Here in the United States, it has been estimated that at least five million people suffer from fibromyalgia (x). It is identified with chronic, nomadic pain, fatigue and stiff joints, but there are other symptoms. Ads on television and elsewhere suggest that pharmacological drugs can provide relief. You may have noticed that they list countless potential side effects and poor interactions with other meds. First, what exactly is fibromyalgia? Second, are there treatments without a thick catalog of side effects for example, natural supplements for fibromyalgia? Let’s find answers.
What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a chronic syndrome. The name was established in 1976, but it was first discovered in 1816 by Dr. William Balfour, a surgeon at the University of Edinburgh, Great Britain (x). It is closely aligned with arthritis because long-lasting muscle and joint pain are common to both. But the medical field considers fibromyalgia a pain disorder and arthritis an inflammatory one. Although arthritic patients can develop fibromyalgia (x). The root cause of the syndrome is unknown, although scientists are investigating ideas.
What Causes Fibromyalgia?
Recent research indicates that mitochondrial oxidative stress may be responsible for fibromyalgia (x). Other studies imply that environmental or emotional trauma such as injuries from an automobile accident or illnesses like pneumonia and autoimmune disorders may be responsible (x). Then there are studies that point to genetics (x).
What are the Symptoms of Fibromyalgia?
In addition to the traversing muscle aches, pain and fatigue, sufferers experience overall body tenderness, joint stiffness, numbness, burning or tingling hands and feet, headaches, cognitive issues such as memory loss, the inability to focus or concentrate (termed “fibro fog”), depression, anxiety, sensitivity to light, cold and heat, painful menstruation, digestive issues such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), overactive bladder and disruptive sleep. These symptoms can be mild or intense (x), (x), (x).
Who Gets Fibromyalgia?
What are the risk factors of fibromyalgia? The syndrome is mostly seen in adults between the ages of 30 and 55 (x). It seems to affect more women than men (x). And as the aforementioned suggest, trauma, disease or family genetics could add to the risk. Diet (obese individuals) is also under consideration as a possible trigger (x). To diagnose the disease, doctors study a patient’s medical and family history, perform a complete physical exam, search for patterns, increased spread and severity of symptoms (x), (x), (x).
How is Fibromyalgia Treated?
There is no cure for fibromyalgia, but there are as many therapies as there are symptoms. Healthcare professionals may prescribe a series of therapies at once. They may include pharmacological drugs, alternative therapies or lifestyle changes, mental and physical healthcare specialists and natural supplements. Always consult your healthcare provider for diagnoses, accurate medical information and permission before embarking on any kind of therapy on your own.
Fibromyalgia patients are prescribed over-the-counter (OTC) drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen and naproxen for mild pain. For severe pain, it may be oxycodone, fentanyl, codeine or medicines used to treat other ailments such as the anti-depression drug duloxetine or the anti-epileptic drug pregabalin (x), (x), (x), (x). There has also been a recent rise in the use of narcotics such as opioids for pain-relief, but research results are inconclusive (x).
Alternative therapies or lifestyle changes include exercise, meditation, yoga, reiki, tai chi and similar disciplines, massage, chiropractic therapy, physical therapy, acupuncture, cognitive -behavioral therapy, sleep programs, and dietary changes (x), (x).
- Exercises such as water aerobics, walking and biking may strengthen the muscles and build endurance over time (x).
- Acupuncture may help increase blood flow, which in turn may raise the body’s natural chemical levels to what is needed for optimal health (x).
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy may help patients reverse negative thought patterns and behaviors, which may help reduce stress, manage pain better and produce restful sleep (x).
- Dietary changes. Foods with additives, gluten, lots of sugar, foods such as caffeine and alcohol and foods that are highly processed may be natural triggers for fibromyalgia. A well-balanced diet is recommended (x), (x), (x), (x). Dietary supplements may also help.
Dietary Supplements for Fibromyalgia
What dietary supplements benefit fibromyalgia sufferers? Researchers are considering a number of natural supplements as potential therapies for fibromyalgia patients. Studies have been conducted on creatine, fish oil/ omega-3 fatty acid, the amino acid S-adenosyl-L-methionine, 5-hydroxytryptophan, mineral magnesium, vitamins B12, C and D, coenzyme Q10, soy, capsaicin/ chili peppers, and herbs such as turmeric, valerian, St. John’s wort and ashwagandha. Some show more promise than others. Some may treat more than one fibromyalgia symptom (x), (x). Unique beings as we are, it’s good to have a variety of supplements so we can choose the ones that offer us the most benefits.
This article considers seven natural supplements with strong properties that may improve quality of life for fibromyalgia sufferers. Again, always consult your healthcare provider for diagnoses, accurate medical information and permission before taking any supplements. There’s no medical evidence to support dietary supplements curing, treating or preventing disease and disorders, including fibromyalgia.
Vitamin B12 plays a critical role in maintaining a healthy nervous system by regenerating nerve and brain cells and producing proteins that protect our neurons. A 1997 Swedish study found low levels of vitamin B12 in the cerebrospinal fluid of seven of their twelve fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome subjects. They also found low levels of the amino acid homocysteine, necessary for the metabolism of amino acids cysteine and methionine (amino acids are the “building blocks” of protein). When given B12, patients’ levels rose adequately (x). Results from more recent studies on vitamin B12 showed equal promise in relieving symptoms (x), (x), (x).
2. Vitamin D (x)
Vitamin D3 is known for stimulating our immune system, improving cognitive faculties, bone health and mood (x), (x). Studies found that patients with fibromyalgia had low levels of D3 in their systems. Insufficient levels of this vitamin can disrupt those functions. Patients who were given vitamin D3 had their levels restored (x).
3. Magnesium (x)
This important mineral is involved in at least 300 metabolic processes, including the production of cellular energy (x). It may also help relax muscles. Studies found low levels of magnesium in fibromyalgia patients, and that transdermal applications to the limbs helped (x). Other studies suggest that oral supplements of the mineral may be effective in treating numbness and improving quality of sleep (x), (x).
4. Ashwagandha (x)
Ashwagandha is part of the nightshade family of plants, same as tomatoes. This supplemental herb is classified as an adaptogen, meaning it may relieve the body of physical and psychological stress (x). It may also boost memory, relieve pain and decrease inflammation (x). Since these are some of the symptoms of fibromyalgia, research indicates that ashwagandha’s strong bioactive properties could help relieve them (x), (x).
5. Turmeric (x)
Turmeric, member of the ginger family, has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine and South Asian cuisine. Studies show its powerful properties (due to the polyphenol curcumin) may relieve inflammation, chronic pain, depression and stomach issues – common symptoms of fibromyalgia (x), (x), (x), (x), (x).
6. Coenzyme Q10 (x)
Coenzyme Q10 or simply CoQ10, occurs naturally in just about every cell in our body. It plays an essential role as an antioxidant, in energy production and in DNA repair (x). Studies suggest that coenzyme Q10 supplements may boost levels in fibromyalgia patients, reduce oxidative stress, fatigue, stiffness and pain (x).
7. Creatine (x)
Creatine also occurs naturally in the body as the enzyme creatine kinase. It plays an essential role in cellular energy production. Our muscular and skeletal structures need energy for movement. Creatine may also help improve cognitive and behavioral issues (x). Research indicates that it has the potential to improve muscle function in fibromyalgia patients as well (x).
Side Effects and Safety Concerns
All supplements have the potential to produce side effects and interact poorly with medication. Whether they are severe, mild or of no consequence, depends on the individual consuming the supplements. Symptoms may include gastrointestinal issues, dizziness, itching, rash, mental confusion and even life-threatening anaphylaxis (x), (x). Always consult your healthcare provider for diagnoses, accurate medical information and permission before taking any dietary supplements.
Where to Buy Supplements for Fibromyalgia
You can purchase supplements for fibromyalgia at BulkSupplements.com. The company is an industry-leading manufacturer and distributor for pure dietary supplements. Bulksupplements.com is not just a consumer brand. It also supplies pure ingredients to other brands that distribute food and other supplement products. All products at BulkSupplements.com are manufactured and tested according to current and proper manufacturing practices.
Are you interested in trying supplements that may offer relief of chronic pain, stiffness, fatigue and other symptoms of fibromyalgia? Contact BulkSupplements.com to place an order today.
Fibromyalgia is a complex disorder with diverse symptoms. Most common are the chronic pain that spreads throughout the body, stiffness, tenderness and fatigue. Fibromyalgia’s root cause is yet to be determined. And there is no known cure. But a number of therapies may offer relief, including the consumption of natural supplements. Research suggests that their bioactive compounds may have the potential to reduce several fibromyalgia symptoms. Always consult your healthcare provider for diagnoses, accurate medical information and permission before taking any supplements.