The original version of “My 6 favorite things for fibromyalgia relief” was first published on NationalPainReport.com. It has been updated and is being reprinted here with permission from the editor.
(This post contains affiliate links.)
I bet that headline caught your attention. I know it did because I’ve read my share of these types of articles over the years, hoping one of my fellow fibromyalgia warriors finally figured out a way to bring my suffering to an end.
But if you have fibromyalgia, then you know it is the ficklest of conditions. What works for one of us does not necessarily work for others. We have three FDA-approved drugs on the market, and yet none of them work more than half of the time. No one even knows what causes fibromyalgia, much less how to get rid of it.
So we are left to cobble together our own treatment plans, rejoicing for small victories when a particular drug, supplement or dietary change seems to help.
We are all on our own paths of managing this challenging condition, but I do think it’s valuable for us to share what has helped our symptoms and what hasn’t. That way, we can all learn from one another.
So, today I’m sharing a few things that have helped reduce my fibromyalgia symptoms, in hopes that this information might help others. I want to be clear: None of these are cures, and they won’t take away all of the pain, fatigue and other symptoms. They’re just tools that I’ve found helpful in my own treatment plan, and maybe you will, too.
My 6 favorite things for fibromyalgia relief
- Magnesium supplements – When I was first diagnosed, I spent hours online trying to figure out the best ways to treat fibromyalgia. Magnesium came up over and over in my searches because it’s one of the most researched supplements in fibromyalgia. I take magnesium malate every day, and it seems to mitigate the all-over achiness that we all associate with fibromyalgia. It’s also supposed to help with sleep, so I take it at bedtime.
- Magnesium lotion – My fibro pain tends to get worse as the day progresses, so it can be brutal by bedtime. On my worst days, I always slather my entire body in magnesium lotion before going to bed. It usually takes the edge off enough for me to fall asleep. I’ve used Morton Epsom lotion for years, but the company just discontinued it. (Some Walgreens locations may still have some bottles on clearance. They are usually located beside the Epsom salts.) When my supply runs out, I plan to try Ancient Minerals, which is recommended by fibromyalgia doctor and fellow warrior Dr. Ginevra Liptan. (You can read my recent interview with Dr. Liptan here.)
- CBD oil – Without question, CBD oil has been one of the most helpful things in treating my pain. There are two different kinds: hemp-based CBD, which is sold online, and cannabis-based CBD, which is sold by dispensaries in states where cannabis is legal. When I’ve interviewed cannabis experts, they all tell me that cannabis-based CBD is the most potent form because it contains so many valuable cannabinoids found within the cannabis plant. The hemp CBD sold online is not regulated, so buyers have no way of knowing whether the product is safe or if it even contains CBD at all. There’s also debate over whether hemp CBD is even legal. (The DEA says no.) I’m planning to apply for my medical marijuana license and am anxious to try cannabis-based CBD to see if it works even better than the hemp version. In the meantime, I’ve been using American Shaman CBD oil off and on for the past few months. (I wrote an extensive post on using CBD oil for fibromyalgia pain last year. You can read that here.)
- D-ribose – In two studies conducted by Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, supplementing with d-ribose improved the energy levels of fibromyalgia and ME/CFS sufferers by up to 61 percent. I’ve had good results when using Teitelbaum’s d-ribose protocol. It dramatically cut down my afternoon napping and gave me an extra boost to get through the end of the day. I no longer take d-ribose because my doctor has switched me to a new supplement protocol for mood/energy, but it worked so well that I still mention it to others. Note: D-ribose may affect blood sugar levels, so diabetics will want to research it carefully. (I share more info on d-ribose in a post here. Two of my fellow fibro bloggers, February Stars and Grace is Sufficient, have also found d-ribose helpful for lifting fatigue.)
- Low-dose naltrexone – I’m sure my longtime readers are so sick of hearing me talk about low-dose naltrexone (LDN), but it’s definitely a contender for this list! When I was first diagnosed, I tried a string of different pharmaceuticals, and I couldn’t take any of them. Either the side effects were too severe, or they just didn’t work. During a desperate Yahoo search one day, I stumbled upon an online survey that showed LDN was the most effective treatment for fibromyalgia. In two small Stanford University studies, LDN was found to be more effective than any of the three fibro drugs approved by the FDA. It’s the only pharmaceutical that’s helped relieve my pain, and best of all, it has a low side effect profile. A growing number of fibromyalgia sufferers have found LDN to be helpful in decreasing pain and fatigue. (I’ve compiled a helpful page of LDN resources here.)
And I’m going to add one more to my list. It’s a recent addition since writing this original article for National Pain Report:
- Quell – I had the opportunity to try the Quell wearable pain relief device as part of the Chronic Illness Bloggers network, and I love this thing! It’s a little electronic device that you wear in a band velcroed around your leg. How it works is too complicated to explain here, but I wrote an entire post about it a few weeks ago. It’s been a surprising new addition to my pain-fighting arsenal. I was fortunate to receive my unit for free, but if mine dies tomorrow, I will be ordering another one to replace it by the end of the day. It’s that good!
These are a few things I’ve found helpful since my diagnosis. What helps to reduce your symptoms? Share in the comments below!
You might also like …
Each week, FedUpwithFatigue.com covers the latest news, research and practical tips to help you live better with fibromyalgia and ME/CFS. If you liked this post, please sign up for updates below.