As we saw in our general study, the cause of fibromyalgia is unknown. There are many physical or emotional factors that may play a role in triggering fibromyalgia. Despite the large number of symptoms and theories, there is still no generally agreed upon explanation for how or why pain sensitization develops. Two larger groups of possibilities are:
1. Genetic. Perhaps, the most common theory leans towards a genetic predisposition to fibromyalgia because of a heightened sense of pain.
2. Stress. A big question is whether fibromyalgia is related to other illnesses. There is a large group of people think various stress factors, including infection, physical or emotional trauma, sleep disturbances, or other medical conditions allow for the development of fibromyalgia.(1)
However, many illnesses can cause generalized muscle aches, fatigue, and other common symptoms of fibromyalgia. For example:
Rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) are both chronic diseases. The first causes inflammation of joints, resulting in pain, swelling, and potential deformity of the affected joints. SLE is an inflammatory disorder of connective tissue. However, though both disorders share many symptoms with fibromyalgia, they have other features that are not usually seen in people with fibromyalgia.
Much of standard medical researchers wrestle over the cause and, therefore, preventative‘cure’ for fibromyalgia. While they pursue their research, we are more concerned with bring immediate relief to the pain and suffering! One might ask, “Aren’t they the same thing?” We don’t think so.
Many researchers are trying to find out what triggers the beginning of fibromyalgia in order to prevent it from happening in the first place. We do wish them well and hope they can find it – and they have far more resources than we do to accomplish it.
However, people are in misery now and we can help them greatly reduce the pain and suffering of the results of fibromyalgia. We see a strong pattern in what causes the different pain and other symptoms – and that is something we can do something about!
Let’s take a look…
Fibromyalgia and Inflammation
The pattern we see is that all the suggested possible causes of Fibromyalgia involve some trauma to the body that causes a release of inflammation. Any time there is a release of inflammation in the body, there is the production of fibrin to help patch (heal) the area.
The body usually deposits more fibrin than is needed to patch the problem simply because it is better to have too much than not enough. (A patch that doesn’t cover the damage doesn’t do much good – you simply cut off the excess.)
However, this extra fibrin will develop into excessive scar tissue if it is not removed. Our body knows this so, at least in our younger years, our body produces enough systemic enzymes to dissolve away the extra scar tissue and everything is ‘happy’.
Unfortunately, as we enter our thirties, our body no longer produces enough systemic enzymes to dissolve the excess scar tissue. The scar tissue then begins to build up in our body – especially in the organs, plugging them or simply making them less efficient! This is the start of the aging process where things start to not work as well as they use to.(2)
So, while chronic inflammation is usually not a direct cause of fibromyalgia pain, it is a root cause of fibrin buildup! The fibrin scar tissue buildup leads to the pain and suffering! This fibrin buildup also happens in many associated co-illnesses and symptoms – especially in women!
A clinical study of a systemic enzyme was conducted to determine it could reduce inflammation in patients with breast engorgement. It was noted to be superior to a placebo for improvement of breast pain, breast swelling and induration. In fact, 85% of the patients had “moderate to marked” improvement. No adverse reactions were reported and the researchers conclude it to be a safe and effective method for the treatment of breast engorgement.(3)
There was also a multi-centre, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 193 subjects suffering from acute or chronic ear, nose or throat disorders. It confirmed the effectiveness of the systemic enzyme against all of the symptoms examined – both anti-edemic and fibrinolyticactivity.(4)
Bromelain, extracted from pineapple, is one of our Bio-Fibrin enzymes. It has been found to be effective in reducing inflammation by blocking chemical signals called cytokines, which promote and increase inflammation.(5-6) One study measured up to an 85% decrease in the migration of neutrophils after bromelain treatment.(7)
How Does Fibrin Cause the Pain?
The fibrin we have been talking about (the fibro of Fibromyalgia) builds up in and around the muscles where tendons join to the bones. The fibrin also builds up in the micro-arteries and partially plugs these tiny blood vessels in the affected areas. The combination of the tightening effect of the fibrin on muscle tissue and decreased blood supply creates the environment for ischemia pain.(8)
In the case of fibromyalgia, the fibrin forms a mesh, or screen, that slows blood flow to the cells. This interferes with cell function and cell-to-cell communications leading to the accumulation of protein debris. Fortunately, this symptom of fibromyalgia can respond well to treatments, like ours, that clear protein debris.(9)
Fibromyalgia sufferers may also experience pain from excess fibrin when promoted by thrombin, a key clot promoter. In a healthy person, one burst of thrombin should generate enough fibrin to form an actual clot in the event of an injury. However, those with fibromyalgia may continuously generate low thrombin levels that can result in increased fibrin and pain as circulation slows.
Obviously, reducing fibrin, with the use of systemic enzyme therapy, is a much better and natural way of reliving pain than medications for those who suffer from fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia and Reducing Pain
Systemic photolytic enzymes are used extensively in Europe, especially Germany, and in Japan to dissolve fibrocystic cysts in the breasts and to prevent post-operative scar tissue in surgery. The value of orally taking systemic enzymes has been documented in both research and clinical use.
The safety and complete lack of toxicity of systemic enzymes makes them the treatments of choice for dissolving away scar tissue and fibrosis. With oral systemic enzymes, we now have a powerful and effective tool to safely dissolve the fibrosis and help control inflammation.(10)
Systemic photolytic enzymes have successfully demonstrated the ability to reduce pain throughout the body. For example, serrapeptase, an enzyme extracted from silk worms, has been evaluated in many studies for its effectiveness in pain reduction and has shown favorable results.
The use of systemic enzymes in treating pain throughout the body was evaluated in many clinical studies. They have evaluated pain scores between proteolytic systemic enzymes and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). The systemic enzymes were equal to conventional drug therapy in significantly reducing pain – without the side effects.(11)
Researchers also conducted a study to see the response of serrapeptase in patients with carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). After six weeks of taking serrapeptase, 65% showed significant clinical improvement, supported by measurements of nerve activity. It was no surprise that they concluded that serrapeptase therapy may prove to be a useful alternative conservative treatment.(12)
In another study, two proteolytic enzymes were used in the treatment of venous inflammatory disease. They caused a 63% reduction in spontaneous pain and 57% reduction in pain on pressure. That is a significant reduction of pain! (13)
Would systemic photolytic enzymes even work on post-operative swelling and pain of the ankle? Indeed, one study showed the swelling decreasing by 50% by the third post-operative day. The control groups (no treatment and treatment with ice) had no reduction in swelling. (Of course, the pain decreased with the reduction in swelling.) (14)
We used these principles in designing our (scar tissue) biofilm dissolving enzymes.
1. Goldenberg DL, Burckhardt C, Crofford L. Management of fibromyalgia syndrome. JAMA 2004; 292:2388.
2. See articles under “Fibrin”, Home page, “A-Z Index”, ppt-health.com.
3. Kee WH, Tan SL, Lee V, Salmon YM. The treatment of breast engorgement with Serrapeptase (Danzen): a randomised double-blind controlled trial. Singapore Med J. 1989; 30(1):48-54.
4. Mazzone A, Catalani M, Costanzo M, et al. Evaluation of Serratia peptidase in acute or chronic inflammation of otorhinolaryngology pathology: a multicentre, double-blind, randomized trial versus placebo. J Int Med Res. 1990; 18(5):379-88.
5. Onken JE, Greer PK, Calingaert B, et al. Bromelain treatment decreases secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines by colon biopsies in vitro. Clin Immunol. 2008; 126(3):345-352.
6. Secor ER, Carson WF, Singh A, et al. (2008) Oral bromelain attenuates inflammation in an ovalbumin-induced murine model of asthma. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2008; 5(1):61-69.
7. Fitzhugh DJ, Shan S, Dewhirst MW et al. Bromelain treatment decreases neutrophil migration to sites of inflammation. Clin Immunol. 2008; 128:66-74.
8. William ND, PhD, Ischemic Pain, Member World Sports Medicine Hall of Fame.
9.Hypercoagulation, Protein Accumulation, and Fibromyalgia; Keith Berndtson, M.D.; Illinois MultiMed
10. Melissa Kaplan, Chronic Neuroimmune Diseases, Information on CFS, FM, MCS, Lyme Disease, Thyroid, and more… updated January 13, 2013, Master Symptom List for CFS, FMS, CMP & Lyme Disease, Part 1. The Carousel Network, May/June 2003.
11. Klein G, Kullich W. Reducing pain by oral enzyme therapy in rheumatic diseases. Wien Med Wochenschr. 1999; 149(21-22):577-80.
12. Panagariya A, Sharma AK. A preliminary trial of serratiopeptidase in patients with carpal tunnel syndrome. J Assoc Physicians India. 2000; 48(11):1130.
13. Bracale G, Selvetella L. Clinical study of the efficacy of and tolerance to seaprose S in inflammatory venous disease. Controlled study versus serratio-peptidase (Article in Italian) Minerva Cardioangiol. 1996; 44(10):515-24.
14. Esch PM, Gerngross H, Fabian A. Reduction of postoperative swelling. Objective measurement of swelling of the upper ankle joint in treatment with serrapeptase– a prospective study (German). Fortschr Med. 1989; 107(4):67-8, 71-2.