What is fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia, also commonly referred to as fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), is a long-term health condition that causes wide spread pain throughout the body, some of the other symptoms that tend to go hand in hand with fibromyalgia are chronic fatigue, headaches and sleep issues. The symptoms can be so severe that patients are unable to maintain, jobs, social lives and sometimes even relationships.
What causes fibromyalgia?
The exact cause of fibromyalgia is still very much unknown, according to the NHS it could be related to abnormal brain chemicals which process pain messages around the body, there is also evidence to suggest that you are more likely to have fibromyalgia if one of your parents or a family member has it, fibromyalgia tends to occur in clusters in certain families.
Fibromyalgia seems to be triggered by trauma, for instance physical, emotional or chemical trauma like:
- Infections or viruses
- Giving birth
- Death of a loved one
- Relationship breakup
- Toxic chemicals
- Stressful situations
Who gets fibromyalgia?
Anyone can get fibromyalgia, and even though men can and do get it, it seems to affect women more than it does men.
People are diagnosed generally between the ages of 30-50, this could be for many reasons, maybe the doctor didn’t make a connection with all of the symptoms or it was being masked as something else entirely.
Fibromyalgia is very difficult to diagnose as there is no single test that can be carried out which could see people suffering with the condition for many many years before being given a definitive diagnosis.
Fibromyalgia can affect people of all ages including children and the elderly, we still do not know how many people are affected by fibromyalgia but these days it seems to be a relatively common condition, with around 1 in 20 people showing symptoms of it.
How is fibromyalgia diagnosed?
- As I have said diagnosing fibromyalgia is not straight forward because there is no one test that can tell you that you have it or not. Patients are usually sent from doctor to doctor and specialist after specialist due to the vast amount of symptom’s that are associated with the disease and is usually diagnosed by process of elimination.
Your doctor will likely try to rule out any other causes before diagnosing fibromyalgia like:
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Multiple sclerosis
To diagnose fibromyalgia your symptoms must fit a certain criteria, you must have
- Symptoms that last more than 3 months
- Pain tender points throughout the body
- Chronic fatigue
- Un-refreshed sleep
- Memory issues
- Other symptoms associated with it
The norm for treating fibromyalgia these days is by using medication, the reason I do not agree with treating fibro with medication is simple.
If doctors don’t even know what fibro is or the cause of it, how can they possibly treat it with medication? They can’t!
Medication doesn’t treat fibromyalgia it treats the symptoms, which in turn adds even more symptoms because all of these chemical medications have side effects, eventually all those medications stop having any effect what so ever (that’s even if they did in the first place) and you end up in a vicious cycle taking one lot of medication to counteract side effects from the other medication and becoming addicted to them which would mean going through withdrawal to come off them.
See our fibromyalgia medication guide here.
Why I believe we have fibromyalgia
I believe we have fibromyalgia because of our poor lifestyle choices and I 100% believe fibro can be reversed just by making changes to our diet and lifestyle, by eating the way our bodies were designed to eat, with fresh healthy nutritious home cooked meals. Minus the sugar, grains and processed food.
Somehow we have become a nation of people eating man made manufactured and processed food stuff! We are no longer cooking healthy nutritious meals from scratch with fresh natural ingredients, we are eating a ton of junk with ingredients that even a scientist would struggle to understand, so is it any surprise that we are becoming a nation that is fat, sick and deficient in vital nutrition, vitamins and minerals?
We didn’t have the diseases we have these days 100-200 years ago because people were not eating the chemical laden processed food stuff that we are eating these days.
Improvements by following a keto diet
People following a ketogenic diet are seeing huge improvements in inflammation, sleep, pain and fatigue.
I myself recently had to give up my business and went from spending 3 months bed bound in pain and suffering really bad with sleep and depression to being pain free having more energy no depression and showing about 60% overall improvement in just 4 weeks.
I’m also working on a systemic candida over growth and rebuilding my gut health which will improve my serotonin levels and eventually my sleep.
When you follow a ketogenic diet you are no longer eating food that causes inflammation, or eating toxic chemicals that are found in processed food and even better you’re eliminating the need for sugar, which also heals insulin resistance.
One of the other benefits of following a ketogenic lifestyle is your body makes a metabolic shift from burning glucose as a fuel to burning fat, which lowers blood sugars, which can cure type 2 diabetes, also when we burn fat our bodies make ketones which fuel the brain and as it happens ketones are a preferred, much cleaner fuel source for our bodies especially for memory, coordination and concentration issues.
If you want to give keto a try see here for our guide on getting started.
How do i start keto if i have fibromyalgia?
Slowly, people with health conditions like fibromyalgia and diabetes and even chronic fatigue NEED to take it slowly when starting keto. Start by cutting back one or two things per week, as your cutting things out you can add one more thing in.
- Vegetable oil for coconut oil
- Sugar for sweetener
- Fruit for more veg
- White potato for sweet potato
- 4 slices of bread per week for three slices
- Low fat for full fat
- Margarine for butter
Attempting to do it too quickly will result in a shock to your body making you feel even worse, which means you are less likely to stick to it so it is better that you take it slowly.
Make sure you take supplements
Supplements are super important for keto you have to make sure you get your electrolytes everyday
- Magnesium (electrolytes)
- Potassium (electrolytes)
- Sodium (electrolytes)
- B12 complex
- Vitamin D
- Good all round multi-vitamin
These are optional but if you suffer with depression, anxiety, bloating, gas fatigue then working on your gut health with have amazing effects on your health and also your mind, 90% of serotonin is produced in the gut, serotonin is what makes us feel good, if our gut is damaged then we are not producing enough serotonin.
- Bone broth
- Digestive enzymes
Exogenous ketones - multi level marketing
Do not be fooled by these so called Ketone products that promise to get you into ketosis in an hour, they do not work! they are a muli-level marketing strategy designed to take your money from you, they put Ketones into your body but you quickly pee them out, your body does not benefit what so ever from it and it can hinder your weight loss journey.
I luv keto will never promote or endorse ANY FORM of weight loss products, if it comes in the form of:
- Exozenous ketones
- Raspberry ketones
do not use it, the only thing you need to do in order to lose weight is follow the keto lifestyle.
My weight loss has been lost purely by changing my lifestyle, weight loss products DO NOT work, yes you may see results in the short term but I can promise you that just like I did you will gain all the weight back and more once you stop.
Give yourself time to settle into keto
You need to give yourself time to settle into this new way of eating, some people rush into keto, feel like crap and give it up thinking the diet made them ill when they just didn’t give themselves enough time to switch over.
People expect to see immediate results and for many people they will but for others it may take a little time, we have done lots of damage to our bodies by eating poorly and these things take time to heal.
You need to give it a minimum of 12 weeks in this time your body will have adjusted well and accepted the new way of eating.