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Natural Pain Relief: Supplements for Fibromyalgia Pain

With the world’s eye on those of us suffering from chronic pain, I feel like bad news is delivered daily into my inbox with newsletters or articles telling me I can’t access something that helps me manage. Narcotics came under fire, now NSAIDS are ready for scrutiny. We know the medicines we need aren’t ideal but neither is chronic sleep deprivation or untreated pain. Seriously, there’s research!
To this end, I have decided to work through as many natural options as I can find to help you navigate potential new options for treatment.
The last post was for herbs you can infuse at home.

 

This one is supplements for fibromyalgia pain. There is a seemingly endless list and I have done a lot of research on this area, but here I’ll present what I’ve tried with honest feedback.
Natural Pain Relief Mechanisms supplements pain.png
There are some affiliate links here, I may make a small commission on any purchases at no extra cost to you. 

Curamin/Curcumin with bonus herbs

Curamin “is a blend of all natural ingredients such as DLPA, boswellia and nattokinase which are proven anti-inflammatory compounds. DLPA boosts the effectiveness of endorphins and enkephalins (pain relievers already in the body), nattokinase boosts circulation and alleviates muscle pain by balancing fibrogren levels in the body while boswellia has been known to remove pro-inflammatory compounds.”
Curcumin (with black pepper for absorbtion) is said to be a powerful pain reliever alone: “Together, curcumin and boswellia both found in Curamin reduce the activity of the two most significant pain pathways in the body – COX-2 and 5-LOX.”
I first tried Curamin a few years ago and was so relieved at the difference it made in my neck. This was before LDN so nothing had helped at that point. The effects did seem to wear off, so it will be rotated back in when I have finished my current round of experiments.

MSM 

MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) is an organic sulfur-containing compound that is meant to help with pain in the tendons, ligaments and muscles.
Dr Axe outlines six benefits of taking MSM, including joint pain, digestive problems and muscle pain and spasms (a biggie for me): “Research suggests that MSM can act like a natural analgesic, helping prevent and treat muscle aches and pains, throbbing and swelling while improving range of motion and mobility.”
This is a supplement I take regularly. It helps with muscle, tendon and ligament pain as well as a wealth of other potential benefits.
For my free report Essential Oils for Natural Health and other free reports click here.

Magnesium 

Almost all literature will point those with chronic pain toward magnesium. “Magnesium supplementation is critical to the treatment of fibromyalgia. One study showed that 300 to 600mg of magnesium malate per day had very positive results in decreasing the number and severity of tender points in fibromyalgia. Malic acid (derived from apples) by itself is also helpful in fibromyalgia.” This is from Dr DeMarco.com
I have taken magnesium in some form for a long time. Currently, I use it in oil form and apply it at bedtime. During my second pregnancy I applied it to my calves every night and was never woken with excruciating calf craps like in the first pregnancy.

Fibromalic/Malic Acid

This one caught my eye due to the combination of ingredients. Malic acid is said to be helpful for Fibromyalgia, as alluded to in the quote above. This product includes: Malic acid 400mg, Devil’s Claw 100mg, Boswellia 50mg, Vitamin C 5mg, Vitamin B6 2.5mg, Chromium 25mcg, Magnesium 50mg. It would appear this specific formulation is not available on Amazon, that link is to the brand Radiance which we can get here in New Zealand. But any magnesium and malic acid blend could suit.
This list is just a start as I could go on researching for a long time! Part of this information is taken from the Pain Management module from You vs Fibromyalgia course.

Special note for those who want to kick their fight against Fibromyalgia up a notch:

My eCourse You vs Fibromyalgia is seven modules to help you navigate what You vs Fibro full ecourseFibromyalgia is, pain relief, sleep, meditation, yoga, pacing and boundaries and brain fog to help you in your fight. Enrollments opens 1st March 2018 and the early bird offer (special price and free bonus lesson) closes on the 15th March 2018. So get in quick – there’s a few days left!

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The Current State of Things

With the end of the year at hand, I have been reflecting on where I am at and all of my experiments. I have learnt a lot through ever increasing threads of information.
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Me and my little elfie!


Sleep Experiments
I have taken 50mg of amitriptyline to help with sleep and pain for nearly ten years.

Earlier this year I got fed up with the fact that I take this medicine everyday and yet I still struggle to sleep well – loosing up to an hour a night to restless/awake times is not “good” sleep. So I have tried SleepDrops, chamomile tea and playing with the time/dose of amitriptyline (anything but a higher dose). Finally, after a lot of research, I tried melatonin and reported back on that here.

Research has confirmed my suspicions that the amitriptyline is not helping as much as I hope and any effects must have worn off. So I have slowly begun to reduce my dose. Currently, I’m on 20mg.

I found Curamin and report back on this here. With its help, I have managed to get blocks of sleep, longer than an hour or two! Before I ran out waiting for the new bottle to come, I was consistently sleeping for five or six hour blocks. This made a huge difference to my day and my energy levels were slowly picking up.

Sleep is a huge battle and has a huge impact on my day – but I’ll be happy when I’m not reliant on chemical manipulation to sleep.

Pain Musings

My neck has been hovering at 5-6/10 most days. It will reduce slightly after meditation and physio (acupuncture).

It did creep up to 6-7/10 for a good few months in a prolonged flare, but the Curamin helped bring it back.

My shoulders and back tend to be consistently tight and move from moderate to minor pain depending on sleep and the day.

My knees have been giving me a lot of trouble, the physio thinks it’s due to one of the quad muscles being lazy. The rheumatologist wasn’t bothered at all that I suddenly have joint problems (my index finger joints have become achy) after years of stable symptoms. The Curamin seems to have helped this. As does the yoga.

Fatigue

My fatigue levels have hovered at about 5-7/10, depending on a lot of factors, this year. First thing in the morning I feel really foggy. I crash late morning and mid-afternoon. And become too sleepy to hold my eyes open by 9pm.

But I am managing working 20 hours over four days far better. It’s difficult to come home with the toddler and not get a rest or time to meditate, and this has caused corresponding increases in fatigue and neck pain.

Well Being Practices

My staple supplements are Curamin and high dose magnesium.

I try to meditate (body scan or Yoga Nidra of varying lengths) most days, I feel like it really helps. As I said above, it can reduce my pain and fatigue levels, and, when done around mid afternoon, helps me cope with the evening routine better.

I see a physiotherapist who performs acupuncture about every three weeks. This is vital for my neck, the little needles in key points for 15 minutes allows them to release. They also do a neck traction which helps it to feel less compacted.

I try to be mindful of what I consume. I have a smoothie most days and adore salads with a  variety of veggies, nuts and seeds. I aim for more than five serves a day (which I don’t always hit, but its a good goal!)

My exercise levels have taken a hit with my knees playing up. I walk 20 minutes when I can and do yoga as often as my energy/knees/time allows.

Experiments

  • Acetyl L Carnitine – meant to increase energy and repair nerves. I did this for two months and upon stopping couldn’t ascertain a change. There was too much going on.
  • Melatonin – after 16 days of awful sleep I aborted the mission.
  • D Ribose and CoQ10 also weren’t for me.
  • Probiotics were really useful when I was beset by gastrointestinal symptoms and infections.
  • Iron supplements and B12 injections monthly, I have a month to go on a three month experiment, but the iron levels have already crept higher than I’ve ever seen them!
I’m so grateful that I’m in a far better place than I was a few years ago or when I was pregnant. My passion for finding better options for me and for sharing them with others is not diminished, so I’m looking forward to continuing in 2016.
I want to wish you all a happy New Year. Thank you so much for reading my little blog and sharing my journey with me. X
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Curcumin for Chronic Pain

When I came across using curcumin for chronic pain, I found the specific product Curamin, I was becoming rather despondent about my neck pain and the effects it has on my life.Curaminb

It felt like my neck was getting worse and progression is the closet worry of a mama with Fibromyalgia (it’s not supposed to be progressive, but it developed over a period of ten or so years before plateauing for several).

Affiliate notice: Some of these links are affiliate links, I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only recommend what I support.

I was curious and also wary. Nothing ever seems to give me the effect advertised, or noticeable positives.

The ingredients in Curamin

Curamin “is a blend of all natural ingredients such as DLPA, boswellia and nattokinase which are proven anti-inflammatory compounds. DLPA boosts the effectiveness of endorphins and enkephalins (pain relievers already in the body), nattokinase boosts circulation and alleviates muscle pain by balancing fibrogren levels in the body while boswellia has been known to remove pro-inflammatory compounds.”

Dr Teitelbaum recommends it as one of his favourite 10 supplements for Fibromyalgia/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

My experience

From the first day I noticed a change in my neck, it brought the pain levels down a point on the pain scale.

It also helped me in the night. Recently my neck was becoming so bad that I woke several times and needed to change pillows multiple times. I was waking with extreme stiffness causing severe headaches.

The Curamin enabled me to get better blocks of sleep and this has translated into more energy – it lasts me longer into the day.

I still, however, started to get sleepy very early. I have learnt that there’s a difference between fatigue and sleepiness.

I have revelled in feeling just a bit less soul-crushingly fatigued.

The true test for the difference it makes came when I ran out before the new bottle arrived, I slept poorly (the restless/awake time shot back up to an hour with less blocks of sleep), felt super exhausted upon waking and my neck pain went up a level.

It is so nice to have found something that helps. Unfortunately, neither curcumin nor boswellia is recommended for pregnancy or breastfeeding, so mamas who are going down that path will have to give it up for a time.

For me, the cost is worth the effect. I completely understand that nothing works for everyone, but, if you’re not allergic to these ingredients, then it may be worth a try.

What are the options?

The “original” Curamin that I tried

Curamin PM for nighttime relief

Curamed is curcumin without the three bonus ingredients (DLPA, boswellia and nattokinase).

curcumin for chronic pain

Update August 2019

Having been pregnant and nursing for the past 1.5 years I have not been able to take this (turmeric in food doses is all that is recommended). I have been taking MSM, you can check out my post about this here.

Has anyone else tried this? Or other things that have a similar effect?


For help with your fight: