I Cured My Fibromyalgia: How Kelli Tennant Found Natural Remedies for Fibromyalgia

Kelli Tennant talks with WellBe about overcoming her fibromyalgia symptoms.

Kelli Tennant was a Division One athlete in the highly competitive USC volleyball program when she was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and forced to end her athletic career. In this first-person WellBe story, Tennant shares the story of being diagnosed with fibromyalgia and searching in vain for a cure. Read on to hear her story, including natural remedies for fibromyalgia, the link between emotions and physical health, and more. Listen to Adrienne’s interview with Kelli Tennant on The getWellBe Podcast. 

Getting Diagnosed with Fibromyalgia: My Story

When I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, I was playing volleyball at USC. I was a top college athlete, I was in incredible shape. I’d recently had mono for eight months, but once I got better, I got in the best shape of my life. 

But then one day, the summer of my sophomore year, I was at home standing in the kitchen with my parents, and my left leg went completely numb and dead. Suddenly, I couldn’t stand up straight — I was doubled over at the island in the kitchen, in extreme pain. I couldn’t see straight. It was like my body was just hit by a truck and I had no idea what was going on. 

I had been sick before, but not in that way. It went for six months straight. I was on every drug under the sun because doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong, but it just got worse and worse and worse. At my worst, I couldn’t get up and walk five feet. It was exhausting. 

The day before, I’d been perfectly healthy. I felt amazing. I had never been in better shape. I was only 19. How did I go from that to bedridden? 

For those six months, doctors told me: “Oh we think it’s cancer.” “We think you broke your back.” “We think you tore a disc in your back.” I got three epidurals. I was on painkillers, muscle relaxers, antidepressants — you name it. I was just going down the rabbithole of conventional medicine, and at the end of 2007, my rheumatologist finally said, “You have fibromyalgia and you’re never going to be able to play volleyball again.” At 19, you’re just like, “What? What does that even mean? I’m on scholarship at USC, I’m captain of the team. We just went to the final four. What is happening?” 

That was it, I never played again. The doctor basically said that because I had so many pain points on my body, I had fibromyalgia. My parents didn’t know what to do: they trusted the doctor; we all trust what doctors tell us. It was all world-renowned USC Medical doctors, so we all assumed they were right.

For the next two years, I saw more doctors and more therapists. I was given more drugs, and it was horrible. At one point I was having a total identity crisis — I felt like I was losing my mind and my body. I started hallucinating. I was taking all these medications and mixing them with alcohol. I don’t know how something horrific didn’t happen, because I was just trying to numb it all out. It was terrible. 

No doctors said anything about the medications, never implied there might be side effects or repercussions from taking so many drugs indefinitely. They just said, “Oh keep taking these. It will make the pain go away.” I was nineteen years old. 

Over the next two years, I slowly came to the realization that it didn’t make sense for me to be that young and that sick and on that many drugs, and I decided to try another way. I don’t know what got into me to heal holistically, because my parents never lived that way. I didn’t really have any friends who were in this space either, especially because we were all in college drinking and partying. I think it was really just this sense that there has to be something else, I just can’t live like this. 

I went completely holistic: I went cold turkey off of everything, and luckily I didn’t have a horrible comedown. I just started researching and figuring out what would help.

Finding Natural Remedies for Fibromyalgia

Once I decided to find natural remedies for my fibromyalgia, I basically spent years doing experiments on myself. I just decided that I was willing to be my own guinea pig in order to find a better life for myself. Because what was happening was not working, it was making me crazy, and I didn’t want to live like that. 

I dove into a holistic, integrative approach to healing, and learned so much. There are so many different beliefs within autoimmune disease healing: being a vegan is the best, no paleo is the best, no you should do keto and don’t have any vegetables or any carbs. I think everyone has to do what is best for them, I’m not saying anything is right or wrong. 

I was a vegan, I was a vegetarian, I was seeing different holistic doctors who all had different beliefs about fibromyalgia. My body slowly started to calm down, especially after coming off all that medication

But it wasn’t until I found my functional medicine doctor, Dr Lekos, that things really turned around. He met with me for two hours the first time we talked, and I love him so much. He was crying with me while I was telling him my story, like, “I don’t know how you have functioned. I am so sorry, this is so sad. You’re so young.”

And he said, “You do not have fibromyalgia, I guarantee you. We are going to do all of these tests. I think you have Epstein-Barr, leaky gutSIBO, and your bacterial levels are probably off so you just have so much bad bacteria that it’s just weighing you down”. 

Long story short, he was completely right. I had everything he thought and more. I have the MTHFR gene on top of that. When we started treating for the Epstein-Barr virus and the SIBO, my gut was able to calm down and then I could treat the actual leaky gut symptoms and just get really clear on my diet.

I found paleo in 2012, which totally changed my life because it got all the grains and the sugar out of my system, and I was eating really clean meat. I basically used the autoimmune protocol (AIP) diet with sort of an Ayurveda twist, which means that I don’t eat pork and I eat less meat than the normal AIP diet. I do it much more plant-based. But what it does is it gets all of the inflammatory foods out of your body and it allows your immune system to calm down and not be on fire, and then you can heal your gut. 

I started doing ozone therapy for the Epstein-Barr, as well as a few other things, and I’ve incorporated the celery juice from Medical Medium. I was just getting really clean and detoxing. I had lead and arsenic in my body, so we did a methylation to get that out. Over the years my body just built up all of these toxins and it finally exploded. 

I calmed all of that down, and I feel better now than I have in 20 years. Ultimately the natural remedies for fibromyalgia that worked were the ones that got to the root cause of the other issues that manifested as fibromyalgia.  

The Key to My Fibromyalgia Cure: Addressing Emotional Trauma

I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2007, but never connected any of my illness or disease to the emotional trauma I’d gone through. It wasn’t until over a decade later when I realized there’s a direct line. All of the things you go through in your life — childhood, adulthood, whatever it is — that trauma sits in your tissues and it manifests in physical illness

For five years, I had been a TV reporter for the Lakers and the Dodgers. In December of 2017, my body hit a wall and I was back in bed again unable to do anything. I was severely depressed and anxious. I lost about 15 pounds, I couldn’t eat. 

I went on disability leave from work for five months, and at the end of that I ended up quitting because I felt like my body was trying to tell me something. Something was really wrong, and it was a combination of a lot of things. I didn’t feel like the environment was healthy for me. There were a lot of toxic relationships that I had in my personal life and in my professional life. 

It was a life that I didn’t want anymore. I had done my best, I had done it for as long as I could, and I got to a point where I was no longer fulfilled. I felt kind of dead inside and the things that were happening in my life just didn’t serve me anymore. After going through my own health journey for so long, I wanted to help people, I wanted to have these kinds of conversations, and what I was doing didn’t allow for that.

I was in a lot of physical pain and very sick, but I also realized that I had some serious self-work that I had to do. 

I got off social media for that whole time, completely disabled it, so no one could follow me or send me messages. I just went completely dark off of the internet. I started meditating every day and really tried to calm my mind. I started reading a ton and thinking about what would truly make me happy and also what was triggering me. 

In the television industry, it’s all about how you look. People have the TV on mute, and they’ll just be judging how you look. Being a girl on television, I had become the “hot TV reporter,” and that was really where the value was. Then there was social media, where I was constantly looking for likes. I was just living for people to tell me, “You look good. That was so good.” 

I needed all of that validation because on the inside I didn’t even really like myself. I felt like, “Okay well all they care about is how I look, that must be all that matters.” I didn’t take a second to think, “Oh I’m actually smart, good at my job, engaging, fun and funny. I make people feel good when I’m talking to them.” I had to disconnect from needing that external validation, and that was one of the hardest things that I was dealing with for sure. 

It took a lot of work, but I was able to quiet my mind and become more aware of what was triggering me on a daily basis and who I was living my life for. Because when you have all of this noise you can’t even hear yourself, let alone connect with your higher self or really hear yourself being guided. I couldn’t even hear my own intuition because I was so obsessed with reading people’s comments about me on Instagram. I was like, “How can I separate those two and really get clear on who I am and what is best for me?”

I thought about all I’d been through: mono for eight months, SIBO, leaky gut, EBV, MTHFR gene mutation, and a fibromyalgia diagnosis on top of it all, and I had to ask: why did this all happen? For me, I realized that the answer was twofold. I’d had many emotional traumas in my life, but the one thing that really stood out was that I was never authentically who I wanted to be. I dimmed my light to fit in because I didn’t feel like kids would like me if I shined as bright as I wanted to. All I did was help other people, fix them, take care of them, do what they told me I should do.

I think my body got sick because I was living for other people and never for me, and my body was like, “No no, we’re not doing this anymore. You’re going to turn inward and you are going to reflect and you are going to take care of yourself for once.” 

It took me 14 years to really understand that. But once I did, I healed. 

If you’re struggling with fibromyalgia or another chronic condition and want help finding the right practitioner or getting started with a particular healing protocol, schedule a call with Adrienne to learn more about her holistic patient advocacy services.



  1. Dukowicz, Andrew. Gastroenterol Hepatol (N Y). 2007 Feb; 3(2): 112–122.
  2. Elvis, A.M. J Nat Sci Biol Med. 2011 Jan-Jun; 2(1): 66–70.


The recovery story above is anecdotal and specific to this particular individual. Please note that this is not medical advice, and that not all treatments and approaches mentioned will work for everyone.


Share with Friends and Family


Leave a Comment
  1. I never took into account the fact that fibromyalgia can put pain in the different parts of your body. My best friend mentioned to me last night that he is hoping to find functional medicine for his brother who is suffering from fibromyalgia and asked if I have any idea what is the best option to do. I wanted to thank you for helping me understand the importance of medicine and I’ll be sure to tell him that he can consult a trusted functional health center as they can help them with their concerns.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *