Changing the way you do things
Changing the way you move
Changing what you eat
Changing the products that you use and consume
In many ways these are all activities that define us and ‘letting go’ can even feel like changing who we are. But it is often the way in life that when we are on the brink of disaster which is unfortunately how you will feel at the moment having contracted fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, that we finally decide that we must change at all costs and it is at this point that this process then becomes genuinely achievable.
The work with the Alexander Technique and Neuro Linguistic Reprogramming provides advice on releasing and letting go of bad old habits that may be holding you back.
Answer the following three basic questions.
Are you ill enough that you are willing to commit?
Are you ill enough that you are able to commit?
Are you ill enough that you are prepared to make these changes and sacrifices in order to start the journey back to health?
If you have genuine Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome then you should be screaming ‘yes, I want this’ and you will commit whole heartedly to the process.
So what would we consider are the external lifestyle factors that could affect an individual’s level of toxicity, and insult the blood/ brain barrier to such a degree that one could develop Fibromyalgia/ CFS?
Here is my list of the main offenders that I have found over the last 8 years.
They are listed in no particular order.
Cigarettes. Smoking injects over 600 known toxins directly into the blood stream on inhalation. I shouldn’t really need to say any more on the subject. You cannot make an effective recovery from these conditions while continuing to smoke regularly. Indeed if you have these conditions then the reaction of the immune system to a single cigarette will make you feel awful.
Benzene has been linked with CFS and Fibromyalgia. Benzene exposure comes mainly from cigarettes again, but also through traffic exhaust fumes, and vapors from paints detergents and paint thinners like turpentine and white spirit, common bleach fumes and a range of other solvents are bad too.
Excessive alcohol consumption: Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue sufferers have a particular problem with alcohol. There is not a great deal of research on this but it seems to be related to the process of methylation and the conversion of alcohol into formaldehyde in the liver. There’s clearly a problem as you will experience if you drink more than 2 units at any one sitting you will find out - yeast based drinks and white wine seem to be the worst offenders.
Volatile Organic Compounds: These include wood filler, car filler, but a lot of DIY products contain VOC’s. All building products are required to advertise their VOC content.
Currently a variety of food additives are added to our everyday food products. Preserving foods, coloring them and creating subtle tastes are far more important to the food industry than possible long term health implications. Bear in mind that very few of these products have ever been tested over a normal human lifespan. Certain additives have been connected with food allergy and intolerance. Interestingly, blood intolerance testing shows that many Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia sufferers have significant problems with wheat and dairy produce.
live in a highly polluted environment. For soldiers who are victims of
Gulf War Syndrome burning of the Kuwaiti oil fields, uranium tipped
warheads, and anti tank missiles can be highlighted as a few possible
causes. As climate change accelerates freak natural weather events
increase including hurricanes earthquakes and the resulting tsunamis.
The disastrous effects of these events were seen recently in
Heavy metal poisoning: These metals can accumulate in the blood and be stored in tissues. Mercury from amalgam fillings is the most cited example, but as I have discussed one should not have mercury fillings removed unless a blood test shows leakage, and they should be removed very carefully under strict medical conditions. Aluminium from old pots and pans can also be a serious problem when certain acidic vegetables are boiled in them. Lead from old pipes can dissolve over time.
Pesticides and organophosphates: Implicated in Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and Chronic Fatigue / Fibromyalgia.
Hair sprays, deodorants, spray paints: All contain chemicals whose long term inhalation has never been tested by humans and there are indications that they are linked to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ FMS.
Anti baldness/ alopecia products: There has been a massive rise in the number of men who use products such as minoxidil/ spironalactone and the oral based finasteride, a DHT inhibitor. Ketaconazole based dandruff shampoos are proposed to stop balding. The long term effects of applying chemicals to the scalp has never been tested over many years. Due to their proximity to the blood/ brain barrier use of these products should be stopped immediately. It is preferable to accept balding as the natural course of events in the majority of males over 40.
By products of exhaust fumes: Particularly diesel. Just as the toxins created by burning crude oil in the gulf affected hundreds of soldiers, atmospheric toxins are created every morning that 190 million Americans start their cars ignition.
Vaccinations: Gulf war veterans who underwent two or more vaccinations at the same time appear to be the ones most susceptible to go on to develop Gulf War Syndrome. Some vaccinations were produced with a mercury based agent included to improve delivery. This indicates that there is a connection between the level of toxic insult at any given time and the subsequent degree of immune system dysfunction.
A feature of all the toxic sources listed is that they can cause a range of illnesses associated with various organ systems of the body, affecting and simultaneously damaging the kidneys, liver, lungs, heart, spleen etc.
Fibromyalgia/ CFS Is indeed only one of the illnesses most associated with toxic exposure.
The most common effect of these toxic insults is a subtle form brain damage to the Hypothalamic Pituitary Axis (HPA) which leads to the fatigue spectrum illnesses and associated symptoms of cognitive impairment, autonomic nervous system dysfunction, headache, exhaustion, memory loss, insomnia, and the later effects on other organ systems including muscles and eventually the deepening and damaging long term impact of total failure of the bodies mitochondrial cellular energy.
Once this stage is reached unfortunately a whole range of interventions are required to restore normal function, but with commitment and dedication normal function is perfectly achievable and should be your ultimate aim.
Clive L. Haslam, (B.A, M.Sc, PgDip)
CFS/ Fibromyalgia Research.
CFS/ Fibromyalgia Sufferer.