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How I Cured Myself of Fibromyalgia – and How You Can Too

by Oliver Eaton(more info)

listed in fibromyalgia, originally published in issue 250 - November 2018

I wasn’t your typical 23year old student at university. I had a healthy diet, didn’t drink, went to the gym four times a week, yet out of nowhere I was struck suddenly by a long list of debilitating symptoms which were later collectively diagnosed as Fibromyalgia.

I was completely baffled as to what had caused it. I was in my fourth year studying to become an osteopath, yet both my knowledge and my experienced tutors’ knowledge still had no answer for why all these symptoms had started. Doctors and consultants had no answer either. It was the start of a frustrating but educational three-year-long battle with the condition. I eventually managed to overcome it - but only after many hundreds of hours of researching the root causes of the condition and how best to treat it without medication. Those three years felt like studying for a whole separate degree.

According to the National Fibromyalgia Association, 3-6% of the world’s population has fibromyalgia syndrome, estimating that somewhere around 300 million people worldwide suffer from the condition. The NHS estimates that 2-4.5% of people in the UK may have fibromyalgia syndrome - estimating between 1.2 million and 2.8 million people. 75-90% of people with fibromyalgia syndrome are women.

It is a condition that conventional medicine currently has no answer for and sufferers are often prescribed with long lists of symptom-managing medication with often damaging side effects. There are many well documented alternative treatments available that unfortunately doctors and consultants aren’t aware of as they aren’t part of their university curriculum.

Fibromyalgia_symptoms

by Mikael Häggström - Image: File:Frau-2.jpg by Ralf Roletschek (User:Marcela), CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7039490  

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is defined as a sensitization of the central nervous system. This essentially is when the body is stuck in ‘fight or flight’ mode. According to the NHS’s website, the following symptoms can be associated with Fibromyalgia:

  • Widespread Pain – this can involve aching, burning or stabbing like sensations;
  • Extreme Sensitivity – alongside being sensitive to touch you can also be sensitive to smoke, certain foods and bright lights;
  • Stiffness – as a result of muscle spasms or muscle fatigue;
  • Fatigue – This can range from a mild, tired feeling to the exhaustion often experienced during a flu-like illness;
  • Poor Sleep Quality – Sleep is a big problem for many fibromyalgia sufferers. Even when you feel you have had a lengthy sleep, you still wake up feeling unrefreshed as if you weren’t in a proper deep sleep;
  • Cognitive problems ('fibro-fog') - Cognitive problems are issues related to mental processes, such as thinking and learning. If you have fibromyalgia, you may have:
  • trouble remembering and learning new things;
  • problems with attention and concentration;
  • slowed or confused speech;
  • Headaches - Pain and stiffness in the neck and shoulders can often cause headaches and migraines;
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) - Some people with fibromyalgia also develop irritable bowel syndrome. IBS is a common digestive condition that causes pain and bloating in your stomach. It can also lead to constipation or diarrhoea.
  • Dizziness and Clumsiness
  • Feeling too hot or too cold – this is because you're not able to regulate your body temperature properly;
  • Restless legs syndrome (an overwhelming urge to move your legs);
  • Tingling, numbness, prickling or burning sensations in your hands and feet (pins and needles, also known as paraesthesia);
  • In women, unusually painful periods
  • Depression & Anxiety

What causes Fibromyalgia?

If you suffer from fibromyalgia it is important to learn about the causes and triggers - this will give you the best chance of achieving symptom relief and overcoming the condition.

As described earlier, Fibromyalgia is when the body becomes stuck in ‘fight or flight’ mode. For the body to become stuck in ‘fight or flight’ mode it has to have been under chronic stress for a prolonged period of time. This stress can be either physical or emotional. The following is a list of common forms of stress that have been linked to the development of Fibromyalgia:

  • Prolonged virus – e.g. Glandular fever;
  • Prolonged emotional stress – work or domestic;
  • Chronic pain from a previous unresolved injury;
  • Misalignments – misalignments in the body can cause chronic stress on the muscles and nerves in the body, subsequently causing pain;
  • Gut bacterial overgrowth – bacteria such as candida can overgrow in the gut and can cause many of the symptoms associated with fibromyalgia, including: pain, insomnia, fatigue, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), food sensitivities.

My own Fibromyalgia had been caused by candida in the gut. I found it hard to believe at first because I had always thought candida was only an issue for people who had a bad diet, - and my diet was really good. This led me to learn about the many other things that can leave an individual’s gut vulnerable to a candida overgrowth; the main being antibiotics. Antibiotics kill not only the bad bacteria in our bodies but also the good bacteria. We rely on our good bacteria to defend ourselves from bacterial overgrowths such as candida. The problem is that doctors in the UK fail to advise patients to take a course of probiotics after their course of antibiotics to help repopulate our good bacteria. For example, during the BBC series ‘Doctor in the House’ in 2017, functional medicine practitioner Dr Chattajee was helping a lady identify the root cause of her Fibromyalgia. After various tests, he eventually found her condition to be caused by a form of candida called SIBO (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth).

There are many treatments available to help address the causes of Fibromyalgia. I will list some of them that have helped me, and that I now use successfully with my clients to help them overcome the condition:

broccoli
Broccoli

Nutrition

There are many foods available that can help to reduce inflammation in the body including:

  • Green leafy vegetables;
  • Celery;
  • Beets;
  • Broccoli;
  • Blueberries;
  • Pineapple;
  • Coconut oil.

Also, there have been many studies proving that a vegan diet can help to reduce the symptoms of Fibromyalgia. A vegan diet involves eliminating out of your diet anything that has come from an animal; mainly meat, dairy and eggs. The problem with meat and dairy products these days is that the animals they have come from have been injected with synthetic hormones and antibiotics. These hormones and antibiotics are passed onto humans and can cause inflammation in the body. The University of Kuopio in Finland conducted a study to determine the effect that a vegan diet had on Fibromyalgia sufferers over a three-month period. The study concluded an overall reduction in pain and joint stiffness, alongside an improvement in sleep quality.

Cognitive Therapy

The most effective cognitive therapy I found for myself was something called EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). It’s like an emotional form of acupuncture as it involves tapping on specific acupuncture points in the body whilst speaking certain sentences over and over to yourself. Professor Gunilla Brattberg at Lund University in Sweden performed a study involving 86 women suffering from Fibromyalgia. They undertook an eight-week course of EFT which resulted in an overall reduction in symptoms of the condition.

Ginger
Ginger

Supplementation

There are many supplements available to help with the symptoms of Fibromyalgia. I will list a few of them that can help with each of the main symptoms of the condition:

  • Energy levels – Ginseng, Maca;
  • Sleep – Melatonin or Cherry juice (contains a natural form of melatonin);
  • Pain – Curcumin, Ginger;
  • Candida – oregano oil, caprylic acid (component of coconut oil).

Oliver Eaton_action HR

Osteopathy

Osteopathy is a system of physical medicine that helps to identify and correct joint misalignments and muscle imbalances throughout the body. It involves a combination of massage, stretching and gentle manipulation.

Although we may not yet know a huge amount about fibromyalgia, there are natural ways to treat it and overcome the condition; there is no reason why you need to continue to suffer. In many cases you’ll start to see an improvement quite quickly.

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About Oliver Eaton

Oliver Eaton BSc(Hons) Ost Med PG.Cert is a qualified and registered Osteopath, Medical Acupuncturist and Musculoskeletal Injection Therapist. He specializes in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis and headaches / migraines with patients travelling from across the UK and Europe for treatment. Much of Oliver's specialties were learnt through personal experience; suffering from a series of chronic conditions from which he made a full recovery using alternative medicine approaches. This sparked his passion for specialising in the treatment of patients with chronic pain. Oliver runs the UK’s leading non-surgical treatment program for knee osteoarthritis on Harley Street, achieving results with patients who had previously been told a knee replacement was their only option. The program includes medical ozone injections, extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT), neuromuscular rehabilitation, nutrition testing and tailored supplementation programs. You can view more about the treatment program at  www.prohealthclinic.co.uk/knee.

ProHealth Clinic is the only clinic in the UK to incorporate the Asyra Test into a specialist drug-free treatment program they have put together for headaches and migraines. The program combines both nutrition and gentle physical therapy. For stress-related headaches and migraines they also prescribe simple and practical psychotherapy techniques to combat stress and emotional issues. Oliver also uses the latest diagnostic approaches to help identify the root causes of an individual’s sciatica. Once identified, he is able to use Osteopathy, Acupuncture or Prolozone to both help to resolve the symptoms and prevent them from returning, without the use of medication. At 28 years old Oliver is one of the youngest Harley Street clinic owners, achieving results with patients who have previously had no success with some of the top medical consultants in the country. Oliver may be contacted via www.prohealthclinic.co.uk     https://www.facebook.com/prohealthclinicgroup/

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