Fibromyalgia is a reasonably common syndrome of generalised musculoskeletal pain stiffness, chronic aching fatigue.
It is characterised by reproducible tenderness when applying pressure to specific areas of the body that can not be associated with physical trauma, thyroid, rheumatoid or connective tissue diseases.
It is similar to chronic fatigue syndrome in that both can often be associated with infection, severe shock or emotional stress.
Do not underestimate the possible presence of infection. This can be any where in the body and can affect the muscles and joints.
Other symptoms often associated with fibromyalgia are cold extremities, impaired memory frequent urination, depression, sleep disorders, balance problems, muscle twitching, dry mouth, sore throat and headaches.
Natural treatments that have been found to be useful are as follows:
– Diet: it is extremely important to check the diet. The inclusion of excess sugars and foods such as tomatoes can actually cause a myriad of ‘fibromyalgic’ symptoms.
Be sure to first exclude all excess sugars, as well as wine, beer, tomatoes and in some cases the rest of the ‘solanum’ family of foods (potato, capsicum and egg plant).
Sulphite allergy (202 on food labels) can also cause ‘fibromyalgic’ symptoms.
See page on ‘Sulphite allergies’.
– Evening Primrose oil can work wonders. Taken in reasonably high doses, I usually recommend 3000mg taken twice daily. It can ease inflammatory symptoms, greatly reduce depression and improve energy.
– 5HTP supplementation can alleviate symptoms such as depression, anxiety, insomnia and somatic pains by improving the production of serotonin.
See page on ‘Antidepressants vs 5HTP’.
– Quercetin also is a great help where inflammation is present, usually at a dosage of 400-1000mg daily.
– Food enzymes and increased quantities of raw organic foods will ensure proper protein digestion and prevent tissue acidity.
See page on ‘ Enzymes – facts’.
– Slippery elm powder, acidophilus capsules and possibly other laxative herbs to promote bowel detoxification are useful.
– Minerals, especially Magnesium, Zinc and Iodine, preferably in naturally occurring forms such as Spirulina, Alfalfa, Barley Grass or Colloidal minerals will help relax and heal the body and increase energy levels.
See ‘Minerals – why we need to supplement’.
– The green products (spirulina, barley grass etc.) also provide B vitamins but in the case of Fibromyalgia, generally better results are obtained by supplementing with tablets, in particular with at least 100mg of Vitamin B6 and 200mcg (or more) of Vitamin B12.
The B6 will help ease the aching of soft tissue while B12 greatly eases deeper nerve type pain and increases energy levels.
See page on ‘Vitamin B12’.
– Many people have found that Co-enzyme Q10 can help to increase energy levels. It needs to be taken in doses of 100mg or more to be useful.
– An Iodine supplement also often will greatly help to increase energy.
– Herbal therapy can often deal efficiently with immune problems. Use herbs such as: Echinacea, Withania, Astragalus, Hypericum, Garlic etc for depressed immune systems, particularly if a viral complaint is suspected. I have also found that rye grass extract works very well and definitely helps in situations where the immune system is compromised.
– The Ginseng family of herbs can help greatly to support the body while it recuporates & regains strength. I have often combined these with herbs such as Californian Poppy, Bacopa or Withania where I find a body stressed as well as excessively
– Lack of sleep is often a major problem. Try tart Cherry, Valerian, Passiflora, Chamomile, Wood Betony, Skullcap, Oats, and Hops etc for sleep disorders.
– Another remedy that is extremely useful for the sleep deprivation is Adenosine, taken at bed time and if necessary again at 2am!!
However do not take too much as Adenosine does increase the amount of REM sleep
that you get and it may feel like you have been dreaming excessively. Adenosine can work wonders in difficult situations as it calms the mind. It often works best when combined with Kavakava or Valerian which help relax the muscles.
See page on ‘Sleep problems’.
– Hypericum (St. John’s wort) can be wonderful if there are depressive symptoms.
– Ginkgo Biloba and Panax Ginseng can also be useful.
– Massage therapy performed by an Osteopath or other therapist who is familiar with the balance of the body can also be extremely beneficial.
Up-dated Jan 2017.