Some more double-blind studies on natural treatments.

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by matthewson, Aug 14, 2005.

  1. matthewson

    matthewson New Member

    Can't post the whole articles because this is site charges a fee, but here is the excerpts for three natural treatments.

    Principal Proposed Natural Treatments
    There are three natural treatments that might be helpful for fibromyalgia, although the evidence is not yet strong: SAMe (pronounced "sam-ee"), 5-HTP, and capsaicin.

    SAMe, short for S-adenosylmethionine, is a chemical derived from a combination of the amino acid methionine and the main molecule for energy in the body, adenosine triphosphate (ATP). More well known as a treatment for depression and also osteoarthritis, preliminary research suggests that it may be helpful for fibromyalgia as well.

    Four double-blind trials have studied the use of SAMe for fibromyalgia, three of them finding it to be helpful. Unfortunately, most of these studies gave SAMe either intravenously or as an injection into the muscles, sometimes in combination with oral doses. When you inject a medication, the effects can be quite different than when you take it orally. For that reason, these studies are of questionable relevance.

    However, the one double-blind study that used only oral SAMe did find positive results. In this trial, 44 people with fibromyalgia took 800 mg of SAMe or placebo for 6 weeks. Compared to the group taking placebo, those taking SAMe had improvements in disease activity, pain at rest, fatigue, and morning stiffness, and in one measurement of mood. In other respects, such as the amount of tenderness in their tender points, the group taking SAMe did no better than those taking the placebo.

    It isn't clear whether SAMe is helping fibromyalgia through antidepressant effects or some other mechanism.

    For more information, including dosage and safety issues, see the full SAMe article.

    5-HTP, short for 5-hydroxytryptophan, is most commonly used as a treatment for depression. It is thought to work by increasing the amount of serotonin in the brain. However, evidence that it helps fibromyalgia is still preliminary.

    One double-blind study of 50 people with fibromyalgia found that those taking 300 mg of 5-HTP for 30 days reported significant decreases in the number of tender points and the amount of pain they experienced, compared to those taking placebo. They also noted improvements in sleep patterns, morning stiffness, anxiety, and fatigue. Interestingly, the people taking placebo also noted significant improvements in pain and sleep, although less marked than those experienced with 5-HTP. More studies are needed to determine how much 5-HTP really helps.

    For more information, including dosage and safety issues, see the full 5-HTP article.

    Capsaicin, the "hot" in cayenne peppers, is widely used as a treatment for various painful conditions, such as shingles and arthritis. One double-blind study of 45 people found that it may be beneficial for fibromyalgia as well. 15 In this study, participants used either the capsaicin cream or a placebo four times a day for 4 weeks, rubbing it into the tender points on one side of their body. Those who used the real treatment reported less tenderness in their tender points than those using the placebo. Interestingly, the points on their untreated sides were also less tender. There was no difference between those using capsaicin or placebo in the amount of overall pain or sleep quality. It must be noted, however, that it's hard to believe the study was really double-blind, since it's impossible to hide the burning sensation caused by capsaicin!

    For more information, including dosage and safety issues, see the full cayenne pepper article

    Take care, Sally

    PS. If you do a search for "double-blind test fibromyalgia"
    and you will come up with a lot of sites to explore.

    I am taking 5-htp in place of my anti-depressant and while I have not had a reduction in amount of pain, it seems to be helping with depression and sugar cravings and I have my sex life back!! LOL

    [This Message was Edited on 08/15/2005]
  2. elsa

    elsa New Member

    Thanks Sally for posting.....

    I think you'll find great relief with the FM headaches while taking 5-htp. It's a great weight contol supplement too. ( That is if you get headaches and need weight control LOL .) Of the three you mentioned, I got the most benefit from 5-htp. Great thing .... that sex life !!! LOL

    I stopped taking it because tramadol also effects serotonin and I did not want to "double up " on it. I don't suffer from depression, so it was a fairly easy decision for me. If I had been taking 5-htp for depression though .... I would have thought long and hard about giving it up.

    Glad it's working for you. Thanks for listing the helpful information. I have been touting the wonders of 5-htp and sam-e for a long time, based on Germany's many, many double blind studies.

    Hope you are having a good day,

  3. matthewson

    matthewson New Member

    I wrote a response to you on my other post. Thanks for your support!

    I will try to post articles from time to time about studies that have been done on therapies for FMS/CFS.

    There actually are a lot of studies you can find on the 'net, but you have to make sure that they are legitimate, reproducable double-blind studies.

    Take care and I hope you have a good day too. A good day is to be cherished!

  4. elsa

    elsa New Member

    Hi again Sally,

    Just wanted to let you know a posted a long letter on your other thread!!



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