About 5 million people in the United States suffer from a debilitating pain condition called fibromyalgia. Conventional medicine has no clue as to the cause and cure of this painful, tiring, and stressful condition. Most people with fibromyalgia, 90% of which is women, cannot sleep at night because of the pain and discomfort.
On the other hand, naturopaths who have some clue are missing the other aspect of fibromyalgia cause or contributor: the fibrosis part. You see, fibromyalgia is an acronym of two words: fibro and myalgia. Fibro is short for fibrosis while myalgia simply means muscle pain. Fibromyalgia could also be classified as part of the myofascial pain syndromes. By the way, a syndrome is a collection of clinical signs and symptoms of a disease that does not fit into any clinical pattern or true diagnosis. Fibromyalgia falls into this definition.
Now everyone is talking about the muscle pain and its trigger points which is the myalgia part; and no one is talking about the first part or fibrosis which is creating and provoking the pain in the fist place.
Borrowing a leaf from cellular injury and repair, we know that wherever there is pain, there is nearly always inflammation in 95% of cases. Therefore, anything that kills pain must first kill inflammation. Acute inflammation is characterized by pain, swelling, redness, and fibrin deposition. However, we are talking about chronic low-grade inflammation which is the seed-bed for all pains. Pain is initiated by free radical generation, which in turn lead to oxidative stress leading to acute and chronic inflammation well pass the time of the injury or insult. Inflammation of any kind provokes fibrosis which is a type of repair mechanism pass the time of the hurt. Systemic enzymes come in to break this cycle by eating away the fibrin that create fibrosis responsible for the pain of fibromyalgia.
First any insult or stress releases circulating immune complexes otherwise called prostaglandins. Because of checks and balances there are good (anti-inflammatory) and bad (pro-inflammatory) prostaglandins. COX inhibitors (like aspirin, ibuprofen, cerebrex) tend to stop the pro-inflammatory prostaglandins and dull the pain. The problem is the side effect of also inhibiting the prostaglandins that is responsible for regenerating the linings of the intestines, repair the kidneys and the liver. This is why these set of drugs have nasty side effects like gastric erosion, ulcers, gastritis, kidney and liver compromise apart from provoking unusual bleeding because they deplete the platelets (a type of white blood cells) that stop bleeding.
The safe, and effective alternative to these pain killers (NSAIDs) is systemic enzymes like nattokinase, serrapeptase which are newer ones. The older ones are bromelain and papain. Systemic enzymes are so named because they work throughout the body’s organs and systems; apart from localized work of food and toxin digestion. Systemic enzymes are proteolytic or protein eating enzymes that goes into the systemic circulation where it combats inflammation, eats away fibrin (causing fibrosis in fibromyalgia) and cleaning the blood of polluted immune system.
Remember that the muscles and its covering fascia get their oxygen and nutrient supply from the blood stream. So, systemic enzymes address the root cause of the imbalance in fibromyalgia because fibrosis cuts off the micro-circulation within the muscle and create starvation, stagnation and ischemic pain as well. Because these enzymes are proteolytic (protein eating enzymes), they eat away the fibrin (causing fibrosis) and pain in fibromyalgia. Once the root cause of the pain is attacked, the symptoms of fibromyalgia improves.
Systemic enzymes also addresses another symptom of fibromyalgia which is the chronic fatigue by cleaning the polluted blood stream, eliminating toxins and protecting the mitochondria, the power house of the cell that generate cellular energy. Don’t forget that toxins deplete energy by clogging the immune system and un-coupling oxidative phosphorylation responsible for the electron transport chain. When electrons are not transferred, the body cannot make enough ATP which supplies energy for cellular metabolism. As a side note, CoQ10 is an important player in electron transport chain and energy generation and is also needed in fibromyalgia to address tiredness.
Remember that the immune system powers the train that initiates tissue repair in the body. Driving this train is the enzymes system of which proteolytic enzymes like nattokinase is a synergist that make other enzymes, vitamins and minerals to work. In fact, without systemic enzymes, vitamins and minerals don’t work that well. That’s why vitamins are called co-enzymes and trace minerals like zinc or magnesium are called co-factors. By the way magnesium is very necessary in fibromyalgia for combating inflammation and pain, too
Do you now see why herbs, vitamins, amino acids and vital nutrients used to cure fibromyalgia work partially or don’t work at all because of lack of enzymes especially proteolytic enzymes. Most of the problems with humans are caused by allergic proteins called antigens because they provoke immune response of which auto-inflammation and auto-immunity are the rule rather than the exceptions. List of natural therapy for fibromyalgia like Chinese scullcap, acacia, SAMe, MSM, melatonin, D-ribose, tryptophan, and vitamin D only give partial relief in the absence of systemic enzymes.
Systemic enzyme blend, therefore is the missing link in the pain management of fibromyalgia, myofascial pain syndromes and other forms of back pain triggers.