Many of the symptoms of fibromyalgia can be linked to some sort of deficiency. In a scramble to find a way to relieve those painful body aches, we make a beeline for the vitamin section and load up on all the supplements we can find. But what is in those little pills? Does any consumer know what’s really in them? Most likely, no, we don’t. With laws so loosely regulating supplements, if at all, how can we be sure to know the safe ones from the dangerous ones? Here is a guide for supplement safety.
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Disclosure: I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post, but these are products I recommend and have verified and/or used.
Supplements and Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia symptoms can be relieved using all-natural remedies. One of the parts of the natural remedies is supplemental intake. There are six supplements that can be used to help fibromyalgia. Click on the links below to read more about each of these supplements.
- Vitamin D: fights pain and fatigue
- Fish oil: anti-inflammatory properties
- SAMe: improves immune function
- Ribose: relaxes and releases tight muscles
- Magnesium: helps muscle spasms, weakness, and back pain
- Brown Seaweed Extract: fights the chronic pain
According to the article, The 6 Best Supplements for Fibromyalgia, it is possible to take too much and can have side effects. Discuss all supplement intake with your doctor and verify the right dosage, what time of the day to take it, side effects, and how it will react with any medications you may be taking.
Are supplements safe?
Supplements and fibromyalgia go hand in hand, but precaution should be taken. Knowing their origins and other useful information is helpful in making the decision to take supplements or not.
Anahad O’Connor wrote an article in November 2013 regarding the true ingredients of supplements in the article Herbal Supplements Are Often Not What They Seem. In the article, O’Connor revealed that DNA tests have proven that supplements do not contain what they claim to contain. In one study, researchers gathered several different products from different stores throughout Canada and the United States for DNA testing. The results were staggering.
The Back Story on Supplements
What is really in supplements?
In the study, two bottles of St. John’s wort (used to treat depression and largely popular with fibromyalgia patients) were found to contain rice and laxative. Other supplements contained fillers such as soybean, soy, wheat, and black walnut. These ingredients may not sound threatening, but for people with a nut, soy, or wheat allergies, it is deadly.
The article also stated, “Of 44 herbal supplements tested, one-third showed outright substitution, meaning there was no trace of the plant advertised on the bottle – only another plant in its place.”
How is it legal to mislabel?
The Food and Drug Administration requires all products to be tested by the company to ensure safety, but it’s not enforced. As O’Connor states, all supplements goes by an honor code, and are deemed safe until proven unsafe for the consumer. Unlike prescription drugs, supplements are generally considered safe until proved otherwise.
How to be more aware
Even though I consulted with my primary care physician prior to adding these supplements to my daily remedy plan, there are still safety guidelines that should be followed when buying supplements.
The article, Buying Supplements: Follow These Safety Guidelines by FibroDaze, lists safety tips and precautions to take when buying supplements. There is also a website listed in the article that you can check if your current supplements are safe to ingest.