Fibromyalgia and Gut Health have a lot to do with each other — and here’s why. Fibromyalgia is classified as an autoimmune disorder or disease. Autoimmune refers to your immune system’s overreaction to something it considers harmful that isn’t. For example, Hashimotos is a condition where one’s immune system attacks the thyroid gland, causing damage to the thyroid gland over time. Arthritis is another where the immune system attacks the joints.
As well, recent research has found a strong link between Fibromyalgia and certain viruses. This also links to the immune system in that most of these are viruses that one’s body should be keeping dormant, but the weakened immune system is not able to. Epstein Barr Virus is a common one, but there are numerous others. A majority of people have been exposed to these virus at some time and they remain in your body the rest of your life. A strong immune system should keep them dormant. The extreme fatigue and achiness you experience with Fibromyalgia can be as a result of the virus becoming active.
If you would like to read more about viruses being an underlying cause of Fibromyalgia, here are some links to a few articles about it:
By far, the greatest impact you can have to strengthen your immune system is by improving your gut health. This is the key to a healthy and robust immune system. More and more evidence is coming to light regarding key factors that can cause significant damage to the complex and intricate structure throughout one’s digestive system. Antibiotics, and particularly repeated or long term use of these, certain medications and excessive alcohol consumption can all cause damage to this very important “microbiome” throughout your digestive tract.
Not only can these factors weaken the immune system, but bad bacteria and yeast overgrowth can occur in the intestines and colon that have their own set of symptoms to contend with. Irritable Bowel Syndrome, constipation, cramping, bloating, weight gain, fatigue, sugar cravings are some of the symptoms that can result.
If one approaches Fibromyalgia treatment from a Functional Medicine (whole body) approach and realizes the direct link between Fibromyalgia and Gut Health, you have a much better chance at getting well and keeping it in remission.
This is the first in a series of blog posts which cover what you can do to strengthen your immune system as a vital part of healing yourself. Part II of Fibromyalgia and Gut Health is here.