More Complementary & Integrative Healthcare Articles
Fibromyalgia and Enzyme Nutrition
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterized by a constellation of symptoms. These include muscle pain and achiness, stiff sore joints and tendons, disturbed sleep, fatigue, headaches, depression, and bowel and bladder disturbances. Fibromyalgia affects mainly women between the ages of 35 and 55. The treatments for fibromyalgia have consisted of stress reduction, simple exercises, yoga, and medication. The medications typically prescribed have been pain relievers, sleep medication, and antacids and laxatives for the digestive complaints. Most people get some relief from these treatments, however this is managing the symptoms rather than getting to the source of the problem.
One area that is overlooked is the disturbances in bowel function. The symptoms of bowel toxicity are similar to fibromyalgia. The inability to adequately digest food, either because of enzyme deficiency or overloading the digestive system with excessive amounts of food, are challenges to the body.
Food particles not digested well enough to be absorbed across the gut wall, pass down the alimentary canal, where they putrefy, forming chemicals that irritate the mucosal lining of the GI tract. Inflammation of the mucous membranes increases the permeability of the gut wall to larger molecules. This allows partially digested food particles to enter the blood where they cannot be utilized by the body as food but must be attacked as a foreign invader. The leukocytes will attempt to break down these particles.
However, if they are overwhelmed, the leukocytes tag them and they become circulating immune complexes. These circulating immune complexes get deposited in the soft tissues and joints of the body. According to Dr. Howard F. Loomis, Jr., a leading researcher on enzyme nutrition, these circulating immune complexes are one of the leading causes of fibromyalgia.
Enzymes are the workers of our body. They perform virtually every biochemical process that occurs in the body. There are different types of enzymes, including food enzymes, digestive enzymes and metabolic enzymes. The body is provided with enzymes every time raw food is eaten. However, when food is cooked, broiled, fried, stewed, canned, pasteurized, or microwaved, the enzymes are destroyed. If enzymes are taken with the meals so that the food is digested, it lessens the work of the digestive system by reducing the stress on the digestive enzymes. Food enzymes are used to help digest the food and get the food past an incompetent digestive system.
If the stress is taken off the digestive system the digestion improves, fewer toxins are produced, and circulating immune complexes are reduced. This takes the stress off the body and gives the body a chance to heal.
The enzyme therapy program is designed to identify your major stressors be they mechanical, emotional or nutritional (enzyme deficiencies). The goal is to eliminate the major stressors, modify the diet, improve digestion, improve elimination and nourish the organs.