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Adrienne Dellwo

Bacteria Tied to Fibromyalgia?

By December 7, 2010

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Research Brief

New research published in Clinical Rheumatology suggests a link between fibromyalgia and infection with a bacteria called heliobacter pylori, or H pylori.

Researchers found that participants with fibromyalgia had significantly higher positive rates of H pylori infection than those in the control group. They concluded that the infection may play a role in the disease process or may be a triggering factor. However, H pylori infection is common in the general population and frequently causes no symptoms, so researchers add that it's difficult to interpret their results.

H pylori is best known as a stomach infection that can lead to ulcers and stomach cancer.

Do you think fibromyalgia is linked to an infection? Has treating for infection or boosting your immune system eased your symptoms? Leave your comments below!

Learn more or join the conversation!


December 7, 2010 at 9:38 am
(1) Dave Hompes says:

I’ve worked with hundreds of H pylori patients over the last four years. H pylori can cause and contribute to a vast array of seemingly unrelated symptoms around the body. It causes inflammation in the gut, which leads to systemic inflammation a strong hormonal response and an inability to digest food, resulting in vitamin and mineral deficiency (e.g. iron, B12). Women with Fibromyalgia and CFS can respond beautifully when digestive infections are removed…and it’s not just H pylori. There’s also Candida, other bacteria like Salmonella, C Difficile, E coli and parasites, ranging from microscopic bugs to worms. They can all contribute to the FMS symptomatology. Hope this helps and please feel free to browse at http://www.h-pylori-symptoms.com
Warm regards, Dave Hompes.

December 7, 2010 at 11:01 am
(2) Bethany Platte says:

I have been taking supplements since before I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Including Vitamin C, & Echinachia. I was diagnosed in 1998 after a car accident in 1997. Mine has only gotten worse. I am on a antiflamitory, 2 pain killers, 1 FM specific med. and more because of migraines.

December 7, 2010 at 11:15 am
(3) Raxon Watson says:

I believe that there should be no linkage. We try to find any connection to give us reason. A medical specialist is the right person who can corroborate, they are those who care for the health and know more than us.

December 7, 2010 at 6:59 pm
(4) Bruce Shapiro says:

I contracted H pylori during a trip to the USSR in ’89.
I had stomach discomfort for 2.5 years until it was finally diagnosed. Since then my health has been compromised with various stomach pains throughout the ’90s & in 2005 I was finally diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.

If there is a link, then I’m the poster boy

December 7, 2010 at 7:04 pm
(5) Bruce Shapiro says:

I contracted H pylori in ’89 after trip the the USSR.
I was sick for 2.5 years until it was diagnosed & had a long list of stomach problems well into the late ’90′s. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 2005. If there is a link then I’m the poster boy for it

December 7, 2010 at 10:24 pm
(6) Beth says:

I’ve recently been diagnosed with FMS and I have twice tested positive for h.pylori (the second time was AFTER a course of a zillion of antibiotics a day!!).

Interesting article….

December 8, 2010 at 3:58 pm
(7) Pained says:

I’ve been diagnosed repeatedly with fibromyalgia — and I have chronic ulcer disease. But I do NOT have H pylori, confirmed by endoscopy. Too bad, would have made for a relatively simple treatment course.

December 8, 2010 at 5:32 pm
(8) Toni says:

My Fibromyalgia started after a course of antibiotics for a sinus infection caused me to have Clostridium Difficile. So who know’s what triggers these diseases. I take a great deal of meds to keep the condition under control and pray that someday a cure will be found.

December 9, 2010 at 12:53 pm
(9) delere says:

I think it’s could be at the very least a significant component. I’ve had fibro for 13 years. My body feels like it’s constantly on the verge of coming down with a bug of some sort. If I am late eating a meal or don’t eat enough on a given day I start to get a sore throat and sometimes I also get a sinus headache.

It seems as if my immune system is in a constant state of fighting off something and the slightest act (like not eating in time or enough) that may tax the immune system a little more pushes it over the edge.

December 10, 2010 at 4:07 pm
(10) Sita says:

Interesting. I have been treated for H.Pylori bacteria and 2 years later I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I never thought about the H.Pylori diagnosis (and the ton of antibiotics I had to take) since I was done with the treatment course. So I have no idea if I still would test positive for it (no insurance so no doc appt) and if the antibiotic treatment would help with fibro.

I know that i’ll definitely try to keep track of any more research about this.

December 10, 2010 at 4:21 pm
(11) Janie says:

Hmmm…. I thought people with FMS/CFS were more prone to infection? So wouldn’t it make sense that many FMS”ers had it? Kinda like the phrase ……”which came first-the chicken or the egg?”……. I tested positive for H-Pilori over 10 yrs ago. I was treated with 3 different antibiotics. for three weeks? (if memory only worked). I do remember one of them giving me a awful metal taste in my mouth. I have had trouble with my stomach for yrs, heartburn,bloating, pain., etc……actually I have suspected that i have it again, (H-pilori). I have concerns about the antibiotic treatment., killing off all the bacteria,good and bad. Any one else have the same concerns? Take care

December 10, 2010 at 5:21 pm
(12) toni m says:

I started having problems with my stomach at a very early age, before high school. I was diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrom I was in my early 20s, about 15 years later with fibromyalgia, then about 6 years after H-pylori.
I did the anti-biotic treatment for H-pylori, but ended up really ill with all kinds of yeast infections.
I think the H-pylori is back and along with it came severe flare ups with FMs. I’m not comfortable knowing I would have to deal with the anti-biotics again and looking for another means of dealing with it.
Not sure if it’s all related, but my guess is maybe….

December 10, 2010 at 9:08 pm
(13) Jane says:

I have had stomach problems in the past and have had tests for h-pylori. Both times I came back positive and was treated with antibiotics that made me practically live in my bathroom. However, I STILL had fibromyalgia symptoms. I do NOT believe a word of it that fibro is caused by this bacteria because if so I would be fibro free. I recently had ANOTHER test for h-pylori and this time it came back negative but I still have fibro. I think that they need to go back to square one and figure it out all over again. Additionally I have a large bowl of Greek style yogurt EVERY day which provides billions of friendly bacteria and I believe that is why I no longer have h-pylori.

December 10, 2010 at 9:10 pm
(14) Jen says:

It IS interesting, but I’m not sure that it’s meaningful. Also interesting, I heard recently that some doctors believe we are all supposed to have H. Pylori as part of our good bacteria. They believe those with trouble either have a bad or more aggressive strain, or a poor immune system which causes overgrowth.

One thing I am convinced of is that I have low stomach acid. I also believe that is the cause of all the heartburn you see people treating all over the place. Having low stomach acid prevents the lower esophageal sphincter from closing up–it requires strong acid to trigger it to close. But even though the stomach contents aren’t acidic enough to keep it closed off, they are acidic enough to cause problems and damage farther up the esophagus, sinus etc. Taking antacids only makes it worse! Ever hear of “rebound?”. It’s the drug companies way of keeping you back for more for the rest of your life. Check out the book, “Why stomach acid is good for you.”

Low stomach acid also means you aren’t digesting properly. Like many others, I had many vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Protein digestion was particularly compromised–my ventures into supplementing various amino acids quickly showed me that I needed protein badly.

Now I take supplemental betaine HCL with each meal as well as digestive enzymes for better protein digestion. It is one of the few things that made a huge difference in my symptoms. It also completely resolved my heartburn problems and the chronic mucous in my throat and my voice became smooth again after years of being raspy and breathy.

December 10, 2010 at 9:11 pm
(15) Jen says:

I also eat very little wheat because I have a problem with fructose malabsorption, which is probably related to the acid problem and the inflammation in my gut that it caused.

I believe, but can’t remember for sure, that H. pylori can be associated with low stomach acid, so that brings me full circle. At any rate, I’m sure the betaine HCL is helping to keep that under control now. My digestion is greatly improved and I need fewer amino acids in the form of 5-HTP, glutamine, GABA, taurine, etc to keep my mood even. I also feel better, don’t have bizarre symptoms of disautonomia anymore and have plenty of energy.

I’m telling you cfs/fibro are caused by digestive issues. There are probably many different types of these digestion problems and they are additive and affect each other.

December 10, 2010 at 10:21 pm
(16) Jane says:

I still believe with all of my conviction that my fibro was caused by hazardous chemical exposure while I was in the military. I was healthy before I went in and have been in constant pain when and since I got out.

December 11, 2010 at 4:18 am
(17) genna says:

I was in the military too, agent orange used near Fort Maclellan in 1965, is this the cause of my fibromyalgia???

December 11, 2010 at 6:25 am
(18) Julie says:

Hi folks fm for 15 years…liver is sick from all meds…stomach has gastritis…looked in this check it out…www.activemanukahoneyusa.com/gastritis.htm
the honey suppose to get rid of the h.pylori…read up on it maybe it might help…I’m not cured but the processe of ulimination has helped me…of all toxic …chemicals in every way even water,toothpaste,I eat very careful,organics …and calcium/magn/vit d helps me alot…I pass my self,,,nap,,,stay positive..a must…hope this helps …my heart goes out to you..a wish you healing health…Julie

December 11, 2010 at 1:48 pm
(19) Linda says:

WOW!!! This is fantastic! THank you for the article and for your comments you have been a great help to me in my research to find causes for all my medical problems. I have FIBRO/CFS, stomach intgestine problems, 4 stents in my heart, asthma, etc. I believe totally that stomach problems are related to FIBRO/CFS. I have had FIBRO/CFS for many, many years possibly since I was a kid. I have also had stomach, intestine, kidney, gall bladder, etc since I was a kid. Had my gall bladder out when I was 17-18 and there was a huge gall stone. Now the list goes from acid reflux, hyatial hyernia, bad bacteria in my disgestive tract where it should be good bacteria, to GRED, deviticulitis, plus kidney infections on and off and had to have a pulup removed from large intestine 2yrs ago. Know I’m forgetting some things but, that’s the most of the stomach/intestine problems. The antibiotics I was given for diviticulitis and later the pain pill I was given for the pain of all helped make my FIBRO less painfull. the stuff for Acid reflux, GRED didn’t help my FIBRO. I intend to stay on tract of this and see what else comes up. May all of you find help for your pain and feel better.

December 11, 2010 at 2:44 pm
(20) Valetudinarian says:

Anyone with H. Pylori or suspected stomach infection please check out the supplement Betaine. It helps raise the hydrochloric acid in the stomach thereby not allowing things like h. pylori to live.

Linda, it also helps with certain gall stones.

December 16, 2010 at 11:44 am
(21) Susan Mosher says:

I find this very interesting. I am working with a doctor who did extensive bloodwork on me and found that I was exposed to toxic black mold (an old exposure and one that I belieive came from my childhood believe it or not) and mycoplasma pneumonia (walking pneumonia). My blood levels were very high for both of these, as well as the Epstein Barr Virus, so I definitely think there is a link between infections (past perhaps) and fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue.

January 5, 2011 at 6:58 pm
(22) Benia Zouras says:

I recently had an EGD done with biopsy for H. Pylori and it came back negative, despite gastritis with erosions and horrible symptoms that lasted for months. I’m finally doing better now with a proton pump inhibitor, but I don’t think H. Pylori has much to do with Fibromyalgia, unless having FMS simply weakens one to the point where other infections may more easily take hold in the body.

January 6, 2011 at 12:08 pm
(23) Maggie says:

Yes I believe I contracted Fibromyalgia as a result of a virus. Over 30 years ago I had the Type B Asian flu and I didn’t know anyone or anything for 3 days. I think the virus entered my body then and laid dormant for several years.

January 6, 2011 at 12:12 pm
(24) phylor says:

I’ve been tested for h-pylori due to stomach issues, and don’t have the bacteria. However, I do have fibromyalgia. So in my case, there doesn’t appear to be a link between the 2. Stomach/digestion issues such as IBS are often part of fibro folks’ lives.

January 6, 2011 at 12:20 pm
(25) Joanne says:

I have Fibromyalgia, and later was treated for H-pylori. H-pylori is a miserable condition. Every so often, I have severe troubles with my stomach and digestive system, and run to be tested for H-pylori, so far, I have never had it again.

I had the Fibromyalgia long before the H-pylori, and although it may be linked to some fibro cases, I don’t think it had anything to do with my being diagnosed with Fibro.

January 6, 2011 at 12:56 pm
(26) Cindy Evans says:

I do feel that infection is related. I had a staph infection back in 2005 that I was hospitalized with and I have not been the same since. I have also had other staph infections through the years that I have to be hospitalized. My body gets worse and worse everytime I am sick.

January 6, 2011 at 9:40 pm
(27) Lee says:

I have limited systemic scleroderma and Fibro. I think the two reasons that I got them are I got the chicken pox when I was 37 and I worked I in-ventilated hair salons for over 20 years.

January 7, 2011 at 1:27 am
(28) Tammy says:

I have done some research on all the Fibro stuff, trying to find something that will help with the pain. From my research, it seems that Fibro is hereditary and that some trama to the body, either physical or emotional, will cause it to be brought forth. I look back over my life and see where when I was sick, I had mild symptoms that would go away when I was back to normal. It was after 16 surgeries in one year (15 for a kidney damaged by a birth defect and 1 for diverticulitis caused by the massive amount of pain pills and antibotics from the kidney problems) that was my trigger for the Fibro to stay. I have also since developed Hashimoto, diabetes and high blood pressure. Stress triggers outbreaks of more pain for me. I honestly think that Fibro is not caused by health issues but is something that is inherited and could be brought to the surface because of trama to the system, whether is it a botched surgery (like my brother’s) or possibly a certain strain of disease, or even an emotional trama such as loosing a loved one. It stands to reason that once the Fibro has been diagnosed that other health issues will cause syptoms to flair. Well, that is my belief from the research I have done.

February 11, 2011 at 1:26 am
(29) Bonnie says:

After reading so many peoples stories of stomach problems
and Fibromylgia I just had to comment.
I has H Pilori in 1995, took all the antibotics got better, although
I must say I really took about 1 year before my stomach was back to normal. One year later was diagnosed with widespread pain, took several years to get a diagnosis of Fibro.
I can remember just sitting there crying, knowing that I hurt all over and stayed exhaused. Ten years later I was diagnosed with Sjogren’s Syndrome which Is an infammatory autoimmune disease, and have had it ever since. So far I feel blessed not to be diagnosed with RA. although my inflammation factor is high. Still hoping the medical community will see that it is no coincidence many of us share the same problems.
Just to let you know I care, and feel your pain.

May 19, 2011 at 12:41 pm
(30) Mr. I Am ****ed says:

Had H. Pylori for 2 years now and couple days ago I got fibromyalgia symptoms and burning sensations on the skin.

September 13, 2011 at 2:07 am
(31) Canadian says:

I am a 42 year old woman, diagnosed with fibromyalgia when I was 39.
I have had bacterial infections in my throat (tonsils) at least 10 times between age 19 and 38, including strep throat.
When I had strep throat, I felt like I was dying until the antibiotics started to take effect.
My feeling is that fibromyalgia IS caused by a microorganism (virus, bacterium, or ?).

November 13, 2011 at 10:00 pm
(32) Simzee says:

I was diagnosed with FM in July 2011. A month later got blood results that I had Ross River Virus. Has anyone else had this connection?

January 11, 2012 at 11:39 am
(33) PN says:

I was diagnosed with Fibro 17yrs ago after the CMV virus. I’m going to have an Endoscopy because of my age to check for h. pylori and have a biopsy to make sure the ulcer I have hasn’t morphed into something worse. 3 yrs ago I had Meningitis. Dr’s think i was run down and a virus living in me broke thru the blood/brain barrier (I had been under tremendous stress). I have recently been under worse stress…it doesn’t surprise me that my body is reacting like this again.

January 19, 2012 at 11:16 pm
(34) istaycee says:

I’m not sure if it’s related, however ironically I was dx’ed with H pylori when I was 7 years old in 1972. I have had years of Fibromyalgia symptoms and finally a diagnosis in 2008. Interesting theory.

August 13, 2012 at 7:54 am
(35) AJ says:

H Pylori caused my years of misrey, tiredness, hot flushes, depression, sinus problems.

Get treatment for this bacteria, and try to use alternatives to supplement healing yourself, like vitamins, manuka honey, coconut oil. Exercise and minimise stress levels.

December 12, 2012 at 12:54 pm
(36) Tania says:

I was just diagnosed wih fibromyalgia a couple months ago, and have had stomach problems since i start having kids, but just recently I have been having stomach problems, such as non stop throwing up, they sent me for a stomach scope and found lots of H-Pylori, & the antibiotics make me more sick, the doctor said he is not sure if the h-pylori is the cause of my vomiting because we have not been able to treat the h-pylori because i can not hold down the medication. its very inresting on how they are connected.

January 19, 2013 at 11:01 pm
(37) Igor Del Norte says:

They is very interesting theory. I was diagnosed with h.pylory in 2012. Few years before that I had a little pain all over but it wasn’t too bad. After I was diagnosed with h.pylory I took triple treatment. It worked but month later my pain got so bad that I could not tolerate. Few months later after so many tests (all negative) doctors give me Fibro diagnosis.
I think h.pylory could be a trigger but not a main cause. Till today Fibro is a huge puzzle for doctors. I think its related to bacteria or lack of particular bacteria which somehow responsible for nerves and sensitivity.
For people who is interested to learn about connections between nerve and our gut please read book “Probiotics Revolution”. I hope that one day will have cure for it. Good thing it’s not life threatening just painfull.

March 10, 2013 at 9:49 am
(38) Rosemary says:

Diagnosed with Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue since early 2004. Symptoms seem to diminish whenever I take antibiotics for other diagnosed bacterial infections. It has been my belief that the cause of Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue is some type of infection which is not caught by General Practitioners as they only follow up with medications to treat the symptoms of Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue. Unfortunately the antibiotics are either not prescribed long enough or in insufficient doses or even not quite the right antibiotic for the unidentified bacteria causing the discomfort in the first place. I sincerely hope more ‘scientific medical’ research is done for these conditions/illnesses.

June 7, 2013 at 8:12 am
(39) Ema says:

There is the supplement called Mastica.Suppose to help to get rid of bacteria.You also suppose to brush your teeth with the contents of the pill. i started doing that.It is a tree sap,whilte powder.Chios Gum Mastica.
If you have a pain under your ribs than it is most likely that you have H-Pylori .

June 13, 2013 at 8:19 pm
(40) patricia a krupica says:

I recently was treated for an infected finger with three anti biotics and since i took them my pains have reduced greatly. My leg pain is so much less and I wonder if it could be because of the anti biotics.

July 7, 2013 at 5:25 am
(41) Karlabubbles says:

My symptoms started after taking a large dose of a broad spectrum antibiotic, I had always had mild IBS, mostly triggered by stress but it has been much worse since taking these, I was also treated for chronic yeast after this, all the time the symptoms got worse. I could entertain the idea of it being caused by bacteria if I had been treated for one type of bacteria but I am convinced that these antibiotics caused the problem and somehow caused an imbalance. After eating a mainly plant based diet for a few months I do feel a lot better but am still having digestion and bladder issues. Hopefully time will tell if my instincts are right on that one but as far as fibromyalgia is concerned I don’t think there is one cause that can be isolated, its like being some sort of detective as many things can lead to an imbalance and the symptoms of imbalance can be very similar regardless of the cause. What I can say is that eating well means that I can at least have a life now.

August 19, 2013 at 5:03 pm
(42) Crystal says:

I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in January of this year 2013.
The pain has been horrible. It got to the point I almost couldn’t walk.
Found I was low on vitamin D. Now taking 10,000IU’s a day. Leg pain
has really let up.
What’s interesting is I was diagnosed a week ago with H. Pylori.
I have been on antibiotics now for one week. I’m taking Amoxicillin 500mg
twice a day and Clarithromycin every 12 hours.
My Fibromyalgia pain has been totally gone now for the past 5 days.
It’s like a miracle. I’m not sure, but I think the antibiotics have made my
Fibro pain go away. Maybe I’ve had H. Pylori all a long and it some how
caused the Fibro pain. It was after I had gotten 3 viral infections that I
started being in pain. I pray the antibiotics are the answer and that the
Fibro pain never comes back.

August 23, 2013 at 12:11 pm
(43) Jeff says:

Fibromyalgia is actually Toxic Encephalopathy in most cases. It has been well documented since 2008-2013, that there is an alteration of blood fow in the brain of Fibromyalgia patients. What is/are the cause(s)? I got it from a defective A/C evapoator in a car, through exposure to high levels of MVOC’s. Many of the people I have interviewed, have unknowingly gotten it the same way. Why haven’t you heard about this before? Answer: ALL of the Court cases have been ‘sealed”.
If you research Toxic Enceohalopathy, you will find ALL of the answers to Fibromyalgia. The info is readily available, and you will see that ALL of the systems are identified, and explained.
Read about the Nitic Oxide levels in the brain caused by same.
BTW, H Pylori infection is a consequence of the imune system dysfunction caused by T. E. Mine works at @ 60% when last checked in 2011.

August 24, 2013 at 2:15 am
(44) sally says:

Diagnosed with Fibro 22 years ago after the birth of my son. Recent blood tests reveal I have low immonoglublins, specifically IgG, IgA and IgM are all below normal. Gastroenteroligist (attempting to find cause and treatment for my chronic diarrhea of 18 months) has referred me to Hemotologist. All other CBC results completely normal ranges. On my best days I feel like I”m coming down with a bug, on my worst I am, well, sick all over.

Obviously have a low level of antibodies that fight off virus, bacteria etc. and none of this could have helped my disease. So, today I wonder, have I been fighting low levels of infection for the past 22 years? Time and more testing will tell.

October 3, 2013 at 10:48 pm
(45) Judi says:

Had fibro for about the last 15 years. Have had 3 bouts of diverticulitis in the past 10 years and each time was put on Septea and Flagyll. All three times after taking the antibiotics my fibro pain disappears for about 4-6 weeks. I can’t imagine continuing the antibiotics because of the nausea side effects. But found it very strange that I become pain free during this time and always wondered what the correlation is?

November 20, 2013 at 3:42 am
(46) Mike says:

OK…I have been work on the cause of fibro for many years. It all starts in the gut right….First you have to know the real cause of all diseases…Toxic Over load…How does the body detoxify its self ? Limp, liver ,kidney ,skin and lungs right…? Its not that easy. We need to look deeper into are metabolic weakness… Its all about Methylation!
This is how we get fibro. We are born with gene defects. The one that impacts fibro the most is called CBS mutation.You can get your genes tested for 100 bucks at 23 me. What’s happens with this defect is…you can not handle sulfur food groups…Over time ammonia build up in your body damaging your mitochondria… How does hpylori fit in you ask? When you have an over load in ammonia from a CBS munitions and yeast infection…Its Block the body’s enzymes for making HCL. You need stomach acid to control hpylori with out it… You will have a overgrowth. Check it out …h pylori steals your Manganese to protect it self …We need the antioxidants manganese superoxide…to protect the mitochondria… Manganese is the main cofactor. Its a big mess…. but the first step to getting you well is …Genes testing..( 23 me ) Step 2. start taking active B 12 and low does Manganese with a mitochondria vitamins…Step 3. Add NT factor to heal the mitochondria..Step 4. Diet and vitamins, that are based on your gene defects…Step 5 .Inhibit hpylori with herbs you will never kill it…the plan is to stop mitochondria damage before it turn into CFS or Cancer. Also the kidney are damage from the ammonia over load….Goodluck!

April 25, 2014 at 11:49 am
(47) Julia says:

Hi, what herbs to I take too ?

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