Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue

Fibromyalgia (FM) is characterized by long-term and widespread pain in muscles and connective tissues, without any specific cause.

Symptoms that typically coincide with FM are:

  • fatigue,
  • headaches,
  • muscle stiffness,
  • digestive issues, bloating, gas
  • insomnia or sleep difficulties,
  • mental processing along with concentration and memory problems,
  • anxiety, and depression.

Women between 25-60 are the most likely to suffer from FM.

There are no specific tests for the condition, and symptoms can be similar to some other conditions.  You need to see your MD for a diagnosis.  The conventional medicine approach to Fibromyalgia is to treat the symptoms with pain medication and anti-depressants since the original cause is unknown, making FM a difficult condition to treat. My goal as a Naturopathic Doctor & Functional Medicine Practitioner is to first identify the Root Cause! Once we have honed in on the cause, it makes FM a treatable condition vs. masking just the symptoms.

Some potential causes that we have identified include:

  • An upregulated immune response such as allergies to chemicals & foods,
  • An active viral infection,
  • yeast overgrowth/Candida, bacteria imbalance in the digestive tract,
  • hormonal (there is a hormonal component to it since affects mostly women),
  • dysfunctional/poor digestion,
  • Musculoskeletal structural alignment,
  • uncontrolled stress response, or
  • altered neurotransmitter balance in the brain.

A majority of the causes listed above are commonly linked to an over active immune system. The Immune response plays an important role in FM, and since many of the symptoms associated with it are similar to symptoms of Autoimmune conditions, researchers question if it should be classified as an autoimmune condition. When the immune system becomes overly active, the inflammatory system is activated alongside. This combination of an over active immune and inflammatory response is not a good combo, leading to increased pain, inflammation, fatigue, altered mood and mental health.

My Approach to Fibromyalgia:

Our first goal is to calm down the immune system allowing the inflammatory system to follow. To successfully calm the immune and inflammatory responses, we need to target the digestive tract. Did you know that more than 70% of your immune system is produced in the digestive tract? So that’s the first place we start! Recently over 150 autoimmune diseases and many other conditions have been linked to Leaky Gut Syndrome as the initial stage of disease. To learn more about Leaky GUT syndrome visit my digestive health page and take a quiz to see if you might have a leaky gut.

Let’s get you started on a diet! What you put in your body is how it’s going to function. Most people notice a reduction in symptoms when they commence an anti-inflammatory diet.  For some, a simple diet change is all they need, however for others it’s a bit more complicated than just that alone. 

Bonus to get you started! A 3-day menu plan and a list of all the foods.

Top Foods that Cause Inflammation that Fibromyalgia Sufferers Should Avoid

Gluten – causes the gut to become permeable in everyone.  Leaky gut is  directly linked to autoimmune conditions and molecular mimicry.  It is pro-inflammatory and can make fibromyalgia worse.

Dairy – the protein in dairy known as casein is very inflammatory, dairy feeds bad bacteria, and 75% of the population becomes lactose intolerant after the age of 5 years old.

Egg Whites – they are bound to many of our vaccinations and can penetrate the gut lining creating a significant immune response for some.

Sugar – Alters immune response, increases pain and inflammation.

Processed foods or foods with additives – These foods contain chemicals that irritate the digestive tract, alter liver function and increase inflammation.

Excess alcohol and caffeine – Can cause mineral deficiencies, dehydration and hormone imbalance and feed yeast and bad bacteria.

Allergens – Try to determine what foods you are allergic to and eliminate those from your diet. An elimination diet is a very effective way to identify food intolerances. Common allergens: gluten, eggs, shellfish, commercial dairy, and peanuts.

For those of you that struggle with the Elimination diet, we have a food sensitivity test that will help you identify your food sensitivities. Contact Dr. Danby for the current price and list of foods. You must have an appointment to have this test run.

What should you eat instead?

When your immune system is working very hard, you need to provide it with the nutrients required. The list below is full of nutrient dense foods that will lead you to the path of health:

  • Vegetables & Fruits (the rainbow!)– Provide essential minerals and vitamins to fuel your body; they are full of Antioxidants, such as vitamins A, C, E
  • Clean protein– provide amino acids needed for muscles and tissues repair and to fuel your body for proper energy.
  • Fermented foods– dairy free kefir, dairy free yogurt, kimchi and sauerkraut help prevent candida overgrowth one of the leading causes of fibromyalgia.
  • Omega-3 fats – reduce inflammation and can reduce pain associated with fibromyalgia.

Bonus to get you started! A 3-day menu plan and a list of all the foods.

Dr. Danby is here to help you every step of the way!

CLICK HERE to book in with Dr. Danby to learn how you can restore your health and energy levels naturally!

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