Fibromyalgia Pain and Mineral Absorption

November 19, 2012

Which minerals are the most important and the most challenging to get sufficient quantities of? Which minerals, when deficient, show up repeatedly in many disorders? Which minerals does the body have the most difficult time obtaining from our food, or absorbing into our cells? Based on the clinical experience in over a dozen years of seeing patients with chronic inflammatory, digestive and immune disorders, Immune Matrix repeatedly sees the two most common problematic minerals are magnesium and sulfur.

This blog contains articles that go into more depth on the metabolism of magnesium but it warrants repeating here the key features and challenges of magnesium and how its deficiency can fuel pain and other chronic issues. Our body stores magnesium digested from dark green leafy vegetables. We use magnesium to facilitate detoxification processes by the liver, to calm nerves, to facilitate bowel movements (which is muscle movement), among many other processes in the body.

Many people suffering from digestive disorders, allergies, and chronic inflammatory conditions such as:

  • irritable bowel
  • fibromyalgia
  • Lyme disease,
  • acid reflux
  • eczema
  • food allergies
  • migraine
  • and restless leg for example

are often challenged in their ability to absorb sufficient quantities of magnesium. Bowel tolerance means once our digestive tract can no longer absorb a substance like vitamin C or magnesium, the excess of that product is released into our bowels. That is why taking too much vitamin C or magnesium at once can cause us to have diarrhea or loose stools. It does NOT mean that we have sufficiently absorbed all the magnesium our body truly needs. These individuals will often resort to skin creams containing magnesium to increase absorption but that most often is still inefficient. Some patients need i.v. infusions to absorb sufficient quantities of magnesium as would be measured by a serum erythrocyte magnesium test.

Compounding mineral absorption issues is the sad fact that our food supply, even organic, is deficient in magnesium because of the widespread use of fertilizers which block the uptake of magnesium. However, also a little known fact is that one can develop an immune sensitivity to magnesium! There is no blood test available to check for antibodies to magnesium. Immune Matrix however has a computerized screening to detect for immune sensitivities to a host of antigens, including magnesium. Their Immune Reset Protocol will reprogram the immune system to eliminate the block to absorbing magnesium. Within a day or two patients are able to begin to take magnesium supplements and find their bowels moving when many had to resort to enemas and colonics to have a bowel movement! Over time, with the improved absorption of magnesium, the muscle stiffness and pain begin to resolve as the body is able to replenish its magnesium stores and excrete the mineral salt crystals painfully deposited into tissues of those suffering from fibomyalgia.

Having adequate magnesium stores alone will not reverse the source of much of the pain experienced in fibromyalgia. Immune Matrix has found that these patients are routinely challenged in their ability to digest and absorb mineral salts and sulfur! When one is unable to absorb minerals, we tend to store them where they do not belong, for example in muscles. (In the case of calcium salts they get deposited in the kidneys and bone, creating bone spurs and plaque in arteries!)

How do we develop a sensitivity to sulfur such that our body begins to block its metabolism and absorption? Immune Matrix has found that in all cases where the patient tests positive for having developed an immune sensitivity to sulfur, they have reached a certain threshold of toxic retention. Those toxins that our immune system is most frequently exposed to will, over time, trigger an immune memory to that substance. If we take supplements that we cannot break down sufficiently, like those high in sulfur, as with MSM, or eat foods high in sulfur:

  • egg yolks
  • garlic
  • onions
  • eggplant
  • lamb
  • red wine
  • dark green vegetables like kale, kelp, collard and watercress
  • we can create a sulfur sensitivity when we do not digest and metabolize it well.

Compounding the inability to properly digest sulfur compounds, many individuals have inherited minor defects in their sulfur metabolism pathway. Genetic testing can determine if one tests positive for a COMT defect. However, testing positive to a genetic challenge in metabolizing sulfur, while it compounds immune sensitivities to sulfur metabolism, will not be a total block to one’s ability to metabolize sulfur once the immune sensitivity is eradicated.

Fibromyalgia pain is commonly seen when patients are unable to metabolize mineral salts, the natural form that minerals are found in plants. Dark green leafy vegetables will then cause these individuals to suffer more pain, depending upon the quantity they ingest, and made worse when eaten raw and juiced.

  • Collard
  • kale
  • watercress
  • chard
  • spinach
  • seaweed
  • garlic
  • onion
  • eggplant
  • egg yolk and lamb

are all high in sulfur and mineral salts.

When patients at Immune Matrix are treated for their mineral salt and sulfur sensitivity, they are able to begin to metabolize their minerals better. Their urine DpD markers (for calcium loss) improve, they find they can tolerate the dark green leafy vegetables better and to their surprise, their trigger points for pain subside and resolve.

What can you do if you are unable to travel to receive such treatments by Immune Matrix? Determine the type and volume of dark green vegetables, high sulfur containing foods and supplements you are on. Stop taking any supplement with sulfur. Eat well cooked vegetables and do not juice raw dark green leafy vegetables. If possible, take cell salts to increase your absorption of minerals, and a broad spectrum digestive enzyme such as Ultimate Digestion by Immune Matrix. Add a medical food/detoxification support supplement beginning in very small doses such as one tablespoon a day, gradually increasing the dose with improved  tollerance, such as Fibromyalgia Formula, available online by Immune Matrix at Finally, adding cell salts to increase your mineral metabolism will help your body process and excrete mineral salts, and other minerals that accumulate in tissues and cause pain. Over time with improved absorption and detoxification, your pain symptoms will resolve. They may take longer where your immune/mineral metabolism issues cannot be treated but there is a lot you can do on your own to increase your absorption and detoxification efficiency.

Please note:

Information on this site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

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Anna Manayan

Anna Manayan