MyMT™ Blog

“I think the future is getting brighter for women in menopause with Fibromyalgia.” [Sharon, USA]

Menopause and Fibromyalgia

“I love sharing my travel photos as I have come so far with what I am able to do. I did not regain my ability to do stairs until after my kids were born.

My youngest was in fifth grade when I really started enjoying better health. I will never forget it as I went on his tree climbing/adventure park field trip for the last day of school and climbed trees and ziplined with him and his classmates. It was one of my favorite days.” [Sharon, USA]

International Fibromyalgia Awareness Day is May 12 and Sharon from Michigan reminded me to remind you that this is an important topic to share for women in their menopause transition. I agree.

The story of Fibromyalgia is also the story of women in menopause. It was over 30 years ago in 1990, that the American College of Rheumatology set classification standards for fibromyalgia. It included numerous tender points and chronic widespread pain in various locations around the body. In 1994, it was identified as a disorder of the Musculo-skeletal system and connective tissue. [Nageen et al, 2022]

Today, in the United States alone, 2% of the general population suffers from Fibromyalgia, with middle-aged women being more susceptible.

Widespread chronic muscular pain, especially when a stimulus is applied to tender points, exhaustion, memory problems, mood swings and irregular sleep patterns are the primary symptoms lasting for 3 months or more – which is why, according to Sharon, who has recently completed the MyMT™ Practitioner course and is a certified Health and Wellness Coach, this disorder goes un-noticed in menopausal women. 

“Fibromyalgia is a complex chronic pain illness that researchers believe is rooted in changes to the central nervous system” says Sharon. “But it involves much more than just pain. Other symptoms include severe fatigue, sleep disorders, cognitive dysfunction, depression or anxiety, migraines or tension headaches, digestive issues, irritable bladder, pelvic pain, and jaw pain.

You will notice that some of the symptoms are identical to menopause symptoms. This makes it challenging to determine if a woman may be developing fibromyalgia.

That’s why, I believe early diagnosis is critical in managing fibromyalgia. Early diagnosis gives the opportunity to begin health management strategies sooner that could mitigate more disabling symptoms. Additionally, it helps relieve the emotional toll that patients often experience when they are told for years that nothing is wrong with them even though they clearly know they are in pain and struggling.

At the age of 24 I became bedridden with fibromyalgia. I was a very active woman who worked out 6 days a week and I was told to just rest with no other treatment strategies. In a matter of weeks, I became bedridden and had to go on short term disability from work. I really thought my life was over. Luckily, it was not and I am on a mission to help people know that managing fibromyalgia is possible.” [Sharon, USA]

From my discussions with thousands of women on my programmes over the years, I know that many have experienced various symptoms of fibromyalgia, including sore joints.

What’s interesting is that nutritional research has also been gathering momentum and the power of functional foods in the management of Fibromyalgia symptoms has led me to share some of this with you below. 

Functional Foods for Fibromyalgia

Growing evidence suggests that dysfunction of the tiny organelles that make energy in muscles, the mitochondria, cellular (oxidative) stress, and increased inflammatory markers play a role in the progression of the amplification of pain signals in Fibromyalgia.

This is where functional foods come in. 

Functional foods are foods that contain bioactive compounds that produce changes to inflammatory markers, or which directly benefit our health. New research suggests that adding these functional foods to the diet may offer a useful alternative in Fibromyalgia management. (Chwan-Li Shen et al, 2022].

The foods listed below are just some of the foods that researchers suggest may play an invaluable role as a source of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which over time, help to reduce Fibromyalgia oxidative stress in muscle and in the mitochondria.

These functional foods include:

  • Capsaicin – is a compound found in chili peppers and is responsible for the characteristic burning and irritant effect associated with ingestion. Research suggests that compounds found in capsaicin suppress inflammation in muscle cells.

  • Ginger – is a widely used spice containing phenolic compounds such as gingerols and shogaols, which are largely responsible for various health benefits, including reducing both muscle and colon inflammation.


  • Curcumin – is the primary active component of turmeric, which is one of the main ingredients in curry powder. Curcumin has been used for centuries in Indian and Chinese medicine due to its ability to impact a diverse range of molecular targets. Research on functional foods in Fibromyalgia, also suggests that it is a helpful ingredient to have in your pantry.


  • Grape Seed Extract – rich in polyphenol groups, is a natural plant derivative often produced as a waste byproduct during the winemaking process. In Fibromyalgia research, grape-seed extract is known to be protective of the nervous system with anti-inflammatory effects.


  • Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFAs) – are integral components of phospholipids, the main building block of cell membranes. Adding Avocado, fatty fish, (Fish oil tablets) into your diet may help with muscle and nerve cell repair. [Chwan-Li Shen et al., 2022]


  • Naringin – Naringin and main active compound called naringenin, are two flavonoids seen in grapefruit and other citrus fruits. Naringenin has been shown to cross the blood–brain barrier and is well observed in human serum after ingestion due to its good bioavailability. Much of the research on fibromyalgia features naringin’s neuro (nerve)protective, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects.

  • Genistein – Soy phytoestrogen isoflavones are rich in soy products and have been found to have strong oestrogenic properties and bind well to oestrogen receptors (ER). Genistein and daidzein are bioactive phytoestrogens found in soybeans. For women, these compounds preferentially bind to Erβ receptors expressed in nerve and immune cells. They have analgesic, neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory properties which have been well reported in various studies.

A final word from Sharon in Michigan: 

“I would like to end by sharing the key to my healing and living my best life with fibromyalgia is education.

The changes I have made to my lifestyle and management strategy all came from education. When we don’t have energy, sometimes we need to find our teachers who can educate us.

This is why I formed my organisation and I am grateful to have found Wendy and her MyMT™ Program for Healthcare Practitioners. Her course and guidance really improved my health after a hysterectomy this past July and it is already helping me with my fibromyalgia clients in menopause.

Knowledge truly is power.”

My organisation’s annual Fibromyalgia Awareness Day conference is coming up on May 11 as the world recognises Fibromyalgia Awareness Day on May 12.

The event, which I host, gives participants the opportunity to learn from the world’s most respected fibromyalgia experts. This year fibromyalgia doctor, author, and patient Ginevra Liptan, MD, will be sharing her personal and professional fibromyalgia management strategies as well as insights into promising fibromyalgia research.

The event is open to anyone with an interest in learning more about managing fibromyalgia. Registration fees enable our Association to host the event and raise fibromyalgia awareness. The event takes place on Zoom from 3 PM – 5 PM EDT on May 11. Registration is $12-15 and includes the replay to watch on demand. People who attend live will have the opportunity to submit questions and win give aways. To register and learn more visit our new website:


Alzabibi MA, Shibani M, Alsuliman T, Ismail H, Alasaad S, Torbey A, Altorkmani A, Sawaf B, Ayoub R, Khalayli N, Kudsi M. Fibromyalgia: epidemiology and risk factors, a population-based case-control study in Damascus, Syria. BMC Rheumatol. 2022 Oct 31;6(1):62. doi: 10.1186/s41927-022-00294-8.

Gendelman, Omer, et al. Time to diagnosis of fibromyalgia and factors associated with delayed diagnosis in primary care. Best Practice & Research Clinical Rheumatology 32.4 (2018): 489-499.

Gonzalez, B., Baptista, T. & Branco, J. (2015). Life History of Women with Fibromyalgia: Beyond the Illness, The Qualitative Report, (20), 5, 526-540

Hassett, A., Clauw, D., & Williams, D. (2015). Premature aging in fibromyalgia. Current aging science, 8(2), 178-185.

Ruschak I, Montesó-Curto P, Rosselló L, Aguilar Martín C, Sánchez-Montesó L, Toussaint L. Fibromyalgia Syndrome Pain in Men and Women: A Scoping Review. Healthcare (Basel). 2023 Jan 11;11(2):223. doi: 10.3390/healthcare11020223.

Shen CL, Schuck A, Tompkins C, Dunn DM, Neugebauer V. Bioactive Compounds for Fibromyalgia-like Symptoms: A Narrative Review and Future Perspectives. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Mar 31;19(7):4148. doi: 10.3390/ijerph19074148.

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