Copper Toxicity and Fibromyalgia
High levels of copper and other mineral imbalances including high calcium, low magnesium can result in the debilitating, chronic pain symptoms of fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia effects millions of people, especially women which make up 9 out of 10 of those with fibromyalgia.
What Is Fibromyalgia (FMS)?
Fibromyalgia is a syndrome that involves widespread pain in the muscles and joints. In 1990 the American College of Rheumatology published its criteria for diagnosis of fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) as an official diagnosis. The World Health Organization recognized Fibromyalgia as a real illness, accepting the American College of Rheumatology’s criteria for diagnosis, in 1991. Prior to that time it had been known by other names including fibrositis and rheumatism. At this time the cause is unknown and there are no completely accepted treatments though many drugs are prescribed to ease the symptoms.
Fibromyalgia is a common chronic widespread pain condition with tenderness at specifically defined points. Pain is often felt very intensely throughout the body because the brain amplifies the pain signals. Often the symptoms will trigger after a physical trauma like a car or other accident or after an emotional trauma. Fibromyalgia is thyroid related or viral related or hormonal related. Thyroid dysfunction can be linked to fibromyalgia and thyroid hormone resistance.
Fibromyalgia Symptom Triggers
Trauma, infection or stress can aggravate or tip susceptible individuals into fibromyalgia but are not the basic causes. Fibromyalgia symptoms can intensify depending on the time of day — morning, late afternoon and evening tend to be the worst times. Symptoms may also get worse with many factors. This includes fatigue, tension, inactivity, changes in the weather, cold or drafty conditions, overexertion, hormonal fluctuations such as before your period, or in menopause, stress or other emotional factors like grief or trauma. Many people report that their fibromyalgia symptoms started after a car accident.
High Copper Levels and Fibromyalgia
There is a often strong correlation to those high in copper with other altered minerals and heavy metals relationships than can trigger symptoms of fibromyalgia. Doing a hair test will inform you of your exact mineral status and help you determine our level of copper as well as other nutrient imbalances. Once these are corrected with nutritional rebalancing, the symptoms of fibromyalgia can be reduced.
These are the main symptoms and issues related to fibromyalgia and can include other diagnoses:
- Abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, and constipation alternating with diarrhea
- Chronic fatigue syndrome – extreme fatigue
- Deep muscle pain and soreness
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty thinking clearly – “fibro fog”
- Difficulty performing everyday tasks
- Difficulty concentrating
- Digestive problems
- Flu-like aching
- Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
- Jaw pain
- Joint stiffness
- Increase in urinary urgency or frequency (irritable bladder)
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Migraine headaches
- Myofascial Pain Syndrome (muscle pain)
- Morning stiffness
- Muscle twitching
- Muscle spasms
- Muscle tightness
- Numbness or tingling in the face, arms, hands, legs, or feet
- Pain – radiating
- Pain – burning
- Pain – stinging
- Painful menstruation – menstrual cramps
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Problems sleeping
- Reduced tolerance for exercise and muscle pain after exercise
- Restless legs syndrome
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Sensitivity to touch
- Sensitivity to noises, odors, and lights
- Sleep disturbances
- Swelling feeling (without actual swelling) in the hands and feet
- Stress – feeling stressed chronically and/or reacting poorly to stress
Key Triggers Points Used for Diagnosing Fibromyalgia
Pain at key locations in at least 11 out of the 18 tender points is part of a formal diagnosis for fibromyalgia in these locations, though pain can be anywhere:
- Back of the head
- Between shoulder blades
- Top of shoulders
- Front sides of neck
- Upper chest
- Outer elbows
- Upper hips
- Sides of hips
- Inner knees
- Pain on the right and left sides of the body
- Pain above and below the waist
- Pain in the axial skeleton
- Pain that interferes with quality sleep
Fibromyalgia, like copper toxicity has many combinations of issues in the body:
- Central Nervous System: Fatigue, irritability, nervousness, depression, apathy, listlessness, impaired memory and concentration, anxieties and suicidal thoughts. Insomnia and frequent awakening due to pain result in non restorative sleep.
- Musculoskeletal: Pain and generalized morning stiffness could arise from muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia of the shoulders, neck, entire back, hips, thighs, knees, ankles, feet, inner and outer elbows, wrists, fingers, and chest. Injured or old operative sites are commonly affected. Though fibromyalgia is described as a “non-articular” disease many know better: Joint pains with or without swelling, redness and heat are frequent. The litany includes foot or calf cramps, numbness and tingling of the face or extremities.
- Irritable Bowel: Often called leaky gut, spastic colon or mucous colitis or Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Symptoms include nausea often brief, repetitive waves, indigestion, gas, bloating, pain, cramps, constipation alternating with diarrhea and sometimes mucous stools.
- Genitourinary: Common are pungent urine, frequent urination, bladder spasms, burning urination (dysuria) with or without repeated bladder infections and interstitial cystitis. Vulvodynia (vulvar pain syndrome) includes vaginal spasms, irritation of the vaginal lips (vulvitis) or opening (vestibulitis) and painful intercourse (dyspareunia). It typically mimics a yeast infection but without the cottage-cheese discharge. Intense PMS and uterine cramping are common. Symptoms of fibromyalgia are worse premenstrual.
- Dermatological: Various rashes may appear with or without itching: Hives, red blotches, itchy bumps or blisters, eczema, seborrheic or neurodermatitis, and rosacea. Nails are often brittle and of poor quality and hair falls out prematurely. Strange sensations are common such as cold, heat (especially palms, soles and thighs), crawling, electric vibrations, prickling, super-sensitivity to touch, and flushing that is sometimes accompanied by sweating.
- Head, Eye, Ear, Nose, and Throat: Headaches (migraines), dizziness, vertigo (spinning) or imbalance; dry eyes as well as itching and burning with or without sticky or crusty discharge upon awakening; blurred vision; nasal congestion and post-nasal drip; painful, burning tongue, mouth and abnormal tastes (scalded, bad or metallic); ringing in the ears (tinnitus) or lower-pitched sounds; ear and eyeball pain; sensitivity to light, sounds and odors.
- Miscellaneous Symptoms: Weight gain; low grade fever; lowered immunity to infections; morning eyelid and hand swelling from fluid retention that gravitates to the lower extremities by evening where it stretches tissues causing the restless leg syndrome.
- Hypoglycemia Syndrome: This is a separate entity. Thirty percent of female and twenty percent of male fibromyalgics suffer both conditions (fibroglycemia). Symptoms greatly overlap those of fibromyalgia, but sugar craving accompanied by tremors, sweating, anxiety, panic attacks, heart pounding, faintness, and frontal headaches, especially if hunger induced, are solid clues to the diagnosis.
Nutritional Supports for Fibromyalgia In Addition To Mineral Balancing Based on Hair Testing
- Apple Cider Vinegar, the natural malic acid
- Rather than taking synthetic dietary supplements, one natural source is apple cider vinegar. The recommendation is to make a tart beverage containing eight (8) ounces distilled water, one tablespoon raw, organic apple cider vinegar and two teaspoons raw honey.
- This beverage should be consumed three times a day for a multitude of health benefits.
- Adding Epsom salt into this beverage to bowel tolerance has the same effect as a malic acid and magnesium dietary supplement.
- Many naturopathic physicians recommend making fresh apple juice with Granny Smith apples to get the daily dose of malic acid. Freshly juiced, raw, unsweetened cranberries are also high in malic acid and provide a tart beverage. The two juices may be blended together for another option.
- GABA, glutamine and glycine
- These are which are inhibitory neurotransmitters have been helpful in lowering stress levels by controlling limbic firing in the brain.
- Malic Acid
- Clinical tests are proving malic acid to be a great asset in the treatment of fibromyalgia and chronic pain.
- In one clinical study, reported in “The Journal of Nutritional Medicine,” 15 patients (aged 32-60) taking a dosage of 200-2400 mg. of malic acid with 300-600 mg of magnesium for four to eight weeks, reported significant pain relief within 48 hours. These positive effects continued to increase over the test period.
- If takinga malic acid and magnesium supplement, it is suggested that it is best to start with 600 mg malic acid combined with 150 mg magnesium twice a day.
- Over time, this can be increased to as much as 1200 mg malic acid and 300 mg magnesium.
- There are confirmed studies that have found that taking at least 2400mg of malic acid a day will help with fatigue and the pain associated with fibromyalgia. But you have to start out slow.
- Manganese and B complex vitamins
- These have also been shown to be deficient in both Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and fibromyalgia sufferers.