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Fibromyalgia Health Center

Alternative Therapies for Fibromyalgia

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Magnesium and malic acid supplements. Some studies have found that magnesium taken with malic acid may help relieve fatigue associated with fibromyalgia. Why this is so is unclear.

SAM-e (S-anenosylmethionine). SAM-e is a substance that occurs naturally in the body. It has been studied in many clinical trials over the past 20 years in patients who have joint pain and osteoarthritis. These studies have found that SAM-e may be as effective in relieving pain as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and aspirin. SAM-e is used as a drug in Europe, where many of these studies have been done. One U.S. study in patients with osteoarthritis found that SAM-e reduced pain and improved joint function as effectively as Celebrex, a type of NSAID. In addition, new research has found that SAM-e may also help reduce the symptoms of depression, another common fibromyalgia symptom. SAM-e may interact with some medications for depression, so be sure to talk with your doctor about drug interactions before trying it. Other reported side effects include upset stomach, dizziness. headache, nervousness, and trouble sleeping.

St. John’s wort. This herb may not help with your fibromyalgia pain, but some people use it to ease the depression that may accompany fibromyalgia. Studies have shown that St. John’s wort may help improve mood and reduce the insomnia and anxiety common to depression. Some studies have found St. John’s wort as effective in treating mild to moderate depression as some antidepressant drugs. However, it may not be as effective in treating more severe depression. St. John’s wort can interact with many other medications, so be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before using it.

Valerian. Some researchers believe valerian root may help with the sleep disturbances common with fibromyalgia.. One small study showed that people who took valerian for 28 days reported better sleep and an improvement in their general quality of life.

Vitamin D supplements. Well-known for supporting bone strength and bone health, vitamin D is also being studied for its use in treating other conditions, including fibromyalgia. Some small studies showed that people with fibromyalgia were more likely to be deficient in vitamin D. Other studies have shown that there is no connection. Vitamin D is generally safe in recommended amounts for most people and rarely causes side effects when taken in recommended amounts.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on March 19, 2013
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