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Oxygen: Can't live without it

This may be a reason for fibromyalgia pain – Oxygen (Or the lack thereof!)

Recently, I was asked to talk about a condition called Hypoxia and the possible cause of muscle pain and weakness as it relate to fibromyalgia. Sometimes, as an adjunct professor of a nationally acclaimed nursing college and Fibromyalgia chiropractic physician, I get “scientific” and “wordy” with my explanations’ of things. But I will endeavor to keep it simple to and to the point in this article.

It is important to start with a simple understanding of how oxygen is used by the muscles and the body as a whole. When we breathe in air, our lungs absorb the microscopic molecules found in the atmosphere. Oxygen, carbon dioxide, hydrogen and nitrogen are the main ones but there are other molecules as well. When we exhale, mostly carbon dioxide is released back into the air. Our body’s muscles need oxygen in a constant, balanced amount to be used as energy in muscle contraction. For those with fibromyalgia, this is where problems can begin!

There are a number of things that can keep those with fibromyalgia from getting enough oxygen into the muscles. The lack of iron (anemia) in the diet is a common cause. For example, if you are a woman with fibromyalgia you may have notice that you fibromyalgia is worse during or right after your menses. If you smoke or live or work with a smoker you may be inhaling a heavy metal called cadmium that can block iron from carrying oxygen to the muscles. If you have fibromyalgia, find a way to quit smoking now. If you don’t have fibromyalgia, find a way to quit smoking now. Asthma, COPD, severe allergies, a bad cold or pneumonia can decrease the amount of oxygen that your body needs.

Is your house making you sick?

Poor circulation is another cause for fibromyalgia pain in muscles. Whether it is due to age, obesity, injury or related diseases, circulation of oxygen can become reduced to the muscles; especially if you have fibromyalgia. A research article written by Ratchakrit Srikuea; et al. entitled: Association of Fibromyalgia With Altered Skeletal Muscle Characteristics Which May Contribute to Postexertional Fatigue in Postmenopausal Women shares insights to how circulation is a factor in women with fibromyalgia. (

Lastly, much of the latest research has suggested that oxygenation to the muscles of patients with fibromyalgia may not be the primary factor at all but that it may be the lack of oxygen to the nerves and or the hormonal glands.

Breathing article for fibromyalgia and low back pain

So what can you do about oxygenation and fibromyalgia? The simple answer is to breathe and breathe often. Simple breathing exercises can help. Exercise can help. CPAP machines (for sleep apnea patients) can help. Stop smoking can help. Iron, calcium and magnesium supplementation might help (be sure to have blood work done before and after supplementation).

Here is the good news. No more are scientists and doctors dismissing fibromyalgia as a non entity! There are many research studies being conducted to support the validity of fibromyalgia and perhaps someday, there just might be a solution to everyone’s favorite nightmare: fibromyalgia.



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