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The Velvet Mind website provides many new insights into emotional and physical health. It offers a different perspective on our interactions with others and considers new ways of thinking about psychological, social and healthcare issues.

The subjects tackled include workplace bullying, the alternative theory of cancer, the psychology behind dreaming, and coping with dementia, along with new concepts such as emotional intelligence. We hope you find the site interesting and welcome your comments and suggestions.

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The truth about Fibromyalgia

Doctor, doctor , I have joint and muscle pain all over my body – don’t worry Ms. Higgins you have fibromyalgia – but doctor, doesn’t fibromyalgia just mean muscle pain – yes, indeed it does Ms. H – but I knew I had muscle pain when I came in - Ah yes, but did you know the Latin name for it – well, will knowing the Latin name for it help me get better doctor – no, but it will help me to sign you off and send you back to your GP with a diagnosis. Hooray for medical science!

  • a) ‘Fibromyalgia’ is really just a made up word for a set of symptoms that doctors can’t explain – we could call it ‘muscle and joint pain disorder’ and still be no further forward.
  • b) It is used only when other conditions have been ruled out, in order to provide the medical practitioner with a means of giving a diagnosis – it’s what some clinical nutritionists in the U.S call a 'garbage can' diagnosis.
  • c) There will never be a medical cure for ‘fibromyalgia’ because ‘fibromyalgia’ is not caused by a deficiency of anti-depressants, anti-convulsants or any other concoction you’ve had foisted on you (sorry, prescribed to you).
  • d) ‘Fibromyalgia’ is not your friend and you are not a 'fibromite', as some people describe themselves. So please don’t own the diagnosis!

The simple truth is that if you have ‘fibromyalgia’ all you want to know is how not to have fibromyalgia. Here are some answers:

Doctors will tell you that there is no cure for the intense pain you are suffering. This is because most doctors are not trained in Nutrition, they are only trained in drug therapy - in fact, if you dare to mention the 'N' word to them they will often take it as a personal insult or laugh at you in a rather patronising way. Although, doctors aren't really the bad guys - if you worship the god 'pharmaceutical' because ancient teachings (or medical school) tells you to, you will understandably believe in little else.

Doctor, doctor, I have muscle pain - well, take these pain-killers Ms Higgins - I also have muscle spasms - take these muscle relaxants - I also have sleep problems - take these sedative drugs - and I also feel depressed – take these antidepressants. But doctor - Yes Ms Higgins - I'm now on four drugs and they are giving me stomach ache - a prescription for antacids will fix you right up Ms H !

Masking the symptoms of metabolic diseases like ‘fibromyalgia’ with drug therapy only covers up the problem, but never addresses the underlying cause.

The companies that sell drugs to the NHS exist to make money and keep their shareholders happy - they are not interested in how you feel. In fact, the worse you feel the more drugs they sell. It's a godsend when 'muscle and joint pain' finally has a name and a new (or old) set of drugs can be licensed for the latest disease – ‘Fibromyalgia’! (It had lots of other names before that, but none of the others really had that Latin twang).

Painkillers and other drugs will only ever make you feel slightly less awful - they will never tackle the underlying causes of the condition because your body is not deficient in drugs, it is deficient in nutrients.

The intense pain you have been suffering is because you’re body is sending you the message that it is not getting what it needs to work properly - pure and simple.

If you have ‘fibromyalgia’ it is very likely that you also have irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, and/or abdominal bloating; allergies or intolerances to certain foods; fungal/ yeast infections such as thrush (Candida albicans). It is also likely that you have frequent sugar cravings, don't get much exercise, use antibiotics or NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) - such as ibuprofen or aspirin pretty frequently. You are also likely to be stressed, depressed and sleep deprived - who wouldn't be with all those problems!

These symptoms are not just randomly connected to ‘fibromyalgia’, or part of a syndrome, as you may have been told. Here is the connection:

If you have been taking antibiotics and NSAIDs for any length of time there is good evidence to show that you will have developed an overgrowth of Candida albicans, not just externally, but also in the gut. Candida can wreak havoc within the body, dispersing toxins, denying the body essential nutrients, and producing root-like structures that penetrate the intestine walls.

Once the walls of the intestine have been penetrated this then allows undigested food particles and bacteria to enter the bloodstream. This condition is known as ‘leaky gut syndrome’.

As the undigested food particles enter the bloodstream they are identified as alien by the body, which then goes into overdrive to try and eliminate what it perceives as foreign invaders. The result is food intolerance to things such as wheat (which is also thought to be implicated in the development of the leaky gut syndrome - with or without the help of a Candida overgrowth!) and many other types of food.

This, in turn, starts to produce abdominal bloating each time the ‘alien’ food is consumed. If we then continue to consume these foods the inevitable consequence will be digestive problems and conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome or constipation.

The toxins, released by the overgrowth of Candida, can spread around the body and may well have a detrimental effect on the central nervous system, eliciting many weird sensations (pain, burning, tingling, numbness). This, coupled with a malabsorption of essential nutrients, will inhibit many of the body’s natural functions causing further symptoms like sleep disturbances, lethargy, brain fog, depression etc...

Candida loves sugar of all types - so adding mounds of sugar to the diet will allow it to grow and grow (Try giving up all refined sugars and fruits for five days - you cant help but feel less pain !).

We then add to this toxic mix a lack of exercise and plenty of stress - either suffered before the onset of ‘fibromyalgia’, or resulting from it, and we can see how all this leads to a very sorry state of affairs !

Although Candida is a serious problem it is not the only thing implicated in ‘fibromyalgia’, and working against recovery. It is also important to consider the role of diet and nutrition in general. Remember, unless the food and drink we consume comes from an organic source we are also taking in other toxins with our food and water – pesticides, food additives and other chemicals.

In short, ‘fibromyalgia’ is caused by the malabsorption of essential nutrients, coupled with harmful toxins within the body. Therefore, the answer to ridding yourself of ‘fibromyalgia’ is to cure yourself of Candida; rebalance the gut flora, eat lots of healthy organic vegetables, nuts and seeds; drink lots of mineral-rich water, supplement your diet with extra nutrients by juicing vegetables; avoid all refined sugars and most fruit sugars; try to avoid red meats, consult your doctor about reducing your intake of medication; try and bring down your stress levels and get your body moving again (but only when you have started to recover, not when someone else tells you that you must).

If you feel this all sounds far too simplistic and you’re looking for a much more complex answer, you wont find it here. I had extremely severe ‘fibromyalgia’ for nearly two years - sometimes resulting in a very small friend having to push me up very large hills in a 'wheel chair'. I can now easily walk up hills unaided and without any pain – although, my friend has a few back problems.

Sal Peacock BSc, Dip H & SW


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