FIbromyalgia Self Care: Methyl-Sulfonyl-Methane (MSM)
While MSM cannot cure fibromyalgia, this nutritional supplement is often used as a treatment of fibromyalgia symptoms, helping relieve some of the discomfort that is associated with the disease and improve overall health. MSM is one of the latest treatments of fibromyalgia and relies on naturally occurring substances that can be found in many foods. This alternative fibromyalgia treatment has been shown to have beneficial properties for individuals living with fibromyalgia since it helps restore some of the deficiencies associated with fibromyalgia.
What is MSM?
Methyl-sulfonyl-methane (MSM) is a compound containing a sulfur base that is naturally found in plants and animals. As such, MSM can be found in many foods, but much of it is lost in the process of digestion, cooking or food processing. This makes additional MSM supplements an option for some fibromyalgia patients.
MSM can be found in the following foods:
- most fresh fruits and vegetables
- most meats, fish and poultry
- most animal products such as dairy and eggs
- coffee, tea and chocolate
Fibromyalgia and Protein
Studies have shown that individuals with fibromyalgia often have protein and sulfur deficiencies. A protein deficiency leads to an enzyme deficiency since the amino acids that are found in protein are used to build enzymes in the body. Amino acids play an important role in maintaining almost all of the functions of the body, including:
- the growth and repair of body tissues
- regulation of blood sugar levels
- food digestion
- immune system activity
- production of hormones
Amino acid deficiencies lead to other conditions related to fibromyalgia such as hypoglycemia or the inability to metabolize carbohydrates.
MSM and Fibromyalgia
MSM has been used as a form of treatment of fibromyalgia since it helps restore some of the deficiencies associated with fibromyalgia. Some of the fibromyalgia symptoms that may be improved by MSM supplements include the following:
- helping restore sulfur deficiencies that can lead to cells that are impermeable by sugar, which causes blood glucose level imbalance
- reducing muscle soreness and cramps
- reducing the symptoms of arthritis and controlling degeneration
- allowing toxins and allergens to be cleansed from the body by increasing cell permeability and reducing water pressure in cells
- inhibits pain impulses due to anti-inflammatory properties
- improving and balancing the immune system
- increasing blood supply and circulation in the body
In addition, if taken in combination with other supplements, particularly amino acids, the benefits of MSM for fibromyalgia treatment has been shown to increase. When combined with glucosamine and chondroitin, MSM helps transport nutrients to damaged cartilage and tissue. When combined with enzymes such as serrapeptase, MSM helps to aid digestion.
MSM supplements do not require a prescription and are available in several forms:
- capsules or tablets
- powders, flakes or crystals that are dissolved in liquids
- topical creams or gels
MSM is typically taken twice daily, with a total dosage of 1000-3000 mg.
Fibromyalgia is a highly individualized condition, and MSM does not work in every case. Speak to your doctor or health care provider before trying any new fibromyalgia treatments for recommendations on your particular case.