Fibromyalgia is a condition characterised by chronic, widespread pain and extreme tiredness or exhaustion.

The pain is usually spread all around the body, with some areas being more painful than others at different times of the day.

As well as widespread pains, fibromyalgia is often accompanied by headaches, depression, anxiety, dizziness, irritable bowel, allergies or sleep problems.

Fibromyalgia features widespread, chronic pain

What Causes Fibromyalgia?
Although there does not appear to be a definitive cause, some studies have shown a link between a life event or trauma (such as a car crash, childbirth or major illness).

Two main theories are now emerging:

Serotonin Deficiency
Serotonin is a hormone responsible for promoting mood, in particular feelings of happiness and wellbeing.

A deficiency of serotonin in the central nervous system, along with a big increase in a neurotransmitter (chemical) known as ‘substance P’ (found in spinal fluid and transmits pain signals to the brain). Low serotonin is said to increase pain.

Inadequate Thyroid Hormone Regulation (ITHR)
This theory involves low thyroid hormone regulation due to thyroid hormone deficiency and a level of resistance within the tissues to thyroid hormones.

In this scenario, it is thought tissues then need a vastly increased thyroid hormone output to maintain a normal metabolism, leading to an increase in pain.

Fibromyalgia pain

photo by flickr user AMartiPhotography

How Is Fibromyalgia Treated?
Conventional treatment tends to involve use of anti-depressants, NSAIDs (painkillers) and thyroid hormones.

Naturopathic Treatment
In line with my naturopathic philosophies – everyone is different with varying symptoms and different reasons for those symptoms being present. Therefore, there is not a fixed ‘treatment programme’.

There are certain areas and stages that I concentrate on in any programme:

  • Pain management using appropriate supplements to manage pain in a more natural way
  • Nutrient absorption is supported by analysing and correcting any possible gut health issues
  • Diet optimisation, with a focus on promoting alkalising foods and correcting nutrient deficiencies
  • Adrenal and Thyroid gland function is supported via dietary adjustments and supplements (if appropriate)
  • a Detoxification programme is devised with supporting supplements, as needed
  • Additional support can include advice on stress management, exercise and alternative therapies

If you suffer from fibromyalgia, or think you have a selection of the symptoms and would like my help, call me on 01572 759589 or email tony@harrisonnutrition.com for an informal chat.