Friday, December 20, 2013

Is SSRI Treatment of Fibromyalgia My Only Option?

Five million people, most of them women, suffer with the symptoms of fibromyalgia in the U.S. Not only is it hard to diagnose, but fibromyalgia has so many other syndromes and symptoms associated with it, that treatment of the condition is problematic to say the least.

One symptom that isn't always obvious to most people including family, friends and even doctors, is fibromyalgia-depression. But to the fibromyalgia sufferer, this symptom may be one of the most serious. Normally, Selective Serotonin Re-Uptake Inhibitors or SSRI treatment of fibromyalgia is prescribed, and most doctors work with these medications, tailoring the specific drug to the needs of the patient. The dosages are usually the same as for patients with non-fibromyalgia-depression.

The problem is that SSRI treatment of fibromyalgia can have some undesirable side-effects which include: sleep problems and insomnia, anxiety reactions, headaches, sexual dysfunctions, nausea, diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight gain, and as with all antidepressants... the increased risk of suicide. Although only a small percent of patients have increased suicidal thoughts, the FDA has issued an advisory on antidepressants. They recommend careful monitoring of patients when starting SSRI's and changing dosages. With SSRI treatment of fibromyalgia, there is also a chance of the patient exhibiting a serious and rare condition called serotonin syndrome, a toxic condition requiring medical intervention.

So, What Are My Options?

There is a natural alternative to SSRI treatment of fibromyalgia. It's called 5-HTP or 5-Hydroxytryptophan, and it has fewer complications than the SSRI treatment of fibromyalgia. It has been used in the treatment of both depression and anxiety symptoms with success.

There are several reasons why 5-HTP may be safer choice for fibromyalgia sufferers...

  • 5-HTP is effective because, like SSRI treatment of fibromyalgia, it has the ability to increase the brain's natural serotonin production (a neurotransmitter produced by the brain) which promotes restful sleep, reduces anxiety and pain, and improves mood.

  • Using 5-HTP has the advantage of being discontinued if the fibromyalgia sufferer no longer needs it... without the issue of dependency.

  • A natural product, 5-HTP supplements are usually derived from the seeds of the West African Griffonia simplicifolia plant... although it's also naturally occurring in small amounts, in dairy products and some shellfish.

  • There are few side-effects to 5-HTP. Fibromyalgia sufferers using 5-HTP instead of SSRI treatment of fibromyalgia seem to be able to avoid the gastrointestinal issues, increased anxiety, insomnia, sexual dysfunction, headaches and weight gain that accompany SSRI medications.

  • Many people do very well on low doses of 5-HTP. Dosages usually begin at 50 mg but may go up to 300 mg daily if needed. The supplement should be taken with a full glass of water during or shortly before a meal to improve absorption.

Warning: Consult Your Physician...

Higher doses of 5-HTP should be broken down... don't take more than 200 mg at one time. People already taking anti-Parkinson's or prescription antidepressant medications should not take 5-HTP. Consult your physician before starting a regimen of 5-HTP or any SSRI treatment of fibromyalgia... or even herbal SSRI replacement remedies! Drug interactions, even herbs, can produce dangerous and unexpected side-effects including the triggering of fibromyalgia flares, and chemical-induced psychological issues.

Consider Adding Improved Nutrition To Your Regimen...

Scientific and medical groups including the American Medical Association advocate an improved nutritional diet to help fight illnesses of all kinds. Fibromyalgia is no exception. Pain, fatigue, depression, anxiety, mental fog, gastrointestinal issues, and even sleep disorders can benefit from lifestyle changes which include adding the right nutritional supplement to your diet. As a fibromyalgia survivor myself, I can attest to the powerful and dramatic improvements the right nutritional supplement can do to reduce and even eliminate fibromyalgia symptoms in a sufferer. To learn more about natural treatment of fibromyalgia symptoms, contact me now by clicking on one of the links below.

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