5 Nutrients to Help Ease Fibro Pain in 2015
With the New Year come resolutions to improve our health and happiness. As you look for ways to make 2015 a happier and healthier year – we recommend making nutrition a priority. Our bodies need a steady supply of the right vitamins and minerals to maintain optimal health – but unfortunately our diets often fall short and we are left without sufficient amounts of these important nutrients.
In some cases, nutritional deficiencies can be the underlying cause of chronic pain. In other cases, they can be one of many factors. Regardless, getting the right vitamins and minerals your body needs can help improve your health, boost your mood and even ease your pain. Here are five essential nutrients you should make sure you’re getting enough of this year:
Magnesium is involved in over 300 enzyme reactions in the body and is an essential mineral for the health of your bones, muscles and brain. Recent data suggests anywhere from 60-80% of the U.S. population suffers from a magnesium deficiency. Symptoms of deficiency can include pain, fatigue and cognitive impairment.
Magnesium helps relieve pain by relaxing the nervous system and muscles. The University of Maryland Medical Center has noted that in one clinical study “magnesium improved pain and tenderness associated with fibromyalgia.” Magnesium can also promote better sleep and restfulness by promoting the production of melatonin – the hormone that controls sleep cycles.
Recommended Daily Intake: 310 mg
Symptoms of deficiency: Pain, fatigue, cognitive impairment, muscle spasms, diabetes, hypertension and weak bones
Food sources: whole grains, nuts and green leafy vegetables
Vitamin B12 deficiency is common among fibromyalgia sufferers and contributes to their higher levels of fatigue and soreness. This important vitamin has many functions, including helping the body convert food into energy as well as helping to strengthen the layer of protective fat around the nerves. Among other things, vitamin B12 also helps boost nerve development and improve blood flow – which is essential for carrying nutrients and oxygen throughout the body.
Recommended Daily Intake: 2.4 mcg
Symptoms of deficiency: Fatigue, anemia, muscle soreness and memory issues
Food sources: salmon, tuna and fortified cereals
Folic acid is a water-soluble b vitamin that helps the body produce and maintain red blood cells. Deficiencies in folic acid can cause anemia, hypertension and fatigue. This vitamin is used to treat an array of ailments, including nerve pain, muscle pain, sleep problems, depression and memory loss.
Recommended Daily Intake: 400 mcg
Symptoms of deficiency: Anemia, hypertension and fatigue
Food sources: Green leafy vegetables, carrots, apricots and whole wheat
Iron is an important mineral for maintaining proper levels of oxygen in the blood. It helps improve strength, boost energy levels, fight fatigue and improve cognitive health. A deficiency of iron can lead to exhaustion, shortness of breath, dizziness, headaches, enhanced sensitivity to cold, trouble concentrating and more. Research shows that one out of every ten women in the U.S. suffers from some level iron deficiency.
Recommended Daily Intake: 18 mg (for women ages 19-50)
Symptoms of deficiency: Fatigue, concentration problems, dizziness and headaches
Food sources: Spinach, broccoli and whole grains
Vitamin D is an essential vitamin for helping to ease the pain from weak bones, tender joints and sore muscles. In that last 30 years, the percentage of Americans deficient in vitamin D has tripled. Today, approximately 13% of Americans are vitamin D deficient and another 30% are at risk.
In addition to maintaining healthy bones, vitamin D has been linked to our mood. Low levels of the vitamin have been linked to depression – especially during the winter months when vitamin D absorption from the sun is more limited.
Recommended Daily Intake: 600 IU (15 mcg)
Symptoms of deficiency: weak bones, unhealthy teeth, tender joints and sore muscles
Food Sources: Salmon, sardines, mushrooms and fortified cereals
There are, of course, many other important vitamins and nutrients –but these five are a great place to start for anyone with chronic pain. Though nutritional deficiencies are not likely to be the sole cause of your chronic pain – they can be a contributing factor. Ensuring your body gets the vitamins and minerals it needs will give it its best chance at fighting the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
What vitamins and nutrients are part of your daily regiment? We’d love to know what works for you. Share your tips on our Facebook Page.