The EclecticPhysician

The Eclectic Physician
Natural Health Care
by Beth Burch N.D.


Fibromyalgia is a complex condition. It appears to be a systemic nervous system and endocrine (adrenal, pituitary, hypothalamus) system disruption. It is accompanied by an abnormal sleep pattern, in which the normal deep restorative sleep is disrupted. The underlying cause isnít known nor do we even know which came first, the disrupted sleep or the endocrine imbalance. Studies with people who have normal sleep patterns, but are subjected to several days of disrupted deep sleep will exhibit similar body pain to fibromyalgia.

Getting restorative sleep is important, because lack of sleep will definitely make the fibromyalgia worse. (see insomnia) Low dose tricyclic antidepressants seem to work well for some people. Another possibility is 5-hydroxytryptophan. It has been studied with fibromyalgia and found to be helpful. It is a prescription medication obtainable from a compounding pharmacist. A number of things will help promote more restful sleep. Be sure you have a comfortable bed and supportive pillow. Your bedroom should be completely dark and as free of noise as possible. A white noise generator, a water fountain or tapes of nature, ocean, rain sounds may help to cover noise. Or you can try ear plugs. Light weight covers or something to keep heavy covers off of your feet will help alleviate discomfort along with pillows under your knees if you sleep on your back or under your upper leg if you sleep on your side. Going to bed and getting up at the same time will assist your body in establishing normal rhy thms. Avoid the TV, computer and bright lights for the hour before you go to sleep.
Massage is very helpful for pain. Find a good therapist and schedule a series of regular treatments to get the most benefit. Acupuncture is also good for treating pain. Again you need a series of treatments.

Besides eating a healthy diet, you should take a high potency vitamin-mineral supplement and also take extra magnesium as the citrate or malate form. High magnesium foods include beans, soy, seeds, nuts, whole grains and green leafy vegetables. 5-hydroxy-tryptophan can help with sleep.

St. Johnís Wort- helps to increase serotonin levels which increases pain tolerance and improves sleep. May take 4-6 weeks to get maximum benefit.
Liquid extract-1/2 teaspoon one-three times a day.
Dry herb in capsules-500 mg one- three times a day.
Standardized extract (0.3% hypericin content)- 300 mg one- three times a day.

Other herbs- Panax ginseng, Siberian ginseng,

* The information presented in this web site is intended to inform and educate. It is not intended replace a qualified medical practitioner to diagnose or treat medical conditions.

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