What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a condition in which there is musculo-skeletal pain without any obvious tissue damage. The pain is usually widespread but sometimes occurs in only one region of the body. It is a common condition in the community, affecting an estimated three to five per cent of the population. Women are affected ten times more commonly than men. Fibromyalgia can also cause fatigue, and there can be substantial overlap with chronic fatigue syndrome.
The most common symptoms experienced by people with fibromyalgia are:
- Widespread pain in muscles, ligaments and tendons
- Pain may be aching, burning, throbbing or stabbing
- Muscles may feel like they have been pulled or overworked
- Muscular stiffness, which is usually worse in the morning
- Fatigue, including “brain” fatigue
- Poor quality sleep
- Irritable bowel syndrome – constipation, diarrhea, abdominal gas
- Additional symptoms may include minor swelling, poor concentration, joint disfunction and other problems.
Aggravating factors: changes in weather, cold drafty environments, hormonal fluctuations, stress, depression, anxiety, over-exertion.
Medical practitioners agree that the basic underlying cause is unknown, but may be triggered by:
- Poor sleep
Alternative practitioners believe that Fibromyalgia could also be caused by:
- Oestrogen dominance
- Environmental factors
Elaine Hollingsworth, director of Hippocrates Health Centre of Australia, says that symptoms are so close to those of oestrogen dominance or progesterone lack, that it appears to be beyond co-incidence. Progesterone, which offers great protection during pregnancy, could also be critical to our good health.
Oestrogen dominance means low progesterone levels. We need the right balance of progesterone for protection against lifestyle diseases, and for a strong immune system. Our bodies absorb oestrogen from pesticides, plastics, drugs, chemicals in personal care products, glues and household cleaning agents. It is now known that the skin is a carrier, not a barrier. This means that substances get absorbed through the skin and carried to our organs. Many substances accumulate gradually in the liver and kidneys.
Most shampoos, bubble bath, shower gels and toothpaste contain a foaming agent called Sodium Lauryl Sulphate. This substance has over 90 different names, so unless a foaming product is labeled SLS free, then the foaming agent will be SLS, used by the manufacturer because it’s cheap. SLS can form nitrates when it interacts with other substances. It goes in through the skin easily, allowing the penetration of other carcinogens. It can damage skin and can damage the immune system.
Almost ALL hair conditioners, skin lotions and make-up contain a sliding agent called Propylene Glycol. This is another substance that is highly absorbable, and can also cause kidney and liver abnormalities.
Other toxins to watch out for in bathroom products are the chemicals, DEA, TEA, or anything with a capital E, formaldehyde, aluminium, toluene and fluoride. Most hair sprays, nail polish, perfumes, deodorant, talc, make-up, sunscreens all carry hidden dangers, and promote oestrogen dominance as they get absorbed into our bodies. Be aware that the labeling of a product as natural, organic, or herbal may not necessarily be safe.
Many chemicals, particularly those found in cheap plastics, are oestrogen mimics. Much of our food, drink, toothpaste and shampoo are sold in these cheap plastic containers. We absorb these chemicals as they leach out of the bottle into the contents. We absorb oestrogen even by handling plastic wrap. Synthetic oestrogens, or oestrogen mimics, all cause oestrogen overload in our bodies. Animal fat consumption increases oestrogen levels. So does HRT and the pill. Many researchers are convinced that oestrogen dominance is responsible for the spreading of cancer in the body. Excess oestrogen, especially oestrogen mimics, have been clearly shown to weaken the immune system. They not only cause cancer, but also reproductive problems. Health researcher, Phillip Day, agrees that Fibromyalgia is caused by oestrogen dominance. Try to find safe products, and don’t use products that you don’t need.
Fibromyalgia is aggravated or worsened by toxins in food, especially aspartame. This substance is known to mimic Fibromyalgia symptoms in the body. It is known to cause headaches, nerve disorders, insomnia, depression, chronic fatigue, dizziness, brain fog, hormonal problems, dementia and many other symptoms. Aspartame is found is diet soft drinks and sweets or chewing gum sold as “sugar-free”. Even small doses have seriously impact health.
Choose supplements that will both detoxify and restore the nutrient balance. This means taking a complete balance of minerals and vitamins.
- Magnesium – for energy and muscle relaxation.
- St John’s Wort – eases depression and improves pain tolerance
- Vitamin C and Grape Seed extract – powerful anti-oxidants that protect muscle cells from damage
- Coenzyme Q10 – helps relieve symptoms of chronic fatigue
- Valerian – to assist sleep
What else you can do:
- Use a hormonal balancing cream, containing Mexican Wild Yam and Chaste Tree extract, to build progesterone levels.
- Avoid toxins in food. Don’t eat foods with additives. Major on unprocessed foods.
- Avoid toxins in personal care products and cleaning products. Find a company that has safe products.
- Use paper lunch wrap, (not plastic), and store food in good plastics, (such as Tupperware) or glass jars.
- Don’t reuse cheap plastic water bottles.
- Avoid all sugar and yeast, found in bread, pasta and alcohol.
- Eat a predominance of raw fruits and vegetables.
- For adrenal exhaustion, eliminate grains except for brown rice.
- Eliminate polyunsaturated fats – they promote overactive thyroid.
- Drink plenty of pure water.
- Avoid regular tea and coffee. Herbal tea is okay.
- Make yourself fresh juices between meals to keep up energy supply.
- Take hot baths or showers to soothe soreness, increase circulation and relieve stiffness.
- Visit a massage therapist.
- Get at least 8 hours sleep per night
- Avoid stressful situations
- Be positive
Aerobic exercise may actually help to relieve symptoms when combined with stress management techniques. Forty-five minutes of exercise, 3-5 times per week eased pain in a trial group. You need to gradually work up to this.
- Phillip Day, “The ABCs of Disease”
- Elaine Hollingsworth, “Take Control of your Health”
- Reader’s Digest, “Healing power of Vitamins, Minerals and Herbs”
- Chris Woollams, “Oestrogen, the killer in our midst”