Fibromyalgia and Free Radicals

Fibromyalgia and Free Radicals

Free radicals are highly reactive molecules that can be harmful to our cell membranes and the cellular damage they can produce puts additional stress on the already dysfunctional immune system found in the fibromyalgia syndrome. Free radicals are produced during the oxidative processes in the production of energy. An excess of harmful free radical production can result from the effects of air pollution, radiation, toxic wastes, food additives and pesticide residues. Other contributors to excessive free radical production include consuming foods which are high in something called trans-fatty acids.

Free radicals are unstable molecules. This instability results from their having an unpaired electron. So what does this mean? It is the natural state to attempt to reach stability in the physiological processes going on in our bodies and in their attempt to reach this state, free radicals seek out another electron to pair with their unpaired one which will make them stable. So where do they get this new electron? Unfortunately, often by attacking our normal tissues and particularly the membranes of our cells. This attack can rupture the cell wall and the cell may begin to leak. It also becomes more vulnerable for the entrance of viruses and bacteria. Cellular death can be the result.

One of the functions of the immune system is to remove the cellular debris that results from cellular damage and death. A dysfunctional immune system can't adequately fulfill this function, further contributing to the symptoms found in fibromyalgia. Addressing the free radical issue is a vital part of taking excessive loads off the immune system so that it can begin the healing process.

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