Below is an
article I wrote for the RemedyFind Fibromyalgia Newsletter in January 2006. - Dominie
What causes fibromyalgia (FMS)? The
answer is…nobody really knows, but there are a LOT of theories,
which we will explore in this article.
If you have
fibromyalgia, then you know the miserable, life-wrecking symptoms of widespread
body pain, muscle stiffness, insomnia, fatigue, depression, cognitive problems
(fibro fog), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and possibly other unpleasant
things to deal with on an everyday basis.
Medical researchers theorize
that fibromyalgia may be caused by genetics, food additives (such as
excitotoxins), mercury poisoning from dental fillings, neurochemical imbalances
caused by diet or stress, viral infections, sleep disorders, toxicity,
accidents, hormone imbalances, vaccinations, hypothalamus malfunction, surgery,
severe emotional or physical trauma, yeast overgrowth (candidiasis) or
nutritional deficiencies. I will attempt to briefly explain some of these
Yeast (candida albicans) overgrowth can cause
symptoms suspiciously similar to fibromyalgia. These include muscle and joint
pain, difficulty concentrating, chronic fatigue, neurological disorders,
insomnia, bowel dysfunction, a weakened immune system, etc. If you crave sugar
or carbohydrates, or have been taking antibiotics, you may have a yeast problem.
Mycoplasma are extremely small bacteria that are
as tiny as viruses but that have some features of bacterial germs. When a
genetically predisposed person goes through severe stress or trauma--physical,
mental or emotional--this alters their immune response and allows mycoplasma to
do their dirty work in many parts of the body, including vital areas of the
brain, such as the hypothalamus, the gland that controls various body functions
such as sleep, temperature regulation, endocrine (hormonal) system, etc.
Some people find relief by eliminating all
excitotoxins from their diet--monosodium glutamate (MSG or Accent), aspartame
(NutraSweet or Equal), hydrolyzed protein, etc. Symptoms may worsen initially as
the body begins detoxifying, but some people become pain free with this method.
Excitotoxins are used in nearly all processed foods. These substances are called
"excitotoxins" because they excite the neurons in the brain, causing them to
fire so rapidly that they can die. Once these cells are gone, they cannot be
regrown (it's like poking your eye out!).
St. Amand, who pioneered the use of guaifenesin for fibromyalgia, theorizes that
people with FMS/CFS have a genetic defect that prevents their kidneys from
excreting phosphates. As phosphates build up, the body stores them in the bones,
and then eventually the muscles, tendons and ligaments. The excess phosphates
hinder the cells’ ability to produce energy (ATP) and causes the muscles to go
into spasm. Eventually, lumps and bumps form in the muscles. Guaifenesin, an
expectorant, works by helping the kidneys to excrete phosphates, thereby
restoring normal cell functioning in the brain, muscles, tendons,
There’s a thought-provoking article by Dr. Majid
Ali in which he says: "I call oxidosis (too much oxidation), dysoxygenosis
(abnormal oxygen metabolism), and acidosis (too much acidity) the three furies
of fibromyalgia... The fibro furies are unleashed by the gods of sugar,
antibiotics, and pesticides industries...and of industrial pollutants, toxic
metals, synthetic hormones, and radiation.”
The Journal of Musculoskeletal Pain reported a study in 1997, which showed
evidence of oxidative ("free radical") damage in people with FMS.
People who volunteered for sleep deprivation
experiments actually developed symptoms similar to fibromyalgia!
Researchers say that most people with FMS
are deficient in magnesium, the mineral that helps muscles relax.
The flickering light of my computer screen used to
bring on a rapid worsening of my fibromyalgia! I have bright lighting in the
room to offset this effect. Perhaps certain spectrums of light are harmful to
people who are more light sensitive than others. Full spectrum lighting could be
a good investment. Research is being done on the effect of light on the pineal
gland--the gland which produces melatonin necessary for sleep. Flickering light
has been proven to cause changes in the EEG patterns in the brain. Researchers
are experimenting with flickering light therapy to help fibromyalgia patients by
restructuring EEG patterns!
believe that the root of the fibromyalgia problem lies in the immune system. A
few years ago, I received shocking information about the role of mycoplasmas
(mutated viruses and bacteria) and biological warfare as a possible cause of the
worldwide epidemic of fibromyalgia. This intrigued me, because I have heard from
thousands of people all over the world who have fibromyalgia. The symptoms are
identical despite varying ethnic backgrounds, cultures, diets, and lifestyles.
LACK OF EXERCISE
It has always irked me when doctors said I
needed to exercise more, because in the early days of my FMS, exercise of any
kind worsened my pain and caused severe flares that would last for weeks or even
months. People who don't have FMS can't understand this, because exercise makes
them feel good!
A recent study found
diminished blood flow to parts of the brain in people with fibromyalgia and an
increase in the chemical that helps transmit pain signals (called "substance
Symptoms of human worm infestations (yuck!!)
are very similar to fibromyalgia. Parasites can invade our bodies through food
or from having pets in our homes. Parasites are a constant drain on the immune
system. There's a controversial book by Hulda Clark called "The Cure for All
Diseases" in which she makes a very good argument for parasites being at the
root of most illnesses, including fibromyalgia.
I am strongly opposed to the idea that FMS is “all in your head.”
However, anything that brings a smile to your face or uplifts your spirits is
good for you, such as reading inspirational or humorous books, dwelling on
positive things, watching TV programs that make you laugh, singing joyful songs,
etc. Dr. Norman Cousins, in his now classic book, “Anatomy of an Illness”, tells
how watching funny movies helped him recover from a degenerative
DAMAGE TO RED BLOOD CELLS
Several clinical studies
have revealed damage and irregularities in the shape of the red blood cells in
people with fibromyalgia. This causes blockages in the blood flow through the
capillaries, resulting in insufficient oxygen getting to the muscles and
tissues, hence the pain and fatigue. One researcher is trying to get this blood
test approved internationally. It could become a much-needed diagnostic
Many years ago, my
sister-in-law, who has a Ph.D. in virology, told me that all of my symptoms were
coming from the hypothalamus gland in the brain. This didn't mean anything to me
at the time. Now fibromyalgia research is beginning to focus on the role of the
hypothalamus. The problem is called ‘hypothalamitis’ – over-activation of the
hypothalamus area in the central nervous system. The hypothalamus is situated in
the mid-brain, from which it controls practically every organ in the body,
mainly through the endocrine system. It influences the sympathetic nervous
system and the immune system. The hypothalamus controls energy levels, sleep
cycle, muscular function, circulation, temperature, the gut, and defense against
Some researchers say that people with
FMS need twice the amount of nutrients that others do, because of excess mucous
that builds up in the body, interfering with absorption.
Neck injuries often seem to precipitate fibromyalgia. I myself
have been in a several car accidents, suffering whiplash. My neck still causes
me trouble from time to time, so I see my chiropractor every 2-3 months to stay
A friend with fibromyalgia
told me that her doctor believes she is "fructose intolerant." She has been
avoiding sugar and fructose and her FMS pain has subsided. Sugar is disguised in
our foods as sucrose, corn syrup, etc. Even fruits and fruit juices contain a
lot of sugar.
Hormone imbalances are
frequently found in women with fibromyalgia--PMS, endometriosis, mood swings,
Most doctors do not think fibromyalgia is an
inflammatory disorder, but I have always maintained that it feels like one.
Lately I've been hearing reports that FMS may be an inflammatory condition
caused by mycoplasmas--mutated bacteria and viruses that invade certain glands
of the brain and even organs of the body.
Whatever the causes of
fibromyalgia are, the bottom line is that we all want our lives and
functionality back! There are many helpful fibromyalgia sites online. I invite
you to check out my site at FMS-Help where you
will find 100 Tips for Coping with Fibromyalgia and Insomnia, my personal fibro
story, enlightening articles and also emotional support. Hopefully medical
researchers will discover not only the cause of fibromyalgia but also the cure!
100 Tips for Coping with
Fibromyalgia & Insomnia
My Fibromyalgia Story
My Insomnia Story
What I Use
1: 4 - "[God] Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort
them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are
comforted of God." Visit Dominie's FMS/CFIDS Homepage at www.fms-help.com for Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue
Syndrome sufferers and their families.
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