This is what it is like to have fibromyalgia. Your muscles hurt and ache, they feel worse with touch or pressure, and being in pain all the time leads to chronic fatigue.
Fortunately, a recent study shows that taking magnesium for fibromyalgia can help reduce both the number of tender points and the overall intensity.
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be used in place of the advice of a healthcare professional. While my wife and I have been taking magnesium supplements every day for years, I can't say how they might affect you. Always consult a doctor if you have health concerns: don't try to self-diagnose!
What Is Fibromyalgia?
The most common symptom of fibromyalgia (or ‘FM’ or ‘Fibro’ as sufferers call it) is widespread muscle pain. Other common symptoms include fatigue and cognitive dysfunction (‘fibrofog’).
The cause of the ache and fatigue remains unclear, though some research shows that people with fibromyalgia may have developed a greater sensitivity to pain.
Trauma, repetitive motion, and surgery have all been linked to initial fibromyalgia symptoms in some people. Genetics may also play a part.
Psychological stress can be a factor as well. Fibromyalgia is often associated with stress, anxiety, and depression.
Fibromyalgia affects women 7-9 times more often than men.
What Medication Is Available?
A number of medications may be helpful, specifically Lyrica, Cymbalta, and Savella. How successful they are can depend on the level of pain, depression, muscle activity, or sleep-related problems.
In particular the pain reducing properties of these medications may be due to the release of neurotransmitters in the brain.
Unfortunately, as with any medication there may be side effects. Lyrica may induce sleepiness, weight gain, and swelling of the extremities. Cymbalta may bring depression and have suicidal risks. Savella may have similar side effects but is specifically associated with nausea, insomnia, heart rate anomalies, and BP problems.
Coping Naturally By Reducing Stress
Physical and mental stress are associated with many instances of fibromyalgia. Working to reduce the overall stress in your environment can have a positive impact on symptoms. So can reducing your body’s response to stress.
It is important to take care of yourself by eliminating what stress you can. You can’t say no to everything, but you can often temporarily set some things aside so that you can focus on healing.
Some stressors you can’t eliminate, though. Good ways to cope with these include relaxation, exercise, meditation, and getting more sleep. In particular, cardiovascular exercise has been shown to reduce symptom severity.
Magnesium For Fibromyalgia?
What about nutrition as a method for managing symptoms?
One recent study showed that people with fibromyalgia tend to have low levels of various minerals, including magnesium.
Even more interesting, another study showed that supplementing with magnesium citrate actually reduced the number of tender points as well as their severity. It also helped reduce the depression that is often associated with fibromyalgia.
There’s also an infographic at Cure Together that shows a range of fibromyalgia treatments and how well each has helped people who responded to a poll. Magnesium is in the upper right quadrant of treatments which puts it in the ‘effective and popular’ group.
Personally, I picked up some magnesium for my mom shortly after I realized just how much it was helping me with migraines, anxiety, and dizziness. She reported it helped greatly with her fibromyalgia. In particular my mom said magnesium malate helped her the most.
She asked me to post here about how happy she is taking magnesium for fibromyalgia pain.
What Helps You?
If you have fibromyalgia and have found a way to cope that helps you, please let us know in the comments below.
As always, you are strongly encouraged to consult with your physician or other qualified medical professional to help determine your own optimal level of magnesium, and to see whether magnesium supplementation is right for you.