Is Fibromyalgia an Autoimmune Disease?

Is Fibromyalgia an Autoimmune Disease?

Note: The text below is a transcription from the video above. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.

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Is fibromyalgia an autoimmune disease? Yes and no. So fibromyalgia is a poorly defined term, that’s what it is. People who come to me with fibromyalgia come to me with fibromyalgia because their previous doctor, whether it was a GP or whether it was a rheumatologist or whether it was a neurologist, did all their testing, everything came out normal, and pain all over the place. Some people are still using the, “I touched you in 18 places and you were tender, so you probably have fibromyalgia.” So it’s really kind of a garbage pail term for “I don’t really know what’s wrong with you,” but at least today they tell you that, “Okay, I think you have something and I think it’s fibromyalgia.”

So fibromyalgia means pain in the muscle fibers. So we know today that that’s not totally what happens by any means. Fibromyalgia, it’s neurological, it’s inflammatory. It can be inflammatory to the muscles, it can be inflammatory to the joints. And so in and of itself, it wouldn’t be defined as an autoimmune problem. Now, having said that, one of the things that will create a fibromyalgia type of clinical scenario is autoimmunity. And the of the different auto immunities that exist, the number one autoimmunity that I see in fibromyalgia is Hashimoto’s. The second most common ones that I see would be celiac, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, because they’re gut, and 75% of your immune system is in the gut, and then they create issues.

And so you don’t have to have autoimmunity for you to have fibromyalgia, I get people who come in here who’ve been diagnosed with fibromyalgia who do not have autoimmunity. What they do have is they’ve developed a leaky gut. There’s toxins getting out of the gut, there’s chemicals getting out of the gut.

There’s undigested food particles, there’s proteins, there’s inflammatory proteins, there’s all kinds of stuff getting out of the gut going into bloodstream. And that can cause just a cascade of different symptoms all over the place, which is more or less fibromyalgia. You have all these different symptoms, they move around. One day they’re here, one day they’re there, one day they’re gone, one day they’re everywhere. One day they’re in your brain.

And so gut problems can cause that. Blood sugar, believe it or not, blood sugar called dysglycemia, blood sugar going like this, up and down, up and down, up and down. That can cause fibromyalgia type pain. Blood sugar going up and down can cause muscular pain, blood sugar going up and down. Yeah, well, bone blood sugar is normal. Well, you don’t have diabetes type two yet and you’re not hypoglycemic enough to be passing out. So doctors don’t really pay a lot of attention to what’s going on in between.

And when your blood sugar’s going back and forth between high and low blood sugar, that will cause fibromyalgia type of pain, especially if you start morphing into pre-diabetes. You can be in pre-diabetes for like seven to 10 years before it shows up on your blood lab. But if you are like you have sweets, you crave sweets, sweets don’t satisfy, you just have to ate sweets and you have to have more, you’re urinating all the time with the key is like have fatigue after meals. And occasionally I might feel better after I eat, like I’m getting shaky, jittery and then I eat, these are all the symptoms of pre-diabetes.

This is like the number one cause, so this is the cause of 50% of small fiber neuropathy. While we’re talking about fibromyalgia, well, small fiber neuropathy causes numbness and tingling and burning all over your body, which a lot of fibromyalgia patients get. So fibromyalgia patients can be either autoimmune or not, is really the answer to that. And it’s just a cascade of a number of different things of which I would say autoimmunity is probably involved, I would probably say 60 or 70% of the time.

Because a lot of times you’ll have autoimmunity, you’ll have the leaky gut, you’ll have the blood sugar going up and down. You’ll have the food, you’ll have all of it, which is what’s driving your doctors batty because no one medical professional fits into that particular box.

You have the rheumatologist here and you have the neurologist here and you have the gastroenterologist there. And that’s the problem. Once you get a fibromyalgia diagnosis, you have to have the ability to evaluate all of those at once and put the pieces together. So it’s a yes and no answer. It’s a yes. And a lot of people, I would say more than not, like 60, 70% autoimmunity is a factor. And then I would say the rest of the time it’s not. The rest of the time, it could be stress, blood sugar fluctuations, it could be be leaky gut, a small intestinal bacteria overgrowth and all of those things without having autoimmunity. So that’s the answer, it’s yes and no. It can be autoimmune, but it doesn’t have to be. So I think that’s the answer that you’re looking for.

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