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Understanding Fibromyalgia, its Symptoms and Possible Causes: The Functional Medicine Toronto Approach


If you need to address fibromyalgia, functional medicine from our Toronto clinic could foster different aspects of health, such as cellular health, nutritional status, gut microbiome, and stress management. When these areas are supported, they could contribute to offsetting pain and fatigue.

Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic condition that can trigger significant sensory and muscle discomforts. On an international level, up to 6% of people are affected, especially women between the ages of 30-50. Though it’s deemed a public health matter by the World Health Organization, there are difficulties diagnosing it. For example, some patients struggle with describing their individual symptoms. Or health providers may have trouble linking the pain to FM; at other times, the condition’s existence is still not acknowledged by the practitioners themselves.

As per integrative functional medicine wisdom, knowing the root cause of chronic disease can provide awareness for treatments, while promoting optimal health and disease prevention. This unique approach to health may be applied to fibromyalgia. Unlike some chronic conditions, FM tends to have multiple triggers at once (i.e. nutritional deficiencies, environmental toxicity, adrenal dysfunction, etc.). A functional medicine provider can help pinpoint the various sources of your discomforts, while suggesting therapies for tackling FM-related symptoms.

Fibromyalgia Symptoms:
– Sleep issues (especially having trouble with getting restorative sleep)
– Depression
– Anxiety
– Low concentration levels
– Fatigue
– Dull body aches
– Headaches
– Brain fog (also called “fibro fog”)
– Digestion troubles

Recognizing the possible causes behind fibromyalgia

When it comes to this condition, it’s important to understand why the individual patient is experiencing chronic symptoms. So, after conducting a complete diagnostic session and lab testing, a functional medicine provider may reveal the contributing factors behind your FM-related concern. It’s not uncommon to learn that FM may be triggered by the following:

  • The body could be lacking critical nutrients: Nutritional shortcomings can contribute to the onset of FM. For example, one study revealed that low magnesium levels tend to be linked to “worsening pain threshold parameters” in FM sufferers. Also, a glutathione deficiency is noticeable in fibromyalgia patients. It’s been speculated that low glutathione intake can trigger the buildup of oxidative stress, which may lead to excessive fatigue and pain.
  • Inadequate thyroid health: Don’t be surprised if your functional medicine provider recommends a complete thyroid panel test and related therapies. In one study, it was shown that 40% of patients with thyroid auto antibodies also experience chronic pain and FM. It’s been speculated that inflammation and nervous system alterations may be the link. “Regarding emotional distress associated with fibromyalgia, it is hypothesized scientifically that fibromyalgia-related anxiety and depression can significantly alter blood cortisol level, decrease cellular T4 uptake, and reduce the conversion of T4 to T3,” confirms News Medical Life Sciences.
  • The body is overburdened by toxins: Did you know that toxins at home or the workplace can contribute to fibromyalgia symptoms? “These agents range from food and food additives to mold and mycotoxins, volatile organic hydrocarbons, heavy metals, particulates from…dusts, car exhausts, and factory and farm emanations,” explains the AMA Journal of Ethics. 
  • Current gut health may be in a poor state: SIBO (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth) – a condition in which excessive bacteria increase in the gut – tends to be present in fibromyalgia patients. Consequently, this can instigate digestive issues. Some scientists have also connected fibromyalgia and SIBO with leaky gut, a condition that can cause food intolerances and pain external to the gut.
  • An overproduction of candida may be present: Candida overgrowth can cause digestive concerns, too. When there are excessive amounts of candida (fungal yeast), it can weaken the intestinal walls, which liberates toxic by-products into the body. In turn, this can lead to unwanted effects in FM patients. 

At the Toronto Functional Medicine Centre, fibromyalgia-related tips can be discussed regarding your pain, fatigue, cellular functions, brain health, and more. Our clinical therapies may be modified according to your personal factors. For instance, if you have fibromyalgia and you’ve been exposed to heavy metal toxins in the workplace, chelation therapy may be advised for removing toxicities. Or, to help lessen “fibro fog” and chronic fatigue, NAD IV therapy, glutathione, or ATP IV infusion treatments may help with improving energy levels. 

Do you need help getting a handle on fibromyalgia? Below, we uncover our personalized approach to treatments and how to contact us.

About our approaches to health care

Integrative functional medicine can encourage you to commit to a new health regime. By considering your current lifestyle, environmental factors, medical history and genetics, our goal is to tackle the root cause of your health concerns, while treating current symptoms. Functional medicine testing allows us to scrutinize your biology; in turn, this helps us modify a comprehensive treatment plan that suits your needs. 

Integrative medicine combines treatment modalities to promote optimal function. When you become a patient at our clinic, you have immediate access to this integrative approach; this may include acupuncture, bio-identical hormone replacement therapy, Western medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, naturopathic medicine, and a wide variety of other therapies. We also cover topics in health and wellness in our blog such as ways to prevent male infertility, mold toxicity, nutrition-cognition link, and more.

Intravenous vitamin therapy is also available and crafted in line with the principles of integrative functional medicine. Freshly compounded IV drips are made with essential nutrients to energize and rehydrate the body.  

Let’s bring you back to life with custom health strategies! Functional medicine in Toronto can inspire you to commit to your health goals. Call (416) 968-6961 or send us a message to request an appointment.   

Disclaimer: The information in this article is designed for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. This information should not be used to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting a doctor. Consult with a health care practitioner before relying on any information in this article or on this website.


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Alvarez MC, Albuquerque MLL, Neiva HP, Cid L, Rodrigues F, Teixeira DS, Matos R, Antunes R, Morales-Sánchez V, Monteiro D. Exploring the Relationship between Fibromyalgia-Related Fatigue, Physical Activity, and Quality of Life. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Apr 17;19(8):4870. doi: 10.3390/ijerph19084870. PMID: 35457737; PMCID: PMC9032824.

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