The purpose of this blog is to keep track of my illness and progress. If someone else can benefit in any way from my rambling, even better.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Can Vitamins Help?

Now 4+ months into the guaifenesin treatment, I'm still seeing progress but the past few weeks have been difficult to read. I cannot tell if I am blocking again or just plateauing in this stage of headaches, joint pain and fatigue. It would make sense that this cycle would last the longest since these are the symptoms I have had for the longest amount of time, but I plan to double up my dosage one night just to be sure I'm not blocking--I just haven't had the guts to do it and forfeit my sleep yet.

In the meantime, I have heard some potentially helpful advice about vitamins and their benefit to people who have fibromyalgia. From what I have read, it sounds like most people with fibromyalgia are deficient in at least one vitamin/mineral-I know that I'm low in vitamin D and anemic in iron even with supplements. Instead of trying all of the following at once, I am introducing them one at a time for about two weeks to see if there is any noticeable improvement. If I've learned anything it's not to make a bunch of changes at once, if something works you'll have no idea which one it is. Here's my "to try" list:

1. Vitamin E: I've heard this will help some people with fibromyalgia a little bit and some a lot, you just have to try it and see if it's a good one for you. I've already introduced it and haven't noticed any significant improvement so will likely not continue when the bottle runs out.

2. Iron: I was shocked to find out that 1 out of every 3 women is iron deficient. This can cause your fatigue to be even worse than it already is. Even after being on a heavy-duty prescription iron supplement my levels are still low. Now I'm looking into foods that are iron rich (eating meat and beans at the same time). Eating vitamin C at the same time will increase absorption, calcium will block absorption, so orange juice with a meal is great but like my chiropractor pointed out-drinking the calcium fortified kind will negate any effects. Also, cooking in a cast iron pan increases the amount of iron you get in your foods as well. I will be trying all of these since fatigue really is my least favorite part.

3. Magnesium + Malic Acid: I don't know the science behind this one so you might want to look it up, but apparently the combination of the two taken daily for 8 weeks will help with muscle soreness and pain. Take 100-300 mg. of magnesium with 1,000-2,000 mg. of malic acid. I just started this one today and will let you know if I see any improvement, my muscle pain is horrible (though not anywhere near what it used to be before the guai) so this would bring much relief!

4. Protein Shakes: Again I don't know the science behind this one, but after speaking with another woman who has had fibromyalgia for 20+ years who attests to the significant improvement she saw after introducing these at breakfast time, I'm willing to try it!

5. Multi-Vitamin: If you aren't sure what you are low in this is a good way to boost everything.

*PLEASE REMEMBER to look for salicylates when purchasing vitamins! They are in a lot of vitamins and I had such a hard time that I finally just ordered mine all from Fibro Pharmacy's website (everything is sal-free) so I wouldn't take the chance of blocking again. Their prices were pretty good too, I think the vitamin E was only $4 for a 3 month supply.

I will post updates as I try things out and see or don't see results, please feel free to share your results, questions or anything else in the comments area below any of my posts.

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