If you have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia you need to be sure all the issues underlying the disorder are being addressed. One of those issues is nutrient deficiency. Most fibromyalgia patients are on several medications and I have had one patient who was on 17 medications!
Did you know that medications always cause nutrient deficiencies? It's true. So if you are on any medications you should find out what deficiencies you have. One particularly effective way to detect nutrient deficiency is with SpectraCell Micronutrient Testing. I use this special test to help many people find the deficiencies that are holding them back from the vibrant health and energy they long for.
Below is a list of various nutrients that affect a person with Fibromyalgia.
- Carnitine - deficiency causes muscle pain due to inefficient cellular energy metabolism (mitochondrial myopathy) which presents as fibromyalgia.
- Choline & Inositol - altered levels of both nutrients seen in fibromyalgia; choline & inositol are involved in pain perception.
- Serine - blood levels of this amino acid are much lower in fibromyalgia patients.
- Vitamin D - low levels impair neuromuscular function and cause muscle pain. Deficiency is common in fibromyalgia patients.
- Vitamin B1 - Thiamin (B1) deficiency mimics fibromyalgia symptoms including serotonin depletion (decreased paing threshold), a decrease in repair enzymes (muscle soreness) and poor energy production (muscle fatigue).
- Antioxidants - low antioxidant status increases pain in fibromyalgia, which is often considered an oxidative stress disorder.
- Zinc - blood levels of zinc are associated with a number of tender points in fibromyalgic patients.
- Magnesium - involved in pain perception pathways and muscle contraction; treatment with magnesium can improve tenderness and pain.
- Selenium - deficiency is linked to fibromyalgia; in one trial, symptoms improved in 95% of patients supplemented with selenium for at least 4 weeks.
Correcting nutrient deficiencies is one part of a multi-pronged approach I use to help those suffering with fibromyalgia. For more information on my approach, read my Ebook and report on fibromyalgia.
Modern medicine has given us many new technologies that have brought better health and longer life to many. However, modern medicine has also increased our reliance on the latest drugs for our maladies. Instead of finding the root causes of our illnesses, we simply treat the symptoms with pharmaceuticals.
Chronic pain and autoimmune illnesses rank among the top health concerns that we often treat with drugs rather than look for the underlying cause. These medications do not make illnesses go away. They merely mask the symptoms and can have serious side effects of their own leading to yet more drugs to treat those symptoms. And the cycle goes on and on. It seems there must be a better way to approach chronic pain and autoimmune illnesses than the rows and rows of pill bottles stacking up in our medicine cabinets.
Thankfully, there is a better way. Gluten, the protein found in wheat, barley, malt and rye, may be the culprit of you chronic pain and autoimmune illnesses. You can easily treat these by simply eliminating gluten from your diet.
Gluten and Autoimmune Diseases
Many people have undiagnosed gluten intolerance, which triggers an autoimmune response. Auto-Immune disease is the #1 cause of morbidity and mortality in the industrialized world. Musculoskeletal disease includes much more than just mechanical imbalances. The causes are multifactorial, as are the treatments. The initiation and early development of auto-immune disease requires a triad of factors which includes environmental triggers. The most prevalent and common environmental trigger today is the food we eat, especially gluten. If you have gluten intolerance, your body can't digest this protein. Your body sees it as a pathogen and begins to attack itself in an effort to eradicate the pathogen from your body. This can lead to a wide variety of autoimmune related health problems such as inflammation, thyroid problems, psoriasis and eczema, Hashimoto's disease, a wide range of digestive issues, and fibromyalgia, among others.
In addition to triggering an autoimmune response, gluten also causes other health problems. As gluten passes through your body and into your intestines, the gluten protein damages the villi in your intestines. The prime function of intestinal villi is to absorb nutrients into your body. When your villi are damaged, you are not getting what you need from your food. This can cause further health problems such as anemia and chronic fatigue.
The traditional medical community typically responds to these chronic pain, autoimmune and nutrition related health problems through drugs that treat the symptoms. Thyroid medications for thyroid malfunctions. Anti-inflammatory drugs for inflammation and chronic pain. Iron supplements for anemia. Steroid creams for eczema and psoriasis.
However, if you have a gluten intolerance, these drugs and treatments will not be effective because each time you eat gluten, you simply perpetuate the cycle. The drugs fight a constant battle against an ever present poison in your body and the drugs will never win.
A Better Way
Forward thinking doctors and scientists have proven the clear link between gluten, autoimmune illnesses and chronic pain. However, too many doctors in the traditional medical field still fail to adequately test or even look for signs of gluten intolerance in patients with autoimmune illnesses. Many doctors still think the only indicators of gluten intolerance are related to celiac sprue, just one of the ailments caused by gluten intolerance.
We live in a day and age, though, were patients can and do stand up for themselves. If you have struggled for years with an autoimmune illness or chronic pain, have tried all the drugs and then some, and still do not know the underlying cause of your health troubles, then it is time to start asking about gluten intolerance.
Testing for gluten antibodies has progressed in recent years and more and more doctors are starting to understand the nuances of gluten intolerance, thanks in part to the current gluten free diet trend.
Modern medicine has given us much, but sometimes, traditional doctors can't see the forest for the trees. Chronic pain and a cabinet full of medicines that do not work does not have to be your fate. It's time to find out the cause of your pain and take measures to heal your body.
The latest numbers indicate that as many as one in every 5 people
(yes, that's right) have some form of gluten-sensitivity.
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2010 Jun;14(6):567-72
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All the best – Dr. Johnson – Digging Deeper To Find Solutions
Chronic pain reaches into every aspect of your life. It affects how and even if you can work. It affects your relationships with family and friends. It affects your mood and your outlook on life. Chronic pain becomes an ever present companion, accompanying you wherever you go no matter what you do.
Many who live in chronic pain spend a lifetime trying to find the cause of their pain. Traditional medicine often treats the symptoms, addressing each ache and pain as it's own illness. Take this drug for this pain. Take another drug for another ache. You may often get conflicting advice as well. Try increasing your activity. No, you need to rest. Try ice. No, try heat. Well-meaning friends and family offer all kinds of advice and old wives' tales and maybe even accuse you of making it all up.
At what point do you give up on all the misguided medical advice and give in to a life of chronic pain?
Before you give up and give in, you need to know about a common cause for chronic pain and a problem that can be solved relatively simply. A sneaky culprit may have quietly been wreaking havoc on your body for years. Gluten.
What is Gluten?
Simply put, gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, malt, rye and some oats. People with a gluten sensitivity often have no idea the kind of destruction this protein is wreaking on their bodies. The traditional medical community has only recently started to acknowledge how gluten can cause damage.
People with a gluten sensitivity cannot digest this protein. As the protein travels through their digestive systems, it damages the villi in their intestines, the part of your intestines that gather nutrients from your food. Over time, you lose the ability to absorb nutrients into your body leading to a host of health problems including:
- Celiac disease;
- Autoimmune disease;
- Mental health issues like depression or anxiety;
- ADD and ADHD;
- Irritable bowel syndrome;
- And chronic pain.
How Does Gluten Cause Chronic Pain?
It's hard to imagine that a protein found in the most basic of foods — bread, cereal, pasta — could cause so much damage. But when you think about what you lose by ingesting what is essentially a poison, it actually makes more sense.
Gluten causes chronic pain in two key ways. First and foremost, gluten sensitivity leads to inflammation. Inflammation leads to pain, plain and simple. In fact, you may have been taking anti-inflammatory medications for years knowing full well that your pain is tied to inflammation. Gluten also causes chronic pain through it's effect on your neurological systems. For example, gluten has been linked to migraines and nerve damage.
So What Can I Do?
Your chronic pain will never improve until you get to the root cause of the pain. You may have known, for example, that inflammation has led to your chronic pain. However, inflammation is simply another symptom, not a cause. Too often, traditional doctors stop their diagnosis one step shy of the actual cause.
If you think gluten might be causing your chronic pain, you can take several steps. First, you can talk with your medical provider about testing your blood for antibodies linked to gluten sensitivity. While these tests can prove a gluten sensitivity and give you concrete proof, they are not perfect.
In fact most of the time when you go to your medical doctor, the typical test ordered to determine if you have gluten intolerance is a notoriously poor test. Learn more about why the typical gluten intolerance test is not adequate by clicking on the big orange button below.
If the tests come back negative but you still suspect gluten as the culprit behind your chronic pain, you can try a gluten elimination diet. This means eliminating all food containing gluten (and the list is pretty long) for a defined period of time. Once you have rid your body of this protein, you can then add it back into your diet. If your symptoms return, then you have your answer.
Don't give up and give in to a lifetime of chronic pain. You deserve to lead a full, productive and happy life. Chronic pain stops you from leading the life you want to live. It's time to stop treating the symptoms and get to the root cause. A gluten-free diet might just be your ticket to a pain free life.
If you found value in this article, please use the social sharing icons at the top of this post and please share with those you know who are still suffering with chronic condition symptoms despite having medical managment. Thank you, help me reach more people so they may regain their zest for living!
All the best – Dr. Johnson – Digging Deeper To Find Solutions