June 24


What’s the Cause of YOUR Fibromyalgia or Chronic Illness?

By Sue Ingebretson

June 24, 2014

arthritis, cancer, cause, caused, causes, chronic illness, fibromyalgia, health challenge, investigate, lupus, ME/CFS, pain, root causes, Self-Education, symptom flares, symptoms

cause-of-fibromyalgiaCan you define the exact cause of your health challenge? Whether it’s fibromyalgia, arthritis, ME/CFS, lupus, or cancer, can the factors that led us down the path to chronic illness be identified?


Well, actually, yes – they can! (To a degree….)


If you’ve ready my book, FibroWHYalgia, or any of my hundreds of posts, you’ll notice that I write on the topic of “root causes” quite a bit. It’s important to me to share what I know. I listed 10 Root Causes of chronic Illness in my book based on my own experience in healing.  


But the causes vary. There are numerous assaults on the body that can create a tipping point for anyone to develop a chronic health challenge. It’s up to us to learn about these causes so that we can address WHY our illness happened in the first place. We can’t actually pinpoint every cause, but we can look at them as a collection.


Additionally, we may not be able to define the time frame when each health challenge occurred, but we can get a good idea when we review our pain levels, past symptoms, symptom flares, and the circumstances surrounding these scenarios. We can become our own truth sleuths.


For example, when I reviewed my own health challenge history, I noticed symptom flares surrounding such disparate topics as — antibiotic use, hormonal changes (use of creams, pills, etc.), personal stress, work-related stress, infections, dental work, insomnia, injuries, toxic exposures, etc.


The more you investigate and analyze your past, the better.


The great thing about self-education is

once you learn something,

you can’t un-know (or un-learn) it.


So, in the interest of variety, here’s an article on some additional “causes” of chronic health concerns. While none of these are surprising to me, they may be new or unique to you.


 10 Causes of Fibromyalgia Your Doctor Doesn’t Know About.


Are any of these a challenge for you? Any of them surprise you? Share your stories here!


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  1. My doctor believes that chronic stress and pregnancy caused my fibromyalgia. However, a number of things on the list at least contributed to my illness. I was diagnosed with Vitamin D deficiency shortly after my fibromyalgia diagnosis. My pain decreased after getting my levels up. I suspect magnesium deficiency, because after adding 250 mg of magnesium daily, my pain decreased again, as well as the stiffness. Adrenal fatigue is a major factor that I didn’t know about until this year. Also, I just discovered intolerances to dairy and gluten through an elimination diet. I will start looking into the other causes. It seems that, for me, several things caused this illness.

    1. Thanks for your comments, Toni! Your information helps to build up the resources of this community. I, too had issues with vit D levels and stress. I also had injuries, toxin exposures, infections, and more. And – it’s important to note that I haven’t met a fibro person yet who does NOT have food sensitivities. You can read more on that subject here —> http://ow.ly/ypSyz. Thanks again!

  2. I definitely recognize some of these root causes. My husband says he estimates me to be 80% or more better than I was 4 years ago. Some of my story is here: http://familyhomehealth.blogspot.com/2014/06/food-as-medicine-for-incurable.html. I would still love some advice on sibo as I was recently diagnosed with that. I have also wondered if candida is still an issue for me, even though my last tests say I don’t have candida. I am reluctant to take rifaximin. I seem to be sensitive to histamines. I am considering taking something like goldenseal, and then maybe doing scd (I am already close to scd, but I eat white rice. I know getting the bacteria right in the gut is paramount, but probiotics and fermented foods are tricky with sibo and histamines.) I would love to hear your thoughts!

    1. Kristie — you’re definitely on the right path! Understanding the connection between fibromyalgia and digestive health is absolutely fundamental. Diagnoses of leaky gut, candida, SIBO, IBS, colitis, etc. all make sense. The good thing is that nutrition plans that heal the gut do so universally, and the individual issues (SIBO, Candida, etc.) usually are addressed with the overall protocol. What protocol? It does take some tweaking, but eliminating foods that continue to create a problem is a primary step. Adding in herbs and supplements can help, but if we continue to eat inflammation-causing foods, we’re keeping ourselves stuck. I like to address elimination diets in phases. The first phase is eliminating anything that could potentially be inflammatory, and then reintroduce foods as you go. Doug Kaufman’s work in this area can be very helpful (www.KnowTheCause.com). Please keep me posted on how you’re doing and feel free to email with questions.

      1. Thank you for your detailed answer! I appreciate you taking the time to help. I checked out Doug Kaufman’s website. The only thing that makes me pause is the lack of carbs in the first phase. I am not sure if I would feel pretty bad because I struggled in the past with adrenals and sleep. I wonder if I could include more honey or something to help. There are some starchy vegetables, but I don’t know if I could eat enough to feel good. One other thing question I have is if you have an opinion on whether I should try a natural antibiotic like goldenseal first. Some sources say that you should do that before embarking on a diet (like SCD) so that the bacteria won’t “hide”. (I think hide is the right word if I am remembering correctly.)

        1. Kristie — I don’t want to assume, but I believe when you say “carbs,” you’re not referring to veggies? Veggies are carbohydrates and provide an abundance of nutrients that we need for overall health. The food items most people think of as carbs are those coming from grains (including breads, crackers, cereals, packaged foods, etc.). The whole goal of an anti-yeast or candida diet is to starve it out by eliminating the sugar that feeds it. Dairy and grains both contain sugar and/or turn rapidly into sugar. As long as you’re consuming sugars, the yeasts will proliferate. The only nutrients that are essential for healthy living (macronutrients) are veggies (which are carbohydrates), healthy proteins, and healthy fats. Getting an adequate balance of these nutrients is key for “feeling good” as you put it. And, as far as the goldenseal protocol, I’m no expert. I’ve heard of accompanying an anti-yeast diet with various herbal and supplement support, but about special things to take before embarking on the diet. That’s not to say it couldn’t be helpful. It’s very, very common for those with autoimmune and/or fibromyalgia to thrive on dairy free and grain-free diets.

  3. Hi Sue, I follow you on twitter and enjoy your information! I shared your letter about Fibro with my very good friend who suffers from this. She was very appreciative. Since then, she has given the HempVap (CBD rich hemp oil) a try and her family has been blown away by the difference in her attitude and energy level! She was so skeptical, but Sunday at church she thanked me for introducing her to these products. Her daughter, also a Fibro girl, has seen dramatic results from the HempVap. Just thought you might enjoy hearing someones positive results. I am so Blessed to be able to see the change in these people I love and I know there are so many others out there that could also benefit from CBD’s. My experience with the HempVap is nothing short of miraculous. So many health issues gone in just 3 months! I feel like the clock has been turned back 10 years!

    1. Phyllis — I’m so happy for you and thanks so much for sharing! News of health and healing is always welcomed.

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