Why SAM-e is One of My Favorite Fibromyalgia Supplements

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The most accepted supplements for fibromyalgia (FMS) and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS or ME/CFS) is SAM-e. S-adenosyl methionine is its full name and it’s a material that’s made naturally in your body. Its job is to regulate key functions in your cells. In the manufacture of the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine it plays a major role, and study suggests that action of these neurotransmitters is slow in FMS and ME/CFS. For depression, osteoarthritis, and liver disease, SAM-e has been studied extensively, with varied consequences. It’s also been investigated for migraine, Alzheimer’s disease, ADHD, and schizophrenia. However, so far we don’t know enough about it to draw conclusions about whether it works.

SAM-e for Fibromyalgia

A couple of studies have shown SAM-e could be promising for fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia patients who took 800 mg of SAM-e every day reported less pain according to a 1991 Danish study, and lessen tiredness and morning stiffness, improved mood and after six weeks of use overall symptoms were decreased. SAM-e reduced depression in Italian study done in 1987 and the number of trigger points in fibromyalgia patients were also decreased.

Intravenous SAM-e did not show any advantage for fibromyalgia in short 10-day Danish study, but that could have been because SAM-e may require numerous weeks to reach full efficiency. Improvements in ache, exhaustion and quality of sleep were noted in a review done in 2010. That same year, another review said it had a lot of potential for future research, both for fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. S-Adenosylmethionine (SAM-e) is a naturally-occurring substance found in nearly every tissue in the body. It is essential to many functions in the body, including

>Helps immune system function

>Pairs with B12 and folate

>Maintains cell membranes

>Works to produce and synthesize chemicals in the brain (e.g., serotonin, melatonin, and dopamine)

SAM-e is not found in food in bioavailable amounts but is produced by methionine and ATP, the source of energy for all cells in the body. It should be noted, though, that not a lot of research has been done, and even less of it has been done in the past decade. It’s common enough that there’s a lot of anecdotal evidence behind it, but that’s far less valuable than research when it comes to deciding whether this treatment is right for you. SAM-e is a natural substitute to the prescription of antidepressants (like Cymbalta and Savella) for decreasing my fibromyalgia pain, tiredness and low mood.

I started on 200 mg and increased my dosage over several days until I felt a reduction in my symptoms. It’s still unclear exactly how SAM-e works, but it appears to increase levels of serotonin and dopamine, two brain neurotransmitters linked to mood, concentration, pain control and other important bodily functions. For people who take prescription antidepressants or other natural antidepressants SAM-e is not suggested because it affects neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. It also might not be safe for those with bipolar disorder, Parkinson’s disease or diabetes. I felt an obvious improvement in my mood and energy levels within a few of weeks of starting SAM-e.

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Unfortunately, it never helped my pain levels. For that, I use other tools. But I continue to take SAM-e and tell other fibro sufferers about it because it’s nearly eliminated my fibro-related depression, and it enhances my daily stamina/energy. Fibromyalgia sufferers knows that we can go to some appealing dark places in our minds, but I’m better able to deal with with the day-to-day struggles of living with fibromyalgia because SAM-e stabilizes my mood  (and more lately, being diagnosed with Lyme disease).

Also read: How to Manage Mood Swings in Fibromyalgia

Dosage

A lot of doctors suggest starting with 400 mg a day of SAM-e and if you bear it well then increase the dose, probably to as high as 800 mg a day. It should be taken when you are empty stomach. It can be stimulating, so it’s best to take it early in the day so it doesn’t disrupt your sleep. You can’t get SAM-e through your diet. Supplements are usually suggested to increase the amount that is present in your body. It can also be injected.

Side effects

Just like medications, supplements can cause negative side effects. Possible side effects of SAM-e include:

>Digestive problems, especially nausea

>Skin rash

>Lowered blood sugar

>Dry mouth

>Bloody stool

>Thirst

>Increased urination

>Headaches

>Hyperactivity

>Anxiety

>Insomnia

It is not a “cure” for severe depression even those who have jumped on the SAM-e bandwagon are clear about this point, and they counsel consumers to consult with their doctor before taking SAM-e (good recommendation for anyone beginning a new supplementation program).

There is at least one group of people who should avoid SAM-e: those with bi-polar disorder. Normally known as manic depression, these persons should be conscious that SAM-e may encourage mania in those with the disorder. It’s a good thought to consult your doctor when beginning any new supplementation program. Though, it does come into view that for those wishing to lift their mood, relieve painful joints and muscles, and reduce the load of FM’s many symptoms, SAM-e is a secure approving treatment, almost without side-effect.

Do your research and talk to your doctor about it, this is the finest way to settle on whether you should try SAM-e supplements or not. Be sure to weigh the risks versus the potential benefits. Ask your pharmacist about SAM-e or any other supplement if you are planning to add it to your treatment, as well. Pharmacists are experts on how different things may interact in your body, so they can be a great resource as you look for things that make you feel better.

Also Read:

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References:

  • SAM-e for Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome-Energy, Pain, and Neurotransmitter Balance By Adrienne Dellwo via Very Well Health.
  • National Pain Report

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