More and more research suggests that the gastrointestinal (GI) microbiome—the environment in your gut where billions of healthy bacteria thrive—is really ground zero for your health. And disruptions to it often signal a bigger, systemic problem in the body.
In fact, Canadian researchers recently wrapped up what they called the first-ever study to analyze the connection between the microbiome and fibromyalgia (FM). It turns out, men and women with this hard-to-treat disease also suffer from some significant gut problems.
Let’s take a closer look…
Just getting a diagnosis is difficult
Experts estimate that 2 to 4 percent of Americans suffer from FM. Though, for a long time, mainstream medicine simply refused to acknowledge FM and chronic fatigue syndrome CFS as actual diseases.
Thankfully, that attitude has now somewhat changed. But it’s still very hard to get a diagnosis, as the diseases cause widespread, yet vague symptoms, such as bowel complaints, chronic pain, fatigue, headaches, memory problems, stiffness, and sleep disorders.
As a result, patients often suffer for up to five years before receiving answers. Fortunately, that delay may soon change…
More harmful bacteria, less healthy bacteria
For the new study, researchers followed 77 participants diagnosed with FM. First, they interviewed each of the participants to assess the severity of their symptoms. Next, they took samples of the participants’ blood, saliva, stool, and urine. Then, they compared the participants’ samples to samples from healthy controls who did not suffer from FM. (Some of the healthy controls were the participants’ parents, offspring, siblings, or other people who lived in the same house.)
Overall, researchers found that the microbiomes of the people with FM looked very different compared to the microbiomes of the healthy controls.
Specifically, the microbiomes of the people with FM contained far more harmful bacteria and far fewer healthy bacteria. And the more extreme the disruption, the more extreme their FM symptoms.
Plus, the profile they created was so accurate, the researchers used it to develop an artificial intelligence program that could diagnose the disease with an impressive 87 percent accuracy rate!
So, I’m very hopeful that one day this profile could even serve as a legitimate, “biological” screening test for FM, so that practitioners can identify the condition sooner. It may also encourage more doctors (and more people) to take the FM diagnosis and FM treatment more seriously. And to understand how improving your gut health could potentially help reduce the severity of your FM symptoms, as this study suggests. Which may even pave the way to a quicker CFS diagnosis, as the two conditions are often related.
(Plus, more research is showing how a healthy microbiome equals a healthy body and brain. And recent research also suggests that Eve’s forbidden fruit contains natural probiotics that nourish your GI microbiome. I tell you everything you need to know in the November 2019 issue of my monthly newsletter, Insiders’ Cures [“The secret to gut health may grow on a tree”]. So if you haven’t already, consider signing up today!)
Now, before I go, let me tell you about another useful tool that can be used to assess someone’s tendency to develop FM. And I’ve talked about it before…
Certain “emotional types” are more prone to FM too
Years ago, I helped identify the kinds of people who are more susceptible to developing FM. Our approach, like the early “susceptibility scales” for hypnotic suggestion, was based on using a standard “mind-body” questionnaire to determine what we call your “emotional type.”
It turns out, people with thin boundaries—more commonly known as “thin skin”—are more likely to react to illness or stress by coming down with FM.
We also found that certain therapies work better for these “emotional types,” including acupuncture, biofeedback, mindfulness meditation, and bodywork, such as therapeutic massage.
You can take this short quiz to determine your “emotional type.” The quiz only takes a few minutes, but it will tell you a great deal about your susceptibility to “mind-body” conditions like FM.
To learn more about which therapies will work best for your emotional type, you can also refer to my book with Michael Jawer, Your Emotional Type.
P.S. Have you signed up for my exclusive Conquer Inflammation Summit yet? This Sunday, December 8th at 3:00 PM (EST), I discuss one of the main root causes of ALL disease—inflammation. Big Pharma would NOT want you to attend this live, uncensored, online event…and I must warn you, space is limited. So click here to reserve a spot today, while you still can!
“Altered microbiome composition in individuals with fibromyalgia.” Pain, 11/19; 160(11):2589-2602. doi.org/10.1097/j.pain.0000000000001640.