As I mentioned last week, I would like to share some ideas to help you address your fibromyalgia symptoms on a physical level, specifically through simple dietary changes. Attending to an overwhelmed gut that has accumulated toxins and is low in beneficial bacteria is one crucial step when you want to heal your fibromyalgia or any other autoimmune or inflammatory dis-ease. These forms of dis-ease include the following: Colitis, Crohn’s, IBS, osteoarthritis, lupus, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and others (J. Mercola, http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/03/18/mcbride-and-barringer-interview.aspx.) Of course I am not a nutritionist or doctor or “physical” health care provider, as you already know. I am speaking from personal experience and from what I have seen be helpful for my clients over the years.
In October 1999, I was suffering a tremendously horrible flare up of my fibromyalgia. It just so happened that the universe smiled upon me and I met a woman at a networking meeting. Her name tag said, “Joy Carroll, Healing Intuitive”. I asked her, “Oh, are you like Caroline Myss?” (Author of Anatomy of the Spirit: The Seven Stages of Power and Healing.)
I remember her reply almost verbatim, “Similar, yes. What I do is help people with things like fibromyalgia heal by asking their bodies what foods they might be reacting to. Often it is gluten or dairy, so we take them off those foods for a period of time until they have rested their digestive system and they feel better. In most cases, they can gradually re-introduce those foods and tolerate them.” I was stunned of course, because she literally said fibromyalgia without having any idea what I was dealing with. I made an appointment with her and drove 50 minutes to see her the next week.
I laughed later when I looked back on the days leading up to this particularly bad flare-up. I lived alone and had made myself a big pot of spaghetti sauce that I ate multiple times before freezing some. That meant I was eating gluten/noodles and probably Italian bread for days on end along with tomatoes which I later found out are typically a big trigger for people with fibro. Being a midwestern girl born in the dairy state, I also loved drinking milk. Each week, including that one, I had finished a whole gallon of milk myself. If you already know about the dietary connection to things like fibro, you will be laughing with me right now!
Adding to my pain was the fact that the weekend before that Monday networking luncheon, I had been at a holiday party that was in a tent outside and although it had heaters, I had gotten really, really chilled to the bone and had to leave earlier than I would have liked. As we drove home, I could already feel my muscles tightening up and starting to pulse in pain. Sunday was spent on the couch reading and feeling depressed and moody. All those physical effects were the perfect storm that escalated the flare up. So, physical tip #2: Do not allow yourself to get really chilled when you have fibromyalgia as this can set things off.
Joy introduced me to muscle testing, diagnosed candidiasis (full-body yeast overgrowth—see The Yeast Connection by William Crook M.D.) and gave me an individualized plan including what foods I could eat and not eat for three months until our follow-up visit.
I took out wheat, gluten and dairy, tomatoes, sugary fruits, sugar and most starches, anything fermented including all vinegar and within 3 days I felt 90% better! I was elated! Even though the plan was very restrictive and something I had never, ever heard of before, the fast and visible improvement, was very self-reinforcing, so I was very motivated to continue. After all, it was a personalized plan that my inner guidance had recommended after muscle testing my body. I could argue with neither my body nor the results.
If you would like to test this to see if it helps you, I see no harm in it. Cut out gluten and dairy, citrus, sugar, tomatoes, vinegar, fermented foods and food coloring for 5-7 days. See how your body feels.
Think of this as an experiment with the attitude, “What do I have to lose?…other than aches and pain and fatigue?” Also instead of thinking of this as all the foods you cannot eat, which may be depressing, think of what foods you can eat. Break it down by meal and make a menu. Next week I will provide a sample list of what each meal could look like on this sort of eating plan.
As I mentioned, I am not positioning myself as a medical doctor or nutrition expert. I am speaking from my limited but profound personal experience. The ideas above are not perhaps as sophisticated compared with some programs explained by Joseph Mercola, M.D. and Natasha Cambell-McBride, M.D. where they go into an amazing description of the gut “heal and seal” method entitled Gut and Psychology Syndrome Nutritional Program or GAPS. You can read more about that here and see if it is something you may want to try. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/03/18/mcbride-and-barringer-interview.aspx.
The reason I share these ideas is to give you a starting place to do your own experimentation to see how much better you feel. It is risk-free and with the attitude, “It can’t hurt me, and I have much to gain.” If you feel better working with a nutritionist, healing intuitive or other practitioner who has a way to ask your particular body what it needs/muscle test to get you on your way to addressing the dietary aspect of fibromyalgia or other dis-eases, ask around and find and an expert in your area who has experience dealing with these conditions.
In my mind, making changes that support your digestive system is the easiest and most economical way to continue or start healing. As Dr. Mercola states: “Most disease originates in your digestive system. This includes both physical and mental disease. Once you heal and seal your gut lining, and make your digestive system work properly again, disease symptoms will typically resolve.” I have read the same concept many times in the past 10 years.
I spoke with a woman who called me years ago for an initial phone consultation. She had fibromyalgia and I was assessing what work she had done to heal herself. She had not addressed any dietary factors. So I broached the subject. I asked her to think about cutting out gluten and dairy for a few days to see if it might be an easy way to help her feel better quickly. When I recommended trying the simple experiment I outlined above, she said matter-of-factly, “Oh, I could never do without my baked goods.” She did not want to hear any more of what I had to say. I would gather that this woman, struggling terribly with pain and fatigue wanted to heal on a conscious level (or she would not have called me). But, on an unconscious level, she had other things holding her back, creating close-mindedness and sabotaging her healing.
Please spread the word to your friends with Fibromyalgia that there are many things they can do to help themselves feel better. If they have any questions, please give them my number so we can chat. 949-929-5470.