Alternative & Dietary

Alternative Therapies for Fibromyalgia:

Certain alternate treatments are proved to be helpful in treating debilitating pain of Fibromyalgia. Furthermore, these therapies also help patient in getting relief from chronic pain and help patients in getting ease of discomfort caused due to Fibromyalgia. Some of the alternate therapies used to treat Fibromyalgia are discussed below:

5-HTP to treat Fibromyalgia Pain

 St. John’s Wort Herb to treat Fibromyalgia

Medical Marijuana


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The mode of action of acupuncture is that it may work by altering the brain chemistry in such a way that help patient by increasing its ability to tolerate pain.


Chiropractic therapy help patient by improving the pain levels, such as it helps in ease of low back pain and this therapy is also responsible to increase lumbar and cervical motion ranges of patients.

Deep tissue Massage:

This therapy is responsible to stimulate circulation and also aids in releasing chronic patterns associated with muscular tension.

Neuromuscular Massage:

Neuromuscular massage basically combines ancient principles of oriental therapies including shiatsu and acupressure, along with specified hands-on-deep tissue therapy. This treatment helps patients to reduce their myofascial (soft tissue) pain or chronic muscle pain.


According to National Institute of Health use of electronics to monitor stress-related responses in the patient’s body help in getting biofeedback which ultimately help patients to control stress response and help them to get relieve from chronic pain.


Reports have shown that meditation is responsible to generate certain brain waves associated with happiness and serenity which ultimately help patient to get relieve from anxiety.

Chinese practices:

Qigong and Taichi are two practices performed by Chinese that have been proved to be helpful with certain disease symptoms such as sleep troubles, depression and pain.

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Herbal remedies:

Herbal supplements like Echinacea, Lavender, Black cohosh, B Vitamins and milk thistle help Fibromyalgia patients by improving their sleep and also help them feeling more energetic. But these evidences are reported only in few studies.

Natural Dietary Supplements:

Although limited studies are available on treatment of Fibromyalgia with Natural dietary supplements but some patients have reported that they found relief with the use of over the counter natural dietary supplements like melatonin, 5-HTP, L-carnitine, St.John’s wort, probiotics and SAM-e. But it should be keep in mind that many of these natural dietary supplements like St.John’s wort shows drug interactions, so if the patient is already on any prescription then in this scenario he/she should avoid the use of these medications without the advice of specialist. Furthermore, if the patient is suffering from certain other medical issues then use of natural dietary supplements will not be safe at all.

5-HTP to treat Fibromyalgia Pain:

5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan) is actually a building block of powerful brain’s neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin levels play very important role in controlling Fibromyalgia pain because its levels are associated with sleep and depression.

5-HTP helps Fibromyalgia patients in getting deep sleep and also helps to reduce pain. One study that was published in the Alternative Medicine Review, reports that supplementation with 5-HTP helps in improving symptoms of anxiety, insomnia, depression and fibromyalgia pain. However, some studies show contradiction that there is no benefit of 5-HTP.

Melatonin to get relieve from Sleep Problems Associated With Fibromyalgia:

Melatonin is a natural hormone that basically controls sleep-awake cycle and it is usually available as an over-the-counter supplement. It is used to improve sleep patterns and to induce drowsiness .Some preliminary reports show that melatonin is helpful in treating fibromyalgia pain. As the patients with fibromyalgia suffer from fatigue and sleep problems it’s thought that use of melatonin may help relieving these symptoms.

Use of Melatonin is generally safe because it shows few to no side effects. But there are some risks of daytime sleepiness, so a patient taking melatonin should be careful while driving.

 St. John’s Wort Herb to treat Fibromyalgia:

No specific evidences have seen that St. John’s wort is helpful for treating fibromyalgia. However, this herb is used in treatment of depression which is commonly associated with fibromyalgia.

Studies have shown that St. John’s wort is more effective as compared to placebo and it is also as effective as older antidepressants named tricyclics which are used in short-term treatment of moderate depression. Some other studies have also shown that St. John’s wort is as effective as selective SSRI antidepressants including Zoloft or Prozac used in depression. This herb is generally well tolerated. Common side effects caused by the drug are skin reactions, stomach upset, and fatigue. Patients who use St. John’s wort should not mix this herb with antidepressants or other supplement unless it is not prescribed by a doctor because the combinations can results in illness.

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SAM-e for treating Fibromyalgia Pain and Depression:

Mechanism of action of SAM-e in the body is not well understood. But some specialists think that this supplement can elevate the levels of two brain neurotransmitters named dopamine and serotonin. Furthermore, some researchers think that SAM-e may have the ability to alter patient’s mood which help in increasing restful sleep. On the other hand, current research on SAM-e do not  show any benefit of this supplement over placebo for treatment of tender points or depression associated with Fibromyalgia. However, to confirm these findings some additional research is needed.

 L-carnitine to Improve Fibromyalgia Symptoms:

Research on L-carnitine is limited, but it’s thought that it may help in giving some relief from fatigue. Some researchers also concluded that L-carnitine may help in providing support for the muscular system of patients suffering from Fibromyalgia.

Effect of Probiotics on Digestive Problems Associated With Fibromyalgia:

Probiotics include dietary supplements which contain potentially beneficial bacteria or yeasts. These bacteria and yeast assist in the breakdown and proper absorption of food which then help in improving digestive system problems like irritable bowel syndrome  which is a common symptom associated with fibromyalgia. Only some mild side effects are caused by using Probiotics including bloating or gas.

Some other natural supplements and herbs have also helped in managing fibromyalgia symptoms. These include black cohosh, Echinacea, cayenne, milk thistle, lavender and B vitamins. However, there are no definitive researches regarding the efficacy of these natural therapies.

Medical Marijuana:

In addition, patients suffering from Fibromyalgia often wonder that medical marijuana which in special cases is prescribed by certain physician can help them in dealing with their fatigue and chronic pain. But they are not aware of the fact that medical marijuana has nothing to do with Fibromyalgia disease it will not at all help in treating Fibromyalgia rather it can temporarily help patient in getting better sleep, pain relief and improved mood. Some pain specialists also staed that there is no role of medical marijuana in managing pain and they also express their concern about people who are not aware of the fact that what they get when they actually buy medical marijuana.

It is strictly recommended that before trying any alternative treatments patient must consult his/her doctor so that he/she will be able to get best therapy depending upon the health status.

Long Term outlook for patients with Fibromyalgia:

As the patients with Fibromyalgia suffers from variety of symptoms or suffers from different health states so they often experience good as well as bad days. Patients that undergo proper Fibromyalgia treatment such as regular aerobic exercise get relief from disease symptoms to a greater extend. But at the same time patients that are spending stressful life their pain symptoms will ultimately come back. Overtime, patient will learn that how to manage with the painful episodes and then ultimately he/she work on it to get relief from chronic pain. In conclusion, patients who remain physically and socially active despite of their pain will ultimately end up in doing their best to manage disease symptoms.