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IBS, SIBO and Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is sixty percent more common in people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and up to seventy percent of people with fibromyalgia have complaints consistent with IBS.

You could therefore safely think that there is a link between the two and yes, there is! When we started the practice almost 20 years ago, we actually only did colonics. We had been working in the practice for about a year and then Patty Brard came on television with a program where they did colonics in her house in Ibiza. All celebrities with their buttocks exposed on TV. I did laugh, haha. This program has given our practice an enormous boost, because many people with IBS complaints saw a solution to their problem on the Dutch tube! Bowel irrigation also works very well for IBS. I think it was about two years later when I listened to Rob Stenders on the radio, he talked about that program with Patty Brard where he also appeared. He also suffered from intestinal complaints and he said on the radio that he was still benefiting from it after two years!

Due to this boost in people with IBS complaints, we also saw people with muscle complaints such as fibromyalgia and intestinal complaints together. They came for treatment for their abdominal complaints, but they noticed that their fibromyalgia complaints also decreased and in some even disappeared completely. It was already clear to us then that there was a link, but we could not explain what that link was at the time. Now 20 years later, you still see people struggling with these complaints. There is normally no solution for both complaints, only some relief, but that also does not work for most people.

According to research, in both cases there is an excessive reception of pain stimuli in the brain: your brain therefore receives the signal that there is pain more often, even with things that would normally not hurt extremely much. Experts therefore believe that fibromyalgia and IBS have a similar abnormality in how your body deals with pain. If it turns out that this communication error in the body is indeed the cause of both conditions, this would also explain why they so often occur together. Stress can aggravate both conditions, so there is also a link between fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome in that area, but stress aggravates every condition, not just IBS and fibromyalgia.

So this actually says that it is thought that it is due to an abnormality, a communication error in the body. As interesting as it sounds, there is no solution yet and we have to look elsewhere.

So what is going on?

This is not a deviation or a communication error, there is just pain and that pain is due to inflamed nerves. Inflamed nerves throughout the body. A nerve that is inflamed does not work properly and, for example, cannot control the muscles properly. Someone with fibromyalgia experiences muscle pain very quickly. For example, I can go to the gym and train my legs. I love that, the next day the muscle pain starts and it peaks in the evening and the following morning. In the evening it is often gone again. Someone with fibromyalgia can climb the kitchen steps a few times to clean the windows, but they will have as much muscle pain as I do from training my legs in the gym. For me, the muscle pain disappears after two days, but for someone with fibromyalgia it takes up to 4 days. I'm not going to train my legs again after two days, but someone with fibromyalgia has to climb those kitchen steps again to do something other than cleaning windows. This causes constant muscle pain. This is because the nerves are inflamed and do not properly control the muscles needed to climb those kitchen steps. This causes the muscle to continuously acidify and you have continuous muscle pain.

The intestines also consist of muscles and nerves, which are controlled, among other things, to push the stool out, but these muscles can also become acidified when overloaded. Because the nerves to the intestinal muscles are also inflamed and the muscles of the intestine are not controlled properly here either. This will also hurt and since the intestinal muscles work all day long, you can imagine that this will hurt in the event of a dysfunction. This is the link between IBS and fibromyalgia, but what causes the nerves to become inflamed?

Inflamed nerves

What causes the nerves to become inflamed? This is due to a virus, the Epstein Barr virus (EBV), again this bad virus. I talk about this virus more often. Many people have active EBV, which is the basis of many disorders. This virus causes mononucleosis, you may remember having this. The doctor can also see this, you will then see antibodies in the blood. There would be no more complaints afterwards, but unfortunately this is not the case. It appears that EBV is no longer active, butit certainly is! It remains dormant after an infection and can come out at a later time. It is triggered by something else and then becomes active again and starts dumping toxins (waste). We also see this with Long-Covid. The infection is caused by Covid, but this infection reactivates EBV and causes Long Covid.

These (neuro)toxins inflame these nerves and cause the aforementioned complaints. In IBS, in addition to viruses, you also see bacteria. A virus does not easily cause a bloated stomach, but it does cause those stabbing stomach pains. Bacteria do cause a bloated stomach and bacteria can also trigger viruses to become active. The other way around is also possible. As a result, fibromyalgia may first occur and then IBS or vice versa. Both conditions can also exist separately, as is often seen.

Bowel irrigations

As I said, I did not have this knowledge 20 years ago, nor did we know why colonics helped. It gave results, but we didn't know why. Now I know that and that is because colonics help enormously in flushing away excess waste. Not only the waste products that viruses and bacteria leave behind, but also waste products that the body does not process. All these waste products form a food source for all pathogens, such as viruses and bacteria. If you feed them, they become stronger and dump more rubbish. If you 'rinse' it away, you starve out the pathogen and see results faster. That is why you often see results faster with colonics. Unfortunately, colon cleansing does not completely resolve the complaints; a combination with the right diet and supplements is necessary.


The FODMAP diet is often recommended for IBS, where foods that cause complaints are omitted. I am not in favor of this, at least to a certain extent, because the foods you should not eat are often very healthy foods, such as cauliflower, broccoli, leafy vegetables and, for example, apples. The reason I am not in favor of this is because this diet actually helps solve the problems, but this does not often happen without a struggle. These foods actually help with cleaning up, but the reaction caused by cleaning up feeds the pathogen, which then causes the complaints. You have to go through this, you just have to give something that helps with this and that is what intestinal irrigations do, for example, but celery juice also works very well for this. Celery juice may be even better than colonics. That's because celery contains sodium. So salt and salt is important to nourish and repair the nerves. Celery juice helps to deacidify the body and therefore also the muscles, so you will see a reduction in pain by drinking celery juice. It's amazing how quickly this often resolves constipation! Not only celery contains sodium, but cucumbers, leafy vegetables and even fruits also contain it. All medicinal foods that help, repair and nourish our body.

The use of fat

What we do need to reduce considerably is fat! Fat intake must be significantly reduced with these complaints and not only the bad fats, but also the good fats. Don't eliminate it, but reduce it considerably. Excessive intake of fats, but also proteins, puts a heavy burden on the liver and bile and the liver and bile therefore lose their power to maintain the pH of the body. This makes the body even more acidic, worsening the symptoms. The liver can protect your body from disease for a long time by breaking down fat, but very slowly it becomes 'clogged' and you see (vague) complaints develop. Fibromyalgia does not appear suddenly, but it starts slowly and gets worse. Dietary adjustment is necessary and a must for recovery. This means more fruit, more vegetables, raw leafy vegetables, (cooled) potatoes, fresh lemon water, celery juice. With IBS it is indicated that it is not necessary to stop gluten, but I see the complaints worsen most with gluten. So gluten out, also eggs and dairy. If you are looking for gluten-free products, try to omit corn. Corn can often cause complaints, but not everyone knows that yet. If you then eat gluten-free, but eat corn, the complaints remain and you start to think that gluten-free is not the solution.

Can IBS and fibromyalgia be cured?

IBS and fibromyalgia can both be solved, but there are a few rules and you will have to adhere to certain nutritional advice. IBS often recovers very quickly, fibromyalgia takes longer. Over time you will see that you can eat or limit the initially wrong foods again. This varies per person. It is important to have lots of fruit and vegetables; egg, gluten and dairy should be avoided! Furthermore, the virus must be tackled and in the case of IBS often also the bacteria. This is often only possible with supplements, but you could try without it first. Bowel irrigations are very effective for achieving results faster.

I hope I have been able to clarify some things. Not everyone will agree with what I have said here, but this is what we have been doing for 20 years. And each time we learned more and I dare say that the way we do it is very good and definitely produces results. That doesn't mean there are other ways to treat it. The approach can be quite complicated and personal advice is therefore desirable. Feel free to call or app me for information, the treatments are often fully reimbursed* by the supplementary insurance, which makes it very interesting.

*supplements are unfortunately not reimbursed.

Don't hesitate and find out the cause of your health problems.

Greetings Aschwin

Orthomolecular therapist

Lyme recovery therapist

Colon hydrotherapist


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