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Why Pain, Fatigue, FibroFog, and Sleep Are Results Symptoms

  [ 25 votes ]   [ 2 Comments ]
By Sue Ingebretson • • August 7, 2014

Why Pain, Fatigue, FibroFog, and Sleep Are Results Symptoms
Reprinted with the kind permission of Sue Ingebretson and

As a fibromyalgia and chronic illness health practitioner, I’m asked these four questions most often. How can I get out of pain? How can I get more energy and stop the overwhelming fatigue? How can I eliminate fibrofog? How can I get a good night’s sleep?

You’re probably asking the same or similar questions, too.

Years ago, these questions and more were definitely the focus of my own health quest. I studied everything I could find on pain, energy, and cognitive dysfunction. I read about sleep studies related to insomnia. I wanted to learn what I could about not only falling asleep, but staying asleep.

In fact I’ve spent more than a decade, not to mention thousands of dollars searching for these very answers.

Here’s what I figured out. 

When all was said and done, I realized I wasn’t asking the right questions in the first place.

I should have been searching for the answers to — What’s at the root of pain, fatigue, fibrofog, and chronic sleep issues?
You see, I call these main topics –

These symptoms are a RESULT of deeper issues that can’t be addressed at the surface level. Despite our greatest desires, there is NO pill, supplement, exercise, or treatment that can address these issues in a snap.
We read all the time about studies that show how the body feels pain. We've discovered information about the relationship between our overactive sensations of pain and our skin, hormone dysregulation, the central nervous system, and the brain, etc.
But, what causes this over-sensitivity in the first place? What’s at the root? What causes us to be hyper-vigilant and stuck in “stressed out” mode? What causes us to burn out our adrenal systems and wipe out our endurance resources?

Here’s a simple analogy. Imagine that your car engine is making a clanging sound. That sound is your clue that something is wrong. You take it to a mechanic who does a bunch of diagnostics, charges you an ungodly sum of money, and says, “Here’s your problem – you have a clang.”

You roll your eyes and say, “Tell me something I don’t know. Tell me what’s making the clang!”
He points under the hood and says, “That metal thingy is banging against this other metal doohickey.”
Do you now feel the problem is solved? Of course not! What you want to hear, is that he fixed the problem by doing a basic oil change, putting in a new fuel filter, and adding some gasoline conditioner.
There … problem solved. No clanging.
Our bodies actually work the same way. That “clanging sound” might be pain, fatigue, fibrofog, and/or sleep disturbances. It’s our body’s way of warning us that something is wrong.
We can see different doctors who may point out what doohickey is malfunctioning (i.e., your pain sensors are overacting), but isn’t it even better to solve the problem once and for all so the clanging stops?
The clanging stops as a RESULT of the action taken to fix it.
So … what’s causing your doohickey to malfunction?
From my personal healing experience and from the experience I have in helping my clients, there’s not just ONE doohickey.
There are multiple facets to the healing process, but the fundamental principles of the following always apply – vibrant, whole food nutrition, healthy body movement, and emotional wellness.
I refer to these components as the Restoration Trio.
The emotional wellness component of the Restoration Trio is particularly interesting. We’re each different. Some may have emotional wounds or traumas, chronic stress, toxic relationships, fear/anxiety issues, disempowering belief systems, and more.
For obvious reasons, I use a multi-pronged approach to deal with chronic health concerns. I do this because ALL the issues need to be addressed. Yet, many want to skip over this vital point. The fact is, we can’t participate in regular fitness activities, practice great self-care – yet fill our bodies with empty calorie junk foods. It just won’t work.
In the same way, we can’t eat well and follow a regular fitness program, yet leave emotional issues unaddressed. You get the point. ALL THREE components of the Restoration Trio are necessary. They work in tandem to create the nurturing environment that the body needs to heal.
As you can see, the main symptoms of pain, fatigue, fibrofog, and sleep disturbances are a RESULT of other issues. It’s likely there are many other issues that in combination cause the problem.
A body that’s dealing with fibromyalgia
and/or other chronic health challenges
is a body out of balance.
Fortunately, the body is always receptive to restored balance.
What’s out of balance for you?
Healing takes place when the body is nourished, strengthened, and calmed. Addressing your issues doesn’t have to be difficult and complicated. They’re complex, for sure, but not all that complicated. The body has an AMAZING capacity to heal and when given even half a chance, that process kicks in with zeal.
So, the answer to the query “how to get out of pain” is better when re-phrased: In what way are you out of balance? What are the root causes behind YOUR pain?
I can’t wait to hear your insights to this post. What component of the Restoration Trio is your greatest source of imbalance? Is it nutrition? Fitness? Emotional Wellness?
Have you tried addressing one of these components but not all? Share your helpful comments below!


Sue Ingebretson ( is an author, speaker, certified holistic health care practitioner and the director of program development for the Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Center at California State University, Fullerton. She is also a Patient Advocate/Fibromyalgia Expert for the Alliance Health website and a Fibromyalgia editor for the ProHealth website community.

Her #1 Amazon best-selling chronic illness book, FibroWHYalgia, details her own journey from chronic illness to chronic wellness. She is also the creator of the FibroFrog™- a therapeutic stress-relieving tool which provides powerful healing benefits with fun and whimsy.

Do you know that breakfast has the greatest potential to contribute to your PAIN? Grab your free Stop Feeding Yourself PAIN guide here and learn why!

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Article Comments Post a Comment

Root causes of fibromyalgia pain
Posted by: pearls
Aug 27, 2014
My fibromyalgia has improved tremendously over the years. While I cannot say so definitively, I suspect that overuse of prescription drugs was a big factor in my onset of fibromyalgia. I was a good patient and and such good insurance that I didn't even have to pay a deductable. I also had some heath issues. A doctor would prescribe several pills to take care of my needs and maybe send me to a specialist who would add his own prescription to what I was already taking. Hardly ever would any doctor try to help me reduce my medications.

To top that off, as a teacher, it seemed like I was catching every germ that came to school. I had sinus infections and ocassional pneumonia, and for all of that, I was prescribed antibiotics.

When I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, I was precribed pills for gastro-intestinal problems, pain, sleep, alertness during the day, anti-depressants and so forth. The one pill that really made a difference was Lyrica.

So I stayed on the Lyrica but determined to get off of every pill I could. It took years and having to justify it to my doctor, but with every prescription I shed, I felt better. I even cut down on the amount of Lyrica I had been taking, though I'm still on it.

It seems to me that the multiple prescriptions might have been the cause and the perpetuation of my fibromyalgia. I read somewhere that we don't even know all the side effects of one drug. When we take two, the side effects are more than the total of what is listed for each. Further, when we take three or more drugs in combination, there is no doctor who can say exactly how their side effects interact.

Of course, I have worked to get my sleep issues taken care of naturally, have worked on my nutrition and exercise (my biggest nemesis), and have worked on pacing. These have undoubtedly helped, as well.
Reply Reply

yes I wanted to know WHY?
Posted by: msalol
Sep 20, 2014
Four years, hundreds of dollars and thousands of hours reading medical books and no help from doctors I figured out what was wrong with me. Two more years of fighting doctors to get a diagnosis put me into bed and took away my ability to walk or get dressed and when severe depression threatened my life I had to resort back to reading, skip the medical appointments andtry everything I could think of. Yes just like this article suggests I broke it down to three areas to focus on...1 nutrition, a high protein smoothie every morning in addition to whatever my family was eating for breakfast...2 get moving, I forced myself to go 1km a day sometimes it took all day sometimes it totally wiped me out but I did it and eventually could get dressed before I walked too :-)...3 get rid of people and projects which depleted me. GUESS WHAT! I am 75 percent back to my prefibromyalgia health. Thank you for your article. Its good to be on the right track.
Reply Reply
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