Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic illness characterised by a combination of chronic widespread musculoskeletal pain and tenderness, accompanied by varying degrees of other symptoms, including fatigue, sleep disturbance, muscle and joint pain and stiffness, poor memory, low concentration, brain fog and high levels of distress. There are often associated conditions such as headache, restless legs syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, multiple chemical sensitivities, anxiety and depression.
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and fibromyalgia share a significant cross-over with symptoms, however CFS is dominated by fatigue with brain fog. Pain and immune dysfunction are usually secondary presentations.
What Causes CFS and FM?
Chronic fatigue syndrome may be preceded by or associated with:
- acute viral illness or chronic health problems (stealth pathogens)
- emotional factors (anxiety, depression)
- micronutrient deficiencies
- environmental pollutants and contaminants
- general poor health and
- compromised immunity
Symptoms & Signs
- Sudden onset of severe fatigue, developing over a few hours to a few days and often after an acute viral illness and persists for at least six months
- Low-grade fever and chills
- Sore throat
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Muscle and joint pain
- Sleep disturbances
- Poor memory or concentrate
- General muscle weakness
Factors that can delay or impede recovery include:
- Dysbiosis (gut flora imbalance) and leaky gut
- Infection (viruses and bacterial), often due to poor immune function
- Stress (physical and emotional)
- Toxicity (poor elimination of toxins and exposure to new toxins)
- Nutritional deficiency
- Gluten sensitivity
- Thyroid function
- Obesity and/or insulin resistance.
Testing and clinical assessment provide important information on which of the above factors are relevant for the individual. Jodie can interpret any test results you already have, and recommend any others needed.
To enable prioritisation of treatment strategies, Jodie creates a unique profile for each patient using the factors listed above, pathology results and other information. There are common factors underlying most cases of CFS and FM, including mitochondrial* stress and inflammation, and it is crucial to address these.
* Mitochondria are energy producing units within each cell in the body, hence mitochondrial dysfunction if at the core of fatigue
Core treatment protocols include: Diet, Herbal Medicines, Nutrients and Probiotics to:
- Heal tissue damaged from chronic inflammation (focusing on joint and muscle tissue)
- Neuroprotection (for poor neurological function, e.g. poor concentration, memory loss, brain fog)
- Support immunity to manage presence of stealth pathogens *
- Break down biofilms (enabling the immune system to attack stealth pathogens)
- Support elimination of toxins (including endotoxins from dysbiosis and mycotoxins)
- Correct any other underlying drivers of the individuals condition
The following are examples of treatments used:
- Herbal Medicines: Withania, Rhodiola, Garlic, Berberine herbs ( Barberry, Phellodendrin, Golden Seal), Qing Hao, Sarsaparilla, Bacopa, Boswellia, Astragalus, Wormwood, Oregano, Turmeric, Devil's Claw, Rosemary, Ginkgo, St John's Wort and others
- Nutrients: Selenium, Magnesium, CoQ10, Glutamine, GABA, Activated B Vitamins, Zinc, N-Acetylcysteine and others
- Probiotics: Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG), L. plantarum (299v), Bifidobacterium lactis (BB-12) and others
- Binders: Charcoal, diatomaceous earth, pectin, high tannin teas and others
- Diet: Anti-inflammatory diet, Identify food intolerances, low alcohol and caffeine, minimise processed foods
This information is not intended to replace medical advice. Please do not self-treat with the above herbal medicines - seek professional advice specific to your condition.
* Stealth pathogens are bacteria and viruses capable of adapting to avoid (and hide) from our immune system. They can form biofilms which effectively 'shield' them from our immune system. In chronic health conditions, breaking down biofilms is a key strategy in supporting the body to recover and heal.