Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Can Fibromyalgia Be Caused by Exposure To Environmental Toxins?

So many people suffer from chronic muscle pain and fibromyalgia symptoms. Here is an article from a fibromyalgia support group in SC that addresses a likely cause: Environmental Toxins.

"With fibromyalgia, a syndrome that combines pain, fatigue, anxiety, and depression, you have to separate “cause” from “trigger.” New research suggests that this mysterious syndrome is caused by imbalances of chemicals and hormones in the nervous system that amplify sensation, making even a slight touch feel painful. In a study published last year, Daniel Clauw, MD, a rheumatologist at the University of Michigan, used MRIs to show what happens in the brains of fibromyalgia patients in response to minimal pressure to their left thumbs – blood rushes to areas involved in pain perception. To get the same response from healthy people Clauw had to apply twice the pressure.

The super-sensitivity to pain that characterizes fibromyalgia seems to be genetic. The disorder runs in families, and researchers have identified one gene believed to be involved in the syndrome. Patients also have higher than normal levels of a neuropeptide called substance P that is involved in pain signals and subnormal levels of serotonin and norepinephrine, hormones that modulate pain.

If you are born with a predisposition to fibromyalgia, you still need to experience an event to trigger the disorder – that is, something must happen to set it off. This can be a viral infection, emotional stress, an accident or injury or even exposure to certain drugs or chemicals. My colleague Iris Bell, MD, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry and Director of Research here at the Program in Integrative Medicine, tells me that multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) and fibromyalgia often overlap. In fact, according to a recent paper in the Annals of Internal Medicine, 33 percent of fibromyalgia patients also suffer from MCS. Dr. Bell adds that 60 percent of all MCS patients are able to identify the specific exposure that set off their initial reaction."

So -- what can you do to lessen your chances of getting fibromyalgia? What if you already have it? How can you decrease your symptoms until they are all gone - without causing more symptoms? The answer is a 3-step process, and is quite simple:

1. Stop putting toxins into your body
2. Take the toxins out of your body that you already exposed yourself to!
3. Give your body the good, wholesome nutrition that it needs.

First of all, let's look at putting toxins in your body. You are exposed to toxins via your makeup, face creams, hair products, shampoos, processed foods, even produce with pesticides, meats and dairy that are made using antibiotics and growth hormones; you are putting toxins in your body when you microwave in plastic containers, when you drink tap water, when you use fluoride toothpaste to brush your teeth. Even some furniture and carpet emits toxic gases that you breathe in! This is not to mention other obvious things like flame retardant sprays on children's sleepwear, air pollution emitted by our vehicles, EMF radiation caused by the use of electronic devices, and so on...

What can you do? It seems hopeless, right? Well, let me give you some hope. First of all, to overcome your fibromyalgia symptoms, you do not need to avoid EVERY TOXIN OUT THERE. But you do need to take the first steps. A basic list to get you started:

  • Stop eating aspartame (diet soda), splenda, and MSG. Unfortunately, it seems that those 3 things are in almost everything these days. But avoid them at all costs! This is IMPORTANT
  • Stop drinking tap water -- unless you have a good filter
  • Avoid high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
  • start buying organic soaps, lotions, makeup, shampoos, cleansers -- as much as you can afford. They are a bit more expensive -- but your health is worth it. Do it little by little.
  • Stop cooking with aluminum cookware! This is DEADLY!!

The second thing you want to do is detox your body. There are many ways to do it but of course my preferred method is using my detox foot pads. Use 3 per foot, per night for as long as you can. Of course you will probably feel relief within a few days. These are great products. You can detox all the heavy metals, plastic by products, and environmental chemicals from your body. But there also are other ways. A Far Infrared Sauna works miracles at detoxing your body and giving you relief from fibromyalgia. You can also do various other detoxes out there, but some of them are quite harsh.

Last of all, out of the three basic steps I am outlining, the third one is the easiest. Find a wholesome, whole food nutritional supplement. It may take 2-3 kinds, like an ionic mineral complex, plus a whole foods liquid, plus possibly a greens formula. But remember to make it whole foods -- nothing made synthetically in a lab -- and make sure you get it from a reputable company. I don't have one favorite, but I enjoy Garden of Life products, and trust them. I also really like Clark's minerals. You can do your own research if you think those companies are good, by yourself.

Good luck.

Posted via email from rhauptman's posterous

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