Fibromyalgia : What You Need to Know! with Dr Teitelbaum: – your SV Ayurveda Newsletter Dec 15, 2022 – #47, Vol 11

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~ what you need to know ~

by Dr Marianne Teitelbaum

One thing I can tell you having treated just about any disease you can think of over the past 35 years is that 1) the name of the disease doesn’t tell you much regarding how it should be treated, 2) the underlying causes are different in each person, even if you are treating the same disease in any two patients, and 3) the underlying root causes are many. There is rarely one root cause to any disease or symptom you can think of. 

And this is especially true when you are treating Fibromyalgia. First of all, the name ‘fibromyalgia’ doesn’t tell you much at all — it means you have widespread muscle pain and tenderness. But it doesn’t tell you why you have the widespread pain.

What is especially important in treating fibromyalgia is that you have to make sure you address each patient differently, as the underlying root causes will be different and unique in each person you treat. And finally, it is important to note that the roots of the problems stem way back into the person’s early childhood, with layer upon layer of imbalances which have never been identified and corrected and instead have only been swept under the rug by using pain killers or medicines to take away the various symptoms, causing theses imbalances to fester and eventually blossom into a much more complicated and serious disease which could have been prevented had it been properly addressed in the very early stages. 

What happens over time is that too many layers have built up and too many toxins have accumulated which now have travelled to each of the 7 tissues, wreaking havoc and pain in each of the tissues they settle in. For example you may experience severe muscle pain and inflammation as the toxins sit in the muscle tissue, or deep burning pain throughout the whole body as the acidic toxins burn the nerve tissue.

And this is why most people aren’t getting adequate relief. You can’t use a cookie cutter approach to treating fibromyalgia since every person has their own unique history of layers of imbalances which have been set in place during the course of their lifetime.

And this is also why it is even difficult for me to prescribe our protocol for treating fibromyalgia. Because there is none. But here is a general guideline of how I might address a typical fibromyalgia patient who seeks out my care. 

First, we would want to see what happened to their gut micro biome, since many disease processes start here. Did that patient take too many antibiotics, immunizations, birth control pills, or steroids throughout their life, which would have paved the way for inflammation as their friendly bacteria died off, resulting in yeast overgrowth, leaky gut and other chronic infections in the gut?

Next, we would want to see the condition of the liver, since if it is very toxic then it will heat up as it holds onto the acid toxins, spilling out inflammation throughout the body since the liver makes the blood from the food you eat. If the liver is hot then the blood becomes hot, causing pain and inflammation.

Once the liver is hot and angry when the food comes into it for processing, it oxidizes it and turns it into a poison, known as ama visha in Ayurveda. This hot and reactive toxin, which results from the improper digestion and combustion of the food, due to its inflammatory nature can create systemic inflammation throughout the body, but it can also burn any of the 7 tissues as it comes into contact with them. It can also go into the organs and glands, and can even burn the ojas, which is a compound which gives us great strength and stamina. It can even go into the malas, or waste products and create problems there and everywhere else it goes.

Let me clarify this point further: once the food leaves the digestive tract it is absorbed systematically through 7 tissues, the blood plasma, the blood, muscle, fat, bone, bone marrow, and reproductive fluids. So it’s important that you eat very healthy food and that you digest it properly. If the food is unhealthy, such as refined white sugar, processed vegetable and seed oils, and processed foods, then the toxins produced from these poor quality foods create inflammation as they pollute each of the 7 tissues they travel through.

And at the same time, if the liver is very hot and reactive from eating a toxic diet and/or taking too many pharmaceuticals or nutraceuticals, then even good food will turn into ama visha or poison as the hot angry liver oxidizes the food instead of intelligently processing it the way it’s supposed to. Once the liver has a temper tantrum on the food and turns it into hot acidic poison, then this poison creates lots of burning and inflammation in each of the 7 tissues, causing tremendous muscle pain as it goes into the muscle tissue, nerve pain as the nerves burn up, and overall systemic inflammation as the blood and tissues of the body heat up.

So in these cases, you must regrow the friendly bacteria, change the diet, cool down the heat in the liver, and then give herbs to clean the various tissues, such as the fat tissue, the bone marrow, the muscle, fat and bone tissue, all of which have been damaged from these hot acidic toxins. 

Once the patient changes their diet and starts their herbal regimen to reverse these long-standing imbalances, then the detox process must begin as the third part of the therapy. All the detox must be performed carefully to pull out the toxins slowly over a long period of time rather than quickly, which could rupture the body’s physical channels as these very dangerous hot toxins come out. And if you rupture the channels then there’s nothing more you can do for that patient, as the toxins are free now to roam throughout the whole body.

And this is the very reason many people aren’t finding the relief they are seeking. The herbs you use must be carefully selected so as to not heat up the liver any more. This is why we can’t use herbs like milk thistle, which creates tremendous heat in the liver as it cleans it out. This is also why we don’t use fish oil, flax oil, turmeric (or even worse, curcumin) capsules, or hot herbs like ashwagandha and shilajit and many of the Ayurvedic herbs which clean the liver. All of these remedies, which might be OK to use in someone who does not have inflammation stemming from an overheated liver (which is a rarity nowadays, by the way), they are definitely not something you would want to use when the person has pain and inflammation in the whole body resulting from the heat which comes from gut and liver disturbances.

We have wonderful herbs which are cooling to the liver, herbal glyceride drop versions of the herbs which won’t heat the liver, and even transdermal creams where the herbs are applied to the skin in a cream and absorb directly into the blood, bypassing the hot angry liver which would oxidize even the herbs and turn them into ama visha the same way it is turning the food into this dangerous poison.

And the really wonderful news is that we have herbs to heal the nerve tissue and the myelin sheath, the covering to the nerve, which got burnt from these very hot toxins, as well as herbs to heal the muscle tissue, clean the fat tissue and lymphatic system and basically herbs to treat whatever else we may encounter in that particular person.

I would like to take the opportunity here to address information that is circulating around the internet which are stating some possible underlying causes of fibromyalgia. Let’s take a look at what some of the experts are saying might be causing fibromyalgia, and at the same time clear up any confusion which might result as we analyze these various causes.

First possible cause: Many say that gluten is causing fibromyalgia and that cutting out gluten may lessen the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Actually, it isn’t the gluten sensitivity that causes the fibromyalgia, but instead the gluten sensitivity is symptomatic of what is wrong with the digestive tract. The protein in gluten is one of the most difficult to digest, so if something is wrong with your digestion it gets turned into a poison in the digestive tract. And yes, quite often we do see the combination of lack of friendly bacteria combined with an overheated liver create a sensitivity to gluten, since it is the friendly bacteria which have to correctly break it down and the liver which has to process it correctly. What we usually find in fibromyalgia, as previously stated, is that the friendly bacteria are depleted and the liver is overheated and instead of processing the gluten correctly it gets turned into ama visha,which, as stated before, is an acidic poison which can burn both the nerve and muscle tissue. Once we fix the gut and the liver and the patient eats non-GMO organic wheat the gluten sensitivity usually goes away.

Second possible cause: Many people state that Candida overgrowth can cause fibromyalgia. Again, let’s make sure we understand this concept as well. There is always some Candida albicans yeast in the intestines, but the friendly bacteria prevents it from overgrowing. Once the friendly bacteria die off the yeast can overgrow as much as it wants, creating inflammation arising out of the gut. The answer here isn’t to kill the Candida, but instead to regrow the friendly bacteria, which will automatically take care of the yeast overgrowth. If you misunderstand this common problem, you might inadvertently begin to take remedies to kill the yeast, such as grapefruit seed extract, caprylic acid, garlic, nystatin, diflucan and others, which will unwittingly kill more of the friendly bacteria. So yes, while we do see Candida overgrowth as one of the several possible layers of imbalances which occur in fibromyalgia, remember that it is just that, one of the possible problems, and not the only problem facing a fibromyalgia patient. And it needs to be addressed correctly.

Third possible cause: Thyroid Issues. Here again, what we find is that the underlying problems which could be weakening the thyroid gland need to be addressed. What we don’t want to do is just have the patients take thyroid medicine, which will actually weaken the thyroid gland since it no longer is called upon to make its hormones. Instead, we want to identify all the reasons that the thyroid is weak, fix them and then support the thyroid gland. By doing so, it may allow some of the pain to go away.

Fourth possible cause: Vitamin Deficiencies. While, yes, this could potentially play a role, we want to make sure we get the majority of these vitamins in food. What we don’t want to do is get very complicated blood work which identifies all of our vitamin deficiencies and then attempt to take the synthetic versions of these vitamins. This is a bad idea: the synthetic vitamins are the toxic versions of the real things and once you swallow them, they create a lot of toxicity in the liver, which has already been compromised and in fact is causing a lot of the fibromyalgia symptoms in the first place. They also cause a lot of heat in the liver since the liver has to process everything you swallow, and these toxic synthetic versions of the vitamins usually aren’t worth the havoc they create.

Fifth possible cause: Mercury Toxicity. Yes, too many of us are harboring mercury, which comes from old mercury silver dental fillings, mercury in the air pollution and certain species of fish and the flu shot still contains mercury which many people get repeatedly year after year, creating a tremendous buildup of mercury. Mercury is a very hot piercing toxin and is responsible for burning both the nerve tissue and the myelin sheath. We have excellent ways of pulling out the mercury, and you must also bind the mercury as it comes out, directing it into the bowel movement and urine. But again, mercury toxicity is only one of a variety of problems we see in our fibromyalgia patients and it, by itself, isn’t the only reason for the fibromyalgia pain. 

Sixth possible cause: Adrenal Fatigue. Same thing here: if the adrenals are exhausted from overworking and prolonged stress, you could experience pain since the adrenal glands produce steroid hormones which take away pain, and if the adrenals become too weak you can feel lots of aches and pains around the body. While there are herbs such as ashwagandha and a few others which can heal the adrenal glands, the best way to heal them is to undergo a prolonged period of very deep rest. Some of our patients have actually had to go on disability in order to spend several months resting to make up for the period of time when the adrenals had been constantly pushed beyond their limits until they finally succumbed to the stress and burned themselves out. 

What you don’t want to do here is to take any adrenal hormones, especially steroids or cortisone, which will actually turn off your adrenals in the end, making the problem much much worse in the long run. And please don’t drink coffee to give yourself energy. It’s like whipping a tired horse. Yes, you may get more energy temporarily, but in the long run you are prolonging the problem as you force the exhausted glands into action. The same is true with chocolate and sugar. Don’t turn to them for a sugar rush as your adrenals will only get worse in the long run. I can’t emphasize this enough: the best thing to heal the adrenal glands effectively is deep prolonged rest. Period. If you can do this you will fix the glands. If you continue to avoid resting, you will prolong your agony by not allowing the adrenals to fully heal.

Seventh possible cause: MTHFR Mutations. This mutation, which occurs in about 40% of the population makes the body less capable of ridding itself of toxins. Many people take methyl B6, methyl-B12 and folic acid to alleviate the symptoms of MTHFR, but again, keep this in mind: our ancestors carried this gene as well — the good news is that they made it through their life just fine; the bad news is that we are surrounding ourself with way too many toxins — over 80,000 to be exact, which our ancestors never had to deal with. The best way to take care of yourself if you have been born with this weakness is to take an herb called guduchi satwa or stem of guduchi. This herb has the capability of completing the detox pathways in the liver which are missing, and it actually can help you make glutathione, which is depleted in those who exhibit the MTHFR gene. Just taking these synthetic vitamins only makes the liver more unhappy, as it now has to break down these toxic synthetic vitamins.

Eighth possible cause: Emotional stress. Grief, anger and hunger can all cause the production of ama visha immediately because they don’t have to go through the process of forming ama and then degrading into ama visha. This is another reason why many people develop aches and pains and fibromyalgia after prolonged emotional stress. We offer our patients many techniques to help them deal with their stress, such as herbal remedies, meditation, yoga, and breathing techniques, to name a few.


And finally, the American College of Rheumatology guidelines for the diagnosis of fibromyalgia states that patients must feel pain in at least 11 tender points out of a possible 18, in response to simple pressure. It turns out that these tender points in the body correspond exactly to what are called marma points in Ayurveda. Marma points are vital energy points which when stimulated correctly, can invoke healing as they promote the flow of prana within the body. All the organs and glands need a constant supply of prana flowing to them. By stimulating these delicate marma points through the use of specific transdermal creams combined with gentle touch techniques we are able to facilitate the proper flow of prana to all the organs and glands, which also alleviates pain and suffering. 

We are fortunate that my teacher and mentor, Vaidya Rama Kant Mishra, who spent nearly two decades training me in his family’s lineage of Shaka Vansya Ayurveda, was able to successfully bring hundreds of herbs from India and other countries to make over 500 formulas to use in treating these very serious and difficult to treat diseases. In fact, fibromyalgia was one of the first diseases we tackled together when he first started training me.

So now we have much experience in treating this disease, if you can call it that. I view it more as layers upon layers of imbalances which have been neglected through the years which need to be addressed once and for all. Yes, it’s not as easy as popping a pain pill for instant relief. But by rolling up your sleeves and doing the necessary work which needs to be done in reversing the numerous imbalances, changing your diet and daily routine and cleansing out the impurities that are burning your muscle and nerve fibers, you will experience lasting relief once and for all.

Thank you,

Dr. Marianne Teitelbaum

Cinnaminson, NJ


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