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Can Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Be Cured? {A Not-So-Sparkly Book Review}

January 11, 2014 · 10 comments

fibromyalgia

Have you been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome?

Autoimmune diseases arise from an overactive immune response of the body against substances and tissues normally present in the body.  In other words, the body actually attacks its own cells.  (Source)

Unfortunately, a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia seems to be more and more prevalent nowadays.

Fibromyalgia is very closely related to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), the main difference being that with CFS, the predominant symptom is fatigue; with fibromyalgia, it is pain. Fibromyalgia is a rheumatic disorder that most commonly affects the neck, lower back, shoulders, back of the head, upper thighs, elbows, buttocks, knees and the upper chest. It is important to remember, however, that the achy, burning pains of the disease can strike any part of the body. The pain and stiffness is typically worse in the morning and is often accompanied by insomnia, headaches, depression, brain fog, uncoordination, digestive disorders, dizziness, panic attacks and skin rashes. The immune system of an affected person is often hypersensitive and allergies to environmental and dietary factors are common. Symptoms can be aggravated by allergies, overexertion, lack of sleep and acute infections.”  (Source)

The author of FibroWHYalgia: Why Rebuilding the Ten Root Causes of Chronic Illness Restores Chronic Wellness healed herself of Fibromyalgia, which is why the book is worth buying, but I thought it was lacking in certain areas.

First, here were some of the good things:

  • There are quite a few holistic suggestions inside, which I need to learn a lot more about.  (Actually, right now Joette Calabrese is offering a class to teach you how to heal with homeopathy.)
  • It includes great advice on avoiding processed foods, trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, and other modern evils.
  • Green light foods:  “vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean proteins”.  (These sound a little too ‘politically correct’ for me, though.)
  • Red light foods:  “prepackaged foods, simple refined carbohydrates, and chemically altered cuisine.”
  • There is good information on relieving stress, proper breathing techniques, etc.

GAPS bundleThe not-so-good part, in my opinion, is that there was no mention of healthy fats besides coconut oil and olive oil, which I love, and flaxseed oil, which I’m not a fan of; but what about the very necessary pastured animal fats?  She doesn’t bash them, but she actually only gives saturated fat a small mention when defining what it is.

Also, there wasn’t a mention of gut health to be found.

Since fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome are autoimmune diseases, the gut, i.e. the immune system, needs to be healed.  I know that Joette agrees, homeopathy is important to implement along with using real food for the best results.  Eating more healthy animal fats, cod liver oil and butter oil, bone broth, fermented foods, etc. is crucial (what else did I forget?), I’d also suggest this GAPS book and Cara’s beginners’ GAPS package.  Or Joette’s Good Gut Bad Gut package.   The GAPS Diet has been known to heal not just food allergies and upper respiratory conditions like asthma, but also Autism, behavior and learning problems, depression/anxiety, and more.

Autoimmune diseases, such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, lyme disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and others, are often treated with drugs that suppress the immune system.

If it were me, these drugs would be a LAST RESORT.  First I would give the Homeopathy and GAPS Diet the absolute best shot I could.

If you or your family member need to go on the GAPS Diet for healing, be super thankful that it isn’t five years ago when there were NO resources for this type of thing!  If you’ve had any experience with Fibromyalgia and/or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, please let us know in the comments what you have found worked to help you.

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  • { 10 comments… read them below or add one }

    1 Liz J. January 12, 2014 at 9:39 am

    I was diagnosed with FMS at the tender age of 25. I had the classic burning pain between the shoulderblades, along the tops of my thighs, accompanied by extreme fatigue and terrible brain fog. Sleep was becoming more and more evasive. I religiously exercised, lifting weights and taking and teaching fitness classes- I was a cardio queen. I was the “healthiest” eater I knew, eating only “lean” low-fat foods. Think bagels, lowfat ice-cream, salads, muscle meats with absolutely no fat on them, and “I can’t believe it’s not butter” spray. LOL I was determined to beat this thing. Doctors gave me a grim prognosis with no other cure than prescriptions for sleep aids. Somehow I knew I would get through it if i just prayed for answers and pushed forward when they arrived.
    I moved to AZ to get out of the cold and rainy Seattle weather. I opened up a small fitness studio so I could do body work all day long to keep my body from getting stiff as it did at a desk job. Amazingly, the landlord of the studio became a client, and to my surprise she pointed out that I had FMS. Darn, I thought I was hiding it pretty good…. She became my best friend and mentor, as she too had FMS. We tried many things, guaifenesin (still not sure if I’m spelling it right) was the main thing. As our health was notibly improving, she started a local support group, and then a website, fibromyalgiarecovery.com. Eventually she became more focused on nutrient deficiencies that cause the same symptoms of FMS and we embarked on the iodine protocol and the Weston A. Price Foundation. We dropped the guai protocol and lo-and-behold, focusing on iodine and probiotics my body began to recover more completely. It took me 3 years of researching to finally accept the new knowledge that butter and other saturated fats should be consumed. Being so deeply brainwashed that Saturated fat was bad, it was a very hard nugget of information to swallow.
    It’s been a13 year journey, but my dear friend and I are fibro free-have been for many years now. She, in her late 60’s, has just returned from serving 3 consecutive missions in Taiwan and Hong Kong! I attribute it to replenishing iodine (with the protocol! Do not just start taking iodine without the protocol!!! Especially selenium), healing our guts the hard way (GAPS diet would have been nice to have indeed ) and becoming aware of thought patterns and adjusting them to replace toxic thoughts with nurturing ones. I believe FMS starts and ends in the gut (my mother has an illiostomy due to severe crohn’s) and can manifest as problems in the adrenal/thyroid/pituitary axis, or any other auto-immune disease. Clearly it can be completely reversed. I thank God every day for the answers He is revealing to those of us who simply ask with an open heart.
    Oh, and by the way, I gratefully feed my family butter(very liberally), eggs, raw cheese, homemade yogurt and kefir, whole fat raw goat’s milk, grass fed/finished beef, truly pastured soy-free…corn-free…hormone-free…GMO free chicken. I no longer eat just the muscle meat- we now enjoy all sorts of organ meats-talk about a boost in my sense of well being! Ok Ok, I don’t love cow liver yet (chicken liver is good though) and at times I blend/dehydrate/and make pills with it and take it with a heap of sauerkraut to better absorb the B’s. I soak or sprout all of my family’s grains beans nuts and seeds, make bone broth so we never run out, take magnesium, use magnesium oil on my skin, take fermented cod liver oil etc. In my 20’s I felt like a wreck, nearing 40 with a 6 & 3 year old, never before have I felt so vibrantly healthy. I still love the gym, but now I prefer high intensity intervals over long drawn out cardio sessions. I will never stop strength training. At 5’5″ I easily maintain a weight of 130. I would have never dreamed that I would be able to do all that I am doing now. In fact, we are building a home on an acre, about to start a little homestead with goats and chickens!

    Reply

    2 KitchenKop January 12, 2014 at 11:58 am

    What an amazing story, Liz! “Never before have I felt so vibrantly healthy” – what a gift!

    Kelly

    Reply

    3 Liz J January 13, 2014 at 12:39 am

    A gift indeed. I can not imagine where I’d be right now if I had continued on the path of conventional wisdom. My life was centered on sleep and I never felt like I could get enough no matter how long I slept. Now I am busy all day and rarely feel the desire to nap. It feels like getting a total do-over on life.

    Reply

    4 Michele January 12, 2014 at 9:45 am

    Is Fibromyalgia an autoimmune disease?

    Although some suggest fibromyalgia is an autoimmune disease many experts say that it is not. Here is an opinion given by Anne Hillebrand (11/8/2006) on AllExperts.com.

    “An autoimmune disease is one in which the immune system mistakes its own tissues for non-self tissue and makes an inappropriate attack. These diseases can affect the tissue which bind body tissues and organs together, nerves, muscles, endocrine system (system that directs your body’s hormones and other chemicals), and digestive system.

    From all I can tell, Fibromyalgia is not a case of the body doing something it should not do. It is a case of the body failing to do something it should do. What it is failing to do is produce and control correct amounts of Hyaluronidase, an enzyme. This enzyme should be determining the correct viscosity of a chemical called Hyaluronan (formerly called Hyaluronic Acid).

    You think of this as the clear fluids throughout your body. Saliva, vaginal lubrication, synovial fluid and yes, the clear fluids that are supposed to be keeping your eyes moist. It is produced at the end of your arterial capillaries, should rinse, lubricate and feed all the cells and then pass into the lymphatic capillaries to be cleaned and returned. In Fibromyalgia, the clear fluid is not moving correctly. It is too thick and cannot leave the body tissue and go out through the lymphatic capillaries.”

    Reply

    5 Michele January 12, 2014 at 9:53 am

    I have found the above to be true in my own struggles with Fibromyalgia. As a result, my body, when not consuming enough water and taking supplements, over-produces mass amounts of cysts, many of which I’ve had to undergo several surgeries to remove due to the immense pain they were causing. Once on a good diet, along with LOTS of pure clean water and supplements, it has for the most part corrected itself. I also try to have periodic lymph node massage, along with gentle exercise (stretching, yoga, walking) has proven to help me as well. Note this may not be the case for someone else, but others that I know who suffer with Fibro, when they implement the same things have found that it does help. Just research for yourself, don’t just take the doctors word for it. I understand the pain and wanting relief, but being well is much better.

    Reply

    6 KitchenKop January 12, 2014 at 11:56 am

    Thanks for sharing Michele!!!!!

    Kelly

    Reply

    7 Peggy January 12, 2014 at 11:06 am

    My husband had a deeply infected tooth in 1989, followed by a double course of antibiotics and a root canal. His health plummeted into a nightmare of what was at that time called “Yuppie Flu.” He was unable to work for almost a year. (The suspicion he endured of just being lazy was intolerable.) We had a young, dedicated family doctor who met with us weekly to discuss what he had learned from his studying, and possible treatment options. Eventually he stumbled on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome research that had not made it to the mainstream. Unfortunately, his training was in allopathy, so the treatment options were drugs, drugs and more drugs. One to sleep, one to wake up, one to clear the mind, one to lighten the depression, one to stop the hives, one to ease the joint pain…

    I did research on my own, too, and found “The Yeast Connection.” Hubby embarked on a very strict diet (much like GAPS but without the eventual addition of fermented foods.) He couldn’t stay on it long, but it helped a little. This gave me some ammunition for the doctor who very slowly came around to possibly, maybe considering treating it with diet. For the next five years hubby would have relapses from time to time, small ones when he ate too many sweets, HUGE ones when he went on antibiotics.

    Even after being on a very vigilant real food diet including a gut healing protocol, his immune system is weak. There is so much I should have been able to put together at the time and just didn’t have the background to know: his grandfather died of complications from rheumatoid arthritis, the strong, double dose of antibiotics that set the whole thing in motion, the red splotches of yeast overgrowth on his skin. Now I wonder how many of his current health issues are related as well.

    Reply

    8 Val January 14, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    Hi Peggy,

    If you haven’t read any information on how root canals can affect the health of the body, the Weston A. Price Foundation (westonaprice.org) and Dr. Mercola (mercola.com) have some excellent articles for your research.

    Reply

    9 Nell January 12, 2014 at 11:56 am

    I am so thankful my doctors didn’t diagnose me with fibro and CFS, even though I had the symptoms. They kept pressing further and found that I was infected with Lyme disease. Sadly, at that point it had become chronic and much harder to cure. I’m still in treatment but am MUCH better than I was before diagnosed.

    Nell

    Reply

    10 jmr January 13, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    I’ve been diagnosed with, among other things, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Mine is “cured” when my thyroid levels are right, not an easy thing to fix. In addition, I’ve completely revamped my diet and lifestyle. I think these days, both diagnoses are often just a doctor’s way of saying, “I don’t know what’s wrong with you, but my ego is too big to admit that.” I’m convinced that while fibromyalgia does exist, about 75% of the people diagnosed with it just need their hypothyroidism diagnosed and treated properly, but doctors refuse to recognize that their current method of diagnosing and treating thyroid is completely ineffective.

    Reply

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