Nutrition & herbal medicine for fibromyalgia & persistent pain

Have you been diagnosed with fibromyalgia or perhaps you are on the long journey towards a diagnosis?

Fibromyalgia is a whole-body condition characterised by persistent migrating pain, sleep disturbances, brain fog, fatigue, sensory and mood issues.

Digestive issues, migraines, POTS and a host of other conditions can occur alongside Fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia can be a debilitating condition and many people are left without hope they will ever get better.

Whilst a true cure for fibromyalgia is still a ways off, with the right holistic approach, symptoms can be better managed and quality of life improved significantly for many sufferers.



Key aspects for long term outcomes

The way in which someone experiences the condition can vary from person to person as can the underlying drivers, therefore treatment for fibromyalgia requires a holistic and individualised approach. There is no one size fits all. An in-depth assessment is conducted in the initial appointment to help me understand your story and collect the many pieces of the puzzle required to offer you the best treatment possible.


    Identifying and targeting the underlying drivers of disease is crucial to achieving real, lasting results. We know that some common drivers have been identified in the research and we can assess which of these may be most relevant to the individual through conducting a thorough assessment and further testing.
    See below for some of the most common drivers.

    individualised care

    While there are common threads each person with a fibromyalgia diagnosis may experience their condition differently and have a different capacity and response to treatment approaches.



    I would love to have a magic pill but unfortunately none has been found yet. Fibromyalgia is a complex condition involving multiple body systems and causes. Sometimes the journey can be slow and hard, but I am here to support you all the way!



    Being a whole-body condition with so many possible drivers it is important that we take a holistic approach, understanding that each body organ and system will effect another. It is also important to take into account the many and varied lifestyle, psychological and social aspects and how they are helping or hindering disease progression.


    collaborative care

    A knowledgeable and compassionate health TEAM is super important! You may be accessing several different modalities and practitioners at one time to help build that holistic approach.

    In my experience this is a great way to solve a very tricky puzzle.


    Useful Testing in Fibromyalgia

    Further testing can be useful to understand the underlying drivers contributing to your symptoms. Not all tests will be necessary for everyone however these are some that I commonly recommend to assist with identifying the drivers and directing the treatment. Testing is only recommended after a full health assessment to ensure the appropriateness of any suggested tests.

      General pathology

      General pathology testing includes a full blood examination, general biochemistry, liver function tests and may also include immune and inflammation markers. These tests can usually be obtained through your GP or can be ordered privately through myself. Having these basic tests are important to get some baseline markers, assess liver and kidney function, give clues to deficiencies and rule out any obvious pathology that may have been missed.

      Nutrient testing

      Some nutrient levels are commonly measured along with general pathology. These include things like iron studies, B12, folate and vitamin D. Occasionally other nutrient measures can be useful such as iodine, B6, selenium, zinc and copper. These are more commonly ordered privately.

      complete Microbiome mapping

      Due to the strong link between gut health and microbiome abnormalities and fibromyalgia, I find various gut tests can be very helpful in assessing how big a part the gut is playing in driving pain and other fibromyalgia symptoms. The complete microbiome map is a stool test that assesses various aspects of the microbiome including types and amounts of normal intestinal flora, opportunistic flora, pathogenic microbes, yeasts, and parasites. Other information this test provides can gives us insight into digestive inflammation, enzymes and digestive capacity and the likelihood of intestinal hyperpermeability (leaky gut) caused by damage to the gut lining.


      hormone panels

      Hormones can play a role in pain and fatigue. Sometimes we might recommend a hormone panel to look at reproductive and/or adrenal hormone levels and how they are peeking and troughing throughout the day or month. These types of panels may be particularly useful for people with a history of burn out, women in perimenopause or people who notice changes in symptoms in conjunction with their menstrual cycle.


      OATS testing

      The Organic acids test is a urinary test that is ordered through a private lab with the sample being collected at home. This test measures several compounds that are biproducts of various pathways and processes within the cells. This can give us information about deficiencies or blocks in mitochondria energy pathways, neurotransmitter pathways, detoxification pathways and intestinal microbial imbalance.

      SIBO Breath Test

      The small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) breath test is an at home test that measures levels of gases produced by bacteria in the small intestine. This test is diagnostic for overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine which is highly prevalent amongst those with IBS symptoms and some research has shown an increase in people with fibromyalgia.

      Thyroid panels

      A full thyroid panel includes TSH, fT4, fT3, thyroid antibodies and can sometimes include a reverse T3 marker as well. Having all this information (as opposed to a standalone TSH reading which is more common) gives as a fuller picture of how the thyroid is functioning, how well your body is responding to the thyroid hormones and whether your thyroid is contributing to or exacerbating symptoms.

      Drivers and Exacerbators

      WHAT the SCIENCE SAYs about fibromyalgia drivers


      While an exact cause of fibromyalgia is yet to be confirmed there has been studies that have highlighted some possible mechanisms that contribute to the onset and persistence of illness. Below are some of the areas where there is growing research to show these abnormalities or dysfunction in people with fibromyalgia. By assessing for and addressing these mechanisms some great outcomes can be achieved.

      • Nervous system dysregulation including HPA axis dysfunction, dysautonomia and central sensitization
      • Mitochondrial dysfunction and impaired cellular energy production
      • Changes to gut health including microbiome imbalances and intestinal hyperpermeability
      • Imbalances or deficiencies of certain neurotransmitters
      • Inflammation in the digestive system, nervous system and systemically

      Other contributing factors may include
                Food sensitivities
                Subclinical hypothyroidism
                SIBO and other digestive disorders
                Hormonal involvement such as perimenopause
                Nutritional deficiencies


      Management of co-existing conditions

      It’s not uncommon for fibromyalgia patients to have other diagnoses. Improvements in these conditions further improves quality of life for fibromyalgia sufferers.

      • Migraines
      • Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS)
      • Menstrual issues especially painful periods
      • Mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS)
      • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
      • Anxiety
      • Chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS)
      • Mould illness
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      I’d love to hear from you!

      As your Naturopath and Nutritionist, it is my aim to support and empower you on your way to better health. Start your journey today!

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      Marion Physiotherapy
      Marion, SA

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