Fibromyalgia is a terrible condition that causes excruciating pain throughout the entire body alongside heightened sensitivity to pressure as well as a host of other potential side effects including tiredness, difficulty sleeping, headaches and joint stiffness. Furthermore, it is also associated with depression and anxiety meaning that you're dealing with stress and a severe low mood alongside debilitating pain – it's a serious illness and one that can really ruin lives.
One of the most common treatments for fibromyalgia is to prescribe antidepressants which can be effective in a number of ways but also have a number of serious side effects that must be considered. Read on and we will look at precisely what fibromyalgia has to do with antidepressants, why they can create problems and what the alternatives are.
Neurotransmitters and Fibromyalgia
Antidepressants are used as fibromyalgia treatments because of the apparent link between the condition and an imbalance of certain neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are essentially like 'brain hormones'; they are chemicals that are released in the brain in order to tell us when something important is happening, when we should be tired or hungry and when we should be happy or sad. Neurotransmitters also affect the strength of certain signals in the brain and regulate pain, which is where the connection with fibromyalgia and depression come in and antidepressants as fibromyalgia treatments.
It appears that fibromyalgia is caused by an imbalance of several neurotransmitters including heightened pro-inflammatory cytokines (that control inflammation) and glutamine (which 'excites' the neurons) and lowered levels of serotonin – a natural mood booster and analgesic.
Antidepressants work to try and redress the balance of these substances by blocking the transporters that clean up excess levels of neurochemicals, by blocking receptors or by stimulating the brain to make more of them. Research has shown this approach to be effective as a treatment for fibromyalgia.
The Problem With Antidepressants
Unfortunately though, antidepressants are also somewhat dangerous and should generally be considered a 'last resort'. The first reason for this is that antidepressants can trigger permanent changes in the brain that make it less susceptible to those neurotransmitters. For instance, if you constantly elevate serotonin levels unnaturally, your brain eventually develops a tolerance to serotonin by reducing the number of serotonin receptors. This can also lead to addiction.
Another issue is that no neurotransmitter acts in a vacuum. What this means is that when you increase or decrease the levels of a particular neurotransmitter, this also necessarily alters the levels of other neurotransmitters. Raise serotonin for instance and cortisol might rise too to balance it out, reduce glutamine and you might also reduce GABBA. And there are neurotransmitters that we haven't even discovered yet – all of which means this is a form of fibromyalgia treatment that can cause a number of serious and unwanted side effects.
Alternative Fibromyalgia Treatments
With all this in mind then, what can you do to treat your condition? There are several options but one of the very most effective is to use natural fibromyalgia treatment in the form of natural supplements. Fibroxify is a supplement that contains anti-inflammatories as well as substances that calm the nerves and all the important nutrients necessary for the body to naturally make and manage the correct levels of neurotransmitters.
Supplements like this, combined with therapy in the form of CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), the right diet and lifestyle changes and exercise which triggers the release of serotonin naturally can provide the very best short term fibromyalgia pain relief and long term fibromyalgia treatment without any of the negative side effects associated with antidepressants.