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The Fibromyalgia Gut Connection

Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder that affects the soft tissues of the body.  The pain fibromyalgia sufferer's describe is that they ache all over and it is an all over body pain.  In my experience even using a blood pressure cuff can cause a lot of pain and discomfort. 

Most people also experience problems with digestion, sleep, joints, fatigue, low mood, and brain fog.

Prescription medications that are used most often are: Pregabalin (Lyrica), Duloxitine hydrochloride (Cymbalta), and Milnacipran (Savella).  These drugs are designed to reduce pain but also come with a number of side effects and rarely take away the pain completely.

Interestingly, more and more research has been showing the link between gut health and fibromyalgia symptoms.  Research has also shown that the level of pain experienced is directly linked to the level of unhealthy bacteria in the gut.  In many cases this is caused by SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth).  

Many conditions can be linked to unhealthy bacteria in the gut but in the case of fibromyalgia a hundred percent of persons that were tested had unhealthy gut bacteria even if they did not have any gastrointestinal symptoms.

Having an imbalance of good vs bad bacteria in the gut leads to inflammation and the production of a lot of inflammatory chemicals.  This sets off a cascade of events which affect neurotransmitters.  Low mood is often a results of this as well as overall body inflammation.

The old adage "we are not what we eat, we are what we absorb" comes into play.  With gut inflammation there is less nutrient absorption and so there is the compounded effect of nutritional deficiencies.  

The inflammatory markers and increase in unhealthy gut bacteria, along with affecting digestion also impact the health of the liver which impairs detoxification.

Here are some things that you can do:

1. Eliminate gluten and dairy.  These are the most common culprits to gut inflammation.

2. Increase your consumption of vegetables especially steamed vegetables which are easier on the digestive system.

3. Eat a plant based diet.  You can download Anti-Inflammatory Plant Based Breakfast recipes here.

3. Heal your gut with foods high in L-glutamine such as chicken, fish, beans, beets, sprouts, celery and kale

4. Get your probiotics in with fermented foods such as sauerkraut, and miso.

5. Do relaxation exercises.  When your body is in the parasympathetic or relaxed more it is easier on the digestion.

I have put together a webinar which takes you through the 5 Steps To Freedom From Fibromyalgia.  This webinar speaks about gut health but also talks about other factors that affect fibromyalgia and gives you a blueprint that you can follow.

You can sign up for the webinar here

In Health and Happiness,


Simone Burke, Naturopathic Doctor






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