Do you suffer from the pain and stiffness of fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a misunderstood and complex disease with no medical cure. It can make your life a misery, with often excruciating pain affecting tender points around your joints and organs. Not only this, if you’re affected by fibromyalgia you may experience severe fatigue, brain fog, sleep disturbances, digestive issues and depression.
Although the precise causes of fibromyalgia are unknown, if you suffer from the condition your nerves produce large amounts of a chemical called substance P. This helps nerves communicate, but if too much is produced, pain signals become louder, provoking inflammation.
Why your body starts making too much substance P is a mystery. Fibromyalgia usually has several underlying contributory factors arising from imbalances in many areas of your body. It’s often connected with poor digestive health, imbalances in stress and thyroid hormones, or past infections, but one often unsuspected factor may be toxin overload.
In this blog, you’ll discover how fibromyalgia and toxins are connected, and how to reduce your toxic load.
Thousands of man-made chemicals exist nowadays, to be inhaled in the air, eaten with food, absorbed through your skin and drunk with water every single day.
Impossible to avoid, toxins must be processed by your liver, your body’s garbage disposal system. They’re then excreted via your digestive system or passed to your kidneys for shunting into your urine.
Pesticides, herbicides, food additives, skincare products, detergents, pollutants from industry and traffic, traces of medical drugs, substances emitted by moulds, and toxic metals like mercury or lead all need to be safely expelled from your body before they can do any damage.
The lion’s share of detoxification falls to your liver. Over one litre of blood passes through your liver every minute for toxins to be removed. But if your liver can’t keep pace, toxins will accumulate in your body. They can then irritate nerves as well as reduce your cells’ energy production.
It’s thought people with fibromyalgia may be less efficient at processing toxins and eliminating them from their bodies, making them extra sensitive to toxin exposure.
An overload of toxins in your body will spark off a process known as oxidative stress. This occurs when unstable molecules known as free radicals damage your body’s cells and DNA. Left unchecked, free radical damage causes an ongoing state of inflammation, irritating nerves.
The problem with free radicals is their instability. They cause chain reactions of damage and need a stable substance to stop them in their tracks. This is where antioxidants come in, used by your body to arrest free radical damage. Your body manufactures some antioxidants, but they’re present in plant foods, too. It’s believed fibromyalgia sufferers may be less efficient at producing antioxidants, making dietary sources very important. Because antioxidants protect each other, a wide range of different ones in your diet helps offers the best defence against free radical damage.
A special word on toxins released by moulds, known as mycotoxins. These invisible odourless substances float in the air and are inhaled, making their way into your bloodstream. Moulds are widespread in modern, tightly-sealed houses and offices, and they love warm, damp environments. Some mould is visible, like the black mould found in bathrooms, but moulds can grow unseen behind wallpaper, in carpets, furniture, fridges, and in your washing machine. Not only this, they’re present in many foods, particularly grain and seed crops, along with food stored for long periods like dried fruits, processed meats, condiments, peanuts, and hard cheeses.
Mycotoxin exposure can produce very similar symptoms to fibromyalgia, because it provokes inflammation and nerve irritation, as well as further interfering with your body’s ability to excrete toxins. Many fibromyalgia patients have been found to have mycotoxins in their body. Susceptibility to mycotoxins can be affected by genetics, meaning if you have moulds in your home, not all of your household will be affected.
It’s impossible to avoid toxin exposure completely, but sensible measures to reduce your intake include using chemical-free household cleaners, personal care products, toothpaste and deodorants. Avoid storing foods and drinks in plastic containers. Eat organic whenever possible, and filter your water. Don’t use weedkillers or pesticides in the garden, and ventilate your home.
Many factors in combination can contribute towards the development of fibromyalgia, and you are unique because of your health history, lifestyle, and genetic inheritance. Your practitioner will take all these factors into account, and may recommend a urine test to detect if you have an overload of toxic chemicals or mycotoxins.
Dietary, supplement and lifestyle modifications can then be recommended to naturally support your body’s detoxification processes and to correct imbalances in your organs and systems.
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