along to us, it prevents our ability to repair ourselves. We then have no safety net to prevent our genetic dispositions towards problems such as fibromyalgia, m.s., Parkinsons, Alzheimers, lupus, osteoarthritis, etc. from starting to develop.
I think if we had healthy eating habits, enough sleep, got regular exercise and had good digestion, we’d be able to avoid these types of illnesses.
Part of what makes us have problems with digestion is that once digestion heads south, our bile is no longer as good at breaking down food. I take a supplement with every meal now, in order to change that. Here’s a good article on what digestive enzymes do for you.
I’m also being really good about taking my daily probiotic. I’m also trying to cut back on carbohydrates, to try to starve out the bad guys in my gut. Someday I may try the GAPS diet on myself. Wish me luck:-)
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Craving sweets is a big problem for me and it’s a part of having fibromyalgia.
Adelle Davis in “Let’s Have Healthy Children” states (p. 278): “Allergies occur when the diet fails to supply the nutrients needed to prevent the adrenals from becoming so exhausted that cortisone can no longer be produced.
Simultaneously, the synthesis of other adrenal hormones decreases or ceases, which causes the blood sugar to drop below normal, resulting in fatigue, irritability, nervousness and craving for sweets…
Healthy adrenal glands produce still another hormone, aldosterone, which prevents too much sodium from being lost in the urine.
When these glands are exhausted, however, so much sodium is lost that abnormal amounts of water pass into the cells, causing them to swell and become inflamed; thus such symptoms as a stuffy nose, postnasal drip, watery eyes and swollen tissues are characteristic of allergies.”
One thing I notice with fibromyalgia is that my sweat is not salty. So I’m not making enough aldosterone. I do have stuffy nose and postnasal drip. I’ve had that my whole life. I also have fatigue, irritability, nervousness and craving for sweets.
Don’t I just sound charming?! If we ever meet, just don’t stand between me and candy, okay? 😉
So the bottom line here is I need stronger adrenals. How do I strengthen them? The same way I helped my son- look for my post, “How to Avoid a Tonsilectomy”, which has the recipe for Adelle’s Adrenal Recharge.
I’ve been taking a teaspoon per hour to be cautious, since my GI tract is very sensitive to Vitamin C owing to the IBS. One teaspoon is the equivalent of 500 mg of Vitamin C. If you try this, be cautious, as even healthy GI tracts can get diarrhea from Vitamin C if it’s more than you’re used to at one time. Once I get more accustomed to taking that amount of Vitamin C, I’ll up it to 2 teaspoons (1000mg) per hour.
Why make such a big deal about reducing my cravings for sweets? Well, I wouldn't mind losing a few pounds, And besides that, the kind of beneficial gut flora we are designed for doesn’t eat sugar. The more sugar we eat, the more we shift the balance of flora into the kinds of bacteria that send toxins to our brain.
I know that for some folks, this is going to sound way too out there to be believed, but just realize I started out a big skeptic and I have been humbled. The only thing that seems to help me feel better is the advice of the alternative medicine crowd…
Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash
There have been a few studies recently that claim there is no difference between eating organic and non-organic foods, but I think the researchers are making a mistake.
Healthy human bodies have defenses to remove toxins from our bodies before the toxins can be digested. Folks who are sick, though, don’t. Neither do folks who have non-optimal gut flora. Wherever digestion is impaired, the toxic load increases. A high toxin load increases the risk of cancer.
I think researchers should study folks who have fibromyalgia, IBS, M.S., Alzheimer’s, as well as anyone on the autistic spectrum. I believe folks like us have got toxic load.
Compare an organic vs. non-organic diet on us. That’s where you’ll see the difference.
I’d still choose an organic diet. It’s an investment in your future. You can’t know now healthy you are, not really, not until much further down the road. By that time it’s a lot harder to turn things around.
I’ve been tested and am too high in several toxins. I only started on an organic diet in the late 1990’s, and anyway, who can afford a 100% organic diet?
To try to flush the toxins, I’m drinking Everyday Detox tea by Traditional Medicinals and also taking Pectosol Chelation Complex by ecoNugenics as recommended by my alternative medicine doctor.
Think carefully about your health and level of chronic stress. If you're relatively healthy, your immune system can do a lot with non-organic foods. But if you need to boost your health, head to the organic aisle.