Three Deficiencies That May Be Linked To Fibromyalgia
Dr. Linus Pauling, winner of two Nobel Prizes, once boldly declared, “You can trace every sickness, every disease and every ailment to a mineral [a nutrient] deficiency.”
Modern science has explored the link between nutritional deficiencies and chronic pain and found some surprising connections. That’s not to say that all chronic pain is caused by a nutritional deficiency, but we’d be kidding ourselves if we didn’t acknowledge that nutrition can, and in many cases does, play a part.
We’ve done our research and found three common deficiencies with links to the symptoms of chronic pain:
The percentage of Americans with vitamin D deficiency has tripled in the last 30 years. An estimated 13% of Americans suffer from full-blown deficiency today. A staggering 30% more are on the verge of being deficient.
Symptoms include increased levels of pain and soreness, aching bones, cognitive difficulties and more. Studies have shown an increase in vitamin D intake results in marked reductions of pain in fibromyalgia sufferers with low levels of the vitamin. Besides reducing pain, vitamin D also lowers blood pressure, helps regulate the immune system and lowers the risk of diabetes.
Getting more vitamin D can be as simple as getting 10 minutes of exposure to the sun each day! Of course, with winter just around the corner, you may want to consider taking a vitamin D supplement to make sure you’re getting enough.
Magnesium deficiency is surprisingly common in the United States with between 60-80% of the population suffering from some level of deficiency. It can lead to symptoms such as pain, tightness, fatigue, cognitive impairment and more. Studies have shown a link between magnesium deficiency and symptoms of fibromyalgia.
For many, increasing magnesium intake through supplementation has helped to ease the pain, tightness and tenderness associated with their fibromyalgia. In addition to easing the pain, magnesium can help promote better sleep, relieve anxiety and improve cognitive function.
Some of the best food sources for magnesium include seeds (pumpkin & sunflower), black beans, spinach and cashews. Given the common nature of this deficiency, you may also want to consider taking a magnesium supplement to get you where you need to be.
Learn more about benefits of magnesium: 7 Ways Magnesium Helps with Chronic Pain
Women are more likely than men to suffer from iron deficiency. The United States Center for Disease Control estimates up to 11% of women of childbearing age are deficient and approximately 7% of those 50 and older are deficient of this important mineral.
Iron plays an important role in the body and can be found in every cell. Its most important function is to help carry oxygen to all parts of the body. Additionally, it plays a role in many important enzyme functions and chemical reactions within the body. Iron deficiency is most commonly associated with exhaustion and weakness, though it has been linked to chronic pain as well. In fact, one study showed an increased prevalence of iron deficiency among fibromyalgia sufferers. Other symptoms can include headaches, weakened immune system, difficulty concentrating, inflammation and more.
Getting enough iron helps ensure proper oxygen levels in the blood, which can help alleviate the symptoms noted above. Two of the best sources for iron are spinach and broccoli – though there are a variety of other foods that can get you the iron you need.
If you think you’re suffering from a nutritional deficiency, the first thing you should do is speak with your doctor and discuss whether you should be tested for a deficiency. If it is determined that you do have a deficiency, tackling it through both diet and supplementation will give you your best chance at filling the void and easing the symptoms associated with it.
Has addressing a nutritional deficiency helped ease any of your symptoms? Share you experiences below or leave a comment on our Facebook Page.