WHAT IS THE CONNECTION BETWEEN FIBROMYALGIA AND NEUROPATHY?
What is the chief reason that LOW CARB DIETS work (my preference is PALEO because it does such a good job of dealing with INFLAMMATION, GLUTEN, AUTOIMMUNITY, and LEAKY GUT SYNDROME)? I have been telling people for a very long time that if you truly want to get healthy, the very first thing you'll have to do is strictly control your Blood Sugar (HERE). Failure to keep your blood sugar on an even keel (huge PEAKS and even deeper VALLEYS) is the hallmark of UNCONTROLLED BLOOD SUGAR.
I bring all of this up to tell you that there is a growing number of physicians and researchers who believe that FIBROMYALGIA is the result of NEUROPATHY throughout the smaller nerves of the body. In other words, many believe that instead of "CENTRAL SENSITIZATION" with Fibromyalgia, the problem is that Neuropathy is present not only in the larger nerves of the Nervous System, but the smaller nerves as well ("Small Fiber Neuropathy"). There is actually a lot of research that backs this theory up, with the latest study coming out of the most current edition of Arthritis and Rheumatology. It seems that not only were there about 20% fewer superficial nerve fibers present in those who had been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, but they also had high levels of a specific marker of Inflammation (IL-2R --- a marker in some Autoimmune Diseases). HERE is a partial list of inflammatory markers that indicate whether a person has high levels of systemic (whole body) Inflammation present. I would say that the argument is no longer whether or not this Small Fiber Neuropathy is present in people with Fibromyalgia, but whether it is actually causing the problem, or merely a symptom of the problem.
There are any number of reasons that my vote would be that this Small Fiber Neuropathy is a symptom as opposed to being the actual cause of the problem. We know that Small Fiber Neuropathy is a characteristic of many chronic pain syndromes. Chronic Pain has the ability to alter the nervous system (brain atrophy is one of the most well known), and my best guess is that Small Fiber Neuropathy is just one more example of this phenomenon. We also know that a diagnosis of Neuropathy does not account for all the other problems commonly seen with Fibromyalgia (MIGRAINE HEADACHES, AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES such as IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME, INTERSTITIAL CYSTITIS, or others ---- click on the "Autoimmune" link above for a list).
The truth is, we have known for a very long time that Fibromyalgia is intimately linked to something called "ADRENAL FATIGUE". After a certain amount of time (it's different for everyone) a body that is trying to process the quantum amounts of SUGAR (160 lbs per person per year) and starch in the typical American diet will start to fall behind. The further behind the body falls, the higher that blood sugar rises. One of the very first things the body will do to compensate for this failure of the pancreas alone to control blood sugar is kick in the Adrenal Glands (the stress glands that produce Cortisol) to help take up the slack. After a period of time (again, different for everyone) the Adrenal Glands become "burned out" or "fatigued". This is why you will never find a person who has Fibromyalgia who does not have Adrenal Fatigue. And because their sugar regulation system is so fouled up, these folks are almost always ADDICTED TO SUGAR AND STARCH as well. So; in answering the question of Fibromyalgia or Small Fiber Neuropathy, the point is almost moot. Why? Because you would deal with both in essentially the same manner --- the manner that I spoke of in the first sentence of this post.
Just remember that while Low Carb is a great starting point, for many of you it will not be enough. This is because TYPE II DIABETES is not simply a "Blood Sugar" issue. Type II Diabetes is considered one of the numerous "INFLAMMATORY" health problems. This means that it is driven not only by sugar (which is itself considered to be extremely inflammatory), but potentially by all sorts of other things as well. These can range from gluten or dairy (or other food sensitivities), to heavy metal toxicity, to parasites, to XENOHORMONE EXPOSURE, to POOR GUT HEALTH, chronic bacterial or viral infections, or any number of others. This is why "MONOTHERAPIES" (taking supplements for symptoms in the same way one would take drugs for the symptoms) are never a solution for any health problems, including Fibromyalgia.
Dr. Schierling completed four years of Kansas State University's five-year Nutrition / Exercise Physiology Program before deciding on a career in Chiropractic. He graduated from Logan Chiropractic College in 1991, and has run a busy clinic in Mountain View, Missouri ever since. He and his wife Amy have four children (three daughters and a son).