15 Benefits Of Turmeric In Fibromyalgia. You Should Must Know

Fibromyalgia causes chronic pain in the ligaments, muscles and tendons combined with fatigue and tenderness all over the body.

There is no specific cause for this condition but those who suffer from fibromyalgia could suffer from a malfunctioning of the pain preceptors in the body that makes them very sensitive to pain.

Sleep problems, genetics, injury or infection, rheumatic diseases may also cause fibromyalgia.

Some symptoms of fibromyalgia are irritable bowel syndrome, pain and stiffness, depression, dizziness, anxiety, memory lapses, fatigue etc.

Although debilitating, fibromyalgia is not life threatening or degenerative and can be managed with medication and self care.

Drug therapies, nutritional supplements, homeopathy, Ayurvedic treatment using herbs, exercise, chiropractic treatment, massage, acupuncture or mind-body therapies are some ways to manage fibromyalgia.

Turmeric for Fibromyalgia

Turmeric has natural anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and neuroprotective properties that benefit in fibromyalgia.

1. Turmeric is a natural painkiller

Curcumin as well as turmeric are natural painkillers. They act on various kinds of pain. (Read How Turmeric helps in Various kinds of pain)

It’s anti-inflammatory property contributes to its painkilling property. Curcumin acts on various inflammatory molecules and pathways in order to reduce inflammation and pain.

Curcumin is also found to be beneficial in neuropathic pain. Neuropathic pain results from damaged nerve fibres and is characterised by abnormal pain sensations and excessive sensitivity to pain from stimuli that generally do not cause pain.

A study was conducted to assess the effect of Flexofytol, a purified curcumin extract, on gout and fibromyalgia. 116 patients with gout or fibromyalgia were treated with 4 tablets of Flexofytol a day.

41 out of 62 patients with fibromyalgia found curcumin treatment beneficial.

In patients suffering from fibromyalgia a reduction in pain intensity, fatigue, dizziness, muscle carmps and heart palpitations was observed with curcumin treatment.

No change in headache, intolerance to contact or noise and number of tender points was observed.

Side effects noted were difficulty in swallowing tablets and transient diarrhea.

Researchers concluded that probably Flexofytol acted on grey matter in the brain thereby relieving pain symptoms without affecting sleep.

However many readers consuming Turmeric Milk at night have reported improvement in pain as well as sleep.

What does this mean?
Turmeric has naturally pain relieving properties and pain is the chief complaint of fibromyalgia.

2. It outperforms the action of conventional painkillers

Animal study shows that curcumin is as effective as non steroidal anti-inflammatory agent, diclofenac sodium in relieving pain.

In fact a study in rheumatoid arthritis patients shows that curcumin is better than diclofenac in relieving pain and improving disease activity.

Research shows that curcumin may even potentiate the action of diclofenac sodium leading to faster pain relief.

A study published in Journal of Pain Research, 2013 showed that Meriva, a specialized formulation of curcumin, has better pain relieving properties than paracetamol.

It also is safer on stomach than paracetamol and nimesulide.

What does this mean?
Curcumin relieves pain better than common painkillers and even increases their therapeutic effect if taken as an add-on therapy. It is also safer on the stomach than common painkillers.

3. Its can replace opioid painkillers

Opioid painkillers are generally left as the last resort when it comes to treating pain. They are generally not advised in fibromyalgia.

They work by acting on endogeneous opioids or opioid like compounds that are released in our body and thereby reduce pain sensitivity. However they are addictive in nature and cause a number of side effects.

Interestingly turmeric also acts along the same endogeneous opioid pathway to relieve pain.

But it is not addictive in nature, does not cause side effects and also relieves side effects and tolerance as well as dependance associated with opioid painkillers. (Read Can Turmeric Replace Opioid Painkillers?)

What does this mean?
Turmeric has a similar action as opioid painkillers in pain relief but what distinguishes it is lack of side effects and addiction. However turmeric acts via other mechanisms to relieve pain apart from acting on endogeneous opioid system, so it can be taken safely for pain relief.

4. It balances chemicals in the brain to relieve pain

Since there is no definite cause identified for fibromyalgia, it also treated as a neuropsychiatric condition. In fact chronic pain can lead to depression and depression can stimulate fatigue and pain.

Neurotransmitters or chemicals in the brain which are required for communication within brain cells also play a role in pain sensitivity.

An animal model has been constructed to describe the pain and depression relation. Curcumin is found to benefit in such an animal model.

The behavioural changes marked a decrease in neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine and this further leads to increase in inflammatory substances or pain related chemicals like substance P.

Curcumin is found to ameliorate such behavioural deficits and associated pain and depression. These findings suggest that curcumin can even relieve pain by settling imbalance of neurotransmitters (brain chemicals that are required for brain function) and thereby reducing pain hypersensitivity.

Zhao et. al have proven that curcumin’s ability to reduce depressive behaviour and thereby attenuate pain is independent of its analgesic or painkilling activity.

What does this mean?
Animal study suggests that curcumin can relieve pain hypersensitivity by ameliorating behavioural deficits caused by imbalance in neurotransmitters.

5. It improves cognition and memory lapse

A study comparing fibromyalgia patients and normal individuals in their ability to complete a memory task showed that fibromyalgia patients performed as well as normal counterparts.

But as per brain scans it was seen that in fibromyalgia patients more brain areas were activated indicating that they required more cognitive effort to complete the task.

Animal study shows that curcumin can protect cognition impairment occurring due to stress. Piperine the active ingredient of black pepper is found to boost curcumin’s protective action on cognition.

Animal study shows curcumin can protect from stress induced memory lapses.

Studies in elderly population have shown that curcumin supplements are favourable in improving cognition and mood.

What does this mean?

Turmeric and curcumin can help attenuate cognitive and memory deficit in fibromyalgia.

6. It benefits in depression and anxiety

Chronic pain triggers depressive feelings and fibromyalgia is characterized by mental fog and anxiety.

Lopresti et. al have stated that curcumin has multiple actions against depression making it a stand alone or adjunctive natural antidepressant.

Apart from the famous clinical study that shows curcumin works better than antidepressant Prozac, there are many other clinical trials suggesting that cucumin is efficacious as a natural antidepressant.

Curcumin’s gastroprotective effect, anti-inflammatory property and ability to regulate neurotransmitters benefits in depression and anxiety.

Amitriptyline is one of the most common antidepressants prescribed for fibromyalgia. Lab study shows that curcumin’s antidepressant activity is as good as amitriptyline.

What does this mean?
Curcumin shows excellent safety profile and therapeutic potential in depression by reducing inflammation in the brain, regulating neurotransmitters, relieving pain and attenuating gastric symptoms.

Research shows that curcumin’s antidepressant action is as good as amitriptyline, a common antidepressant prescribed in fibromyalgia.

7. It benefits in rheumatism

Curcumin’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant property benefits in rheumatic conditions like arthritis. (Read Turmeric for arthritis)

Many individuals suffering from rheumatoid arthritis are diagnosed with fibromyalgia. A clinical trial was conducted where individuals with active rheumatoid arthritis were treated with either 500 mg curcumin, 50 mg diclofenac sodium or the combination.

Curcumin treated group showed highest improvement in disease activity better than diclofenac group and no side effects were observed.

Research also shows that curcumin can prevent disease progression in arthritis. (Read Turmeric for Rheumatoid Arthritis)

What does this mean?
Occurrence of fibromyalgia is very common in rheumatic conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and curcumin is clinically proven to help in arthritic conditions.

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8. It can help improve sleep

Many readers have reported improvement in sleep after consuming Turmeric milk at night.

There have not been many studies as such explaining why this occurs but curcumin’s ability to regulate neurotransmitters and stress hormones could be responsible for this.

Animal studies show that curcumin, as an antioxidant, can attenuate side effects of sleep deprivation such as mental fog, memory lapse etc.

What does this mean?
Curcumin can help improve sleep and attenuate cognitive side effects of sleep deprivation.

9. It benefits in irritable bowel syndrome

Individuals suffering from fibromyalgia also are frequently diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome.

Curcumin is found to relieve IBS symptoms by regulating neurotransmitters and acting on gut brain axis.

A clinical trial was conducted where individuals were treated with curcumin and fennel essential oil , 2 capsules twice a day for 30 days. A 50% decrease in IBS score was seen in 30 days and this marked reduction in abdominal pain and other IBS symptoms.

Also 25.9% patients were symptom free with curcumin treatment.

What does this mean?
Turmeric has gastroprotective properties and can help relieve irritable bowel syndrome in fibromyalgia patients.

10. It can attenuate premenstrual syndrome

Fibromyalgia patients experience severe premenstrual syndrome and dysmenorrhoea.

Curcumin has mild estrogenic activities and is how to benefit the female reproductive system. (Read How Turmeric Benefits Female Reproductive System)

Khayat et. al published in a study in Complementary Therapies In Medicine, 2015 where they assessed the effect of curcumin in premenstrual syndrome.

In this study, curcumin treatment led to reduction of severity of premenstrual syndrome by a score of 59 and the placebo group experienced only a reduction of 14 points.

Researchers concluded that curcumin relieved premenstrual syndrome by modulating neurotransmitters and exerting anti-inflammatory effect.

What does this mean?
Curcumin can attenuate premenstrual syndrome by balancing neurotransmitters and reducing inflammation.

11. It relieves fatigue

Turmeric Milk, is traditionally recommended for boosting immunity and relieving fatigue. Chronic pain in fibromyalgia leads to fatigue and physical stress.

Animal studies have shown that curcumin may alleviate chronic fatigue syndrome. It works as an antioxidant and reduces toxicity of tissue damage markers that cause fatigue.

What does this mean?
Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome are overlapping conditions; but chronic pain in fibromyalgia causes fatigue. Curcumin, found in turmeric, is proven to alleviate fatigue.

12. It is a natural anti-inflammatory agent

Various sources have reported the occurrence of systemic inflammation as well as brain inflammation in fibromyalgia.

A short clinical trial was conducted wherein patients suffering from fibromyalgia were assigned an anti-inflammatory medical food.

This food consisted of vitamins, minerals, sulphate compounds and phytonutrients. Curcumin was included at a dose of 400mg.

A significant improvement in mental functioning, significant decrease in tender point index and improvement in grip and physical symptoms was observed.

Curcumin as well as curcumin free turmeric have anti-inflammatory properties which hold great benefits in fibromyalgia.

What does this mean?
Turmeric has potent anti-inflammatory properties that can attenuate pain in fibromyalgia.

13. It is a strong antioxidant

Various studies reflect that oxidative stress (imbalance between proxidants and antioxidants in the body) plays an important role in progression of the fibromyalgia.

Curcuminoids, the group of active ingredients in turmeric, are strong antioxidants. Increased intake of antioxidants is said to be beneficial for fibromyalgia.

When antioxidant defense is lowered, it leads to production of set of compounds in the body called reactive oxygen species. These cause tissue damage and also increase pain sensitivity.

Animal studies suggest that curcumin’s antioxidant action can counter such reactive oxygen species and relieve pain.

What does this mean?
Turmeric provides strong antioxidants which also relieve pain by mitigating oxidative stress.

14. It can mitigate causative factors that trigger fibromyalgia

Turmeric and its active ingredient curcumin has various therapeutic properties that can help mitigate causative factors or associated diseases of fibromyalgia.

Viral infections like Hepatitis B and C are said to be involved in development of fibromyalgia. Curcumin has broad spectrum anti-microbial activity and also terminates viral infections. (Read Turmeric for Hepatitis)

Thyroid related disorders are also prevalent in fibromyalgia. Curcumin’s anti-inflammatory, antioxidant properties and ability to regulate hormones benefits in thyroid dysfunction. (Read Turmeric for thyroid disorders,Turmeric for goitre)

Fibromyalgia is prevalent in individuals suffering from autoimmune diseases.

Curcumin’s immune modulating properties or ability to regulate immune responses benefits in autoimmune diseases like lupus. (Read Turmeric for lupus)

What does this mean?
Turmeric’s medicinal properties can help treat conditions that are associated with or trigger fibromyalgia like symptoms.

15. It attenuates the side effects of conventional treatment

Turmeric has an advantage over regular painkillers. One it acts via multiple ways to reduce pain and inflammation. Second it is safer for the stomach than conventional painkillers which on long term trigger acid reflux, gastric bleeding etc.

When taken as an add-on therapy it protects the stomach from side effects of NSAIDs or painkillers.

Curcumin’s detoxifying property may help in protecting the system from drug toxicity.

It’s anti-obesity property make protect from weight gain caused by taking antidepressants and sedatives.

What does this mean?
Curcumin’s gastroprotective property and detoxifying properties can protect from side effects of conventional drugs.

FAQs on Turmeric’s therapeutic use in Fibromyalgia

Here are a few Frequently Asked Questions regarding turmeric’s benefits and use in Fibromyalgia.

1. Will turmeric help reduce pain in fibromyalgia?
Yes turmeric works as a natural painkiller and can help reduce pain and malaise occurring in fibromyalgia.

2. Can turmeric help in ‘fibro fog’?
There is no specific study proving that turmeric helps with mental fog but readers have reported clearer thinking after taking turmeric. Turmeric can improve cognition, mood, memory and alleviate depression and anxiety. Hence turmeric may show therapeutic potential in fibro fog.

3. Should I take turmeric or curcumin for fibromyalgia?
We recommend taking turmeric over curcumin supplements in fibromyalgia as turmeric has more to offer than curcumin. Also turmeric is safe and will not cause any drug interactions when taken in dietary doses.

4. How do I take turmeric for Fibromyalgia?
The best way to take turmeric is to incorporate it in diet. Please refer to dosage section for more details.

5. Is it necessary to take black pepper and/or oil with turmeric?
If you are not including turmeric in cooking, yes it is necessary to take turmeric with black pepper and/or oil. (Read How to improve absorption of turmeric)

6. Can I take Golden/Turmeric Milk or Turmeric Tea for fibromyalgia?
Yes 1-2 cups of Turmeric Tea or Turmeric/Golden Milk a day can help in fibromyalgia. Both Turmeric tea and Milk significantly reduce pain. Please refer to dosage section below for recipe.

7. How long does it take for turmeric to benefit or act in fibromyalgia?
This depends on the dose and the form of turmeric you are taking. If you are taking Golden Paste at recommended dosage then reduction in pain should be seen as early as 7 days. (Refer to dosage section below)

Benefits would be evidenced by reduction in pain and fatigue etc. 1 month should be an ideal time span to see clear benefits.

8. I have taken turmeric for a month but I still see no benefits. What should I do?
If it has been a month since you have taken Golden Paste at the recommended dose then here are a few things you could do:
• Check whether you are using good quality organic turmeric powder. (For help click here)
• Increase the dose or frequency of dose gradually if you are not facing any side effects.
Lastly you can seek help from a health practitioner about turmeric supplements. Read Taking Turmeric But See No Benefits

9. Can I discontinue current medications after taking turmeric for fibromyalgia?
Turmeric does help significantly with pain relief and many readers have reported discontinuing regular medications after taking turmeric.

However we recommend consulting a doctor prior to discontinuing any medicines for some of them like steroids and antidepressants require tapering under doctor’s vigilance.

10. What other spices or herbs can be taken with turmeric for fibromyalgia?
There has been no study indicating what herbs or spices could have a synergistic action with turmeric in fibromyalgia. Boswellia serrata, ginger, green tea and bromelain are the few herbs that can be combined with turmeric to combat pain in fibromyalgia.

Nutritional supplements like omega 3s, magnesium, vitamins can be taken if advised by the doctor. It is best to consult a health practitioner or herbalist for the same.

11. Can turmeric be used topically for pain in fibromyalgia?
Though there are evidences suggesting the use of topical turmeric in pain and inflammation (Read Why topical turmeric is great for inflammation), if you are experiencing pain all over the body topical turmeric is not the best treatment.

12. I plan to take curcumin supplements for fibromyalgia, what is the dose?
The dose for curcumin supplements depends on the formulation. It is best to consult a doctor for the dosage and recommendation about formulation.

13. Should turmeric be avoided in gout?
Turmeric in small amount can be included in diet even when suffering from gout but should be avoided in therapeutic doses. Turmeric contains oxalates and this could add to your dietary oxalate load. Curcumin supplements are advised in case of gout.

14. Should turmeric be avoided in case of kidney stones?
If you are at high risk of developing kidney stones, turmeric consumption should be limited due to its oxalate content.

15. I suffer from a bleeding/clotting disorder, can I take turmeric?
Turmeric in small amounts can be included in diet but turmeric supplements should be avoided in case of bleeding/clotting disorder. It is best to take a doctor’s advice on taking turmeric in such a condition.

16. Are there any side effects or precautions associated with turmeric?
Turmeric in diet is safe. Please refer to Precautions section below.

Dosage of Turmeric For Fibromyalgia

Turmeric incorporated in diet is the safest and best way to take it. It also adds to the nutritive value of your diet. (Read How cooking with turmeric protects food and makes it healthier)

The ideal recommended dose of turmeric in diet is 1 teaspoon. (Read What is ideal dose of turmeric?)

Curcumin ,found in turmeric, has poor bioavailabilty or reduced absorption in the intestine as it is not water soluble. Piperine found in black pepper and oils are found to increase its absorption. (Read How to improve turmeric’s bioavailability?)

The Golden Paste combines these three elements with heat to increase absorption of turmeric. (Read Do you need to cook turmeric for Health benefits?Does cooking destroy turmeric and Black Pepper’s Health Benefits?)

Golden Paste is one of the therapeutic ways of including turmeric in your diet. Start with small doses such as 1/4-1/2 tsp and if you see no side effects then increase the dose gradually to 1-2 tsp 2-3 times a day over a few weeks.

1 teaspoon of Golden Paste thrice a day is the ideal dose. Some people benefit with a smaller dose while some even take as much as 2-3 tablespoon a day.

If you are not experiencing side effects then you can gradually increase the dose to a level where pain subsides and gastric discomfort is not felt.

Golden Paste is best taken with food to avoid acid reflux. Avoid taking it at the same time when you take other meds.

You can find some easy ways to use golden Paste here. Turmeric tea and Turmeric milk are also some delicious ways of taking turmeric.

Curcumin supplements are also available in various formulations to increase absorption. The recommended dosage is 300-400mg 2-3 times a day for standardized 95% curcumin extract, preferably with bioperine.

Consult a doctor before taking curcumin supplements.

Precautions

Turmeric in dietary doses is safe and studies show that a dose up to 8g does not cause side effects. However we do not recommend taking such high doses.

At high doses, turmeric may cause gastric side effects such as bloating, indigestion, diarrhea. Turmeric at high doses and when taken on am empty stomach may trigger acidity in sensitive individuals. ( Can Turmeric Cause Acidity/Acid reflux?)

Turmeric has an anti-platelet activity. So if you are taking blood thinners it is generally recommended not to take blood thinning herbs. Consult a health practitioner prior to taking turmeric in such a case.

Discontinue turmeric supplements 2 weeks prior to surgical procedures. Turmeric should be avoided if you suffer from gall bladder obstruction.

Turmeric as a spice is high in oxalates and hence should be taken with caution if you are prone to developing kidney stones. In such a case it is preferable to opt for curcumin supplements if required for therapeutic action.

Please consult a health practitioner before taking curcumin supplements.

Conclusion

Turmeric has natural anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties that can help in fibromyalgia. Its ability to improve cognitive function and reduce depressive symptoms can also help in fibromyalgia.

 

 

Via-http://www.turmericforhealth.com

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