Fibromyalgia causes chronic muscle pain and tender spots throughout the body. Fatigue and sleep disturbances are typical features of the condition, along with cognitive impairments such as brain fog. Depression is another common symptom. Fibromyalgia affects about ten million people in the US alone. Researchers continue to explore ways to cure or alleviate the condition beyond simply treating the symptoms. It is often difficult to pinpoint the cause of fibromyalgia.

Gluten Intolerance

Gluten is linked to more than 50 diseases of a digestive and neurological nature. Intolerances can go unnoticed for years, while individuals try to determine why they are experiencing an onslaught of digestion issues. In addition to improved sleep, pain management, and mood, for some people, reducing or cutting out gluten may lessen the symptoms of fibromyalgia. However, not all persons with fibromyalgia who adopt a gluten-free diet experience symptom relief. One study found that people with both fibromyalgia and digestive symptoms consistent with gluten sensitivity felt better on a gluten-free diet. It's not clear whether fibromyalgia sufferers without gluten sensitivity respond the same. More research is needed to learn more about how gluten intolerance and fibromyalgia are linked.


Candida Overgrowth

The body is full of microscopic bacteria and fungus. Candida is a yeast that grows in the intestines in small amounts, but it can overgrow in the intestinal tract, especially when the immune system is weakened. This can lead to digestive issues such as diarrhea, bloating, and cramping. Some practitioners believe there is a link between Candida overgrowth and fibromyalgia. However, this theory is unproven.


Thyroid Issues

Doctors will usually recommend that people experiencing symptoms that could indicate fibromyalgia have all six blood markers checked to measure thyroid activity. Correcting thyroid hormone levels can offer improvements to fibromyalgia symptoms, reducing brain fog, fatigue, sleep disturbances, and depression. Fibromyalgia and thyroid conditions share similar symptoms and may occur in the same individual. Therefore, treating the thyroid condition may lead to improvements in fibromyalgia symptoms.


Vitamin Deficiencies

People with fibromyalgia are often found to have low levels of vitamin D, vitamin B12, and magnesium. A doctor can recommend the best ways to increase these nutrients in the body, whether through dietary changes or supplements. Simply improving magnesium can have a positive impact on the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Preliminary studies also show that increasing vitamin D may alleviate some of the symptoms of fibromyalgia in people deficient in the vitamin.


Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) and Leaky Gut

A plethora of factors can upset bacteria balance in the body, including a sugar-rich diet or antibiotics. This can have many adverse effects, including interrupting the ability to absorb and digest nutrients such as vitamin B12. Poor gut health can have negative effects on the body as a whole. In some cases, bacteria from the colon can overgrow and enter the small intestines, a condition called SIBO. Some research suggests that SIBO is more common in people with fibromyalgia and that people with fibromyalgia and SIBO experience more pain, but a clear link between the two conditions has not been firmly established.



Mold causes many health problems, including cancer and immune deficiency, and can even be life-threatening. The most common source of exposure is contaminated food, particularly grains, nuts, and coffee beans kept in hot, humid conditions. The fungus creates byproducts called mycotoxins, which can cause symptoms similar to fibromyalgia. However, a clear link between fibromyalgia and mycotoxins is unproven.


Mercury Toxicity

Although amalgam dental filling containing mercury are no longer used in the U.S., they are still the common filling component in many parts of the world. It is possible that the mercury from amalgam fillings can give an individual mercury poisoning, which can cause symptoms similar to fibromyalgia. Replacing the fillings with the modern composite resin can reduce mercury levels in the body and ease symptoms. Doctors can determine mercury levels through medical tests.


Adrenal Fatigue

People who are constantly and excessively tired may be experiencing adrenal fatigue, which is often caused by chronic pain conditions that stress the adrenal glands. Fibromyalgia is one such possible trigger, but adrenal fatigue caused by another condition can also lead to fibromyalgia symptoms. Furthermore, other causes on this list, such as chronic stress and food intolerance, can stress the adrenal system as well.


MTHFR Mutations

MTHFR genetic mutations are linked to a wide range of health concerns, including mental health disorders, colon cancer, leukemia, and more. The mutation makes the body less capable of ridding itself of toxins such as lead and mercury. Increasing methyl-B6, methyl-B12, and folic acid may help alleviate the effects of MTHFR. Some studies show a possible link between defects in the MTHFR gene and fibromyalgia but this is as of now unproven.


Glutathione Deficiency

Glutathione is an antioxidant that helps the body in its natural detoxification process by reducing oxidative stress. It is sometimes referred to as the "master antioxidant." Some studies show that people with fibromyalgia have lower levels of glutathione relative to healthy people. However, it's not clear whether raising glutathione levels with supplements improves fibromyalgia symptoms.


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