Consult your primary care provider before starting the program. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.  Read more I understand

Fibromyalgia Is Not An Acceptable Diagnosis

Fibromyalgia is a diagnosis people receive when they experience pain and tenderness all over. The symptoms come and go throughout the body, and patients commonly have issues with sleep, memory and mood, as well as overall fatigue.


The Diagnostic Journey

If you’ve been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, you have likely been through numerous medical appointments. You’ve been poked and prodded, and typically, no concrete findings emerge. In fact, it takes an average of 2.3 years and consultations with nearly four different types of providers to obtain the diagnosis. It involves ruling out every other potential condition, and when doctors in traditional medicine can’t find any reason for your aches and pains, they resort to labeling it fibromyalgia.

It essentially means “you don’t feel good, but we don’t know why,” so they give it a sophisticated name. And here’s the best part: even though the medical professionals do not fully understand it or know how to cure it, they still often prescribe a variety of medications.

Ok as always if you are in pain always tired. ALWAYS start with conventional medicine first. Never self diagnose. Go to your primary run the tests, get the referrals go the specialists and then when they tell you nothing is wrong with you or you have fibromyalgia you are in the right place. 

Fibromyalgia Criteria Quick Overview

Widespread Musculoskeletal Pain

The main symptom of FM is chronic, widespread pain, also known as multisite pain.

Fatigue and Sleep Disturbances

Most people with FM struggle with non-restorative sleep. Even simple activities can worsen the pain and fatigue, making mornings particularly tough with feelings of stiffness and unrefreshed sleep, despite long hours in bed.

Cognitive Disturbances

Often called “fibro fog,” many patients report issues with concentration and challenges performing tasks that require quick changes in thought.

Psychiatric Symptoms

It’s common to find that 30-50% of patients experience depression and/or anxiety at the time of diagnosis.


Over half of individuals with FM report headaches, including migraines and tension-type headaches.


This refers to sensations like numbness, tingling, burning, or feelings of creeping or crawling, particularly in the arms and legs.

Other Symptoms

FM can also include abdominal and chest wall pain, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and pelvic pain along with bladder issues, known as interstitial cystitis or painful bladder syndrome.

fatty liver

Diagnosing Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia (FM) is suspected in patients with chronic pain of at least three months without another identified cause.

In patients with FM, the one finding that is usually present on physical examination is tenderness, on palpation in multiple soft tissue sites.

Laboratory Testing

FM does not cause any abnormalities in routine clinical laboratory testing or imaging. So, the diagnosis rests on a list of symptoms and excluding other conditions. So, if you feel pain all over and unwell all over for at least three months, and you ran all the tests – congratulations, you have FM.

The diagnosis rests on a list of symptoms and excluding other conditions . so if you feel pain all over and unwell all over for at least three months and you ran all the tests – congratulations you have FM.

Conventional Treatment Options for Fibromyalgia

Conventional medicine approaches the treatment of fibromyalgia in various ways. Despite the complexity and the challenging nature of this condition, here are some standard treatments that are commonly prescribed.

Patient Education

The conventional approach begins with patient education, where individuals are informed that the cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, there is no known cure, and the symptoms may fluctuate with periods of improvement and worsening.


Doctors often recommend aerobic exercise to help manage symptoms, although patients frequently report that these activities can be exhausting.

Medication Options

To address the physical pain associated with fibromyalgia, doctors may prescribe antidepressants. Additionally, medications like Lyrica (pregabalin) and Gabapentin, which are used to treat nerve pain, are commonly recommended.

Psychological Therapies

Psychological therapies are also suggested as part of the treatment plan to help manage the mental health aspects of fibromyalgia.

The Impact of Conventional Treatment

So basically, if you’ve been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, you’ve probably been told by your doctor that the cause of your condition is unknown. There is no treatment, and you’ll need to rely on medication to manage symptoms for the rest of your life.

All this does is put you in a box and really takes away hope. What’s more is when you go into any other provider’s office and tell them you have fibromyalgia, there is an immediate profiling done. Of “oh boy, this person is crazy,” and no further workup will be done for you.

Functional Medicine Approach

In functional medicine, we KNOW that when your body shows symptoms, it’s trying to tell you something. Just because we don’t have the blood markers to make it into a disease doesn’t mean we are just going to let it be and throw some antidepressants at it.

Identifying the Causes

So, we need to see what is actually causing it? Each person is different. Here are some possibilities:

Gut Dysbiosis

Gut dysbiosis, an imbalance in your microbiome – the bacteria living in your GI tract. Many people with fibromyalgia also have IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). That means the wrong kind of bug is in the belly, which can be producing and releasing toxic substances toxic to nerves, causing pain. But even if you don’t have GI symptoms, you may still have dysbiosis. In other words, your belly bacteria may still be off, but instead of giving you GI symptoms, it will give you systemic symptoms. Because in functional medicine, we know that all the parts of the body are connected.

SIBO and Leaky Gut

SIBO means you have too much bacteria in your small bowels, and leaky gut means certain things that should stay in the belly actually get out into the system. Both of these can cause havoc on your muscles and brain. Remember, if your belly is a mess, your whole system will be a mess.

Food Sensitivities

If you have a food sensitivity, that is different than an allergy. It means your system doesn’t like it – it doesn’t create a histamine response like a hive. Let me give you an obvious example: some people drink coffee, and their heart races. That’s food affecting not your GI but your HR. Dairy -> eczema, so why does it stop there? It is very possible that you are eating something that is giving you systemic symptoms.

Thyroid Issues

Remember, don’t just check your TSH – always check antibodies because if they are high, then you are cooking a thyroid issue, which could be causing your symptoms, especially fatigue and brain fog. Remember, thyroid issues don’t happen overnight.

Nutrient Deficiencies

Nutrient deficiencies such as magnesium, Vitamin D, and B12. Supplementing Vitamin D has been found in research to decrease muscle pain and fatigue. What do you have to lose by trying?

However, you will know if you are taking too much magnesium if you have diarrhea, and your vit D levels need to be checked.

Adrenal Fatigue

Patients with adrenal fatigue are classically exhausted after working out and never feel refreshed after sleep. If you have these symptoms, be sure to get checked for that.

Mold Sensitivity

You may be sensitive to substances called mycotoxins produced by molds, sparking off inflammatory reactions in your body. Many patients with mold have debilitating headaches.

Toxic Metals

Toxic metals like mercury, lead, and cadmium deplete brain chemicals involved in reducing pain sensations. There are special tests for these – and I’m not telling you to run to get these tests, just saying there is more to it than FM.

Mitochondrial Issues

Poor energy production by the mitochondria in your smooth muscle cells. This can occur because of increased production of free radicals from oxidative stress. We need to talk more about this one because it’s a big deal.

Understanding the Root Causes of Fibromyalgia

But before we dive deeper, let’s establish something important. You can see, just from this list (and by the way, it’s not the entire list), that there are ACTUAL CAUSES for why you are feeling this way. If we can determine the causes, well, now we can get cracking with the solution! None of which, by the way, involves antidepressants or nerve pain medication (not telling you not to take them, just saying they won’t solve it).

I want to talk a moment about mitochondrial repair. I know this is about fibromyalgia, but when your body gets assaulted by anything, ultimately, it affects the mitochondria.

The Importance of Mitochondria

It all starts with your mitochondria.

Mitochondria are like tiny factories that turn food and oxygen into energy. They are where metabolism happens. The role of your metabolism is to take the oxygen you breathe and the food you eat and process it to make energy; it’s the gas for your car. If anything happens to these guys, your energy will be affected.

Mitochondria are very sensitive to damage. The list I mentioned above (the diet, the toxins) can hurt these little guys. And when they aren’t working well, you will feel it — fatigue, memory loss, pain, rapid aging, and more. Fatigue is the most common symptom of poorly functioning mitochondria. In fact, the reason we tire more easily as we age is that these guys keep taking a hit; this doesn’t have to happen.

Dealing with Free Radicals

A while ago, I talked about free radicals (I also explained this one on Tik Tok). We have to bring them back in again.

When food is burned or metabolized with oxygen in the mitochondria, your body produces waste in the form of free radicals. A free radical is a molecule with a single electron, and it does not like to be single, so it keeps looking for an electron to steal from somewhere else — once it steals an electron from another molecule. That molecule is now a free radical, and it steals another electron, and all this is damaging to your body and keeps going. This cascade is called oxidation, and oxidation hurts our mitochondria and makes us sick and old. So, what we need is a superhero to come in with an extra electron and stop this cascade. That superhero is called an antioxidant.

You need to have enough antioxidants in your diet, or you make enough in your body, to protect yourself and your mitochondria from damage. Oxidative stress is a slow, progressive process of deterioration that is part of just about every known disease.

So, when you eat empty calories — such as sugar, flour, and processed foods that don’t have the high antioxidant levels of fruits and vegetables — you produce too many free radicals that tip the balance and start a chain reaction of cellular and tissue damage that destroys your mitochondria.

Functional Medicine Treatment For Fibromyalgia

So back to fibromyalgia — everything that can cause those symptoms is actually also hurting the mitochondria because of free radicals. Now that we know the possible causes, we can talk about possible treatments.

Goal of Treatment

The goal of treatment will be to:

  • Support gut healing and a healthy bacterial balance in your microbiome.
  • Discover the food sensitivities and remove them.
  • Correct any nutrient deficiencies.
  • Support adrenal function using herbs and supplements, and manage stress.
  • Support your thyroid with herbs and supplements and avoiding triggers.
  • Reduce the toxic load on your liver by avoiding environmental toxins, and by supporting your liver with herbs, foods, and nutrients. Detox from mold and heavy metals if needed.
  • Understand that exercise must be “gradual,” and you can’t push it with people with FM.
  • Mitochondrial repair – provide plenty of antioxidants in your diet to combat free radical inhibition of your muscles’ energy factories.


So, when we talk about minimizing your intake of processed food, junk food, sugar, empty calories, artificial sweeteners, artificial colors, and other chemical food additives. Not only for the usual reasons but also because they produce free radicals.

It’s another dimension of why I tell you to eat the rainbow – it’s about eating food that’s full of antioxidants to balance the free radicals.

Take mitochondria-protective and energy-boosting nutrients. Include acetyl-L-carnitine, alpha-lipoic acid, coenzyme Q10, n-acetyl-cysteine, resveratrol, and magnesium. Omega 3. While not a cure-all, these nutrients, taken in conjunction with a whole-food, plant-based diet, can provide metabolic support for those low on energy.

Keep Searching for Answers

I hope you are beginning to understand that if you have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, conventional medicine testing and treatment is just your FIRST STOP. Their job is to rule out other diseases; your job is to keep hunting for actual answers and maybe different types of disease or triggers.

Do not accept fibromyalgia as your definitive diagnosis. If your medical provider did all the tests, this is a good thing – it means they didn’t find anything. That’s good news, but that just means you keep going – now is the time for functional medicine. Whether you work with me or someone like me, we can help you go through all of these potential triggers and help you find the root cause and alleviate your symptoms.

Hi! I’m Dr. E, The NP with a PHD. Several years ago, my wife was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and the only options given to us were heavy duty medications.

We KNEW there had to be a better way. After a long search, we discovered functional medicine.

With functional medicine we found alternative ways we were able to manage her disease and get her back to feeling like her old self.

We discovered that this way of life not only helps people with various issues, including autoimmune, chronic issues and “I-don’t-feel-good-itis.”

Functional medicine drastically changed our lives and using it I developed The KNEW Method to help others who are suffering or not feeling optimal.

Let’s work together to get you to feeling like your old self again.

Are You Tired of Being Tired?

Have You Been Told “It’s your age” or “It’s your hormones?”

Are People Telling You “Just Lose Weight” or “Just Exercise More?”

You KNOW That There Is Something More…

You KNOW There Is A Better Way

If you are suffering from one (or more) of these issues – chronic pain, high blood pressure, mental fog, fatigue, low energy, poor sleep, lack of focus, loss of libido, aches, pains, or general “I-don’t-feel-good-itis”… YOU HAVE COME TO THE RIGHT PLACE