Can taking dietary supplements help treat fibromyalgia ?
It is extremely important for fibromyalgia patients to get adequate amounts of nutrients to support bodily function. Some researchers feel that fibromyalgia patients may be deficient in many nutrients for a variety of reasons, and that supplementation may be necessary to help restore energy and quality of life. Supplements that are sometimes used to treat fibromyalgia include the following:
- Supplements containing the synthetic form of tryptophan (5-HTP), an amino acid that supports serotonin levels in the brain, may be helpful for treatment of depression, pain, and insomnia.
- Melatonin is a natural hormone in the body that helps maintain regular sleep cycles. Melatonin supplements have been used to treat a variety of sleep disorders, and may help treat insomnia, and reduce anxiety and depression in those with fibromyalgia.
- Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to decrease inflammation in the tissues, and may improve the appearance of hair and skin (brittle hair and skin disorders are common in FMS patients). They also promote normal function of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) that controls blood pressure, kidney function, and the digestive system.
- Magnesium supplements may help ease twitches, irregular heartbeat, and leg cramps. Some studies have shown that fibromyalgia patients have significantly lower than normal levels of magnesium in the body. Calcium supplements are sometimes taken with magnesium to enhance its effectiveness.
- MSM (methyl sulfonyl methane) is a dietary form of sulfur that may help the body create healthy cells. It has been used to treat arthritis pain, muscle aches, allergies, and inflammation
- B-complex vitamins are needed to perform just about every imaginable bodily process. The are involved in regulation of the nervous system, the release of energy, cell growth and division, and the production of hormones, red blood cells, and neurotransmitters. Vitamin B supplements may help fight fatigue, mental confusion, anxiety, muscle pain, numbness and tingling sensations, and gastrointestinal upset.
- Apple cider vinegar, betaine hydrochloride (HCL) and pepsin, which some studies have shown to help the body absorb nutrients and decrease inflammation
- Chromium picolinate supplements have been shown to help regulate blood sugar and curbing carbohydrate cravings. This may help treat hypoglycemic symptoms in those with fibromyalgia, and encourage them to stick to healthy, low-carbohydrate diets such as the Zone diet, which are often recommended for treatment of both fibromyalgia and hypoglycemia.