Causes of Fibromyalgia - Good Reading for New Members!

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by JLH, Jan 18, 2006.

  1. JLH

    JLH New Member

    Causes of Fibromyalgia

    (Source: RemedyFind Columnist and FMS Host - Dominie Soo Bush)

    What causes fibromyalgia (FMS)?
    The answer is…nobody really knows, but there are a LOT of theories, which we will explore in this article (Part 1 of 2).

    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 below.

    YEAST
    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
    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.

    EXCITOTOXINS
    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!).

    PHOSPHATES
    Dr. Paul 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, etc..

    ACIDOSIS
    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.”

    OXIDATIVE DAMAGE
    The Journal of Musculoskeletal Pain reported a study in 1997, which showed evidence of oxidative ("free radical") damage in people with FMS.

    SLEEP DISORDERS
    People who volunteered for sleep deprivation experiments actually developed symptoms similar to fibromyalgia!

    MAGNESIUM DEFICIENCY
    Researchers say that most people with FMS are deficient in magnesium, the mineral that helps muscles relax.

    COMPUTERS
    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!

    IMMUNE SYSTEM
    Some researchers 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!

    BRAIN MALFUNCTION
    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 P").

    PARASITES
    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.

    MENTAL ILLNESS
    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 disease.

    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 tool.

    HYPOTHALAMUS OVER-ACTIVATION
    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 infection.

    MALABSORPTION
    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
    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 in alignment.

    SUGAR INTOLERANCE
    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 INSTABILITY
    Hormone imbalances are frequently found in women with fibromyalgia--PMS, endometriosis, mood swings, etc.

    INFLAMMATION
    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. Hopefully medical researchers will discover not only the cause of fibromyalgia but also the cure! Part 2 of this discussion will be in the next newsletter. I have many more interesting thoughts to share with you on the causes of fibromyalgia!

  2. Jeanne-in-Canada

    Jeanne-in-Canada New Member

    I really feel research is getting very close to breaking the code of FM/CFS and that viable treatments will become acessible to us in our lifetime.

    We know treatments are out there now, but docs that know of them are so hard to find.


    Jeanne
  3. JLH

    JLH New Member

    I also hope that research will help us somehow - in our lifetime!
  4. Maribelle

    Maribelle New Member

    This is a timely article for me since I am new to this site and to FMS. After reading this article, I could
    relate to the lack of magnesium and to a few others. I
    have an appt with a FM doctor here in Dallas next week.
    I hope we can find solutions to this illness....I am
    ready to get better. I have had lots of trauma in the
    last few years. I believe that I got sick from this as
    well. My mom just passed away on November 17, 2005 which
    has had me flared up. Before she died I was with her at
    the hospital for 30 days pretty much day and night. I
    got very sick from pain and sleep depreviation....but
    I would not have done it differently if I had of known
    how sick I was going to get. I am blessed to have had
    the time with her. She was a wonderful lady....and I miss her. I guess I am grieving 'cause I just started purging
    my feelings right here on this message. Hope you didn't
    mind. Thanks.

    Maribelle
  5. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    We are genetically predisposed to our illnesses. Any and all of the above could contribute to our getting sick. I call them "triggers." It might also explain why we respond so differently to treatments and why our symptoms are not all the same.

    I also believe that the more triggers we suffer, the sicker we will become. If we are exposed to too many triggers, our bodies become overwhelmed and we get sick. If we are only explosed to one or two and we are young and otherwise healthy, we may be able to recover.

    Just knowing what these triggers are can help us tailor our treatments so that we can achieve healing. One of the biggest problems we face seems to be the chronic infections which operate below our immune systems' radar. I do not believe we can heal until these infections are addressed.

    In time, I believe we will find a cure but until then, there is a lot we can do to mitigate our symptoms and in some cases, avoid or destroy these triggers.

    Thanks for posting.

    Love, Mikie
  6. JLH

    JLH New Member

    My condolences on the loss of your mother.

    I have been through the same thing with my father. Like you said, I wouldn't have traded that time for anything.

    My father passed away in 2001 and I am just now getting to the point that I can talk about him freely without crying. He made such a big impact on my life. He was a great man and a perfect role model for how to live your life thinking of others first. He was an honest, very moral, kind-hearted soul whom I'm sure is still watching over me every day.

    I always hated it when people would tell me that it takes time .... but they were correct, time lessens the hurt--but never the love.

    ((((Hugs to you))))
    Janet

    [This Message was Edited on 01/19/2006]
  7. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I am so sorry at the loss of your Mother. We must have been replying at the same time and I didn't see your post.

    Nothing prepares you to lose your Mom. After three years, there is still a huge hole in my heart from losing my Mom. It just isn't as raw as it was in the beginning. Time does help. Take good care of yourself.

    Love, Mikie
  8. JLH

    JLH New Member

    Bumping for more new members to read......
  9. JLH

    JLH New Member

    bump. One more time......