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Nutritional Therapy for Fibromyalgia – a step in the right direction.

Hanne Moon

Whether you’re newly diagnosed with fibromyalgia or have suffered with it for a long time, nutritional therapy can help with the pain and exhaustion you feel. It may also help you decrease the amount of prescription medications you’re currently taking. Any time you can help your body with natural remedies instead of prescription medication, you’re taking a step in the right direction.

A lot of fibromyalgia patients have problems with absorption in the digestive track. Their bodies also fail to utilize nutrients adequately. Dosages larger than the RDA (recommended daily allowance) may be necessary to counteract this tendency.

The first in your nutritional arsenal should be a multi-vitamin. Women of child-bearing age should get one with iron included. Try to choose a multi-vitamin that is as comprehensive as possible.

A B-complex should be added to your regimen. The B-vitamins are needed for nerve cells, the brain, and the central nervous system. They can be toxic in excess, however. As there will be B-vitamins in your multi-vitamin, stick with a B-complex of 50 or 100.

Vitamin C is known to help the immune system, but it's also needed for healthy connective tissue. There is no known toxicity with Vitamin C. It’s water soluble and removed from the body by the kidneys.

Vitamin D is necessary for calcium absorption, one of the minerals we'll talk about. The body is able to make this vitamin after ten to fifteen minutes of sun exposure. More than the benefits from the vitamin are the benefits you’ll reap from being outside. Sunlight is a great mood enhancer and relaxant. Piddle in the flower bed, sit in the sunshine and read a book. No matter what you do, just get outside into the light.

Boron is a mineral that’s needed for healthy bones and joints. Not much is known about the toxic effects of boron, so limit your intake to 3 - 9 milligrams a day. Remember to check for the amount, if any, of boron in your multi-vitamin.

Calcium is the mineral most deficient in fibromyalgia patients. We know that calcium is needed for healthy bones and teeth, but did you know that it's also vital for nerves and proper muscle function? As it has a constipating effect, calcium can also help with IBS that presents as chronic diarrhea. You need 1,000 milligrams a day. Your body can only absorb 500 milligrams at a time, so take one 500 milligram supplement twice a day.

Many fibromyalgia patients have reactive hypoglycemia. Taking 200 - 400 micrograms of the mineral chromium can help regulate insulin action in the body. However, if you’re diabetic, talk with your doctor first. There may need to be some adjustments made to your insulin dosage.

The next three minerals are synergetic, meaning they work better together than separately. Check label dosages for the recommended dosage, and be sure to check your multi-vitamin for amount of these minerals that might be included in their formula.

Magnesium helps to relax muscles. Take a supplement that has magnesium citrate as opposed to other forms of magnesium. Anything else tends to cause diarrhea. Malic acid is involved in energy production. MSM provides support for ligaments, tendons, and muscles. Remember, these are toxic in excess, so don't exceed label dosages.

Essential fatty acids can help reduce the pain and chronic fatigue of fibromyalgia. A supplement containing fish, flax, and borage oils in one gel tablet is an excellent source of these acids. 

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