I have compiled a list of natural remedies for fibromyalgia complete with effectiveness rating and recommended dosages to use.
Fibromyalgia is a syndrome that involves pain in the muscles, tendons, ligaments and fibrous tissues.
It is unfortunate that researchers still are unsure of what causes it, let alone know of any effective cures.
In addition to pain, other commonly reported symptoms include chest pain, mild fever, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), fatigue, anxiety, memory problems, headaches and depression.
It has been estimated that up to 6 million individuals have this disease. It usually affects women between the age of 25 and 45 years old.
As for natural supplements that you could use, let's look at some natural remedies that may be effective in helping to reduce pain and the discomfort associated with this disease...
|Natural Remedies||What Experts Say...|
|5-HTP|| (What's this?)
Individuals suffering from fibromyalgia tend to have lowering serotonin levels. 5-HTP supplements have been shown to boost serotonin levels. And research studies do show that it works.
Dose: Take 100 mg three times dailly. This is the dosage used in many research studies.
Double-blinded studies show that it seems to work.
Individuals with fibromyalgia seem to benefit from taking SAMe for six weeks. They reported reduced pain, stiffness and fatigue. Their mood also improved significantly.
Dose: Experts suggest taking 400 mg two times daily for six weeks. Patients using it for just 10 days did not report significant benefits.
Others experts have also recommended taking 800 mg once daily.
In one preliminary study, combining CoQ10 with Ginkgo biloba seem to reduce the symptoms of fibromyalgia when taken for four weeks.
The detailed article Taking CoQ10 for Fibromyalgia talks about this particular use of CoQ10.
Dose: Start with a dosage of 100 mg two times daily. Increase the dosage by 100 mg weekly if needed.
In one clinical study, melatonin improved sleep and reduced the pain at tender points.
Melatonin may cause drowsiness so taking it at bedtime is recommended.
Dose: Take 3 mg daily at bedtime or one or two hours before bedtime. Higher doses may be used under medical supervision.
Preliminary research study showed that magnesium combined with malic acid helped to lower pain in individuals with fibromyalgia.
However, a properly designed blinded studies did not show the same level of benefit.
Dose: Take 300 to 600 mg of magnesium along with 1,200 to 2,400 mg of malic acid daily. This is continued for at least 8 weeks.
Lower dosages may not effective according to some researchers.
Malic acid has been combined with magnesium to help with reducing pain from fibromyalgia.
Dose: In the study, 1,200 to 2,400 mg of malic acid is combined with 300 to 600 mg of magnesium.
In one study, subjects taking vitamin E showed improvements in fibromyalgia symptoms.
Better and larger study will need to be carried out to verify this initial finding.
Dose: Take 100 to 300 IU daily.
Users have reported that taking Cat's Claw reduces the symptoms of fibromyalgia with three months of use.
Dose: Experts suggest taking up to 900 mg daily.
This natural herb is commonly used to reduce inflammation associated with joint pain.
Dose: Follow the directions provided by the manufacturer.
|St. John's Wort||
St. John's Wort is best known as a "natural" antidepressant herb. It is known to boost serotonin levels and helps with insomnia and reduce pain.
Do NOT take if you are currently taking a prescription antidepressant medication due to potential additive side effects.
Dose: Take 900 mg daily for up to 3 months. If there is no improvement seen, discontinue.
Many people consider this natural herb as equivalent to Aspirin as a pain reliever. It may be used to reduce pain associated with fibromyalgia.
To avoid stomach irritation and discomfort, take with food.
Do NOT take this if you are currently taking a blood thinner (e.g. warfarin (Coumadin) or ASA) as it may thin the blood further. This may lead to excessive bleeding. Consult a health care professional.
Dose: Follow the directions provided by the manufacturer.
Vitamin B12 may be helpful in reducing symptoms associated with fibromyalgia.
Dose: Inject 1,000 mcg weekly or take 1,000 mcg of the sublingual tablet daily.
The list above represents some of the more researched natural remedies for treating fibromyalgia. It may be of value to try some of them out to see if they help reduce your symptoms.
Using natural remedies to reduce fibromyalgia pain is only one approach. There are other things that you should also do as well.
Getting Enough Sleep
The amount of sleep a person need per day really depends on the individual. Having pain from fibromyalgia doesn't help for sure.
You might ask why you would feel like taking on exercise when you are suffering from fibromyalgia pain? The fact is, regular mild stretching and exercise does help reduce pain, gives you energy and a sense of well-being.
These activities would include walking and stretching. And you don't have to do it for hours on end. Just a couple of minutes, perhaps when you get up and just before you got to bed, is a good start.
There is no doubt that massage therapy does relax your muscle and reduce pain. On areas of the body that you can reach, try using your fingers or knuckles to massage the area that hurts. You can even use objects like tennis balls pressed against the wall. Be creative.
Most people feel very relaxed after a hot shower. No wonder. Heat relaxes muscle. You may also use a reusable hot pack that you can buy from most pharmacies.
Others find that a cooling down a painful area works better. Try both heat and cold therapy and see it would help reduce the pain. Be creative. Even ice cubes or frozen bag of vegetables would also work in a pinch.
Some studies show that acupuncture helps reduce pain while other studies show no benefits. It may be something to consider.
You may or may not have heard of this device. This pocket-sized battery-operated device produces electrical signals to nerves to reduce the sensation of pain.
The two electrical pads are applied to the sore spots on the skin. It is often used by physiotherapists.
Suffering from to much stress in your life is likely to worsen your fibromyalgia pain. It is almost a certainty.
Stress is associated with conditions like insomnia, anxiety and depression, although it may not directly cause them.
That means that you will need to find ways to reduce stress. Engage in something you enjoy doing. It could be as simple as listening to your favourite tunes, reading that novel or just going for a walk in the park.
Are natural remedies for fibromyalgia symptoms worth trying out?
Yes. I believe so. It is at least worthwhile giving at least some of them a fair trial of several months.
Start with those with the better research evidence of effectiveness, namely 5-HTP, SAMe, magnesium and melatonin. I don't have a particular first or second choice. However, melatonin and magnesium are low cost. If cost is a concern, why not start with one of these two first? SAMe is probably the more expensive one of this group.
Since each person responds different to different natural remedies, you will not know until you try them. In other words, one remedy that works well for one person may have no benefit at all for another..
With fibromyalgia, even a modest amount of relief from pain and discomfort is more than welcomed.
When trying out the various natural supplements, use only one at a time if possible. This is the only way to find out which specific one actually works..
Many products designed to treat fibromyalgia pain and discomfort contain multiple ingredients. Read the ingredient list. It should contain one or more of the remedies listed above.