Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The General Well-Being Scale

I came across this while wondering the web, thought it would be a nice item to share with you all. Hope you enjoy! Leave some feedback if you can. Thanks everyone!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Alternative Therapies for Fibromyalgia

Herbs and Supplements for Fibro Pain

At some point during your fibromyalgia treatment, you may decide to try a complementary or alternative fibromyalgia treatment. Herbal remedies and dietary supplements are some of the many complementary and alternative treatments people use to relieve the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Herbs and supplements as fibromyalgia treatments may not work for everyone, although some people find them very effective. If you decide to try an herb or supplement as a fibromyalgia treatment, be sure to talk with your doctor first to make sure it’s safe for you. Even though they're often labeled as "natural" products, herbs and supplements can cause serious side effects and interact with other drugs you may already be taking. Unlike drugs, herbs and supplements don’t have to receive FDA approval for safety or effectiveness before they can be sold.  In addition to talking with your doctor, it’s important to learn as much as you can about any alternative therapy before using one.
Although studies about the effectiveness of herbs and supplements are limited and overall evidence has been inconclusive, researchers are beginning to research them more. Some small studies have been promising, but many study results have been mixed.
Research is ongoing, but here are just a few of the herbs and supplements that may be helpful in treating fibromyalgia symptoms:
Anthocyanidin. This supplement is a type of flavonoid found in red-blue fruits like red cherries, blueberries, raspberries, and purple grapes that has been used to treat other types of chronic diseases. In one small study of people with fibromyalgia, researchers found that anthocyanidins helped improve participants’ quality of sleep. Researchers found no improvement in the patients’ pain or fatigue. The side effects were minor, but included nausea, indigestion, and nasal congestion.
Capsaicin. Capsaicin is an extract of chili peppers that is applied to the skin in a cream. In a small study, capsaicin was found to significantly relieve tenderness in patients with fibromyalgia. However, it didn’t help improve pain or quality of sleep. The only side effect was a slight stinging or burning on the skin.
Magnesium and malic acid supplements. Some studies have found that people who have fibromyalgia have too little of a substance called ATP in their body. ATP is a substance that helps provide energy to your body and muscles. Some researchers believe a lack of ATP may cause the muscle pain associated with fibromyalgia. Because magnesium and malic acid help the body produce ATP, taking these supplements may help increase ATP levels and decrease pain.
SAM-e (S-Anenosylmethionine). SAM-e is a substance that occurs naturally in the body. It has been studied in many clinical trials over the past 20 years in patients who have joint pain and osteoarthritis. These studies have found that SAM-e may be as effective in relieving pain as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and aspirin. SAM-e is used as a drug in Europe, where many of these studies have been done. One U.S. study in patients with osteoarthritis found that SAM-e reduced pain and improved joint function as effectively as Celebrex, a type of NSAID. In addition, new research has found that SAM-e may also help reduce the symptoms of depression, another common fibromyalgia symptom. SAM-e may interact with some medications for depression, so be sure to talk with your doctor about drug interactions before trying it. Other reported side effects include upset stomach and dizziness.
St. John’s wort. This herb may not help with your fibromyalgia pain, but it may help ease the depression that many people with fibromyalgia experience. Studies have shown that St. John’s wort may help improve mood and reduce the insomnia and anxiety common to depression. Some studies have found St. John’s wort as effective in treating mild to moderate depression as antidepressant drugs. However, it may not be as effective in treating more severe depression. St. John’s wort can interact with many other medications, so be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before using it.
Valerian. Some researchers believe valerian root may help with sleep and ease fibromyalgia pain. One small study showed that people who took valerian for 28 days reported better sleep and an improvement in their general quality of life.
Vitamin D supplements. Well-known for supporting bone strength and bone health, vitamin D is also being studied for its use in treating other conditions, including fibromyalgia. Some small studies showed that people with fibromyalgia were more likely to be deficient in vitamin D. Other studies have shown that there is no connection. Vitamin D is generally safe in recommended amounts for most people and rarely causes side effects when taken in recommended amounts.

WebMD Medical Reference
Reviewed By Louise Chang, MD

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Magnesium Malate - Soothes Muscles by Supporting Energy Production

My new life with Magnesium Malate

I started taking a new supplement this week. I know it's been only a week and I didn't expect this to work at all, but the first couple days, I wondered why I had SO much energy. Then I remembered that I was taking the new supplement Magnesium Malate. (Malate aka Malic Acid) Once I realized this, I was so excited, but wanted to make sure it wasn't just lucky coincidence. By day 7 now, I'm very impressed. I know it's still a little early to tell, but like I said, I'm impressed. The energy I have found is something I haven't seen in over 4 years! So in my eyes, even if it only lasts a week, I'm thankful, but let's hope this continues. I also read that you should up the dosage slowly so I'm still on the lowest dosage. 1 tablet per day. The bottle says 1-3 per day. The internet dosage information is all over the place. So I will just follow the directions on the bottle. I will keep you updated. Until then, here's more info about this supplement. 

Here's some basic info about Magnesium Malate: 

Magnesium Malate is a compound of magnesium and malic acid, clinically shown to soothe and energize muscle cells. Malic acid is a natural fruit acid that is present in most cells in the body and is an important component of numerous enzymes key to ATP synthesis and energy production. Therefore, magnesium malate may be helpful in those suffering from fatigue due to fibromyalgia.

Magnesium is an essential mineral in over 300 enzymatic reactions in metabolism. These reactions include those involved in the Krebs cycle (one of the body's main energy production processes), energy storage, the breakdown of fatty acids, protein synthesis, DNA metabolism, neurotransmitter activity, and hormone regulation. Magnesium is stored primarily in the bones and plays a role in the absorption of calcium by the bones.

Shopping around:

Also you really want to shop around for this item as prices really vary a lot and I highly recommend buying them as one supplement, not two separate.

Magnesium Malate - Soothes Muscles by Supporting Energy Production - from Source Naturals

Here are some more links to more information about Magnesium Malate that are very helpful. I didn't want this article to get too long.

Here's the data and facts behind it all

Fibromyalgia Pain: Magnesium and Malic Acid

Research Finds Taking Both Supplements Together Is More Effective

Laura Owens

Contributing Writer

While magnesium can reduce pain in some fibromyalgia patients, not everyone with FMS has low levels of magnesium. Yet research indicates that taking adequate doses of magnesium in combination with malic acid over an extended period of time can significantly reduce the muscle and soft tissue pain associated with fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia and Muscle Energy Disruption

It's unclear how or if these two elements work synergistically, yet magnesium and malic acid are both key components in how energy is produced and transported within the cells of the muscles. Evidence suggests that one cause of fibromyalgia pain is local hypoxia in the muscles (low oxygen) which contributes to muscle tissue breakdown.

Magnesium activates the most important enzyme in the body, ATP (adenosine triphosphate) an energy molecule produced within a component of cells called the mitochondria, the body's "energy furnace." About 20 percent of the body's production of ATP is located in the brain. As a result, diminished levels can reduce the brain's cognitive functions, a common problem in people with fibromyalgia.
Magnesium is needed in the production of serotonin, a brain neurotransmitter involved in the perception of pain. Serotonin levels have been shown to be significantly lower in people with fibromyalgia. Magnesium is one of the many co-factors needed to release and bind serotonin in the brain to provide balanced mental functioning.
Magnesium deficiency increases a chemical in the body called substance P, a neurotransmitter and protein found in the brain and spinal cord. People with fibromyalgia have abnormally high levels of substance P. Substance P serves as a pain messenger and is associated with inflammatory processes in the joints. Excess levels can cause pain signals to be sent to the brain even when there is no actual injury or illness.

Malic Acid and Fibromyalgia Pain

Malic acid is an organic substance found in fruits (particularly apples) and plants.
Malic acid is involved in the production of energy in the body. It plays a role in the molecules involved in controlling mitochondrial, energy production, within the cells. Malic acid provides greater stamina and endurance in muscle cells.
Malic acid is particularly useful in helping remove aluminum from the body. Aluminum toxicity is thought to be one contributor to fibromyalgia symptoms. While magnesium also helps block the toxic affects of aluminum, malic acid may be even more effective.

Studies On Magnesium and Malic Acid To Reduce Fibromyalgia Pain

In a 1992 study 15 fibromylagia patients received an oral dose of 1200-2400 mg of malate (malic acid) and 300-600 mg of magnesium over a four and 8 week period. Patients reported a reduction in pain across a tender point index (TPI). Six subjects felt an improvement in 48 hours.
During another study conducted in 1995, researchers gave 24 subjects with fibromyalgia a "Supermalic" low tablet with 50 mg magnesium and 200mg malic acid. Scientists measured pain levels through patient self-assessment and the tender point index. Results showed that the low dose, short term trial was not effective to reduce fibromyalgia pain. However, higher doses over an extended duration significantly reduced subjects' pain.

Magnesium Malate Dosage and Side Effects

Magnesium Malate has been shown to be the most effective form of magnesium to reduce fibromyalgia pain. The recommended dose is 1,500 mg, although people should adjust their dose according to their pain level and side effects.
Side effects with extended use may include headache, muscular pain, and mild gastrointestinal symptoms. The most common side effect is loose stools. Should this occur people should decrease their next dose by 50%.