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Fibromyalgia Treatment Options

People diagnosed with fibromyalgia have long-term, body-wide pain and tenderness in the joints, muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues.  Women 20 to 50 years of age receive this diagnosis more frequently than men. 

According to the A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia online, allopaths have not identified a cause for this condition. 

Chinese Medical Diagnosis of Fibromyalgia

According to Chinese medicine, if someone has pain, this means that they have poor circulation of qi and blood, resulting in the tissues starving for nutrients and oxygen, while accumulating wastes. Often, this arises from dietary and emotional imbalances affecting liver function, principally long-term anger, resentment, frustration, or impatience.

We would conduct an interview and exam to determine what factors triggered, relieve, or worsen the pain:  heat, cold, motion, rest, weather changes, or pressure (e.g. massage). 

From this information we can decide how to proceed with body therapies or herbal medicines to correct the imbalance. 

Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine

Research has also shown that acupuncture, moxibustion, cupping, or guasha may also provide relief by improving circulation of qi and blood.   See Cao et al, J Altern Complement Med. 2010 April; 16(4): 397–409.  We have had clients use only acupuncture for fibromyalgia relief, to their satisfaction.

Clinical trials have suggested that Chinese herbal medicines may reduce pain better than pharmaceuticals commonly prescribed for this condition.  See Cao et al, J Altern Complement Med. 2010 April; 16(4): 397–409.

Functional Nutrition for Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia benefits from functional nutrition.

Evidence indicates that fibromyalgia pain may be a sign and consequence of insulin resistance.  This means that fibromyalgia is actually a consequence of type 2 diabetes. Insulin resistance is a consequence of a nutrient-poor diet that includes excessive polyunsaturated fats, refined carbohydrates and other anti-metabolic items that impair glucose metabolism and force the body into burning fats.

Fibromyalgia patients also typically have disturbed gut function due to liver hypo function (inadequate bile production and flow) combined with indigestible carbohydrate intake.  One study found that 100% of fibromyalgia patients had an abnormal lactulose breath test, indicating small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO).  The fibromyalgia patients had a higher incidence of SIBO than patients who had IBS. 

It is important to avoid foods and supplements that contain high levels of polyunsaturated fats and other toxins that suppress thyroid function and interfere with carbohydrate metabolism.  In addition it is important to avoid foods rich in indigestible carbohydrates (such as resistant starches and fiber). On the other hand it is important to increase intake of foods and supplements that are low in toxins and rich in minerals and vitamins, such as meat, milk, eggs and fruits.  


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