As anyone suffering from fibromyalgia knows, the condition is not a simple one to treat. Aside from the core issue of pain in muscles and ligaments, there are a number of associated issues such as sleep disorders, anxiety, depression, and irritable bowel syndrome.
Facing such complexities, many physicians believe that the best approach is to treat symptoms on a case-by-case basis in order to improve patient’s quality of life.
Improving nutrition is an important part of this and your diet of course has a key role to play in this. In addition, many look to supplements to help muscles to perform optimally. If they are not supplied with the correct amount of nutrients they cannot operate at full capacity and therefore are more likely to cause pain.
Muscle cells use an active transport system and they need the correct amount of minerals for this to work efficiently.
If you’re deficient in these they can’t be supplied by a normal diet, which is where supplements come in.
Research into the effects of supplements are ongoing but there is as yet insufficient evidence to know for sure which ones will work. However, as long as you’re careful and speak to a physician first, taking supplements should not be detrimental and should only have a positive impact.
Let’s look then at a selection with which you should consider adding to your diet.
- Vitamin DAccording to a 2014 study published in the journal Pain 30, women who took Vitamin D over a 20-week period saw improved physical functioning and reduced pain, compared to a control group that received a placebo.
- Omega-3 fatty acidsThese come primarily from fish oils, which have great anti-inflammatory properties. This can really help with fibromyalgia pain and also offer improved immunity, which is great for general health.However, if you are taking blood-thinning medications then speak to your doctor before taking these.
- S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe)S-Adenosyl methionine, fortunately more commonly known as SAMe are a synthetic form of a compound that the body produces naturally. It’s related to the immune function and helps form cartilage. Unfortunately, our bodies produce less of it as we age, and this could be exacerbated for fibromyalgia sufferers. A common dosage starts at 200mg twice a day for six weeks, moving up gradually to 400mg to avoid side-effects such as an upset stomach.
- RiboseRibose supplements help with tight muscles – a common form of fibro pain. Ribose is a simple sugar, and increases energy to muscles, helping to relax them. According to a 2012 study published in The Open Pain Journal, it reduced pain experienced by fibromyalgia sufferers by an average of 15.6 per cent.
- MagnesiumStudies suggest that fibromyalgia sufferers are deficient in magnesium, which is a significant problem considering it plays a role in keeping every body part healthy. In one 2013 study, women who took 300 mg/day of magnesium citrate for eight weeks reported a reduction of tenderness as well as other symptoms.Magnesium is found in green leafy vegetables, pumpkin and sunflower seeds and spinach. Unfortunately, about half the dosage is lost when these foods are cooked so a supplement is recommended – 280 to 300mg per day with meals.Magnesium supplements can interact with other medication, such as those for high blood pressure, so make sure you talk to your doctor first if you are taking anything.
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