It could be Fibromyalgia (FM), if the pain is overwhelming and hurting all over, and gets even worse with touch. Many other symptoms can be related to FM; like, fatigue, weakness, headaches, diarrhea, irritable bowel, and poor sleep. Many have nervous system disorders like anxiety or depression. In some cases Doctors diagnosis FM as other diseases, such as Chronic Fatigue or Stress disorders because symptoms are often so similar. There is a pain point system that is used for FM diagnosis, so if your pain responds to a certain number of these they confirm it as Fibromyalgia!
Inflammation is often the culprit with any chronic pain issues. Research has identified some important contributing factors to FM problems, such as vitamin or mineral deficiencies and high stress levels among others.
Dr. Ron Hounninghake, Director of Riordan Clinic in Kansas says nearly all of his FM patients are deficient in Vitamin D levels. This is significant because any musculoskeletal pain means low Vitamin D and many types of pain will respond to these supplements.
Low glutathione levels, a principal anti-oxidant, made by the body plays a very important role in protecting the body from oxidative damage and if it is low can cause muscle stiffness and muscle pain. Glutathione is rich in the mineral, sulfur, and many people do not consume enough sulfur containing foods. Cruciferous vegetables high in sulfur include; brussel sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, eggs and garlic. These foods contain the sulfur needed for the body to convert to glutathione. Other supplements that are high in sulfur are NAC (N-acetyl cysteine) and ALA (alpha-lipoic acid) and MSM (methylsulfonylmethane).
Low magnesium levels can contribute to muscle pain. Studies have found that 45% of patients were deficient, this deficiency of magnesium causes muscles to shorten and creates spasms; one of the pains associated with Fibromyalgia. Vitamin B levels are also critical and needed to produce energy for muscle use. Having more muscle strength is critical to healing. Build up your muscle strength with low impact aerobic exercise for both oxygen and muscle tone. It will be painful and hard to do but just start slowly, add more weight bearing exercises as it gets easier; you will be amazed at the fact that it will work and you will feel better!
Amino Acid, D-Phenylalanine, can be very helpful at significantly reducing the pain, along with CoQ10 and amino acid, carnitine, helping the body improve energy levels. Omega 3’s which include compounds, EPA and DHA, produce prostaglandins an anti-inflammatory compound.
An easy Anti–Inflammatory Tea to help with the pain is Green Tea with fresh Ginger: chop up a 2 inch piece of ginger into 2 cups of filtered water, boil first and then simmer for 10 minutes, strain out ginger pieces, add either honey or stevia to sweeten; brew 2 bags or 2 tablespoons of loose green tea leaves in 2 cups of filtered water and steep 3 minutes, strain and add to ginger syrup. Sip tea hot or chill it for a refreshing drink that gives you a double dose of anti-inflammatory benefits.
Fibromyalgia is also a stress related immune disorder causing low levels of serotonin, an amino acid found in the brain, causing anxiety, post- traumatic stress disease (PTSD) and depression often involving deep seated emotional resentments. Many related issues are chemical sensitivities, allergies, and even prescription drug reactions. SAM-e can help with increasing the production of serotonin. The herbs, Turmeric, Skullcap, Ashwagandha, Kava and Wild yam can also help with the muscle pain.
In other research, other modalities that are beneficial, depending on the individual; are acupuncture, meditation, yoga, and regular monthly soft massage has helped. Dealing with FM can be frustrating and improvement incremental; that is why many doctors are resorting to writing prescriptions for the pain but which then leads to unwanted side effects. It may take some time but your body will respond over time with the help of the correct supplements and foods. Your body’s natural healing abilities will take over and you will feel better more naturally.
Healing Spices by Bharat Aggarwal
The Practicing Herbalist by Margie Flint