Type 1: Immune Hypersensitivity

Immune Hypersensitivity is a type of fibromyalgia. It is linked with environmental factors. This type is often marked by stiff, achy neck, neck and shoulder pain, wandering pains that seem to float around the body or change place frequently, dreams of fighting or being chased, and food or environmental allergies.

Initially the body gets “stuck” in a cycle of fighting off an external pathogen of some sort, unable to fully push it out of the body but stubborn enough to keep on fighting. Over a period of time, the body enters an attrition phase where it starts to become necessary to pull resources from all over the system to sustain the constant fight. This contributes to the classic “fibro fog” of clouded memory and systemic inflammation that wanders from place to place as the war is carried throughout the body.

Eventually the body loses its ability to even see who the enemy is, hence seeing many things as an enemy. This means food allergies and sensitivity to many types of pollen, and even shifts in the weather as the body starts firing off immune reactions to anything and everything. This may lead to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) symptoms and long term immunodeficiency. Each time there is an inflammatory reaction within the body, an enzyme called nitric oxide synthase has a feeding frenzy on the collateral damage and cell death that is a result of the inflammation, and the result is large spikes of a signaling molecule gas (gaso-transmitter) nitric oxide. Elevated nitric oxide levels, particularly within the gut, are linked to liver and renal system damage, which furthers the downward spiral of symptoms.

Most people remark on times of severe flu, where pain wracks the body and there is that overall “body ache” that makes the body want to not move at all. They often refer to these short periods of sickness as the most miserable times they can remember. This is what a Type 1 gets to live through every day. The average person cannot comprehend the long term mental effects of this, and it is common for Type 1 fibromyalgics to experience disdain or disbelief from those around them, which furthers the downward mental state and leads to withdrawal. Many, even on rare days where they feel okay, still hold themselves in a pained way to avoid the inevitable, “There, see? It was all in your head. Glad you are better!” type comments from those around them. Holding that clutched position further impinges the free flow of lymph and diaphragmatic movement that will strengthen the immune system.

Those with other types of fibromyalgia may also be familiar with these symptoms due to the fact that blocking the functions of organ symptoms through platelet adhesion or nitric oxide dysregulation, or mitochondrial myopathy, will damage the immune system’s ability to fight off even simple colds, leading the body to be further complicated by being stuck in a never-ending state of immuno-war.

Treatment for this type generally involves assisting the body in kicking out any pathogens while regulating nitric oxide levels and distribution. Once pain stops wandering and begins to focus on a few distinct spots, a comprehensive plan to regulate gut dysbiosis will further allow the body to snap out of a systemic inflammatory state. As digestive functions normalize, the liver is given a chance to repair and strengthen from the long term damage of elevated nitric oxide levels. This allows hormonal levels to stabilize and sleep to return. The final two stages are cleanup and strengthen, with macrophage activity increased to clean out any dead tissue and stuck platelets, and finally with overall system strengthening focusing on the renal system first and the remainder of the organs thereafter. This will strengthen the immune system and raise energy levels back to functioning level.

Fibromyalgia specific exercise and saunas are generally positive for this type, and hot baths and foot soaks will draw pathogens in deeper making the prognosis worse. Ice cold food and beverages, and applying ice or cold to the body is very bad as it will further restrict the flow of blood and lymph. Heat applied to the back of the neck and along the upper chest near the clavicles where the lymphatic system drains back into the cardiovascular system via the subclavular veins will have a positive effect. Fibromyalgia specific qigong movements for the early stages of Type 1 focus on drawing blood closer to the surface, and herbal formulas focus on proper distribution of nitric oxide, adjusting gut dysbiosis, and strengthening immuno-factors.

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