Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Omega 3 Fish Oil and Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia has many symptoms but some of the most difficult for those with this illness are pain, stiffness of the joints, difficulty in concentrating and for many, depression. It is a debilitating illness and the current treatments include painkillers, anti-inflammatory drugs and graded exercise. But for many sufferers medication can actually make their symptoms worse and not better.

If you suffer from Fibromyalgia would taking an Omega 3 fish oil help to relieve some of these symptoms and generally help you feel better on a day to day basis? Research into the health benefits of Omega 3 in treating Fibromyalgia would seem to say yes, and anecdotal reports from Fibromyalgia patients confirms that this supplement helps them to feel better.

Omega 3 fish oil has been used for some time in the treatment of arthritis. It relieves pain in the joints and reduces stiffness. Many Fibromyalgia suffers find that a regular daily dose works well, making the trademark early morning stiffness less severe and reducing the general pain from which they suffer.

The beneficial effects of fish oil on improving concentration are well documented. The production of every cell in the body needs Omega 3 including the brain. Tests show that the correct levels of EPA (eicospentaenoic acid) which is found in large amounts in Omega 3 fish oil improves concentration in both children and adults.

While it would be ideal to have sufficient Omega 3 in our diet it would involve eating huge portions of fish and this not really practical. Also, because of pollutants in the oceans of the world, many fish contain heavy metals i.e. mercury, that are certainly detrimental to our health. Thus, to get a sufficient amount each day, a dietary supplement is the easiest option for many.

This supplement has also been shown to be effective in the reduction of depression, which many with Fibromyalgia also suffer. In trials where subjects in one group were given 1 gm of Fluoxetine, a regularly prescribed antidepressant, and the other given 1 gm of EPA, the fish oil was found to be just as effective as the drug. Even better, it can still be taken even if you are taking prescribed antidepressants. Thus, there is no dilemma arising from taking natural supplements versus prescribed medicine.

While many with Fibromyalgia find that some prescribed medicines make their symptoms worse and many more suffer from symptoms similar to IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), fish oil does not seem to have any adverse effects on them. So the evidence suggests that taking Omega 3 fish oil would be beneficial to sufferers of Fibromyalgia.


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