Mainstream medicine considers fibromyalgia to be a muscular or psychological problem; but in fact fibromyalgia is a complex set of neurological, hormonal, immune, nutritional, and musculoskeletal problems.
The newest research indicates the central cause of fibromyalgia symptoms in most cases is an electrical (not chemical) imbalance in the brain called the “Functional Disconnection Syndrome”. Both hemispheres and all lobes of the brain are designed to work and vibrate “in sync”, coordinating its myriad of ultra-complex functions. When this occurs everything works fine and it’s difficult to even become ill (remember the brain controls all systems of the body) but when different lobes and hemispheres are firing out of sync (like a symphony orchestra with certain musicians playing at different rhythms) neurons (brain cells) are not harmonic and we begin to experience multitudes of seemingly disconnected symptoms in the areas of the body supplied by the poorly firing neurons. These symptoms include pain, tenderness, fatigue, memory loss, rapid heartbeat, headaches “migraines”, irritable bowel, hormonal imbalances, and much more.
The newest research also indicates a major cause of fibromyalgia is clinical and subclinical autoimmune attacks against various tissues. This is a complex process, but basically what happens is your immune system attacks and destroys tissues in your body could be nerve, brain, thyroid, pancreas tissues, causing fatigue, depression, and brain fog.
This immune system attack is totally abnormal and can be triggered by food sensitivities, viruses, infections, high amounts of insulin, high amounts of inflammation, and stress causing the immune system to attack or destroy nerve tissues and cause all of the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
The newest research also links abnormal blood sugar levels and hormonal problems to fibromyalgia. Many female fibromyalgia sufferers have menstrual problems, polyceptic ovaries, early menopause or thyroid issues that occur along with the fibromyalgia symptoms. Not a coincidence.
The above plethoras of conditions are ultimately “triggered” by a multitude of different things. Many fibromyalgia sufferers trace their problems back to a major infection or illness (for example pneumonia, bladder or yeast infection). For others it’s a physical trauma like a car accident or “birth of my last child”. Toxic exposures (cleaning chemicals, paint fumes) are common as many fibromyalgia victims cannot detoxify chemicals and toxic metals. Emotional stress is just as strong a trigger as anything else (going through a divorce, death of a loved one) the stress revs up your blood sugar, adrenal and inflammatory systems and totally throws your system out of balance.
As you can see fibromyalgia is not a muscular or psychological problem. It is complex. 10 different fibromyalgia sufferers may have 10 different mechanisms of trigger, cause, or dysfunction or 10 different combinations of these mechanisms. All areas of brain dysfunction, imbalances in the hormonal, G.I., and immune system must be thoroughly assessed and handled at once for the best chance of improving or resolving the condition completely.
The key to success is a thorough history, an extensive neurological workup, and the appropriate testing to determine the “triggers” and metabolic imbalances involved in that persons individualized situation.
Trauma and fibromyalgia: is there an association and what does it mean? White KP, Carette S Seminars in Arthritis & Rheumatism 29(4):200-216, 2000.
The clinical syndrome of fibrositis. Wolfe F, American Journal of Medicine 1986 Vol. 81 (suppl 3A) Sept 29, 1986; 7-14