Fibromyalgia Natural Treatment Options to Consider
Fibromyalgia has always been a stubborn challenge for doctors and patients alike. Since the condition is so difficult to measure, monitor and predict there is no easy solution.
On the other hand, there are several approaches to relieving the chronic fatigue, pain, ache, anxiety and weariness that comes with the condition. Conventional medicine has not yet found a cure for fibromyalgia, but many patients have enjoyed significantly more relief by combining promising alternative treatments with the medical wisdom of their doctors.
The challenge is in picking and choosing the right approaches for you. Before jumping head-first into alternative treatments, consider what the research says.
You’ll be happy to learn how many potential therapies are at your fingertips, but it’s always best to proceed with caution and a good understanding of the pros and cons.
The realm of nutritional and natural supplements is expanding, and there seems to be a new cure-all every week or two. Of course, there is no simple way to overcome the stain and pain of fibromyalgia, but certain supplements could offer more than a marketing ploy.
Research is ongoing, but these are the leading supplements out there for fibromyalgia, including what they can (and can’t) do:
This is a crucial compound in serotonin — the neurotransmitter responsible for regulating mood, your sleep cycle and sensitivity to pain. Studies have found a staggering amount of fibromyalgia cases feature low serotonin levels, which suggests boosting your intake in the form of a supplement could be a good idea.
Some studies have found supplementing with 5-HTP noticeably improved depression and sleep symptoms in fibromyalgia patients, but other studies show 5-HTP might not be as powerful as it appears.
This compound has been used for a few different conditions, though researchers are still unsure how it works in the body. It’s possible that supplementing with SAM-e increases your dopamine and serotonin levels, which might improve mood and sleep patterns.
There’s little evidence to suggest SAM-e is an effective therapy for fibromyalgia patients, especially since it doesn’t appear to combat muscle pain and tenderness. On the other hand, there doesn’t seem to be much downside, other than a few rare and mild side effects.
A natural precursor to sleep, melatonin supplements have gained popularity in recent years for their perceived ability to counter jet lag and influence sleep patterns. Some recent have also suggested that melatonin may be able to help with fibromyalgia pain, as well.
The general safety of melatonin is one of its most appealing attributes: there are few side effects as long as you stay within the recommended dosage, but as with any medication that can make you drowsy, you must be cautious about driving.
This amino acid is naturally produced in the body, but an extra helping might be able to relieve pain and alleviate emotional strain that comes with fibromyalgia. Studies have been limited, but initial findings suggest that symptoms could improve significantly.
Any supplements will carry some risk, and they might not affect every patient the same. Never start a course of supplements on a whim — your doctor can give you sound advice and help you weigh the risks and rewards according to your unique case.
Keep in mind nutritional supplements also don’t get to work overnight, so prepare to wait at least a few weeks before deciding whether or not it’s working for you.
Next page: physical and psychological therapies to try.