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Fibromyalgia – “It’s NOT all in your head” [Article originally published in Total Health Magazine, June 2011]

By Gloria Gilbère, D.A.Hom., Ph.D., D.S.C., EcoErgonomist, Wholistic Rejuvenist™

Fibro Knots: Real Pain, Real Disorder

For our readers with "fibro-knots,” it’s NOT all in your head – you don’t have a deficiency of Prozac®! You really do have knots. Fibromyalgia is made up of three words; Latin for fibrous tissue (fibro), Greek for muscle (myo), and pain (algia). This is another way of saying, muscle knots tied by painful ropes, a condition I know personally and professionally only too well! These manifestations of the disorder are NOT emotional instability but rather of specific biological origins.

Recent biopsy studies using immuno-histochemical staining techniques found increased levels of collagen and inflammatory mediators in the connective tissue surrounding the muscle cells in fibromyalgia patients.
These "fibro-knots" are inflammation of the fascia similar to conditions experienced in plantar fasciitis and lateral epicondylitis, better described as a dysfunctional healing response. This explains why NSAIDs and steroids (oral or injectable) have NOT been effective in fibromyalgia patients – and actually add to their total body burden, specifically the liver.

Toxic stress comes from more than the absorption of environmental chemicals. A wide range of potentially toxic substances is also generated from processes at work within our own bodies, namely the intestines. When the natural mechanisms of detoxification malfunction, or when internally generated toxins are produced faster than the organs’ ability to neutralize and detoxify, the toxins store within soft tissue – causing inflammation, fibro-knots and pain.

Toxins are continuously generated from microbial activity in the intestinal tract. Everything we eat is either absorbed into the body or ends up in the colon where it is fermented by over 400 different species of bacteria and yeast. Since most of our immune responses are based in our gut, it only makes health sense to implement steps to reduce overall toxic burden. By doing this, we avoid toxins being reabsorbed and eventually stored within soft tissue – causing fibro knots and pain.

Basic Steps to Reduce the Body’s Intestinal Toxic Load

 Scientists now validate that approximately 80% of our immune system is based in our gut….that’s right, our gut. However, most of us never consider fundamental protocols necessary to insure that our intestinal toxic load is reduced. This reduction is strongly interconnected to liver health as well as countless invisible illnesses and allergic responses.
When toxins are being “dumped” into our liver, faster than its ability to neutralize them, particularly from intestinal permeability (leaky gut), invisible illnesses develop. A protocol to reduce the overall intestinal toxic load and then add health-enhancing nutrients is imperative; otherwise the escalation of the disorder and decline of our immune defenses in inevitable.
The following are steps I use and recommend for my fibromyalgia clients with great success in facilitating reduction of overall body burden:
Foundational First Step* – provide long-term relief and immune system support by detoxifying the body through use of a vegetable fiber-cleansing supplement for the colon, subsequently reducing overall toxic load for major pathways of detoxification, the liver, kidneys and lymphatic system. An initial cleansing protocol should encompass 90 days. Thereafter, a maintenance dose should be taken daily to continue to “brush” colonic debris for elimination. If elimination becomes sluggish, or constipation occurs, take a non-habit forming herbal stool softener along with the fiber cleanse product to encourage complete evacuation.
Second Step – provide as much natural non-drug support for the immune system by supplementing with plant sterols3. Plant sterols act as immune modulators – taming an over-active system and stimulating an under-active one. These complexes usually reduce pain and inflammation within a few days and support overall immune responses.
Third Step – Eliminate all foods known as “nightshades”. This family of botanicals contains a substance called solanine, a chemical known as an alkaloid which is highly toxic and known to cause inflammation, even in gum tissue in your mouth.
Historical Perspective: The connection of nightshades in arthritis and inflammatory disorders was first brought to the forefront largely by Dr. Norman F. Childers, former Professor of Horticulture at Rutgers University. He discovered that inflammation caused by nightshades ranges from gastrointestinal inflammation, nausea, and diarrhea to dizziness, muscle stiffness, gum disease, and migraines.
Cholinesterase, an enzyme in the body originating from the brain, is responsible for flexibility of movement in muscles. Solanine, in nightshades, is a powerful inhibitor of cholinesterase. In other words, its presence interferes with muscle movement, a symptom that can manifest as much as 72 hours after consumption.
The nightshade group includes:

• Tomatoes/Tomatillos
• Potatoes (sweet potatoes & yams are NOT nightshades)
• Eggplant
• Paprika/Pimento
• Blueberries/Huckleberries/Goji berries (*not true nightshades but contain the same alkaloids)
• Homeopathic Belladonna
• Okra*
• Tobacco Products
• Peppers, all varieties (red, green, yellow, chili, cayenne, hot/sweet – Tabasco®, A-1®, Worcestershire®)

Some prescription drugs, especially those for insomnia and depression, contain potato starch. Check with your pharmacist for a list of ingredients if you have an inflammatory condition, including inflammatory gum disease.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Some victims of inflammatory disorders are also affected by artichokes; the best way to know if carefully listen to your body language, it’ll tell you. I can eat them occasionally with no symptoms of inflammation. However, when on a cruise I ate them two days in a row and I paid dearly with pain and inflammation that lasted for 3 days and was alleviated by taking handfuls of systemic enzymes and herbal supplements for pain.
Fourth Step – Have a thorough dental exam by a biologically-aware dentist. Many victims of inflammation and immune system disorders have a “false sense of security” because they have full gold, porcelain or composite restorations. Many victims’ have not been able to completely repair their immune system, only to find that beneath their expensive restoration is a toxic mercury/amalgam filling adding constant insult to injury.
After removal of any restorations of mercury/amalgam you will experience relief that will provide welcome evidence that it was indeed not “all in your head”, although it might have been “all in your mouth.” Your overall body burden now reduced, those fibro-knots will loosen and allow stored toxins to disperse – assuming your continue to reduce your overall body burden that begins with facilitating daily, complete bowel eliminations.
If you’re a victim of invisible illnesses, of which fibromyalgia is one, or multiple allergic responses, and you’ve been told, as I was, that you’re “within ‘normal’ range”, become a health sleuth to uncover hidden causes. I worked in dentistry in both clinical and research and what my experiences and research uncovered is mind-baffling to me even with all my experience. After many years of clients and readers asking for a book that details what they need to know in layman’s terms, the book has launched.
Read my book, “I was Poisoned by my Teeth” which connects Oral Health & Overall Health….it’s 222 pages in full-color in a large 8.5 x 11 format and provides everything you need to know about what to ask your dentist and provides case histories with photos so you have the information needed to take control of your health. After all, it’s about YOUR quality of life, Naturally.


Oregon Health and Science University: Study on Intramuscular Dysfunction Syndromes

Gilbère, Gloria, N.D., PhD.: I was Poisoned by my body: Lucky Press

Gershon, Michael, M.D.; The Second Brain: HarperCollins, 1998

Gilbère, Gloria, N.D., PhD.; Pain / Inflammation Matters: Lucky Press