Recovery Factors: My Favourite Supplement for Fibromyalgia

Recovery Factors is my favourite supplement for fibromyalgia.

Amino acid supplementation for fibromyalgia appears to be a useful treatment option.

I had only ever thought of one at a time, 5HTP for sleep, lysine for cold sores, acetyl l carinitine etc.

At the end of 2019 Dr Teitelbaum offered an opportunity to try a supplement that he and a fellow doctor had been finding helpful with their fibromyalgia patients.

As one of the lucky participants I received my bottles and started the trial eagerly.

I noticed that the ingredients label listed iron and an extensive list of amino acids.

Recovery factors supplement for fibromyalgia

Being an avid learner – I set about researching and found some interesting information.

“Patients with sleep disorders demonstrate a nutritional deficiency of tryptophan, choline and GABA. Fibromyalgia patients also have reduced blood levels of serotonin and 5-hydroxytryptophan.
A double-blind, randomized trial compared an amino acid based medical food with trazodone to study sleep latency and parasympathetic autonomic nervous system improvement in sleeping hours. The results showed improved sleep quality without morning grogginess along with improved nighttime parasympathetic activity with the use of the medical food.” http://www.archivesofmedicine.com/medicine/nutritional-management-of-fibromyalgia.php?aid=9131

We know sleep is huge in fibromyalgia. It is a massive perpetuating factor.

Amino acids can help everything, “From treating sleep disorders and energy deficits to nervous system and methylation factors that support proper neutralizing and elimination of toxins within the body.” https://www.living-smarter-with-fibromyalgia.com/treatment-for-fibromyalgia-amino-acids.html

An old article from Dr Teitelbaum states, “I recommend supplementation with all of the amino acids as opposed to using a single one by itself, as these supplies overall nutritional support and are less likely to cause a relative deficiency of other amino acids.” https://www.vitality101.com/health-a-z/Cfs_fm-amino_acids_low_in_fibromyalgia

recovery factors supplement for fibromyalgia

My experiment with Recovery Factors

The first few nights I took the full dose as recommended and slept like I was heavily sedated. When I woke my neck was very sore from the immobility and I had a severe headache.

After struggling through a few days feeling more and more lethargic, I emailed Dr Teitelbaum’s office asking if I should decrease the dose. Dr T himself replied that I should, and take the dose that works for me.

I reduced to half and continued to sleep better but less heavily. I noticed less gut issues, slightly less pain and some more energy.

The bottles lasted me longer due to my dosage, wanting to prolong it even more I dropped to two pills at bedtime only. I continued to sleep better.

March 2020 I ran out and then the lockdown happened in New Zealand. I ended up with no supplement, no physiotherapy, a lot of stress, no childcare and a new job. My sleep deteriorated. The migraines, of which I’d had two the previous month and one a year prior, escalated.

In June my doctor and I agreed I’d go back on Amitriptyline for a time and I’d order the recovery factors supplement which was now for sale.

Join my free Five Minutes a Day for Five Days Yoga for Fibromyalgia Challenge here!

July Update

My bottle arrived in much quicker timing than I expected, with the pandemic slowing things down and it already taking longer to get to New Zealand. So I was very happy.

When I began again, I started at two tablets per night, I take it right before bedtime, which is contrary to the dosing recommendations. But, as I found with low dose naltrexone, dosing is individual.

Between the tiny dose of Amitriptyline and Recovery Factors I am now sleeping again! I am even getting between 10-18% of deep sleep most of the time. Deep sleep is a big issue in fibromyalgia. And for this reason alone the nearly $100 NZD for the bottle and the delivery is worth every single cent. As I take three tablets a day a bottle lasts me about 2.5 months – so it is only around $40 a month. The value of a good quality multivitamin that does so much more than a multi can do.

In addition, for the first time in many years I have nearly optimal iron levels without iron injections. This is important for me as I tend to live at the very bottom of a very big range and I feel the effects (I get lethargic, fatigued and dizzy).

You can check out the Recovery Factors site, research and grab a bottle here.

Do always remember to check for interactions. My doctor deemed the doses of Recovery Factors and Amitriptyline suitable for me. You need to check your doses with your doctor.

What Life is Like for me Now

Recovery Factors helps me with sleep. The sleep leads to less pain and fatigue. Which in turn leads to better enjoyment of life, more ability to do what I want to do (higher functionality) and better sleep. It’s like a reversal of the vicious cycle of fibromyalgia. I am not healed, but I am doing more of what I want with less pain and fatigue.

I have managed to stop taking amitriptyline again and am taking three tablets of Recovery Factors at bedtime. This is great for me as I prefer not to be reliant on too much. My sleep is trying to normalise again after the amitriptyline.

I am currently working part-time, managing this blog, the Yoga for the Chronic Life virtual studio, and my three small children. In terms of exercise, I am walking around 10,000 steps each day, have worked up from 15 minutes per walks to around 40 minutes several times a week. I am only hampered by weather and needing help with the wee ones when we are out. It’s nothing short of breath taking.

Do remember this is all in conjunction with my whole of life protocol. Pacing, low dose naltrexone, healthy eating, yoga, meditation and reducing stress as possible.

Have you tried Recovery Factors? Please tell us how it goes for you.

Pathways Pain Relief App: Review

When I was offered a trial of the Pathways Pain Relief App, I had seen these pain apps and been curious for a while. The basis of science and the mind-body connection as a way to help treat chronic pain resonates strongly with me. Clearly, as a yoga teacher!

pathways the pain relief app

When I was offered the opportunity to review the Pathways Pain Relief App, I jumped! I was given a one year trial in exchange for my honest review. Here it is!

A bit about Pathways Pain Relief App:

  • Educational sessions in pain science
  • Meditation and mindfulness
  • Physical exercises

What can Pathways help with?

According to their website any pain of a chronic nature (lasting three months).

What can you expect from the app?

“We take patients on an interactive journey that starts with pain science education. Understanding that pain is much more complex (and interesting!) than a signal from damaged tissues, is an important step towards turning down the volume on pain.
We then move onto breaking any behaviours that could be keeping your pain system in high-alert. We also cover physical therapy, guided imagery, visulization and mindfulness exercises, hundreds of meditations and more.
Our sessions are audio based and between 2 and 20 minutes long.”

My Experience with the Pathways Pain Relief App

As a busy mama of three children six and under I don’t have the time for full on programme. I do have time for 2-20 minute audio sessions to be completed on my own schedule. In addition there really is nothing to lose, this is all natural and is bound to have relaxation benefits if nothing else. And we can all benefit from relaxing more.

The first thing I went through was the collection of meditations, there is a great selection for pain, relaxation, sleep and more. So that is a great resource.

I went through several of the lessons and then lost steam. It felt a little like we were being told that if we ignore the pain it will just go away. I understand the basis of not focusing on the pain and letting it become part of your identity. I fully understand that the brain is the main cause of the pain in fibromyalgia but I don’t believe you can just push through, ignoring it.

However, knowledge is power, and if you are at the beginning of your journey with fibromyalgia and chronic pain – this is a great way to learn. It is presented in bite sized chunks. Easy for brain fog and to implement.

If education/information is your cuppa you might like:

Myofascial Pain Syndrome 101

Fibromyalgia 101

Yoga for Chronic Pain and Fatigue

pathways pain relief app

Conclusion

The founder had told me that there were some extra resources coming including some physical practices. That is what I was waiting for before sharing this review.

The update is fantastic! My subscription has lapsed so I can’t try everything but it is a great resource.

There’s yoga, physical therapy, challenges, extra masterclasses, guided breathing and more. As a yoga teacher, with my own virtual studio, I don’t need the yoga, breathing or meditation myself!

The masterclasses include How to Sleep Better, Epigenetics: Reprogram Your Genes and Finding the Motivation to Heal. All interesting topics to me.

At $14.99 a month, $69.99 a year or $299.99 lifetime it is worth a try if any of these options appeal. You can also try it free using Google Play or App Store.

Check it out here.

Have you tried the Pathways app? Or one similar? I’d love to hear your experience.

pathways pain relief app

If being practical is your cuppa then you might like these

Calming Breathing Tutorial

Gentle Beginner Yoga for Fibromyalgia Class

Restorative Yoga for Fibromyalgia Class 15 minutes

Fibromyalgia Framework Series Part Six – Pain Management for Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain

Welcome to part six of the Fibromyalgia Framework series – pain management for fibromyalgia and chronic pain fighters!

The fibromyalgia framework series has been presenting my (evolving) view of managing fibromyalgia. In 2018 some of my strongly held theories were proven true by experience and research.

We have discussed: 

The Fibromyalgia Framework
Diagnosis, Misdiagnosis and Fibro Books
Tracking Your Progress
Sleep
Central Nervous System

PAIN MANAGEMENT FOR FIBROMYALGIA/CHRONIC PAIN

We could spend a long time going through pain management options in depth, but that is outside the scope of this series. I will give you a brief introduction to the multiple options and give you extra reading you can follow up on. As you will recall from my fibromyalgia puzzle, low dose naltrexone and physiotherapy are key pain management options for me. Yours might be entirely different.

LIFESTYLE FOCUSED PAIN MANAGEMENT

  • Sleep
  • Gentle movement
  • Rest
  • Seeing food as fuel
  • Observing your work/life balance

SPECIFIC FOR PAIN – WHAT I DO:

Affiliate notice: Please note that some of my links are affiliate links, if you make a purchase using this link I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

  • Heat pack. This is my first line of defense, I use it on my neck first thing, whenever I can during the day, in the evening and at bedtime.
  • Essential oils – lavender is my all time favourite for sleep, pain and relaxation.
  • Deep Heat, a non-medicated heat producing rub that eases muscle pain, especially when combined with a good massage.
  • Specific stretches – like those I share in the free Yoga for Fibromyalgia: Five Minutes a Day for Five Days Challenge.
  • Biofreeze – a cooling pain reliever, especially good for during warmer weather.
  • A hot bath is my best treat and the first thing I want when the pain increases.
  • I see the physiotherapist every three weeks and they do neck tractions and place acupuncture needles in trigger points in my neck and shoulders. This is the only thing that keeps the neck free and keeps the severe headaches, dizziness and nausea that accompanies the severe neck pain away.
  • A Theracane trigger point massager for self-trigger point release. You can use your fingers, but mine get too sore for this now, you do have to push rather hard.
  • Magnesium oil on my back and shoulders at bedtime.
  • Low dose naltrexone. Over a period of 12 months, it has decreased my neck pain levels more than anything ever has. It is not a miracle drug – if I don’t take it, the fatigue skyrockets, and if I overdo it, my neck pain increases. It is not a standalone treatment. But I am super thankful for it!
  • It helps me get to sleep where nothing else has ever worked. I do have to combine it with a heap of sleep hygiene routines, but it’s the base of the plan. In addition to helping me sleep (and thereby, reducing pain), it reduced the wider spread pain and near constant headaches.
  • MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) for muscle and joint pain. It helps with the pain in my index fingers as well as a little difference in my neck.
  • Slow release, high dose ibuprofen for period pain, for about four days – it’s pretty severe.
  • Ibuprofen or paracetamol (Acetaminophen) for headaches or low level pain that breaks through.
  • A muscle relaxant for spasms in the neck or back – the frequency of these has decreased since I began LDN.

OTHER PAIN RELIEF OPTIONS:

  • TENS machine
  • Foam roller
  • Essential oils
    • Lavender
    • Chamomile
    • Peppermint
  • Herbs
    • Thyme
    • Devil’s Claw
    • Jamaican Dogwood
    • Cayenne
    • White Willow Bark
    • Corydalis
  • Supplements
  • CBD oil

For medicinal pain relief, please discuss these options with your doctor and do your own research. Do always check for interactions between herbs/supplements and medicines that you are on.

LOW DOSE NALTREXONE

I haven’t been quiet about the benefits of low dose naltrexone (LDN). Since beginning it in 2017 I have experienced the best improvement of any single thing I have ever tried. I believe it is all down to sleeping better. The offshoots of this have been many. I have decreased pain levels, increased stamina, decreased fatigue, dramatically improved quality of life.

Find my Low Dose Naltrexone One Year Experiment post here. It includes a full write up of how it is changing my life with some links to further information.

For an overview of LDN see this website.


You might like:

Do you wish that you could have all of the parts of the Fibromyalgia Framework Series, along with the templates to help you plan with space for notes in one place? There is! The Fibromyalgia Framework Series Workbook is available here. Find it physically here.  Please note that some of my links are affiliate links and I may make a commission at no extra cost to you.

Why I’m Treating the Fibromyalgia as Naturally as Possible – Natural Remedies for Fibromyalgia

I’m over these poisons that are marketed as the only thing to help those of us with chronic pain or Fibromyalgia. I am also over the demonization of the use of pain relief to survive. Some medicines are definitely necessary, I’m not anti medicine, I’m pro natural remedies for fibromyalgia first. Whatever is used, I am pro managing pain as well as possible so that we can thrive not just survive.

Yoga and meditation have been my mainstays for a long time. I’ve paid $60 a fortnight for physiotherapy for a long time because I’d rather skimp and take that than utilise the heavily subsidised medicine I’d have to take instead.

natural remedies for fibromyalgia

Affiliate notice: Please note that some of my links are affiliate links. If you make a purchase using these links I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

For the last few months I’ve been researching a lot of natural options including essential oils, herbs, supplements and other options. You will also notice that my book has more chapters about natural/non medicinal options as I am a big believe in things you can administer yourself whenever you need.


Some recent posts about natural remedies for fibromyalgia:
Essential Oils and a Pain Cream I’ve Been Loving
Natural Pain Relief Options – Herbs for Teas or Infusions
Natural Pain Relief Options – Supplements for Fibromyalgia Pain 
Natural Pain Relief Options – Supplements for Fibromyalgia Energy


Here’s a round up of the natural remedies for fibromyalgia I’ve been using

Free report: Essential Oils for Natural Health sign up here and find it in the free Resources page

Essential Oils for Fibromyalgia

Lavender – multi use for pain, relaxation, insomnia and more. I use it as is with coconut oil or in the bath.
Chamomile – calming and said to help with insomnia, I adore it.
Peppermint – this is handy with coconut oil for spasms.
Pain cream from Bunguin Babies– this has become my go-to for first-line pain. I use it at bedtime and throughout the day. This is not an affiliate link, I use it and love it and a fellow fibromyalgia mom blogger makes it herself.

Copaiba essential oil has been such a great find and I write more extensively about that here. I use it in a roller ball bottle with frankincense for my neck.

Herbs for Fibromyalgia

I learnt about thyme, borage, lemon balm and others but since finding out I was pregnant I couldn’t use these. They are still on my radar!

Supplements for Fibromyalgia

Magnesium oil – I apply this nightly to my calves for the nutritional deficiency of magnesium that is prevalent these days and in pregnancy to avoid calf cramps.

MSM – this is my favourite for wrist and hand joint pain. It’s said to be good for other things too. See my post here.

I have previously tried and liked Curamin which uses a blend of ingredients included curcumin – the active ingredient in turmeric. I wrote about it here.

CBD Oil – On my Wish List for the Future (as soon as it’s legalised here)

In New Zealand a committee is considering legalising CBD oil. They recently shot down the application to make medical marijuana available to those with chronic pain, which was disappointing. The research is positive. The anecdotal evidence is overwhelming. The side effects are negligible! See this post from Counting My Spoons about MMJ and CBD for more information. I would use it for sleep, pain and fatigue. If it worked, the combination of this and LDN would surely get me off the amitriptyline – and after more than ten years, that would be a massive win.

As you may have noticed, I don’t stop researching so more will need to be added to this list as time goes on. Though, my personal experiments are stalled while I am pregnant and then nursing. Look out for the pregnancy edition of this post.


For more information

Click here to sign up for the free You vs Fibromyalgia introductory micro course! It is six lessons to help you jump start your fight against chronic pain and fatigue.