Fibromyalgia is a chronic and potentially life-altering disorder with symptoms such as extreme muscle pain, extraordinary fatigue and multiple tender and painful points. Fibromyalgia itself tends to be similar in many aspects to rheumatic diseases although it differs from arthritis in that there is no known inflammation or damage to the joints, muscles or tissues.
While the actual cause of fibromyalgia is still unknown, many factors have been associated with its appearance. Stressful events are sometimes the triggering point while other times the onset of fibromyalgia is in conjunction with other illnesses or diseases.
Nutrition has had some success with easing of symptoms. However, nutritional therapy for fibromyalgia is currently not widely used or known about. It's unfortunate that this is the case as several interesting studies have recently emerged from the scientific community touting the possibility that supplementing the diet of patient's with fibromyalgia with glyconutrients may in fact decrease symptoms, especially those of pain and fatigue.
It has been shown that a particular molecule necessary for normal transport and stabilization of the proteins that carry serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine is one of the eight essential sugars - a glyconutrient! Serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine are responsible for helping people to sleep restfully and achieve relaxation. Those suffering from fibromyalgia have difficulties in these two areas. The possibility exists that fibromyalgia sufferers are deficient or altogether missing some of the essential glyconutrients needed by the body1.
Additionally, glyconutrients also play a role in the central nervous system and its pain carrying pathways. There is a hypothesis that if the body is deficient in one or more particular glyconutrients it will perceive greater pain than that of an optimally functioning body1.
One final reason to use glyconutrients for those with fibromyalgia lies in the important function glyconutrients play in the immune system. When a person is in a constant state of stress their immune system tends to function at a lower level which leads to greater risk of infections and illnesses. Those with fibromyalgia have high levels of stress and more than likely a depressed immune system. Glyconutrients may be the very thing patients with fibromyalgia need in order to keep their immune system as healthy as possible while dealing with the other symptoms of fibromyalgia.
1. Glyconutritional Implications in Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Scott Saunders is a full time wellness consultant who can be reached at Whole Earth Health