While only an estimate, fibromyalgia affects 1 in 50 people, totaling up to 6 million. It is characterized by chronic musculoskeletal pain accompanied by symptoms like brain fog, cognitive impairment, depression, painful points throughout the body, fatigue, and sleep disturbances. The root cause of fibromyalgia still remains unclear, and the conventional medicine currently addresses its symptoms using pain-relievers and antidepressants.
On the other hand, functional medicine aims to determine the root cause of fibromyalgia, treating the underlying issue and thus reversing the condition. According to one functional medicine physician, the issues below are the top 10 root causes of fibromyalgia.
10 Root Causes Of Fibromyalgia
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1. Gluten Intolerance
Gluten is often referred to as the “big masquerader” as it has been associated with over 55 diseases. Its symptoms are rarely manifested as digestive issues, but rather as neurological issues like sleep disturbances, fatigue, depression, behavioral issues, cognitive impairment, and pain.
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2. Candida Overgrowth
Candida is a genus of yeasts, a small amount of which thrives in the intestines. The problem arises when it overgrows and breaks down the wall of the intestines. Consequently, it penetrates the bloodstream, releasing toxic matter within the system and causes symptoms like pain, fatigue, and brain fog. General, most patients with fibromyalgia have had Candida overgrowth.
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Most people with a thyroid-related issue are not aware they have one, and up to 90 percent of them suffer from hypothyroidism. In order to measure the function of the thyroid gland, the doctor has to check 6 different blood markers. When assessing and diagnosing thyroid disorders, the physician needs to focus on the optimal range instead of the standard reference range. Getting the thyroid levels in the optimal range typically relieves fatigue, sleep disturbances, depression, and brain fog.
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4. Nutrient Deficiencies
Fibromyalgia patients are often deficient in magnesium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12. Interestingly, many doctors claim that boosting magnesium levels has helped them reverse the patient`s condition. The best way to measure your magnesium level is measuring the red blood cell magnesium level that can be tested in any lab.
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5. Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) And Leaky Gut
Did you know that bacteria outnumber the human cells in the body? When they get out of balance, typically as a result of antibiotics and a sugar-rich diet, one can lose their ability to both digest and absorb nutrients, especially vitamin B12. Anyone diagnosed with fibromyalgia or any similar chronic disease needs to fix the gut first, as this is a vicious cycle in which everything is closely related.
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6. Adrenal Fatigue
Chronic stress, whether real or not, is the major cause of adrenal fatigue. Chronic pain stresses out the adrenal glands, although in most cases it`s not the initial adrenal stressor. Vitamin deficiencies, Candida, food intolerances, and mercury toxicity are the most common adrenal stressors and it is recommended to support the adrenals with adaptogenic herbs until science comes up with the root cause and the way in which it can be fixed.
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Mycotoxins are toxic compounds produced by toxic mold. It is estimated that about 25 percent of the population carries the gene that makes one susceptible to the detrimental effects of mycotoxins. Unfortunately, conventional environmental mold testing doesn’t test for mycotoxins but for levels of mold spores only.
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8. Mercury Toxicity
Mercury is highly toxic to our bodies and it is considered a potential cause of fibromyalgia and other chronic diseases like neurological disorders, autoimmune diseases, chronic fatigue syndrome, and even cancer. This is the reason why many doctors advise their patients to look for a biological dentist and get their mercury amalgam fillings removed.
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9. Glutathione Deficiency
Glutathione is an important antioxidant which plays a critical role in the body`s detoxification process. It gets recycled in the body, unless the toxic matter exceeds the normal amounts or the body lacks the enzymes required to produce and recycle glutathione. It has been found that taking glutathione or the precursors like mill thistle and NAC helps treat fatigue.
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10. MTHFR Mutations
MTHFR is an enzyme required for methylation, an important metabolic process. During this process, both folate and folic acid are converted into active forms so that the body can utilize them. Any MTHFR mutation makes the body less able to methylate and detoxify toxins like lead and mercury. The more mutations one has at this gene, the higher the requirements for folinic acid, methyl-B6 and methyl-B12 in order to maintain the detoxification process running normally.