The Connection Between Hashimoto’s and Fibromyalgia

In today’s article, “The Connection Between Hashimoto’s and Fibromyalgia,” Dr. Rutherford explores the relationship between these two conditions. Having treated numerous Fibromyalgia patients over the years, he has observed a strong correlation between Fibromyalgia and Hashimoto’s. In his video, Dr. Rutherford shares his thoughts and insights on this topic, shedding light on the overlap and potential connections between the two conditions. It’s important to note that the information provided is for informational and educational purposes only, and it’s always advisable to seek professional medical advice and guidance in any medical condition.

Now, let’s delve deeper into this intriguing topic. As a functional medicine practitioner, Dr. Rutherford began his career when Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue were prevalent concerns. Understanding that Fibromyalgia refers to pain in the muscle fibers, he started to explore the root causes behind this condition. Dr. Rutherford discovered that small fiber neuropathy, a type of nerve pain, can contribute to the overall symptoms experienced by Fibromyalgia patients. Moreover, he recognized the significant role of Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune thyroid disease, in triggering and exacerbating Fibromyalgia symptoms. By addressing inflammation and underlying factors such as blood sugar imbalances, it was possible to alleviate Fibromyalgia symptoms in many cases. The connection between Hashimoto’s and Fibromyalgia became apparent, with approximately 75% of Fibromyalgia patients also having Hashimoto’s. Understanding this connection can help pave the way for more effective treatment strategies and improved outcomes for individuals suffering from both conditions.

Causes and Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

Chronic fatigue and muscle pain

Fibromyalgia is characterized by chronic fatigue and muscle pain. Individuals with this condition experience widespread pain and tenderness in their muscles, which can affect their daily activities and quality of life. The exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, but it is believed to result from a combination of genetic, environmental, and psychological factors.

Small fiber neuropathy

Small fiber neuropathy is a common symptom of fibromyalgia. It refers to nerve damage or dysfunction in the small fibers of the peripheral nervous system. This can result in widespread pain, tingling, and numbness throughout the body. Small fiber neuropathy may also contribute to other fibromyalgia symptoms, such as fatigue and sleep disturbances.

Thyroid component and fatigue

Research has shown that there is a link between thyroid dysfunction and fibromyalgia. Many individuals with fibromyalgia also have an autoimmune thyroid disease called Hashimoto’s disease. The thyroid gland plays a crucial role in regulating metabolism, energy levels, and overall well-being. When the thyroid is not functioning properly, it can lead to chronic fatigue and other fibromyalgia symptoms.

Inflammation and its effects on fibromyalgia

Inflammation is believed to play a role in the development and progression of fibromyalgia. Chronic inflammation in the body can increase sensitivity to pain and contribute to muscle stiffness and fatigue. Inflammatory markers, such as C-reactive protein, have been found to be elevated in individuals with fibromyalgia. Managing inflammation through lifestyle changes, diet, and medication can help alleviate fibromyalgia symptoms.

Understanding Hashimoto’s Disease

Autoimmune thyroid disease

Hashimoto’s disease is an autoimmune thyroid disease characterized by the immune system attacking the thyroid gland. This leads to inflammation and damage to the thyroid, resulting in decreased production of thyroid hormones. Hashimoto’s disease is the most common cause of hypothyroidism, a condition characterized by fatigue, weight gain, and depression.

Inflammation and its connection to fibromyalgia

Both Hashimoto’s disease and fibromyalgia involve inflammation in the body. The presence of chronic inflammation can exacerbate symptoms and contribute to the development of fibromyalgia. Inflammation can cause pain, fatigue, and other symptoms commonly associated with fibromyalgia. Managing inflammation is an essential aspect of addressing both Hashimoto’s disease and fibromyalgia.

Hashimoto’s and its impact on the body

Hashimoto’s disease can have wide-ranging effects on the body beyond the thyroid gland. It can lead to symptoms such as brain fog, muscle weakness, joint pain, and digestive issues. These symptoms overlap with those of fibromyalgia, further supporting the connection between the two conditions. Addressing Hashimoto’s disease may effectively alleviate fibromyalgia symptoms and improve overall well-being.

The Connection Between Hashimotos and Fibromyalgia

The Link Between Hashimoto’s and Fibromyalgia

Common occurrence of Hashimoto’s in fibromyalgia patients

Numerous studies have shown a high prevalence of Hashimoto’s disease among individuals with fibromyalgia. It is estimated that approximately 75% of fibromyalgia patients also have Hashimoto’s disease. This suggests a strong connection between the two conditions and highlights the importance of evaluating and addressing thyroid function in fibromyalgia management.

The role of autoimmune attacks in fibromyalgia symptoms

Autoimmune attacks on the thyroid gland in Hashimoto’s disease can contribute to the development and severity of fibromyalgia symptoms. The immune system mistakenly targets the body’s own tissues, leading to inflammation and damage. This immune dysregulation can trigger widespread pain, fatigue, and other symptoms associated with fibromyalgia.

Connection between gut problems and fibromyalgia

Gut problems, such as leaky gut syndrome and imbalances in gut bacteria, have been observed in both Hashimoto’s disease and fibromyalgia patients. This suggests a potential link between gut health and fibromyalgia development. Dysbiosis and increased intestinal permeability can contribute to chronic inflammation and immune dysfunction, further aggravating fibromyalgia symptoms.

Impact of bad bacteria on muscle fibers

In individuals with gut problems, harmful bacteria can escape the intestines and enter the bloodstream. These bacteria can then travel throughout the body, including the muscles. Their presence can trigger an immune response, leading to muscle inflammation and pain. By addressing gut health and reducing bad bacteria, it may be possible to alleviate fibromyalgia symptoms.

Treating the Connection

Addressing the underlying cause of Hashimoto’s

Treating Hashimoto’s disease effectively involves addressing the underlying autoimmune dysfunction. This can include lifestyle modifications, dietary changes, and medication to regulate thyroid function. By managing Hashimoto’s disease, it is possible to alleviate fibromyalgia symptoms and improve overall well-being.

Improving gut health and reducing bacteria

Given the potential connection between gut problems and fibromyalgia, improving gut health is crucial in managing both conditions. This can be achieved through dietary changes, such as reducing processed foods and increasing fiber intake. Probiotics and other supplements may also promote a healthy gut microbiome, reducing inflammation and supporting the immune system.

Effects of fixing blood sugar imbalances on fibromyalgia symptoms

Addressing blood sugar imbalances, such as reactive hypoglycemia, can have a positive impact on fibromyalgia symptoms. Stabilizing blood sugar levels through dietary changes, regular meals, and avoiding refined sugars can help reduce inflammation and fatigue associated with both fibromyalgia and Hashimoto’s disease.

Managing inflammation for fibromyalgia relief

Since both Hashimoto’s disease and fibromyalgia involve inflammation, managing inflammation is key to finding relief. This can be achieved through various strategies, including an anti-inflammatory diet, regular exercise, stress management techniques, and targeted supplementation. By reducing inflammation, individuals may experience a significant improvement in fibromyalgia symptoms.

The Connection Between Hashimotos and Fibromyalgia

Controversies and Misconceptions

Challenges in diagnosing fibromyalgia

Diagnosing fibromyalgia can be challenging due to the overlapping and subjective nature of its symptoms. Many times, individuals with fibromyalgia undergo multiple tests and consultations before receiving a proper diagnosis. The lack of a specific medical test for fibromyalgia adds to the complexity of diagnosing and understanding this condition.

Discrepancies in understanding fibromyalgia pain

There are still discrepancies among medical professionals when it comes to understanding and addressing fibromyalgia pain. Some clinicians may dismiss fibromyalgia as purely psychological or stress-related, while others recognize the complex physiological factors involved. Increasing awareness and education about fibromyalgia can help bridge this knowledge gap and improve patient care.

The need to retire the term ‘fibromyalgia’

The term “fibromyalgia” itself has been heavily criticized for being vague and lacking specificity. Some medical professionals argue that it hampers progress in understanding and treating the condition. However, for the time being, fibromyalgia remains a widely recognized term that patients can use to communicate their symptoms and seek appropriate medical care.

Prevalence of Hashimoto’s in Fibromyalgia

Studies supporting the connection between Hashimoto’s and fibromyalgia

Numerous studies have reported a high prevalence of Hashimoto’s disease among individuals diagnosed with fibromyalgia. These studies provide strong evidence supporting the link between the two conditions. Understanding this correlation can help healthcare providers better evaluate and treat fibromyalgia patients.

Percentage of fibromyalgia patients with Hashimoto’s

Research suggests that approximately 75% of fibromyalgia patients also have Hashimoto’s disease. This high percentage highlights the importance of evaluating thyroid function in individuals diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Treating Hashimoto’s disease can lead to substantial improvements in fibromyalgia symptoms and overall well-being.

Possible reasons for the correlation

The exact reasons for the correlation between Hashimoto’s disease and fibromyalgia are still being explored. However, shared immune dysregulation, chronic inflammation, and genetic factors are believed to play a role. Additionally, gut problems and the impact of bad bacteria on muscle fibers may contribute to both conditions, further strengthening their connection.

The Connection Between Hashimotos and Fibromyalgia

Impact of Hashimoto’s on Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Role of chronic stress and PTSD in fibromyalgia

Many individuals with fibromyalgia have experienced chronic stress or past traumas, contributing to the development of PTSD. These psychological factors can exacerbate fibromyalgia symptoms and make them more challenging to manage. Addressing stress through therapy, relaxation techniques, and lifestyle changes can help improve fibromyalgia outcomes.

Connection between gut problems and fibromyalgia

Gut problems, such as leaky gut syndrome and imbalances in gut bacteria, have been observed in individuals with fibromyalgia. These gut issues can lead to increased inflammation, immune dysfunction, and nutrient deficiencies. By addressing gut health through dietary modifications and targeted supplementation, individuals may experience relief from fibromyalgia symptoms.

The significance of food and chemical sensitivities

Individuals with fibromyalgia commonly experience food and chemical sensitivities. These sensitivities can contribute to inflammation and exacerbate fibromyalgia symptoms. Identifying and avoiding trigger foods and chemicals through an elimination diet or directed testing may help alleviate symptoms and improve overall well-being.

Case Studies and Personal Experiences

Sharing success stories of fibromyalgia patients with Hashimoto’s

Numerous success stories exist among fibromyalgia patients with Hashimoto’s disease. Individuals who have addressed both conditions through comprehensive treatment approaches often report significant improvements in their symptoms, quality of life, and overall well-being. These personal experiences highlight the importance of individualized treatment and a holistic approach to fibromyalgia and Hashimoto’s management.

Real-life accounts of symptom improvement

Many individuals with fibromyalgia and Hashimoto’s disease have shared their experiences of symptom improvement through various interventions. These interventions may include dietary changes, stress management techniques, thyroid hormone replacement therapy, and targeted supplementation. Each person’s journey is unique, emphasizing the importance of personalized treatment plans.

The importance of individualized treatment

Due to the complex nature of fibromyalgia and Hashimoto’s disease, individualized treatment is crucial. What works for one person may not work for another. A healthcare provider knowledgeable in both conditions can assess an individual’s unique circumstances and develop a tailored approach to address the underlying causes and manage symptoms effectively.

The Connection Between Hashimotos and Fibromyalgia

Future Research and Treatment Approaches

Exploring further the relationship between Hashimoto’s and fibromyalgia

Future research should continue to investigate the relationship between Hashimoto’s disease and fibromyalgia. Understanding the underlying mechanisms and shared pathways can pave the way for advancements in treatment and management strategies. By addressing both conditions simultaneously, healthcare providers can optimize outcomes for individuals with fibromyalgia.

Developing targeted therapies for both conditions

Advancements in research may lead to the development of targeted treatments for both Hashimoto’s disease and fibromyalgia. This could involve novel medications, interventions to modulate the immune system, and innovative approaches to managing chronic inflammation. Target-specific therapies hold the potential to improve symptoms and overall well-being for individuals with fibromyalgia and Hashimoto’s.

Promoting a holistic approach to treating fibromyalgia and Hashimoto’s

A holistic approach that integrates conventional medicine with complementary therapies can provide comprehensive care for individuals with fibromyalgia and Hashimoto’s disease. This may include lifestyle modifications, dietary changes, stress reduction strategies, physical therapy, and complementary therapies such as acupuncture or massage. By addressing the physical, emotional, and environmental aspects of these conditions, individuals can experience greater symptom relief and an improved quality of life.


The strong connection between Hashimoto’s disease and fibromyalgia highlights the importance of comprehensive evaluation and treatment for individuals with fibromyalgia symptoms. Considering the underlying autoimmune component, chronic inflammation, gut health, and other contributing factors can lead to more effective management strategies. By addressing the underlying causes and promoting individualized treatment, individuals with fibromyalgia and Hashimoto’s disease have the potential for significant symptom improvement and enhanced overall well-being.

The Connection Between Hashimotos and Fibromyalgia

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