Fibro & SAMe
Over the years much has been learned about fibromyalgia, and yet there is still much to learn. We’ve come from a time when some of the medical profession felt it was a psychological problem to the current understanding that it is a physical condition, and can also be genetically transferred.
Things We’ve Learned Along the Way
We’ve also learned that not all musculoskeletal pain is due to fibromyalgia and that it can frequently be confused with other diseases and disorders. Through careful and thorough testing, those who indeed suffer with fibromyalgia are now given options for different methods of treatment and sources of healing in order to deal with their symptoms. People with fibromyalgia often suffer from other complications as well, such as irritable bowel syndrome, migraines, chronic fatigue and major depression. As a result, treatments are not always simple and require patience and a willingness to examine a variety of methods to address the disorder.
The Prominence of Depression with Fibromyalgia
One of the more prominent effects of fibromyalgia is depression. It can range from feeling sad or blue for a short period of time to being incapacitated by emotional, behavioral and physical symptoms. It is thought that most depression results from low levels of serotonin and certain other chemicals in the brain. However, with fibromyalgia, there are several other factors which can create depression.
It’s More Than Low Serotonin
Sleep deprivation causes neurotransmitter deficiency and the constant pain of fibromyalgia often makes it difficult for sufferers to sleep. The lack of serotonin leads to depression and other negative feelings. Also, people with fibromyalgia have to deal with chronic pain day in and day out. The constant pain in their bodies wears away at the nervous system and a side-effect is depression. Genetics plays no small part when it comes to depression as well.
The net effect of depression on sufferers of fibromyalgia is not necessarily a worsening of the actual symptoms, but rather a change in behavior, which may affect the course of the illness. Depression can lead to isolation and irritability which leads to inactivity and exacerbation of pain.
New On The Scene – SAMe
There are many drugs and methods available to treat depression and fibromyalgia sufferers may benefit from them. One method which is relatively new on the American scene is a product called SAMe, short for s-adenosylmethionine. Originally discovered in 1953 in Italy by a researcher named Cantoni, SAMe has been used in Europe for more than two decades to treat depression, osteoarthritis, and musculoskeletal disorders, among many other illnesses. Now it has come to America and has made quite an impact.
What Is SAMe?
SAMe is not an herbal remedy, but rather is produced within our bodies from methionine, an amino acid found in protein-rich foods. When it binds together with vitamin B-12 and folic acid, it sends out methyl to tissues and as a result helps to maintain cell membranes as well as clear toxins and produces “feel good” neurotransmitters. On top of that, it regulates about 35 different mechanisms in the body including the production of molecules which help maintain joint cartilage.
Will It Work?
Is SAMe the next “miracle drug”? Studies indicate it is useful in some treatments and not always effective in others. For the person who suffers with the pain and depression of fibromyalgia, it may be worth a try.