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Fibromyalgia – What You Need to Know (Part 3 of 3)

by Loretta Lanphier, NP, CN, HHP, CH

(The Best Years in Life) Imagine waking up every morning feeling worn out, achy, and depressed. The fatigue never seems to go away, and anxiety is a constant companion because you just don’t understand what is wrong with you. You’re scared and confused. If it’s this bad now, what will tomorrow bring? This is the experience many people describe who now know that the mysterious symptoms they were suffering from have a name: Fibromyalgia (FM). Once you can put a name to it and begin to understand it, there is hope of managing it and getting your life back. Part 3 of a 3 part series.  Read More.

More Natural Health Suggestions for Fibromyalgia

  • Boosting Serotonin Levels seems to be beneficial to most patients. 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is a supplement that when ingested converts into serotonin in the body. One study indicated that most patients experienced significant improvement in pain, sleeplessness, anxiety, and fatigue after taking 100 mg. three times per day for 30 days. Results were even better after 90 days.

  • Magnesium is another big player in supplemental remedies. Since magnesium is so important to the fibromyalgia patient, I would like to park here and talk a bit more about this mineral and how to get more of it in your diet. Magnesium is involved in over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body. It is particularly critical to proper production and metabolism of energy (ATP) and muscle functions. Most fibromyalgia patients are deficient in magnesium. This creates fatigue and a lack of energy, as well as muscle pain. In review, magnesium makes such a difference in the lives of fibro patients because it is so critical in metabolism of energy and in proper muscle function. It can be found in high concentrations in many foods, including beans, nuts, grains, fish, grass-fed meat, and dark green vegetables such as avocados, broccoli, and spinach. Deficiency can also lead to irregular heartbeat, nerve disorders, and circulation problems. Magnesium also works with calcium, and enables it to be absorbed properly into the body. Vitamin B6 should also be taken along with any magnesium supplements, as B6 works to allow greater absorption of magnesium into the cells. I use and recommend magnesium orotate taken orally and magnesium oil applied transdermally. Patients with fibromyalgia should consider having a red blood cell magnesium test to ensure that they are not deficient in this important nutrient.

  • Vitamin D – Since those with fibromyalgia syndrome have impaired mobility, they usually get less exposure to sunlight. This contributes to the vitamin D deficiency frequently observed in this population (Bhatty 2010, Olama 2013). In one trial involving 100 women with fibromyalgia, 61% were found to be vitamin D deficient (blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D • B-vitamins – B-vitamins were reported in a survey to be used by a quarter of fibromyalgia patients (Wahner-Roedler 2005). Homocysteine levels are kept in check by adequate B-vitamin intake. In one study, women with fibromyalgia were shown to have higher levels of homocysteine in their cerebrospinal fluid than healthy controls (Regland 1997). Other evidence indicates that a Myers’ Cocktail, which consists of an intravenous infusion of several vitamins (i.e., B-complex vitamins), may be useful in fibromyalgia (Gaby 2002; Ali 2009). Also, B-vitamins are essential for maintaining optimal mitochondrial function (Depeint 2006).

  • Malic Acid is a substance found in many fruits, with especially high levels in apples. It is involved in the production of energy in the body. When malic acid levels are low, the body turns to less efficient ways of making energy, and this causes lactic acid to accumulate. Lactic acid causes muscle pain and fatigue. Supplementation with a combination of magnesium orotate and malic acid is especially effective.

  • Increasing Nitric Oxide Levels. Researchers from Washington State University were successful in decreasing fibromyalgia pain by increasing the production of nitric oxide (NO) from endothelial cells. NO delivers nutrients to muscles by dilating blood vessels. Patients with fibromyalgia have low levels of nitric oxide. This deprives their muscles of oxygen-rich blood and nutrients. Eventually, harmful toxins build-up and cause debilitating pain. Supplements found to increase nitric oxide are pomegranate extract, cocoa polyphenols and Super-Oxide Dismutase (SOD).

  • Coenzyme Q10 and Ginkgo Biloba combined shows great promise. One study found that 64% of subjects experienced significant relief from symptoms after taking these supplements together.

  • Acylcarnitine is a substance that is important to energy production as well. Many fibromyalgia patients are deficient in this. Supplementation of 500-1000 mg. daily for 12 weeks has proven useful.

  • Oregano Oil can help to address SIBO which is small intestinal bacteria overgrowth. SIBO leads to systemic overproduction and absorption of toxins that impair brain/nerve and muscle mitochondrial functions. Bacterial overgrowth produces Dlactic acid which is a neurotoxin as well as a metabolic poison in abnormal amounts. It can cause fatigue, muscle pain and problems with cognition. Bacterial overgrowth can produce hydrogen sulfide. Hydrogen sulfide is also a neurotoxin / metabolic poison and can also cause fatigue, muscle pain and dyscognition. Bacterial overgrowth can produce tryptophanase. Tryptophanase digests tryptophan which is the main building block for serotonin and ultimately melatonin. The literature shows that “fibromyalgia patients have been shown to be low in tryptophan which means poor sleep and increases in pain, fatigue, carbohydrate cravings, and depression. Tryptophan depletion leads to melatonin deficiency which in turn leads to sleep disturbances, mitochondrial impairment and oxidative stress as well as muscle fatigue.” Migraine Headaches, Hypothyroidism and Fibromyalgia: Assessments and Therapeutic Approaches using Integrative Chiropractic, Naturopathic, Osteopathic and Functional Medicine by Dr. Alex Vasquez.

  • Essential Fatty Acids (EFA) are helpful too. Clean fish oil, flaxseed oil, and primrose oil are good sources for EFA’s. These fatty acids aid in producing series 1 and 3 prostaglandins which help reduce inflammation. Stay away from animal fats in the diet, as these spawn series 2 prostaglandins, which increase inflammation.

  • Ginger acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and helps with muscle and joint pain. Researchers have also discovered that ginger may stymie the growth of “Substance P,” which is a pain mediator found at elevated levels in many patients.

  • St. John’s Wort helps many patients with both depression and sleeplessness. It also works well in conjunction with 5-HTP and magnesium.

  • Massage Therapy is a therapy that is helpful in many cases. Some love it, but others complain that it is painful for them at times. Everyone is different, and as is the nature of fibromyalgia, one’s levels and locations of pain vary. A massage therapist must be sensitive to this when working on a subject. Short sessions are usually best. Some have even taught family members what works best for them. A form called “deep muscle massage” is preferred by many. It’s wonderful to have a masseuse right on the premises! (That would be nice for all of us, fibro or not). Heat therapy, cold therapy, sauna therapy and hydrotherapy (warm baths) are often used either standing alone or in combination with massage.

  • Chiropractic. Chiropractors aim to correct misalignments of the spine and pelvis through the use of hands-on adjustments. As joint motion improves, fibromyalgia patients often discover that the excruciating pain can be reduced or, in some cases, eliminated. Once this pain is under control, other symptoms associated with fibromyalgia such as fatigue, sleep deprivation, and depression may diminish. Chiropractic care has helped thousands of patients return to their normal lives. Retired Brig. Gen. Becky Halstead, the first woman General in the U.S. Army to command in Iraq, suffered from fibromyalgia during her service. She states: “The adjustments and nutritional advice I received from my chiropractor helped in treating the fibromyalgia and made me feel better on a day-to-day basis.”

  • Aromatherapy is also found useful by some patients. A soak in a hot tub with essential oils of lavender, frankincense, juniper, or chamomile can be soothing to both the body and the spirit.

In Conclusion

Before embarking on any of the above recommendations, I highly recommend consulting with a knowledgeable Naturopath, Functional Medicine Doctor or Chiropractor in which you can discuss your symptoms, this article as well as getting help and guidance in monitoring your path to wellness. Often the success or failure of any protocol can be partially linked to knowledgeable guidance, high amounts of encouragement and frequent accountability.

See also:

Fibromyalgia – What You Need to Know (Part 1 of 3)

Fibromyalgia – What You Need to Know (Part 2 of 3)

Use Natural Help for Fibromyalgia

Addressing Fibromyalgia Without Mainstream Medicines

This article was originally published at http://www.exhibithealth.com/general-health/fibromyalgia-what-you-need-to-know-46/

About the Author:

Loretta Lanphier, NP, CN, CH, HHP is a Naturopathic Practitioner, Clinical Nutritionist, Clinical Herbalist and Holistic Health Practitioner as well as Founder/CEO of Oasis Advanced Wellness. As a stage III cancer survivor since 2000, she understands the necessity of providing the body with what it needs to repair and heal. Loretta is dedicated to helping people create lasting changes in their health and well-being through whole body nutritional balancing, physician strength supplementation and up-to-date natural health education and modalities. Loretta is Editor and contributor to the worldwide e-newsletter Advanced Health & Wellness and her new health and wellness blog Exhibit Health.  She is also a co-moderator of our Yahoo Health Group focused on cancer, Oleandersoup.

 
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