So when I first thought that I may have FM it was because a mineral (sodium) test that I had done (a long with 10 other tests) that came out incredibly low. The nurse even asked me to stop taking my diuretics (even though I told her I didn't take any). Well, I eat a lot of salt, I mean a LOT! You ever see those beer salt candies in the corner store? I eat those sans the beer. I add salt to my canned green beans and beef jerky lasts about 1 millaseconds in my house.

So I did a search through some books on diseases and disorders and after feeling like a real hypochondriac I found a disorder that benefits from adding natural sea salt the the diet. Fibromyalgia.(1)

Well what the nurse told me was that I might be malnourished if my sodium level was so low. But knowing that I eat a proper diet, I wasn't sold on the idea. However I'm thinking that some part of FM interferes with the ability to absorb vital minerals, amino acids and vitamins.

I looked into that and found a book that showed some testing results on FM patients (2) some of them were:

- low levels of phosphocreatine and adenosine triphosphate during rest and in exercise. These are important for demanding cellular energy and growth areas (brain and nervous system)

- reduced high-energy phosphate levels in the muscles of patients with primary FM. (causes that pain in the fascia feeling)

-low levels of insulin-like growth factor 1. (may be linked to autism and malnutrition in children)

- low levels of selenium and magnesium

All of these tests showing an imporoper absorbtion or production of the nessecary components to hormonal regulation and developement. Hope I haven't bored you to death yet.

I stumbled on some muscle gainer a year ago on the promise from the sales clerk that I would not become sore the next day after working out. I tried it, and low and behold it worked pretty darn well. I've been taking it ever since and I've notice that my pain has subsided greatly. My foggy brain and intermittent sleeplessnes didn't improve much so I started to look into the ingredients that my muscle gainer contained. The main ingredient was Animal protein.

If you do a google search on Fibromyalgia and protein deficency you see a score of websites that have discovered a link. Protein breaks down in a healthy body into amino acids that in turn are the building blocks of a healthy body. Most of these websites agreed that people with FM are defiecient in protein and may not be able to properly metabolize it.

I'm now going to double the dose of muscle gainer that I take (incidentaly it is called Muscle Milk and I take it because the protein is derived from cow milk and is purported to have more amino acid potential than vegetable protein) and I'm going to intruduce a supplement called pancreatine. People with gluten allergies take this in order to be able to digest wheat products. It also helps to digest protein and fat. I might also start taking Betaine HCI if the pancreatine appears not to be providing any real results.

I've written to Cytosport about the two additives I want to take, just to be sure that those ingredients aren't already contained in Muscle Milk. That is because if I take too much, it could cause some pretty bad side effects. Especially the Betaine considering it is essentially hydrochloric acid.

Ok so finally to the point of all this.. Has anyone else had any tests done to show a low count on a particular vitamin or mineral? How about a positive test showing reduced levels of stomach acid? And if you were diagnosed with low stomach acid who was the doctor? (So I can get tested too b4 I burn a hole in my stomach!)

Well, I'll keep ya'll updated on any changes wether adverse or not. Please comment if you have anything to add. Also, the nice people at Cytosport are shipping me a complimentary jug of Muscle Milk for my e-mail. I don't wanna bogart it all so if anyone wants to try it out just e-mail me at and I'll figure out a way to get you some. Or I might take some to the next FM meeting.

Wish me luck! :D

(1) Phyllis A Balch CNC, and James F Balch MD. 2000. Prescription for Nutritional Healing , 3rd edition. New York: Penguan Putnam Inc. p.33

(2) Devin Starlanyl and Mary Ellen Copeland. 2001. Fibromyalgia and Chronic Myofascial Pain, a Survival Manual, 2nd edition Oakland: New Harbinger Publications Inc. p.11

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Replies to This Discussion

Hi Val, I have CFS. Have you heard of the China Study? Anyway, it's a book about nutrition written by a couple of doctors. The other day, I read through the section about auto-immune disorders. Because my brain hardly works anymore I can't recally the information well enough to explain it to you, but there was a connection between animal products, especially diary, and the onset and progression of auto-immune diseases. I do think it said something about the bodies inability to completely break down strings of animal proteins in some cases, which make their way into the blood stream and look like antigens to the body, therefore initiating the attack on healthy tissue. Since I read your post about Muscle Milk, I wanted to throw that out there for your consideration. I really encourage you to read the actual chapter in the book, and not rely on my unreliable brain.
Lol, that probably explains why I have been feeling much worse lately! Thank you so much for the tip, I am decreasing my protein intake and I stopped taking the pancreatine. Until I read more about the China Study I think I'll take myself off of guinea pig status.

Gonna look 4 the study and then I'll post the relevant stuff here. Thanks again for the input Chelsea!
I thinks it's interesting.
I certainly wonder at times what's up with fibro. It seems like there are still different theories going on.
I know for a while when I was really bad I was trying so many things, I wasn't sure what was doing what. I finally just stopped taking anything and slowly one at a time added things to try.
Although, after 8 years of this and finally being somewhat better, I really can't say what contributed to my not being in so much pain. Major fatique is still an issue, the brain fog is better, but still there - but still on some pain meds so that may contribute to both of those issues.
Thanks for the info - let us know how it's going!
Your memory is still very good. You summerized from the book rather acuratly. However, after reading the particular chapter he was only addressing the effects of protein on those that suffer from autoimmune diseases. As far as science has discovered so far FM and CFS may be related to an autoimmune disability in that it is underfunctioning instead of like an autoimmune disease where the body attacks itself.

BUT.. I do have rheumatiod arthritis, and that is classified as an autoimmune disease. So the pain that I was feeling from the inrease in protein was probably being caused by my arthritis. Just to cement that conclusion I took an Advil and the pain subsided (my FM pain is never lessened by Ibuprofin or Tylenol). Go figure.

Here is the particular quotes taken from the book:

About how every immune system works-
""The foreign invaders are protein molecules called antigens. these foreign cells can be a bacterium or a virus looking to corrupt the body's integrity. So when our immune system notices these foreign cells, or antigens, it destroys them. Each of these foreign antigens has a separate identity, which is determined by the sequence of amino acids that comprises its proteins. It is analogous to each and every person having a different face. Because numerous amino acids are available for creating proteins, there are infinite varieties of distinctive "faces".

To counter these antigens , our immune system must customize its defense to each attack. It does this by creating a "mirror image" protein for each attacker. The mirror image is able to fit perfectly onto the antigen and destroy it. Essentially, the immune system creates a mold for each face it encounters. Every time it sees that face after the initial encounter, it uses the custom made mold to "capture" the invader and destroy it."

What goes wrong in a person suffering from an autoimmune disease-
"It so happens that some of the foreign invaders that our soldier cells seek out to destroy look the same as our own cells. The immune system "molds" that fit these invaders also fit our own cells. The immune system then destroys, under some circumstances, everything that fits the mold, including our own cells.

During the process of digestion, for example, some proteins slip into our bloodstream from the intestine without being fully broken down into thier amino acid parts. The remnants of undigested proteins are treated as foreign invaders by our immune system, which sets about making molds to destroy them and sets into motion the self-destructive autoimmune process."

How a healthy immune system is protected from this flaw-
"Most of the time, our immune system is quite smart. Just like an army arranges for safeguards against friendly fire, the immune system has safeguards to stop itself from attacking the body it's supposed to protect. Even though an invading antigen looks just like one of the cells from an invading antigen. In fact, the immune system may use our own cells to practice making molds against the invader without actually destroying the friendly cell."

And the part on cows milk-

"One of the foods that supply many of the foreign proteins that mimic our own body proteins is cows milk."

So you remembered it exactly, but you saved us the looong explanation that traversed 3 pages of the ninth chapter. And not in order either. So as an added bonus in this reply I will give a book review: I am reccomending this book not for sufferers of FM or CFS but for those who want to be beaten over the head with a message of vegetanarism by two men that have done extensive research in the field of nutrition and one holds a PhD. But neither can afford a good editor as each chapter drags out like those long movies that you felt could have ended an hour early. If anyone wants the book, just ask. I can't return it to Barnes and Nobles because I accidently spilled soda on it.

So went back to my regular protein intake (35 grams a day) and am feeling b
better. Will try the prolactin tommorrow in addition to my regular diet with no increase in protein. Lets see what happens! Thanks for the tip on the book Chelsea! It helped me to pinpoint why I was feeling more pain.

I know it takes a lot out of your day to get on here and write comments and I appreciate them greatly!

T. Colin Campbell, PhD & Thomas M. Campbell II. 2006. The China Study. Dallas: Ben Bella Books, Inc. p.183-186


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