The question is: can supplements help ease the pain and discomfort of a person experiencing a fibromyalgia flare-up? According to experts, taking the right supplements can reduce the stiffness, pain, and inflammation which is a huge advantage because it can allow the person with fibromyalgia to be somewhat productive. However, the reality is that supplements may not always work as studies show varying levels of success. The best advice one can get on the use of supplements is to try it and find a combination that works while in consultation with your doctor. At the same time, those with this condition should not rely solely on supplements and medication but consider the following remedies:
- Getting enough sleep
- Eating properly
- Reducing stress
- Making significant lifestyle and work changes
In addition, since the FDA does not oversee the sale and production of dietary supplements, you do not have a ton of scientific research on the side effects and proper dosage which reinforces the need to consult with your doctor.
The supplements highly recommended for fibromyalgia are:
SAM-e – This is molecule produced by the body but can be taken in supplement form. It prevents inflammation, mood swings, and joint discomfort. The usual dosage is 800mg daily for 6 weeks. Some people experience side effects such as diarrhea, dry mouth, dizziness, gas, headache, sweating, vomiting, constipation, or anorexia but you can avoid these side effects by taking a low dose initially and slowly increasing.
Vitamin D – Some people suffer from deficiency of vitamin D which is known as the “sunshine vitamin” because you can get your daily dose from staying out in the sun for a few minutes. Vitamin D can help with the pain associated with fibromyalgia. It reduces morning fatigue and allows you to function well enough to do minor tasks. The recommended dose is 600 IU daily except for seniors over 71 years old who should get 800 IU.
Magnesium – This supplement prevents muscle spasms, back pain, and the feeling of being weak because it strengthens major organs and bones. People, especially women, with fibromyalgia have low magnesium levels. If you want, instead of taking the magnesium supplements, eat raw green leafy vegetables, wheat bran, sunflower seeds or pumpkin.
Fish oil – Fish oil has omega-3 fatty acids which contribute to reducing pain and inflammation. However, make sure to get the fish oil that is mercury-free and take at most 2 capsules (or 2 tablespoons) daily. If you are on blood-thinning medication, never take fish oil without consulting with your doctor.
Supplements are natural alternatives that can safely help your muscles relax and lessen the pain. For most people, fibromyalgia tends to improve gradually over time with fewer flare-ups. This condition is also not progressive or fatal and several studies are underway to study the pain associated with fibromyalgia.