Fibromyalgia (pronounced fy-bro-my-AL-ja), is a condition that affects five to six million Americans. Eighty to ninety percent of those diagnosed with fibromyalgia are women and most people are diagnosed during middle age. Fibromyalgia presents itself as widespread chronic pain, multiple tender points in joints and muscles, sleep disturbances and insomnia, extreme fatigue, stress, anxiety, and an interference with basic daily activities. A high percentage may also have irritable bowel syndrome, which suggests a food allergy component.
According to the National Institutes of Health web site, many people with fibromyalgia report varying degrees of success with complementary and alternative therapies such as massage, low impact exercise or stretching, chiropractic treatments, vitamins and minerals, diet manipulation, identifying and eliminating allergic foods, no caffeine or alcohol, and drinking lots of water.
Fibromyalgia and arthritis are “rheumatic” conditions — those that are known to impair the joints and/or soft tissues such as muscles and tendons and cause chronic, long-term pain. The Journal of Clinical Rheumatology recently published a study that found vitamin D deficiency is common in fibromyalgia and occurs even more frequently in fibromyalgia patients with anxiety and depression. A 2010 study published in “International Orthopaedics” found a significant connection between vitamin D deficiency and osteoarthritis of the knee and recommends that any patient with symptoms of osteoarthritis be screened for vitamin D deficiency.
MSM for Pain
MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) is a natural sulfur-bearing nutrient that occurs widely in nature. It is found in fresh fruits and vegetables, milk, fish, and grains. However due to our modern food processing industry, MSM is mostly lost when food is heated, frozen or pasteurized, resulting in widespread deficiencies. According to research from Ronald Lawrence, M.D., and Stanley Jacob, M.D., MSM represents a safe, natural solution for chronic headaches, back pain, tendonitis, fibromyalgia, arthritis, athletic injuries and muscle spasms. A study in the journal “Osteoarthritis Cartilage” confirms this, writing that: “Compared to placebo, MSM produced significant decreases in arthritis pain and physical function impairment. MSM also produced improvement in performing the activities of daily living.”
Nutrition expert Ray Sahelian, M.D. writes on the relationship between fibromyalgia and food allergies. He says: “In one study, researchers reviewed medical charts of 17 patients who agreed to eliminate common foods from their diet such as corn, wheat, dairy, citrus, soy, nuts and sugar. After two weeks without eating any of the potential food allergens, nearly half of the patients reported significant reduction of pain, and most reported a reduction in other symptoms such as headache, fatigue, bloating, and breathing difficulties.”
Minerals for Fibromyalgia
Calcium and magnesium have been extensively researched for their role as both natural pain relievers and insomnia remedies. A study from Hong Kong in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (a chiropractic journal), states that supplementing with calcium and magnesium for fibromyalgia subjects reduces the number of tender points. The study concluded that “calcium and magnesium supplements may be indicated as an adjunctive (additional) treatment of fibromyalgia.”
Pain and Insomnia
Fibromyalgia may be related to or originate out of a sleep disorder, hormonal changes, arthritis, a traumatic event, or from heredity. The pioneering nutritionist Adelle Davis says “A calcium deficiency often shows itself by insomnia, another form of an inability to relax. The harm done by sleeping tablets, to say nothing of the thousands of dollars spent on them, could largely be avoided if the calcium intake were adequate.” In one study published in the European Neurology Journal, researchers found that calcium levels in the body are higher during some of the deepest levels of sleep, such as the rapid eye movement (REM) phase, and that disturbances in sleep are related to a calcium deficiency.
Natural Sleep Remedy
One natural sleep remedy showing good results with pain relief and insomnia is Sleep Minerals II made by Nutrition Breakthroughs. It contains highly absorbable forms of calcium and magnesium, along with Vitamin D and zinc. The ingredients are delivered in a softgel form with carrier oils, making them more easily assimilated than capsules or tablets and providing a deeper, longer-lasting sleep.
L.C., a Sleep Minerals II user in Massachusetts says: “Due to some very stressful issues in my life, I hadn’t slept much in two and a half months and I was prescribed sleeping drugs. I had become dependent on them and couldn’t sleep without them. I came across Sleep Minerals II and now I can sleep through the whole night without drugs. I’m also able to easily fall back asleep if I do get up at night. This has also helped to alleviate my fatigue and aches and pains.”
Pain medications, sleeping drugs, or anti-depressants can be prescribed for fibromyalgia, but they just mask the symptoms, not heal them. It’s often a better option to use the tools of healthy diet, gentle exercise, and nutritional supplements to create greater health.
For more information on Sleep Minerals II click here.