By no means am I a medical researcher by trade, but in my own personal experiences with illness I have some how found myself desperately searching to fit pieces of the puzzle of my health together. I am a 24 year old woman with fibromyalgia, chronic migraine with rare aura, severe celiac disease, among a myriad of other imbalances and issues. I’ve been going through the long journey towards better health since I was diagnosed with celiac disease at the age of 20, and now believe I am rounding a corner that could make a difference in the lives of many beyond my own. I truly believe that the missing element to the mystery that enshrouds fibromyalgia is progesterone.
If it hadn’t been for my exhaustive obsession with research, I would never have dreamed of this idea, and I think it is fair to assume most others with fibro would not either. Now, my research was merely to understand the role of progesterone in the body since I was diagnosed with very low progesterone last week, after a month of having to remember which days to go get blood drawn. I was not expecting to find that progesterone directly increases the levels of magnesium in your body (as estrogen lowers them), nor was I expecting to find out the interactions it plays in your nervous system, brain, insulin levels and other entire systems. I was blown away at the sheer voume of effects progesterone could aid in for patients with nervous system damage, brain trauma, anxiety, depression and migraine. Unfortunately, I will not be citing articles tonight as I am rather foggy from a weather induced migraine earlier, but if you simply research scholarly articles you will find them and more.
The part that astounded me most of all was that if you combine the list of symptoms from magnesium deficiency (once theorized as the cause of fibro but never proven) and progesterone deficiency you find the exact same list of symptoms found in fibromyalgia. Better yet, they cover even the wonky symptoms that doctors can never explain. The dots were just screaming to be connected.
It is well known that fibromyalgia is most prevalent in North America, effecting significantly more women than men. It shouldn’t come as a surprise then when you compare the use of chemicals that interact with estrogen receptors as well as the use of synthetic hormones being most common in North America that a correlation seems to occur. Not withstanding an individual’s predisposition to low progesterone, the symptoms of estrogen dominance are eerily similar to progesterone deficiency (progesterone keeps estrogen in check, so it shouldn’t really be a surprise). Why then would the continent with the largest use of estrogen/estrogen-imitators also have the largest population of fibromyalgia sufferers? Whose largest numbers are women going through pre-menopause? Because that one crucial link between the nervous system and so many other systems has been forcibly put out of balance. Our society has sparked a debilitating domino effect: increasing estrogen exposure, reducing progesterone production because of high stress lifestyles, reducing magnesium levels from hormone imbalance.
That covers ever single symptom we fibro sufferers go through, and explains why so many with physical or emotional stress were diagnosed with fibromyalgia shortly after; your body reduces progesterone production when stressed. It also explains the cases of individuals suffering with Lyme disease who develop “chronic lyme” a debilitating illness that is nearly identical to fibromyalgia. Lyme is known to upset the endocrine system, upsetting the balance in hormonal levels.
Now you are probably wondering the loop in my logic “What about people on hormone therapy, like all of the women on the Pill?”. Well, modern hormone therapy is synthetic and does not break down into the same chemical compositions as the hormones produced in our bodies. What this means is that people like me get worse migraines when given synthetic versions, and yes, I was on the pill and an IUD for many years- they made everything worse. The only way to counteract any deficiency is to introduce the same compound into your body that you are missing, not a synthetic copy. I am personally going to be starting a natural progesterone therapy this month (Creighton model NFP NaPro technology for any who are curious) and I will report back on my hypothesis over the next several months as I am treated for my low progesterone. I am currently having my low magnesium treated with liquid magnesium citrate at night, and it makes a very large difference in comparison to the capsule form. I sincerely hope that by combining the two treatments the root of this issue will become unearthed.
Though this is written on my speculations and ideas, I sincerely believe that this is something that needs to be researched on an academic level. I also hope that this can be of help to any and all who also live day by day with fibromyalgia like me.