There is this constant pain everywhere. You are fatigued all the time, but whenever you finally get to lie down, you cannot seem to get a good night’s rest. The slightest events may trigger feelings of irritability or anxiety. This is life for many fibromyalgia patients.
The typical framework for fibromyalgia management includes pharmaceuticals (anti-depressants, analgesics, and anti-epileptic medications), education, and lifestyle recommendations, including exercise and behavioral therapy. Physical activity has been proven effective in promoting positive changes in brain areas that modulate pain perception. While current protocols may be beneficial, there is much research being conducted to find alternative methods for reducing fibromyalgia symptoms, especially the chronic pain that is associated with this disorder.
Neurotransmitter Measurement and Restoration
Neurotransmitter restoration, particularly through diet, has been tested as a potential treatment in fibromyalgia patients. Serotonin and GABA are important in promoting restorative sleep, balancing moods, and managing pain, while norepinephrine and glutamate play key roles in memory and cognitive function. Low levels of these neurotransmitters are frequently found in fibromyalgia sufferers. Additionally, medications containing pregabalin (a derivative of GABA), serotonin re-uptake inhibitors, and norepinephrine re-uptake inhibitors, are often used to maintain neurotransmitter levels and relieve fibromyalgia concerns. Implementing a diet rich in amino acids, such as tryptophan, or supplementing with 5-hydroxytryptophan, has been found effective in improving sleep and, when combined with over the counter pain medication (NSAIDs), resulted in reduced pain.  Thus, we know that addressing imbalances in our neurotransmitters has the potential to assist patients with fibromyalgia.
Other approaches to managing this disorder that have been studied include hydrotherapy, meditation, yoga, and acupuncture. Many studies have found that combination treatments may be the best option for fibromyalgia patients. Measuring neurotransmitter levels, however, may be the first step needed for effectively managing pain, poor memory, disrupted sleep, and mood concerns associated with fibromyalgia.
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