Fibro Life, Fibromyalgia, Practical Fibro

The Cure For Fibromyalgia.


I see this statement all over the place. Book titles, websites, natural health sites, spiritual health sites, yoga programmes, meditation programmes – you name it, every single corner of the health market seems to have made this claim.

At the risk of raining on everyone’s parade, I’m writing this in the hopes that I can save advanced fibro sufferers the crushing disappointment that will inevitably follow if they choose to pursue whatever purported method of “curing” their illness is currently being touted.

Firstly, I need to make it clear that I am all for finding the way to recover from fibromyalgia. I would give almost anything to find the answer, to recover my own health, to give the answer to other sufferers too. I never stop looking, never stop researching, never stop experimenting with different possible treatments.

But I have also had more than my share of rising excitement at the prospect of the next new specialist being The One Who Will Have The Answer, or of the latest supplement discovery, made through researching medical studies and extrapolating information, being the missing link to recovery. The disappointments have been soul-destroying when it has turned out not to be the case. I am still hopeful that, one day, this will happen, but it sure as hell hasn’t happened yet. If and when it does, you will be the first people I tell.

In brief, this is my experience of fibro, and my resultant understanding of this relentless illness. It isn’t based solely on my own personal, lengthy history with it, but also on research, study, and seeing and sharing the experiences of others in the same Severe Fibro boat as me. Obviously, I am fully aware that everyone is different, what hasn’t worked for me may well work for someone else, and that less advanced cases of fibro may be less intractable than mine, but if any of this rings a bell with you, please, please be wary of any claimed cure:

1. My fibro went undiagnosed for probably 46 years, because I was 49 when “it”, aka my “mystery illness”, was finally given a name and I can trace its onset to age 3. It was diagnosed by two separate rheumatologists at two different hospitals in 2011, but only after chemo for breast cancer had greatly exacerbated every single symptom, and given me several new ones to boot. I think it may be possible to reverse fibro if it’s diagnosed early enough, before the progressive damage to multiple systems has become too bad to treat successfully. However, most cases of fibro go undiagnosed for years, by which time chemical and other intolerances make it virtually, if not literally, impossible to supply the body with the specific substances it needs to make the necessary repairs without worsening the illness.

2. I have been studying natural medicine, alternative medicine, clinical nutrition, herbalism, diet, etc., etc., for around thirty years. There aren’t many alternative things I haven’t tried. I’ve had colonics. I’ve seen kinesiologists, aromatherapists, psychologists, counsellors, reflexologists, chiropractors, osteopaths, and spiritual healers. I’ve had reiki, umpteen different types of massage therapies, hydrotherapy, and distance healing. I’ve tried every natural supplement there is, and some synthetic hormone replacements, too. Some of my symptoms are managed by drugs, and I wish I could find a way to avoid that, but my thyroid and adrenal function became so damaged by the late 1990s that I came close to dying, and replacement hormone drug therapy is essential to my continued existence. My diet has been organic and what is now known as Paleo ever since I grew intolerant to a huge number of foods, chemicals, pesticides and additives in the late 80s/ early 90s. I’ve periodically lived on raw organic vegetable juices, and also organic vegetable and fruit juices (not packaged, all done with a masticating juicing machine at home) just in case fruit was the missing magic ingredient. I have been dairy-free, gluten-free, and meat free. I remain tap-water free. In short, I have tried more different approaches to fixing myself than I ever knew existed when I first started out looking for answers in the 1980’s. I have been successfully patching myself up with natural medicine and nutrition for decades, and in all that long, expectant, hopeful time, I have always been ultimately disappointed. It all helps, but none of it provides a cure. I am, however, completely non-functioning without my many supplements, hormones and other natural health strategies.

3. I firmly believe that until the real cause, the absolute ROOT cause can be identified, a cure for fibro will remain elusive.

4. I also believe that the single thing that perpetuates fibro is lack of Stage 4 Deep Sleep, which is the good stuff that everyone else slips so easily into. We need that Stage 4 sleep before our bodies can carry out all the essential maintenance and repair work on our many systems. Without Restorative Sleep, everyone gets progressively sicker and sicker. Studies have shown that healthy subjects who were deliberately woken as they entered Stage 4 sleep manifested all the signs and symptoms of fibromyalgia after only three days.

5. I further believe that the reason we cannot reach Stage 4 Deep Sleep is because our brains are stuck in Panic Mode, permanently on Red Alert, rigidly fixed in Fight Or Flight mode due to a deep trauma of some kind. It can be a physical trauma, a psychological trauma or an emotional trauma, it doesn’t seem to matter which, and it can anyway be a mixture of every type. In this regard, I consider it very similar to PTSD.

6. I disagree with the health industrys’ claim that fibro is both “non-inflammatory” and “non-progressive”. In my experience, which includes talking to a huge number of other fibro patients and sufferers as well as monitoring my own progress, it is both of those things.

7. I do think that if mine had been identified sooner, I would at least have stood a better chance of achieving a full recovery. Unfortunately – and I blame myself as much as anyone else for this – every approach to my “mystery illness” was made on the assumption that exhaustion was the core problem, rather than lack of restorative sleep. We were all looking at lack of energy production instead of excessive energy expenditure.

Poor energy production can indeed a part of it, but the bigger cause of exhaustion is a result of all the many ways that the hyperactive brain and nervous system uses up our energy in the mistaken belief that everything around us is an immediate threat that we must be protected from. Hence, we have over-active immune systems which lead to auto-immune disorders, or an exhausted immune system that leaves us open to every viral, fungal and bacterial infection going.

8. We have enormous problems relaxing, because our brains are on the look-out for danger the entire time. We suffer anxiety as a result, and are unable to achieve restful sleep. This leads to an unimaginably huge number of problems that manifest as a multitude of both physical and mental health problems, like depression, anxiety, mood swings, lability, digestive difficulties, malabsorption, leaky gut syndrome, recurrent candiasis, migraines, headaches, nausea, vomiting, sinusitis, rhinitis, gastritis, dermatitis, painful bones, joints and muscles, poor dentition, cognitive dysfunction, hormone disruption, IBS, diarrhoea, constipation, exhausted adrenal glands, messed up thyroid processes, low or high BP, postural hypotension, fainting, dizziness, vertigo, balance issues, muscle weakness, allergies, intolerances, and an ever-decreasing ability to make all the conversion and detoxification enzymes that a normal body makes every day. The symptoms are diverse and never-ending, because nothing is getting repaired or rebuilt during sleep.

That impressive looking list doesn’t cover even half of the co-morbid conditions that many fibro sufferers have to live with every day.

9. We have extra – literally greater numbers – of sensory nerves, which mean we’re in constant pain; more pain nerves equals more pain sensors in the brain, just like an old-fashioned switchboard needs more connections for more cables, and that means we genuinely experience more pain than a healthy person. We are bombarded by pain signals from having extra pain nerves. Those pain nerves are also more sensitive to changes in temperature, pressure and pain than normal nerves, because the fibro brain has made them part of the Red Alert defence. This was explained to me by a physiotherapist, who noted that studies done on physically traumatised areas of the body showed that the traumatised/ injured area became re-populated with greater numbers of pain and pressure nerves during the healing process than had existed in that area before. I am therefore infuriated by the popular myth that we “aren’t really experiencing more pain, it’s just that your brain thinks you are.” Our fibro brains receive more pain signals because they have tried to prevent further repeated trauma by building more nerves to act as an even earlier warning system.

And you must understand that the hyper-vigilant fibro brain thinks even stubbing your big toe is a major, life-threatening event.

When we understand all of this, we can see that much of the energy our bodies do produce gets used up on these and other technically unnecessary processes. It’s no wonder that everything fluctuates so wildly or that we’re so exhausted. We need to focus on reducing excessive energy expenditure, not on increasing energy production.

So, the way I see it (and you’re entitled to disagree with me), a “cure” will only be possible if we can find a way to restore restful sleep by re-setting our panicked brains to a more normal level of vigilance, so that they will relax and allow us to finally achieve Restorative Sleep, the Stage 4 Deep Sleep that all of us, without exception, are so deprived of. Only then will the body be able to start repairing all the damage that’s been inflicted on our systems. Mindfulness and endless meditation cds didn’t do it for me. Extensive and extended psychotherapy, EMDR therapy, CBT, and many others also didn’t do it for me, although EMDR was very effective at painfully prising open my locked-tight subconscious to finally reveal the source of my trigger-trauma. Nor did hypnotherapy, praying, visualisation, or chanting (yes, really).

Big Pharma knows the key is switching off the Panic Mode. Two of the most popular fibro drugs in the UK are Gabapentin and Pregabalin. They were developed from the naturally occurring amino acid, Gamma Amino Butyric Acid, or GABA, hence the names of both drugs. GABA is a neuro-inhibitor, which is to say it has a sedating effect on the brain and nervous system. Drug companies cannot patent ANY naturally occurring substance and they can only make their really big money from inventing and patenting their own products. So, they produce synthetic analogues and make their money from selling those.

Our bodies were never designed with synthetic drugs in mind, and however close they are to the natural product, they are never close enough that we can easily assimilate and metabolise them. Some fibro patients, usually those who have yet to develop full-blown chemical sensitivities, do gain some benefit from these drugs, but I have never yet found a single one who has been cured of their fibro by them, or who hasn’t experienced horrible side-effects from taking either of them. My own chemical intolerances, caused by my ever-diminishing ability to produce enough detoxification and conversion enzymes, mean I can’t even tolerate natural GABA anymore. The drug versions are far too dirty for me to even contemplate taking. My GP and I looked at the side-effects lists and he snorted in disbelief.

“You’d probably DIE!” he said.

“I KNOW!” I shrieked back. Oh, how we laughed.

Their listed side-effects are some of my worst symptoms. And I get side-effects that haven’t even been listed yet.

Perhaps if I had understood about fibro, the Panicked Brain, and GABA a couple of decades ago, it would have helped me recover. I’d like to think so, because that would mean I can still help newer fibro sufferers get well now, which I would dearly love to do.

Whilst I would never discourage anyone from trying any new potential treatment that they feel might help them, I would strongly warn against believing any claims that guarantee a total cure for fibro, regardless of its stage of severity. 

But then, I’m not selling any miracle products, information or newsletter subscriptions. PLEASE, Beware of those who do.

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42 thoughts on “The Cure For Fibromyalgia.

  1. Holy mackerel, you’re the only other person (besides myself) who has these exact explanations for the etiology and therefore potential solution to fibro. In my medical acupuncture practice, for some reason I kept getting these patients who were so disabled with fibro that I sometimes had to make housecalls because they were so laid up they literally could not get out of bed.

    I started using a special technique that I learned from another acupuncturist, that works on the very surface layer of muscle fibers, because when I laid my hand on them they felt like statues, and it was clear that they were encased in armour. After working with a series of fibro sufferers I became convinced that the root cause is trauma, very often sexual, and sometimes starting from pre-verbal childhood. The trauma causes constant tension, the tension squeezes the blood out of the tissues which, from lack of oxygen and circulation to remove waste products, causes more pain, et cetera ad infinitum.

    AND this all–PTSD plus pain–leads to sleep deprivation, which causes all kinds of other hell, and so on.

    So I decided that I would start with the sleep issue, and proceed from there. Getting someone a truly restful night of sleep might break the cycle and provide a point of entry to start softening up and releasing the trauma that is stored in those rigid tissues.

    Long story short, I ran out of local fibro clients because they all got better and went back to living life, some for the first time!

    So of course now my own fibro has placed huge limits on my activities, and I just wish I could afford treatment with the guy who taught me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s really interesting. We’re obviously on the same page, which is a rarity for me! I agree that the way to break it is to get Deep Sleep restored, so that the body can heal the damage and then maintain health in the way it was designed to. Trouble for me is that I can’t take anything that would help with this – I’ve looked at all the endpoints of sleep hormones and neurotransmitters, and I react horribly to all of them – 5-HTP, GABA, melatonin, etc. Can only get minute doses in, and can’t seem to force those receptors open or reactivate my missing conversion enzymes.

      I used to work as a nutritional therapist, with a special interest in thyroid and adrenal problems. Like you, I cured everyone and then had no clients. But, again like you, it was a case of “physician heal thyself” and being unable to do so. Frustrating doesn’t cover it, does it?

      The muscle fascia rigidity – undoubtedly inflammation-based, and undoubtedly deranged calcium deposition/metabolism. Vit K2 and boron (I only learned about this aspect of boron today, although I’ve been using 9mg boron/d for two years to help reverse my chemo and breast cancer induced osteoporosis) are both vital in removing excess blood calcium and sending it to bones and teeth (details in another post I did recently). I saw an article today about boron being where borax and boric acid both come from, which I didn’t know, and it says (amongst other things) that drinking a solution of a lightly rounded teaspoon of borax diluted in a litre of water and taken as 5ml x3/d has cured fibro. Needless to say, Mrs Excited At New Possibilities here has now ordered some. I don’t know yet if this ionised form of boron will do more for me than the plain boron I’ve been taking, but I’m more than willing to give it a go.

      I’ll copy the link here for you have a look at in a bit. I’ve had too much excitement for this morning, which has started with nausea, no breakfast because of nausea, and therefore none of my precious supplements yet either, so I’ll be back later. Or I might try to quickly do it now.

      I’m like your bedridden clients. Except I’m not a client, just bedridden!

      Thanks for your comments, I really value them.

      L. X

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m traveling the country in a tiny RV right now, have needles, will travel. If you are anywhere near where I will be wandering, I’m happy to stop by and see if I can get you a few nights of good sleep to get started with! Feel free to contact me at moxadox at g mail dot com

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Quick! Get them back!

        Bloody typical – finally connect with someone properly medically qualified, who I can expound my theories to and get good feedback from, and she’s in a different
        country altogether. Bah, humbug! 🙂

        L. X

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Baby, it took them 30 plus years before anyone mentioned it me…..it was only officially recognised here in the 1990s, and a lot of doctors still dismiss it like they used to with ME and CFS. A lot just don’t know about it. Medical training likes things in neat compartments, and fibro covers such a huge variety of symptoms (because it’s a basic system failure, like thyroid and adrenal hypo problems are, too) that they send us to consultants who specialise in whichever of our symptoms is worse. They just don’t join up the dots and think of something systemic. I only got referred to rheumatology because, at that point, my muscle pain was extreme and my oncologist got irritated by me complaining that sitting in his office hurt my bum! I hadn’t given fibromyalgia a second thought before, had no idea it could account for all my “non-specific” symptoms.

      Get checking those tender-points! X

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      1. My symptoms got recognized after I complained to my orthopedic dr that my skin hurt to touch lightly. He sent me to the rheumatologist and I was dx in 2010 officially.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I find it incredible that after sometimes – oftentimes – years or decades of chronic illness being declared a “mystery”, or “non-specific”, or “imaginary”, of traipsing round literally uncountable numbers of specialists, experts, consultants etc., we then get diagnosed in ten minutes flat by a rheumatologist.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. My pcp doesn’t even believe in it. He is useless for any type of pain. He just checks me for my thyroid and my Diabetes and such. Luckily I found a rheumatologist who believes. Not all of them do either.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. What’s a PCP? I think it must be the same as a GP (General Practitioner) but don’t really know for sure.

        Thyroid testing is notoriously inaccurate and widely misinterpreted by Drs, so get a copy of your results so you can see for yourself what’s going on. Do some research and see if other people with similar results as yours are struggling in the same ways – if you’re on thyroid meds, they may need increasing, and if you aren’t, it could be that you’re borderline according to your PCP and would do better if you were given thyroid meds. Or maybe your rheumy could run some bloods? He should understand the high incidence of low thyroid with fibro.

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      5. High T4 only shows what’s in your blood stream, not what’s in your cells. If you were truly hyper instead of hypo, you wouldn’t be struggling to wake up like you are now.

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      6. Do you know if your panel showed T3 as well as T4? – It’s not very common, but some people don’t convert T4 into T3 very well, and that gives a net result of still being hypo even though T4 looks normal or even high. It would show as normal/ high T4 number and low T3 in comparison.
        If your T4 and T3 both look normal but you still feel tired, cold, are losing outer third of eyebrows, have depressed reflexes, etc etc, then regardless of blood test numbers looking ok, it isn’t getting into your cells. I don’t know if it’s recognised over there, but in UK it’s called thyroid resistance, like type 2 diabetes. The receptors don’t pick up the hormone effectively.
        I thought you said last night that your tests all looked normal….but then I did fall asleep in the middle of commenting (sorry if I sent the same thing twice) so maybe I misunderstood. 🙂

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      7. Dammit, I just wrote you a reply, fell asleep with my stylus on the screen, and now it’s vanished.

        What’s a PCP? Is that what you call your regular, family doctors?

        Are you on thyroid meds? Would your rheumy run more thyroid tests to see if you should be, if you aren’t already? Thyroid tests are notoriously misinterpreted, but your rheumy should be aware of the common incidence of low thyroid occurring with fibro cases.

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      8. My rheumy has access to my thyroid tests and yes I take meds although right now they aren’t coming out right with my meds. We can’t adjust them.

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  2. I am so on board with this! Numbers 5,6 and 8 esspecially! I am the worst at relaxing, always on gaurd, it is so draining. You seem to have come to pretty much all the conclusions I have. Thank you so much for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s just silly. For example it’s obviously progessive at least to some extent because it’s not like we are perfectly fine one day and then struck with full blown fibro the next. It progresses over weeks or months if not years. And it is certainly inflammatory, I don’t think my joints would have started clicking and popping as much as they do if there was no increased inflammation or that ibuprofen could make there very small difference it does for the right type of pain. And then all the other spot on points you made!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. ….and it gets worse over time, not better. Any illness that grows worse with time instead of rectifying and healing itself is, by definition, progressive. Much of our pain is caused by inflammation – you only have to look at the amount of “itis”-s we get to know that, because “itis” is med speak for inflammation. Even the old name for fibromyalgia, fibrositis, says it’s inflammatory! I can’t understand why rheumys insist it isn’t.

        Careful with the brufen – it can destroy your stomach, and is known for it. There are better, natural, undamaging alternatives that don’t produce side-effects and increased complications. I can’t take brufen anymore (not since c. 1998) because I became intolerant to it. Can’t take ANY of the NSAIDs without reacting horribly. They gave me something “for nerve pain” a few years ago, knowing I’m intolerant to brufen, and I reacted badly to that, too. Turned out it was another NSAID! So, in a curious way, I’m lucky to have reacted badly, because it meant I was forced to find an effective alternative.

        Take care, X

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  3. I see how they’ve come up with a cure for so many things, except they haven’t.
    I know it’s similar with Autism, the internet and news are full of cures and studies about what caused it and yet to date, we don’t have either…same goes for Fibro.
    Interesting points. Now go get some rest (notice I didn’t say sleep)!!! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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