Can Infections Cause Fibromyalgia?
Studies have indicated that one trigger for fibromyalgia is infection related. Find out more about this curious connection below.
Fibromyalgia is a condition of chronic pain. A person with fibromyalgia suffers from extreme pain and sensitivity. Symptoms can include headaches, dizziness, nausea, tingling limbs, muscle pain, bone pain, depression, and more.
Because fibromyalgia can have such a big effect on the body, in many cases, strong treatment methods are used, such as sleep medication, anti-seizure medication, and antidepressants.
However, although there are several suggested causes for fibromyalgia, many medical doctors still treat the condition as general pain. There is some evidence that this may not be the best treatment method.
In multiple studies, it has been shown that fibromyalgia symptoms are often related to infections- either viral, bacterial, fungal, or parasitic. Tick-borne infections, such as Lyme disease, are also often connected to fibromyalgia in some cases. Some fibromyalgia patients even show metal or chemical sensitivities.
So, what does this mean for fibromyalgia patients? Although it may seem like there is no hope or cure for fibromyalgia, addressing the real cause of fibromyalgia could help permanently cure the condition. If infections are responsible, treating the root cause will help provide lasting relief that will not have the extreme side effects that many current medications have.
According to several studies, fibromyalgia patients have a greater chance of having an infection of some kind than someone without fibromyalgia. This indicates that there may be more to the fibromyalgia story than is widely accepted in the medical community.
Conventional treatments for fibromyalgia generally treat the symptoms of the condition- the pain and depression that often goes along with the condition. However, few doctors take the time to consider what might be causing the widespread pain. Basically, any form of chronic pain is attributed to fibromyalgia, even though there may be an underlying cause behind the pain. Many doctors treat fibromyalgia with steroids.
This can be problematic, because steroids suppress the body’s own natural immune system. When the immune system is compromised, if fibromyalgia is indeed caused by infections, then the infections can spread into connective tissues and even the nervous system. If an infection is responsible for the pain, treating with steroids will only make the problem worse, leading to even more infections and additional pain.
In some cases, once doctors see that a person has chronic pain and fibromyalgia-like symptoms, he or she will automatically prescribe symptom-masking treatments, such as the medication Cymbalta, which is designed to treat pain and depression in fibromyalgia patients. Once fibromyalgia is listed as a condition, many doctors cease to investigate any further, and many never identify the real cause of pain.
So, what infections can lead to fibromyalgia symptoms? There are actually a large number of infections and toxicity issues that can lead to fibromyalgia symptoms in the body. According to The Road Back Foundation, 55 percent of fibromyalgia patients state that a “flu-like” virus was the trigger for their symptoms.
Usually, fibromyalgia occurs when an infection penetrates the lymphatic system and into the connective tissue or nervous system. Infections that have traveled this far usually do not respond to traditional antibiotics, according to Dr. Dino D. Prato, a naturopathic doctor specializing in fibromyalgia. Several studies have confirmed the link between fibromyalgia and hidden infections.
A 1981 study published in the Journal of Rheumatology indicated that an infection of the thyroid could be responsible for triggering fibromyalgia pain. In the study, 8 patients who tested normally for thyroid function had symptoms of fibrositis. After further study, these patients were shown to have hypothyroidism. After treating with low doses of thyroid hormones, 6 of the 8 patients recovered from their fibromyalgia symptoms. The researchers theorized that a virus or a bacterium that resembles thyroid proteins could lead to fibromyalgia symptoms in these patients.
In 1998, researchers from St Bartholomew's Hospital in London looked at 250 patients with glandular fever or with an upper respiratory tract infection. After the primary infections were over, 47 percent of glandular fever patients showed signs of fibromyalgia after the fever. Up to 20 percent still showed signs of FMS after 6 months. Only 20 percent of respiratory infection patients showed signs of fibromyalgia at any point after the infection.
In a 1999 study of 150 patients with acute viral infections, 20 percent showed signs of fibromyalgia 2 months after the viral infection was gone. Patients who were older, female, and had less social support were also more likely to show signs of fibromyalgia symptoms.
A 2003 study published in Rheumatology International showed that 50 percent of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue patients in the study had a mycoplasma blood infection. A 2011 study conducted by University Medical School in Turkey stated that, “former HP (Helicobacter pylori ) infection may have a role in the etiopathogenesis of fibromyalgia syndrome or may act as a triggering factor.”
In 2012, researchers from Merlin Park University Hospital in Ireland looked at 185 patients with fibromyalgia. The study revealed that 57 percent of FMS patients in the study also had a chronic hepatitis C virus infection. According to the University of Maryland, Epstein-Barr virus and Lyme disease are direct triggers for fibromyalgia symptoms. Any other glandular, lymphatic, or nervous system infection are also likely triggers for fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia is a strange condition that causes the body to feel pain far beyond normal levels. Infections, physical trauma, and even emotional stress can all trigger fibromyalgia to start. It is possible that these triggers signal the body to make the immune system over-protective, as is often the case with autoimmune disorders.
Many infections from viruses, bacterial infections, parasitic infections, and tick-borne diseases can bring about joint paint, muscle pain, hormonal issues, headaches, cognitive problems, skeletal pain, and the other symptoms associated with fibromyalgia.
Before you simply treat the symptoms for fibromyalgia, it is wise to check for the source of the condition. In many cases, an infection or hormonal imbalance may be the cause. Check for latent infections in the nervous system and lymphatic system.
You should also test for thyroid function. If an infection is the cause, you will have better success by treating the infection before masking the symptoms of pain. In many cases, healing the infection will reduce the pain of fibromyalgia significantly.
If you do not want to use conventional treatments for fighting infection, or if your infection pain does not respond to conventional treatments, you may have better success treating your infections by boosting your immune system naturally.
Combine these infection-fighting ingredients with pain-fighting ingredients to stop fibromyalgia pain and cure your infection once and for all. All of these supplements both fight infections and help eliminate excess pain in the body from painful fibromyalgia symptoms.
Garlic is a well-known immunity booster and can help fight off any infection. Garlic is helpful in foods and is also helpful in supplement form. A study conducted by Washington State University published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy indicated that the compound diallyl sulfide (derived from garlic) was 100 times more effective than antibiotics at killing the bacterium Campylobacter. According to the study, and others, the compound allicin in garlic offers the most antibacterial benefits. Raw garlic contains more allicin than cooked garlic.
Ascorbigen is known for its ability to detoxify the liver. A 2000 study conducted by the National College of Naturopathic Medicine showed that 20 percent of patients supplementing with ascorbigen and broccoli powder showed a 20 percent reduction in fibromyalgia symptoms by the end of a one-month trial period.
Ginger is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. A 2005 study from RMG Biosciences, Inc. showed that ginger is highly effective at reducing inflammation, which can trigger fibromyalgia. Web MD states that ginger is a helpful supplement for healing joint pain.
5-HTP is the hormonal precursor to serotonin. The body converts 5-HTP into serotonin in the body. In a 1992 study of 5-HTP from L Sacco Hospital, in Italy, nearly 50 percent of patients supplementing with 5-HTP had “good” or “fair” improvement in fibromyalgia symptoms.
A 2002 review of the intravenous vitamin therapy known as the “Meyer’s Cocktail” showed that supplementing with high doses of magnesium and complimentary vitamins is effective in reducing fibromyalgia symptoms. This data supports other studies that have indicated that supplementing with magnesium alone helps reduce fibromyalgia pain.
Cranberries are able to help prevent the spread of e. coli and other bacteria in the body. A 2006 study from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute showed that cranberry juice was able to prevent e. coli bacteria from adhering to the walls of the bladder, preventing urinary tract infections.
According to a study published in the International Journal of Microbiology, pomegranate is also antibacterial. In the study, pomegranate was able to fight against e. coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Bacillus cereus. Another study of kidney disease patients showed that patients who drank pomegranate juice three times a week were hospitalized for infections less frequently.
Oregano can be used for more than a simply Italian spice. A 2001 study from Georgetown University Medical Center showed that oregano oil can inhibit the growth of Staphylococcus bacteria and Candida albicans fungus (which causes yeast infections). Researchers believe that it is the carvacrol compound present in oregano oil that fights off these infections. Supplementing with capsuled oregano oil can help fight off latent infections.
The German Commission E and the USDA have approved sage as an antibacterial ingredient. The USDA recommends using sage to stop sore throats caused by bacteria. Supplementing with sage, or drinking a sage tea can be helpful in fighting bacteria like Staphylococcus, salmonella and E. coli bacteria.
With all the evidence linking infections as a trigger or even cause of fibromyalgia, patients suffering from fibromyalgia should look into the possibility that they have a latent infection or an infection deep in the body. Treating these infections could lead to a resolution of fibromyalgia symptoms.
Additionally, supplementing with herbs and foods that fight infections and stop inflammation can also help resolve fibromyalgia pain at the source. Using these natural treatment methods for fibromyalgia are not only effective, but they are also safer than conventional treatments for fibromyalgia that have many undesirable side effects.
When it comes to fibromyalgia, it can’t hurt to investigate infections as a possible source of the chronic, widespread pain.
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