Is this molecule the cause of all fibromyalgia symptoms?
Fibromyalgia is a complex syndrome, characterised by body wide pain, chronic fatigue and ‘brain fog’. This is just the 3 main symptoms, there are as many as 200. There is no known cause, and no known cure.
My own belief is that fibromyalgia, like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and the rest of our western chronic diseases have many causes, and the art of helping these patients is in understanding each individual case.
Having said that, there now seems to be an explanation for the vast amount of symptoms and the common link between them. The link is a molecule called AMPK. (Adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase).
AMPK is needed for many different processes including energy production (via your mitochondria) and pain control.
In certain cells of fibromyalgia patients AMPK is not being ‘activated’, so this disables energy production and promotes pain and inflammation.
What is not yet known is why AMPK is not activated, but it seems possible it is to do with environmental toxins, and general strain on our detoxification systems – mainly the liver and kidneys. Stress also has a detrimental effect on at least brain AMPK. ( The role of oestrogen in pain, liver function, mitochondria, and why women suffer more with fibromyalgia will be the topic of another post soon).
There are a number of ways to safely and effectively promote AMPK activation. One is via a calorie restriction diet (which is part of our detox protocol). Another is to exercise (which if you have fibromyalgia is unlikely to happen). A third is to take a Chinese medicinal mushroom called ganoderma lucidum.
There is a drug (called metformin) used for diabetes that can also activate AMPK but it can lower B12 (not good for fibromyalgia) can cause lactic acidosis (not good for fibromyalgia) and can cause a long list of side effects.
A recent study has shown that 6g a day of ganoderma for 6 weeks improves the physical fitness of women with fibromyalgia.
Ganoderma has a number of other general health benefits (including liver and kidney) , you can learn more about it here:
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List of related scientific studies:
Ganoderma and Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia and AMPK
AMPK and environmental toxins
AMPK – needed for mitochondria – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25861159
AMPK and pain – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26132721
Metformin and lactic acidosis
Vitamin B12 deficiency – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27130885
Ganoderma and AMPK: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23266269 (liver protective)
Ganoderma and Liver and Kidney – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24716165
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26826268 – pancreas and ganoderma
Metformin Side effects:
- Abdominal or stomach discomfort
- cough or hoarseness
- decreased appetite
- fast or shallow breathing
- fever or chills
- general feeling of discomfort
- lower back or side pain
- muscle pain or cramping
- painful or difficult urination
- blurred vision
- chest discomfort
- cold sweats
- cool, pale skin
- difficult or laboured breathing
- fast, irregular, pounding, or racing heartbeat or pulse
- feeling of warmth
- increased hunger
- increased sweating
- redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally, upper chest
- shortness of breath
- slurred speech
- tightness in the chest
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- Behavior change similar to being drunk
- difficulty with concentrating
- lack or loss of strength
- restless sleep
- unusual sleepiness