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Dr. Rodger Murphree is a chiropractic physician and board certified nutritional specialist. He is an internationally recognized fibromyalgia expert. His “Murphree Method,” a combination of functional and orthomolecular medicine, has helped thousands of patients get healthy and feel good again. He’s the author of 3 books for patients and doctors including... Read More
- Those With Fibromyalgia Usually Have Several Gastrointestinal Disorders
- What is Irritable Syndrome and Steps for Correcting it
- Protocols for Reflux, Malabsorption, Leaky Gut and Other GI Conditions
Related TopicsAging, Bile, Bloating, Bone Loss, Brain Fog, Calcium Absorption, Chronic Illness, Chronic Pain, Colon, Digestive Enzymes, Enzyme Deficiency, Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, Food Allergies, Gas, Gastrointestinal System, Gut Health, Heartburn, IBS, Inflammation, Intestinal Infection, Large Intestine, Leaky Gut, Low Energy, Malabsorption Syndrome, Melatonin Production, Nausea, Pain, Pancreatic Enzymes, Pathogen Infection, Poor Sleep, Protein Breakdown, Proton Pump Inhibitors, Reflux, Sibo, Sibo Detection, Sleep Disorders, Small Intestine, Stomach Acid, Stomach Cancer, Underlying Causes, Yeast Overgrowth
Rodger Murphree, DC, CNS
I welcome. I’m Dr. Rodger Murphee. I’m the host of Freedom from Fibromyalgia. In today’s short presentation, I want to share a little bit of information with you about irritable bowel syndrome and some of the common GI conditions that I see in my patients with fibromyalgia. It’s estimated that 70% of those with fibromyalgia have irritable bowel syndrome, a syndrome, which is a group of symptoms that people have in common. In the case of irritable bowel syndrome, irritable bowel A, which is all about alternate, where you go back and forth between loose bowel movements and constipation, irritable bowel d, where you mostly have just loose bowel movements and irritable bowel C, which is constipation. Now, third of all, you also have bloating, stomach pain. Sometimes you have a lot of gas. These are some of the common things that we see in irritable bowel syndrome. I find that true to the estimates that 70% actually probably more than 70% of my patients with fibromyalgia do have some form of Euribor syndrome. Many have already been diagnosed with that condition.
And I find that of all the different conditions out there associated with fibromyalgia, the chronic pain, the poor sleep, the brain fog, the low energy, these things that we see in fibromyalgia, I find that typically irritable bowel syndrome symptoms or typically some of the more easily corrected symptoms. Now, not always, but irritable oftentimes is like fibromyalgia is just a name given to these group of symptoms. And ideally you want to look at what are the underlying causes of these symptoms in irritable bowel syndrome, one of the number one things is a lack of digestive enzymes or a lack of stomach acid. Let me explain a little bit about the anatomy and physiology about our digestive system. So I’m going to share this if I can get this to work here, be getting must share my screen here, obviously. Pop this up here. There we go. Right there. So if we look at if we look at just our digestive system, gastro intestinal system, we see that from the moment we start to even think about food ourselves, salivary glands start to release certain enzymes to help us break down food. And then that food is then shuttled down the esophagus and then in between the esophagus and the stomach is a little doorway that allows that foodstuff to enter into the stomach. Once it enters into the stomach, stomach acid is introduced to help to break down this foodstuff. So then it can go into the small intestine. And then eventually the good nutrients from the food is absorbed and utilized and the waste material is then shuttled on into on into the large intestine, on into the colon, to where it’s then voided out.
But if we look at just a little bit of what can happen, so I mentioned earlier, you can see just the smelling affair. Once you start to smell food, you are releasing enzymes to help you to begin to digest this food that you take in. And that’s and the stomach acid has four main jobs, really four main things. The first thing is it helps to break down proteins and fat so that you can utilize those. You can get the nutrients out of there, the essential fatty acids and the fats and the amino acids in the proteins. Now, some of the interviews you’ve seen previously this week, we talked a bit about the importance of amino acids, that they’re the building blocks of the hormones that our body needs to work correctly and particularly these amino acids which make brain chemicals like serotonin and dopamine. And nor can ever they give us energy, drive, ambition. They help to raise our pain threshold. They help with moods, they help with our energy, and they help to help with our circadian rhythm or our sleep wake cycle. So they’re very important.
The other part, the other steps are the actions of the stomach acid is that they digest the they help to stimulate the pancreas, to release digestive enzymes that come from the pancreas, that help to break down proteins and fats as well. Without the stomach acid, you don’t get that initiation of the pancreatic enzymes being released. And oftentimes you find that food just sits there in your stomach. It’s not broken down, starts to become putrefying, can create all sorts of toxins and obviously, if it’s sitting there, you’re not digesting it, you’re not getting the nutrients out of it. And that can create what we see in irritable bowel. And particularly we see constipation where the food is just kind of sitting there not being digested and then and then not being eliminated. But the pancreatic enzymes are really important for breaking down the protein and helping to release these badly needed amino acids that then make these certain hormones that our bodies need to work correctly, including, as I mentioned, the neurotransmitters, but also thyroid hormones, very important for the production of thyroid.
The stomach acid also is needed to prevent the in the intake of certain pathogens or potential pathogens bugs, whether that’s a bad bacteria or a yeast or even a parasite from getting into the body. The stomach acid is there to destroy these potentially pathogens that may give us some trouble. Now, also, you need to realize that the stomach acid helps us to be able to absorb calcium and to be able to absorb certain B vitamins. So it’s very important that you have the stomach acid to help you in particular to absorb and be able to make B12. When you get low in B12, you can have fatigue, brain fog, anxiety, depression are some of the common things that we see with B12 deficiency anemia. You become anemic, which then of course creates brain fog and fatigue. Calcium low calcium is also associated with deficient stomach acid is kind of ironic because, you know, they’ll tell you if you get a lot of stomach acid, which is what they tell you that causes reflux, then they recommend you take Tums. But you need to realize that Tums, which has calcium in it, I mean, that’s why they promote it as being healthy. But by blocking that stomach acid, again, you’re reducing the absorption of calcium. So it doesn’t matter if you’re taking Tums or not. But look at here’s what we see can happen with low stomach acid. So first thing is you can have undigested protein. Now, a couple of things happen there. One, as you develop, think a leaky gut and I’ll show you a slide here that kind of gives you a little visual that here in just a minute, because you’re not breaking down this protein. You’re not getting those amino acids, which can create deficiencies of certain hormones. As I mentioned earlier, serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, thyroid hormones are very important to get those amino acids, B12 deficiency I mentioned that earlier can absorb calcium.
So you increase your risk of osteopenia, bone loss and bone reduction, which can create increased risk of fractures. You can also then develop things like Ceiba, a small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and again leaky gut, and then reflux also starts to show up. So keep in mind that as you’re digesting this food and the as the food comes down in the stomach and you start to digest it with the release of the stomach acid, that stomach acid initiates enzymes being released from the pancreas as well as bile being released from the liver to help break down the fats and the proteins. So these are some of the pancreatic digestive enzymes needed to break down protein and release those amino acids. So the question is, if you’ve got heartburn or a reflux or gastro esophageal reflux disorder, GERD or antacids, the the answer and the answer is the question and the answer and the answer is no. So as I mentioned in that first slide I showed you is that when you’re eating this food, you’re chewing that up. As it goes down the esophagus, as it goes down into the stomach, there’s a trap door, a little doorway, and that doorway is triggered to open up as the food is coming down.
Now, what triggers the doorway to close so it doesn’t stay open? Allow this food stuff to leak back up into the throat, create that reflux is stomach acid. Your body releases stomach acid. The stomach acid starts to break down the food and then that stomach acid initiates the closing of that doorway so that the acid doesn’t get back up in your throat, into the esophagus and create heartburn or reflux. Now, what can happen, though, is over a period of years, you can deplete your stomach acid. And because of that, you can start to have some issues with not being able to digest your food. So you get a thing called malabsorption syndrome. You also increase the risk of pathogens and other things becoming an issue, as I mentioned earlier. But also as stomach acid becomes depleted, you find that the normal steps were this the stomach acid causes the doorway closed so that acid and link back up into this into the throat, into your esophagus. That doesn’t happen. So what little stomach acid you have leaks back up into the esophagus, back up into the throat, doesn’t cause the doorway closed. And now you start to develop the symptoms of reflux. But it’s not that you needed an acid. It’s typically because you don’t have enough acid in your stomach. And again, look at some of the things right here. You can see why and acids are not recommended. Number one, there are 15 to 800 times more likely had an infection, intestinal infection, which can go on to create yeast overgrowth, leaky gut food allergies, some of the things that can trigger inflammation, pain and fatigue in the fibromyalgia patient, you increase your risk of SIBO, you increase the risk of severe, nasty, nasty infection. You get a 120, 260% increase of pneumonia, 125% increased risk of bone fracture. Remember, because without that stomach acid, you’re not absorbing the calcium, you get a 200% increased risk of stomach cancer. So these are just some of the things that we see. Also, we need to realize that acid or proton pump inhibitors, these medications sometimes can increase your pain.
They can cause diffuse achy pain. They can deplete certain chemicals that you need for the production of melatonin and getting a good night’s sleep. So they’re not without risk. They can create some problems. And SIBO is a very difficult illness to have and most doctors don’t really look for it. So patients oftentimes will have years of bloating and gas and not feeling nauseated and oftentimes is not caught until they reach someone that’s familiar with SIBO, which can be kind of common in fibromyalgia. So something that I’ve been working with patients with SIBO for a number of years, but is something that is pretty common and associated with fibromyalgia. Low stomach acid is what creates this a clear history or low stomach acid situation. And as you get older, just eating foods that don’t have enzymes in them, like processed foods that can create these deficiencies. Normally when you eat real well, what I call real food, buy vegetables and fruits, those, those, those foods have enzymes in them. They’re still alive. And when you eat those foods, they have these enzymes that as you start to eat them, they they help you to be able to to break them down and absorb them with the enzymes that are contained in the foods, any of the diva, any any be volume and deficiency can lead to a clear low stomach acid zinc deficiencies.
And then if you see the common situation of fibromyalgia it with years of stress poor sleep dealing with an illness that most people don’t understand and most doctors tell you to learn to live with it, which is incredible, incredibly stressful. That can create low stomach acid as well. I want to encourage you when you’re eating to make sure you’re in a relaxed state. One thing that I find really frustrate doing is to hear people talk about having irritable bowel syndrome. Then when I ask them sometimes, what are they doing when they’re eating well? A lot of times they maybe they’re watching a show, maybe they’re watching the news, which can be very stressful, or maybe they’re eating in a restaurant with a really loud music. I don’t recommend that. I recommend you really. When you’re eating, you want to be in a very relaxed state. This is very important for our eating. I think it’s really good to be. It’s a prayer of gratitude, I think helps when you’re eating. You don’t want to be drinking a lot of fluids because that will dilute the enzymes to the stomach acid and keep you from digesting your food. I really would encourage you to steer clear of caffeine, which can be stimulating, but also depending on the caffeine source. If it’s a tea, a black tea that can cause you to release I’m sorry not to be able to absorb certain B vitamins. So these are some things to take into account.
Now also recommend that you substitute with hydrochloric acid and you could do that with supplements over the counter. The hydrochloric gassy comes in a form called betaine obtained HCA or betaine hydrochloric acid. And you can find that anywhere in any health food store you can anywhere that sells supplements, you’ll find betaine hydrochloric acid by taking the betaine hydrochloric acid that will start to build up the stomach acid and help you to start to digest your food. Now, for some of you, if you have GERD Gastroesophageal reflux disease or they’ve told you you’ve had an erosion of your esophagus from stomach acid leaking back up in there. If you have that diagnosed, then you’re going to want to instead of using the betaine hydrochloric acid, you’re going to want to. Instead, you’re going to want to use regular digestive enzymes now digested enzymes are the pancreatic digestive enzymes. Again, you find this over the counter anywhere, but you’ll see on the label say digestive enzymes instead of betaine hydrochloric acid. The difference is with hydrochloric acid, if you have an open doorway from your throat into your stomach.
If this doorway has been open for a long period of time, then what little stomach acid that you have in your stomach if it continues to leak up into your throat and it doesn’t cause the doorway to close there, then you can get an erosion and irritation of your esophagus. And at that point, you really you don’t have a choice. You really especially if they’ve told you know, they’ve told you that you’ve got GERD instead of taking the betaine with hydrochloric acid, we’re probably going to have to just take pancreatic enzymes because if you try to take the betaine hydrochloric acid with this this erosion in your esophagus, it can make it worse. Now, I’m kind of lazy sometimes. And so what I do for most of my patients with fibromyalgia, most of them, I’ll go ahead and just put them on a pancreatic digestive enzymes and steer clear of the betaine. Hydrochloric acid don’t always do that, but I do that a lot of times because it’s just easier and we don’t run the risk of someone taking hydrochloric acid and making their situation worse. So again, you can find these anywhere. The other thing I recommend you do with irritable bowel syndrome, along with taking a digestive enzymes or hydrochloric acid, one of the two is replacing the good bacteria. It’s oftentimes what happens is over the years of taking antibiotics, maybe for sinus infection or urinary tract infection, whatever, but by taking the antibiotic, not only do you destroy the bad bacteria, but you destroy this good bacteria that your body needs. The good bacteria is very important because it helps you digest, absorb and even produce certain nutrients, even certain hormones in particular your bacteria in your gut, your stomach lining, intestinal lining helps you to produce thyroid hormones, very important.
So taking probiotics can be a very important next step, along with taking your digestive enzymes to helping with the irritable bowel syndrome. And you can find these anywhere, you know, probiotics or so, any health food store, you can see that. Now, one thing that can create irritable bowel syndrome is leaky gut. And you can see here’s just a little diagram I want to show you some of the speakers in the summit. We talk about leaky gut. It’s a common condition. I see it in my patients. It’s one that I work probably with every patient to make sure that it’s not an issue and can be tested for through a special type of test. And then food allergies are a common thing I see with my fibromyalgia patients. Most people are allergic to at least six foods that they eat on a consistent basis, and those six foods are generating inflammation and other unwanted symptoms. A lot of times those symptoms are what we would associate with fibromyalgia, brain fog, irritable bowel like symptoms, bloating gas, loose bowel movements, those type of things. Certainly pain can come from food allergies and this thing called leaky gut. Now, one of the things that really solves food allergies is fixing leaky gut, because if every time you’re eating the food that you’re supposed to be absorbing and utilize is instead leaking across into the rest of your body, that sets up in an inflammatory and allergic reaction. And it could be for some of you, as you have gotten worse over the years, you find that more and more foods that you used to be every now you can’t eat any longer.
You have problems with that. And that could be not so much a food allergy. It could be just leaky gut. But if you look at this slide right here, you’ll see on one side of the normal gut, you see how those cells are tightly joined together. You see that. So it keeps potential pathogens and things that we take in through our food. It keeps those out of the rest of the body. However, you see the gaps there on the on the other. And over there you see where things that normally would not be able to get into the rest of the body, like across these cellular membrane and create inflammation and other allergic reactions that can set off many of the symptoms that we see in fibromyalgia. So leaky gut is part of oftentimes part of the negative for irritable bowel syndrome. And it oftentimes needed needs to be addressed. However, where you want to start is a digestive enzymes or hydrochloric acid. Remember, it’s not that you have too much acid, it’s usually that you don’t have enough. And so ideally you want to steer clear of antacids, proton pump inhibitors, Zantac, Nexium, Prilosec, these things because they can lead to increased risk of bone loss fractures, infections, deficiency, pain. They can sabotage your melatonin levels, interfere with your sleep. There’s certainly a time and a place for those medications, but they were never designed to be used long term, along with taking a digestive enzyme or hydrochloric acid. Then we talked about taking a good probiotic. I think that’s key now with irritable bowel A where you go back and forth between your alternate, between constipation and loose bowel movements. What I found is a good multivitamin with plenty of magnesium. What I found years ago working with fibromyalgia is they’re all everyone one fibromyalgia, like most people in the world, are deficient in magnesium.
And the reason why is because any time you get under stress, your body’s using magnesium and who’s not under stress? We all get under stress. But in particularly in the fibromyalgia community, you’re under a tremendous amount of stress day in and day out from getting so run down and having to deal with an illness that most people don’t understand. So magnesium in 300 bodily processes, it helps make the happy hormone serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine it helps in the energy Krebs cycle helps she have the cells to have energy super important it’s needed to prevent mitral valve prolapse it’s needed if you get low and magnesium you start to see that your blood pressure can go up. It is needed to relax tight, achy muscles. So most people fibromyalgia know that my taking magnesium daily and the four magnesium glycine, eight or citrate or Keely, they know that if they take magnesium long times, they feel better, more energetic, mentally feel a little better. Maybe their moods improves, it relaxes tired, achy muscles. Taking it bedtime sometimes can be helpful for your sleep, but magnesium not only relaxes tight achy muscles, it also relaxes your colon. So if you’re constipated, sometimes that’s a sign that you’re deficient in magnesium. Do you get restless leg syndrome? Do you get muscle spasms? Do you get cramps?
Do you get twitchy eyes? You know, eye strain where you get these little twitches? Those are all signs of a magnesium deficiency. And increasing your magnesium oftentimes will lead to a normal bowel movements. Typically, I find that my patients need to get somewhere around 400 milligrams to 500 milligrams of magnesium on a daily basis. Some. That’s not enough. Some continue to have achy muscle pain and constipation, even if they’re taking four or 500 milligrams. I have some patients that are at the thousand milligrams a day before they start having a normal moment. Now, for those of you that are having loose bowel movements or you going back and forth, I find that the digestive enzyme probiotic, a good multivitamin, my patients take a thing called the fibro formula, which is specifically for their fibromyalgia and has high doses of magnesium and specific B vitamins in the methylated form. But a lot of times they have to take additional magnesium if they continue to have a loose bowel movement or they continue going back and forth. Typically constipation goes away. When you get that magnesium level up then it’s typically because they’re still low in serotonin. Now, I talk a lot about serotonin here in the summit and let me share a little bit more about that. Serotonin is a brain chemical in people, probably familiar serotonin because of anti depressant therapy. So serotonin is the happy hormone.
What you may not know is that you have more serotonin receptors in your intestinal tract than you do in your brain. So there’s more serotonin in your gut in your GI system than your is in the brain. And we’ve had different lectures here on the summit where we’re talking about the connection between the brain and the gut, how there’s a communication going on between these two serotonin is why you get butterflies in your stomach when you get nervous that that when you get low in serotonin and you see that the serotonin helps regulate the motility of food moving through your intestinal tract. And when you become deficient in serotonin, what you oftentimes will see is you’re having loose bowel movements. You have these have a thing called malabsorption or dumping syndrome. A lot of times you eat and immediately have to go to the bathroom. And that’s the inflammation in the gut. But it’s also because you don’t have enough serotonin to regulate the processing and then elimination of this food. What I find is, is once we get that serotonin level up, then we see that loose bowel movements typically improve, outcomes go away. Serotonin is super important. I talk about that in the and one of the videos I did earlier about deep restorative sleep and you’ll hear many of the interviews where I’ll be talking about the importance of serotonin, this brain chemical and the chemical for raising pain threshold.
The higher your serotonin level, the higher your pain threshold. So the less pain you have. Very important. But certainly serotonin is also important for mental clarity, for moods. And again, to help regulate bowel minutes, I normally use five hydroxy tryptophan combined with the right B vitamins and amino acids which are in the fibro formula that makes serotonin. Now a lot of you are taking are probably been recommended an antidepressant but in one of the presentations I give here on the summit, you’ll see that antidepressants are like a gasoline additive. They don’t make they don’t make gasoline. They only help you hang onto what gasoline you have the fibromyalgia. If you’ve got run down, you’ve had this condition for a number of years. You’re you’re running on fumes. You probably don’t have any gasoline in your tank. So if you’re using a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor and there’s nothing to re uptake, it’s really not going to do anything. So ideally, you want to use the raw ingredients that make serotonin. This brain chemical and gut chemical, which come from the foods that we eat, comes from proteins and an amino acid, which is a building block of the protein called tryptophan, that then turns into five hydroxy tryptophan. And when that’s combined with certain B vitamins and other synergistic nutrients, that turns into serotonin. So rather than taking an antacid, you may not need it. And acid actually can be causes of problems. I would recommend you start playing around with this protocols and see by taking a digestive enzyme, a probiotic, a good multivitamin or something like the fibro formula, fotodiox or tryptophan, which you can get over the counter. If you start to add these things, you should start to see that you’re able to dramatically be improved.
And there’s other things that can go with this yeast overgrowth. This one thing we see, I mentioned Ciba earlier, there can be parasites associated with irritable bowel syndrome. That’s why I typically test all my patients for any kind of I do a stool test to see if they have any kind of parasites, any kind of bad bacteria, overgrowth, including H. Pylori. Some of these other things that can create some of the symptoms, GI symptoms is the health food allergy testing is a big one. Leaky gut is also pretty important, but said some of the testing that I recommend and it’s important to find the underlying causes of your Erebus syndrome because not only is it causing irritable symptoms, but if you have food allergies, probably causing other issues, if you have a bacterial overgrowth is probably causing some other symptoms in your body. Inflammation and pain, brain fog, low mood. Some of these are things that are associated with these triggers. But in the meantime, you can experiment with these irritable bowel protocols that I share with you and get these supplements, and then you can use any supplements, see it. That makes a difference. And then if you’re working with a functional medicine practitioner like myself, typically they’re going to be testing for any kind of underlying problems with your gut and find those triggers as well. So a lot of information. I hope you’re taking notes. I tried to go through this rather, rather quickly to get all this in. So I hope it was helpful. And you’re going to enjoy the interviews today. We got some real good ones today. I hope you enjoy them. In particular, this one myself and John Dempster. We talk about the brain gut connection and so I think you’ll find that helpful as well. Thanks so much for watching this video.