Pain management is a big problem for anyone with chronic pain -- medical science just hasn't figured out good was to relieve pain. For those of us with the unique pain types of fibromyalgia (FMS) and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS or ME/CFS), it's an even bigger problem. That's because many of us are highly prone to side effects, and because some pain killers don't do a lot for us. For those who do have success with pain medications, some days we need more help than they can provide.
These are just some of the reasons many of us turn to nutritional supplements for pain management. If we're lucky, supplements will help us avoid some medications or make us rely less on pain killers. Supplements that can help with pain include:
- Magnesium and/or Malic Acid: These substances, alone or together as magnesium malate, help reduce muscle pain in some people. They can also boost your energy. More information: Magnesium Malate
- Vitamin D: Low vitamin D can cause muscle pain and weakness, along with a lot of other symptoms similar to those of FMS and ME/CFS. A lot of us are low in vitamin D, but even those of us with clinically normal levels may feel better when we get more. More information: Vitamin D
- Serotonin Boosters: One of serotonin's jobs is to regulate pain signals in your brain. Many of us don't have enough of it, and boosting levels can help alleviate pain and other serotonin-related symptoms. (If you're on medication that raises serotonin, talk to your doctor before taking these.) Serotonin-boosting supplements include:
I'm among the lucky ones who've had tremendous success with supplements. The only ones from that list that I don't take are malic acid (because of side effects) and SAM-e (because of the cost.) Along with acupuncture and lifestyle changes, they've helped me avoid antidepressants and cut way back on narcotics.
Have you found supplements that help lower your pain levels? How much difference have they made? Have they replaced medications? Leave a comment below!
Learn more or join the conversation!
- Getting Started With Supplements
- Your Diet for Managing Symptoms
- The Brain Chemistry of Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
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