MAGNESIUM: THE SAFE FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE FOR CLINICAL DEPRESSION


The science supporting the efficacy of magnesium for major depression and other psychiatric disorders, testing for magnesium deficiency, and which forms and dosages are most effective.

Depression, a life-threatening psychiatric disorder, lies at the confluence of biochemical, hormonal, immunological, and neurodegenerative variables, which intersect to generate the pro-inflammatory state with which depression is associated. A major public health issue, depression is estimated to become one of the top three contributors to the global burden of diseases within a few years. Not only does depression consume a sizable portion of health care expenditures, but it is considered to be an independent risk factor for metabolic, cardiovascular, and neuropsychiatric disorders (1).

Current treatments are predicated upon a misguided serotonin theory of depression, and are accompanied by a laundry list of deleterious side effects ranging from sexual dysfunction to homicidality (2, 3, 4). Antidepressant medications likewise significantly increase the risk of all-cause mortality, or death from any cause, as well as heart disease, leading researchers to deem this class of pharmaceuticals as harmful to the general population (5). This, in combination with data indicating that antidepressants are clinically equivalent to placebo, render them an unfavorable option (6), especially considering that they offer little in the way of resolving the root cause.

Magnesium: The Miracle Mineral

Rather than resorting to psychotropic drugs, it would be prudent to explore whether magnesium (Mg) supplementation improves depression, since this essential mineral is implicated in the pathophysiology of this disorder. Magnesium may be indeed branded as miraculous given its essentiality as a cofactor to over three hundred enzymatic reactions (7). It is second only to potassium in terms of the predominant intracellular cations, or ions residing in cells that harbor a positive charge (7).

 Magnesium is fundamentally involved in protein production, synthesis of nucleic acids, cell growth and division, and maintenance of the delicate electrolyte composition of our cells (7). It also imparts stability to the membranes of the energy factories of our cells called mitochondria (7). As articulated by researchers, “The physiological consequences of these biochemical activities include Mg’s central roles in the control of neuronal activity, cardiac excitability, neuromuscular transmission, muscular contraction, vasomotor tone, and blood pressure” (7).

The biological effects of magnesium are widespread. When deficient, magnesium is correlated with systemic inflammation. Not only does magnesium sufficiency promote cardiovascular health, relaxing the smooth muscles that comprise blood vessels and preventing high levels of vascular resistance that cause hypertension, but it also plays a role in musculoskeletal health and prevents sarcopenia, osteoporosis, and fractures (8). Magnesium is essential to regulation of sleep (9) and vitamin D metabolism (10) as well as neural plasticity and cognitive function.

However, food processing and industrial agriculture, including monoculture crop practices and the use of magnesium-devoid fertilizers, have led to soil erosion and depletion of magnesium content in our food (7). Magnesium is likewise removed from most drinking water supplies, rendering magnesium deficiency an inevitability (11). As such, our daily intake of magnesium has steadily declined from 500 milligrams (mg) per day to 175 mg per day (7). The nutrient-poor, energy-dense dietary patterns which have come to dominate the industrialized landscape are also insufficient in the fiber-rich fruits and vegetables which contain magnesium.

Animal Studies Propose a Role for Magnesium in Depression

Preliminary animal studies pointed to a role of magnesium in depression, as depletion of magnesium in the diet of mice lead to enhanced depression- and anxiety-related behavior such as increased immobility time in the forced swim test (12). In the forced swim test, a common assay for examining depression-like behavior in rodents, the animal is confined to a container filled with water and observed as it attempts to escape. The time in which the animal exhibits immobility is used as a barometer of despair, indicating that the animal has succumbed to a fate of drowning (1).

This model is confirmed by studies showing that administering substances with antidepressant properties such as Hypericum perforatum, also known as St. John’s Wort, can significantly decrease the time the animal spends without locomotor activity (12). In addition, the time the animal spends immobilized is influenced by many of the factors that are changed as a consequence of depression in humans, such as drug-withdrawal-induced anhedonia, impaired sleep, and altered food consumption (1).

Human Studies Confirm the Role of Magnesium in Depression

There is a paucity of research on the influence of specific micronutrients in depression and results are inconsistent, but several studies have revealed low serum magnesium in this mood disorder. It is well-documented, for example, that dietary magnesium deficiency in conjunction with stress can lead to neuropathologies and symptoms of psychiatric disorders. Researchers echo this sentiment, stating that, “Dietary deficiencies of magnesium, coupled with excess calcium and stress may cause many cases of other related symptoms including agitation, anxiety, irritability, confusion, asthenia, sleeplessness, headache, delirium, hallucinations and hyperexcitability” (11, p. 362).

The Hordaland Health study in Western Norway illustrated an inverse association between standardized energy-adjusted magnesium intake and depression scores, meaning that people who consumed less magnesium had higher rates of depression (13). When the serum and cerebrospinal fluid of acutely depressed patients diagnosed with major depressive disorder or bipolar patients in a depressive episode were compared to healthy controls, the calcium to magnesium ratio was found to be elevated in the former (14). Calcium and magnesium are minerals which antagonize one another and compete for absorption, since each of these minerals is a divalent cation (a positive ion with a valence of two). Suicidality, one of the primary manifestations of severe depression, is accompanied by low cerebrospinal fluid levels of magnesium despite normal calcium levels, lending credence to the role of magnesium in positive emotionality (15).

Magnesium Effective in Bipolar Disorder, Fibromyalgia, PMS, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

A formulation of magnesium aspartate hydrochloride known as Magnesiocard has been shown to invoke mood-stabilizing effects in patients with severe rapid cycling bipolar disorder in one open study label (16). In half of the patients treated, this magnesium preparation had results equivalent to lithium, the standard of care for this patient population, such that the researchers suggested: “The possibility that Magnesiocard could replace or improve the efficacy of lithium as a preventive treatment of manic-depressive illness merits further clinical investigation” (16, p. 171). When used as an adjunctive therapy in severe, therapy-resistant mania, magnesium sulphate infusions significantly reduced the use of lithium, benzodiazepines and neuroleptics, so much so that the researchers concluded that it “may be a useful supplementary therapy for the clinical management of severe manic agitation” (17, p. 239).

In another randomized trial of elderly patients with type 2 diabetes and magnesium deficiency, elemental magnesium administered at 450 mg per day was found to have equivalent efficacy to 50 mg of the antidepressant drug Imipramine in treating depressive symptoms (18). Magnesium citrate taken at 300 mg per day has likewise been shown to decrease depression and other symptoms in patients with fibromyalgia as indicated by significant decreases in the fibromyalgia impact questionnaire (FIQ) and Beck depression scores (19).

Data also indicate that supplementation with 360 mg of magnesium administered to women with premenstrual syndrome (PMS) three times a day in the second half of the cycle is effective for so-called negative affect and other premenstrual-related mood symptoms (20). Lastly, intramuscular magnesium sulphate administered every week for six weeks has been proven to be effective in improving emotional state and other parameters in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) (21).

Mechanism of Action for Antidepressant Effects of Magnesium

According to researchers, “Biological systems discussed to be involved in the pathophysiology of affective disorders and the action of mood stabilizing drugs are affected by Mg, such as the activity of the hypothalamus–pituitary–adrenocortical (HPA) system, corticotropin releasing factor (CRF)-, GABA- and glutamatergic (via NMDA receptors) neurotransmission and several transduction pathways including protein kinase C” (12). Not only that, but magnesium elicits similar effects on nocturnal hormonal secretion and sleep brain waves to lithium salts, which are used as a treatment modality for bipolar disorder, supporting the role of magnesium as a mood stabilizer (22).

Magnesium operates as an agonist, or a stimulatory molecule, for γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors (22). GABA is the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. By binding to the GABA receptor and replicating the effects of GABA, magnesium may alleviate anxiety. Magnesium may also elicit its antidepressant effects by acting as an inorganic antagonist of N-methyl-d-aspartic acid (NMDA) receptor function (Poleszak et al., 2007). Receptor antagonists are ligands, or substances, which bind to a receptor but inhibit its activity rather than activating it. NMDA receptors, which occur on the surface of nerve cells, are activated in part by glutamate, one of the excitatory amino acids in the brain.

Researchers state that, “Dysfunction of NMDA receptors seems to play a crucial role in the neurobiology of disorders such as Parkinson’s diseaseAlzheimer’s diseaseepilepsy, ischemic stroke, anxiety and depression,” such that, “ligands interacting with different sites of NMDA receptor complex are widely investigated as potential agents for the treatment of a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders” (22). In fact, drug inhibitors at the NMDA receptor complex, such as ketamine, demonstrate antidepressant effects (23, 24), but also induce such severe side effects that their clinical utility is limited (31). Magnesium, on the other hand, may have a similar mechanism of action by interfering with NMDA receptor activation without the adverse consequences of drug-induced NMDA receptor blockade (25).

Recent Study Proves Efficacy of Oral Magnesium for Depression

A recent open-label, randomized, cross-over trial was conducted in outpatient primary care clinics on 126 adults diagnosed with depression (26). During the intervention, 248 mg of elemental magnesium chloride per day, obtained from four 500 mg tablets, was administered for six weeks and compared to six weeks of no treatment, and subjects were evaluated for changes in depressive symptoms (26).

Magnesium administration results in clinically significant improvements in scores on both the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), a validated measure of the severity of depression and response to treatment, as well as the Generalized Anxiety Disorders-7 (GAD-7), a sensitive self-reported screening tool for severity of anxiety disorders (26). Impressively, results appeared in as little as two weeks, representing the dramatic improvement that nutrient restoration can facilitate (26). Impressively, however, magnesium exerted anti-depressant effects regardless of baseline magnesium level. It also exhibited efficacy independent of the gender, age, or baseline severity of depression of subjects, as well as their use of antidepressant medications (26). The authors of the study conclude, “Magnesium is effective for mild-to-moderate depression in adults. It works quickly and is well tolerated without the need for close monitoring for toxicity” (26).

Populations At Risk for Magnesium Deficiency

Half of the population of the United States was found to consume less than the recommended amount of magnesium when estimated a decade ago (27). Not only is magnesium lost with certain medical conditions, but this mineral is excreted as a consequence of biological activities such as sweating, urinating, and defecating as well as excess production of stress hormones (7, 11). In addition, because low magnesium has been correlated with various disease states, increasing magnesium status may mitigate risk of these diseases.

For instance, researchers note that, “Low magnesium intakes and blood levels have been associated with type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, elevated C-reactive protein, hypertension, atherosclerotic vascular disease, sudden cardiac death, osteoporosis, migraine headache, asthma, and colon cancer” (27, p. 153). In addition, magnesium deficiency at a cellular level “elicits calcium-activated inflammatory cascades independent of injury or pathogens” (27, p. 153). Low magnesium is associated with systemic inflammation, and inflammation is at the root of most chronic and degenerative diseases.

Testing for Magnesium and Food Sources of Magnesium

While the first inclination of some physicians may be to test magnesium levels for an objective parameter of deficiency, the widely used serum or plasma magnesium does not accurately reflect magnesium levels stored in other tissues (28, 29). In addition, both this hematological index of magnesium status, referred to as total magnesium, and the erythrocyte magnesium level, indicative of the levels of magnesium inside red blood cells, are not negatively affected until severe magnesium deprivation has occurred (7). Therefore, these testing methodologies are not accurate enough to catch preliminary or subclinical magnesium deficiency.

Good food sources of magnesium include pumpkin and squash seed kernels, Brazil nuts, almonds, cashews, peanuts, pine nuts, quinoa, spinach, Swiss chard, beet greens, potatoes, artichoke hearts, dates, bananas, coconut milk, prickly pear, black beans, lima beans, soybeans, and seafood sources including halibut, abalone, anchovy, caviar, conch, crab, oyster, scallop, snail, and pollock. However, it is important to note that magnesium can be leeched from vegetables when food is boiled, and that fiber in excess can decrease magnesium absorption by increasing gastrointestinal motility (7).

Most Bioavailable Forms of Magnesium

As elucidated by the researchers, “Over-the-counter magnesium can be offered as an alternative therapy to those patients hesitant to begin antidepressant treatment and is easily accessible without a prescription” (26). Because the soil is no longer enriched in magnesium, supplementation may be warranted. Organic salts of magnesium, including the acetate, ascorbate, aspartate, bicitrate, gluconate, and lactate forms are more soluble and biologically active over the magnesium mineral salts such as magnesium oxide, magnesium carbonate, magnesium chloride, and magnesium sulfate (7).

However, case studies have shown remarkably rapid recovery from major depression, in less than seven days, when magnesium glycinate and magnesium taurinate are administered at dosages of 125 to 300 mg with each meal and at bedtime (11). Magnesium threonate may also be explored as a therapeutic option, as it may have better penetrance of the blood brain barrier and restore neurological levels of magnesium. This form, which is delivered directly to the brain, may improve cerebral signaling pathways and synaptic connections between nerve cells as well as support learning and memory, although the studies have been conducted in animal models (30).

Researchers report that magnesium is usually effective for treating depression in general use, and that comorbid conditions occurring in these case studies, including “traumatic brain injury, headache, suicidal ideation, anxiety, irritability, insomnia, postpartum depression, cocaine, alcohol and tobacco abuse, hypersensitivity to calcium, short-term memory loss and IQ loss were also benefited” by magnesium supplementation (11, p. 362). Barring abnormal kidney function, the Institute of Medicine sets the upper tolerable limit for intake at 350 mg of elemental magnesium per day, but there are few adverse side effects documented unless consumed in inordinate doses (26).

Before changing your medication or nutraceutical regimen, always consult a functional or integrative medical doctor for contraindications. However, given the benign nature of magnesium supplementation and the ubiquity of magnesium insufficiency, depressedpatients should be offered this as a first line strategy alongside a holistic root-cause resolution approach to treating depression

Revolutionary Cannabis Patch Successfully Treats Fibromyalgia and Nerve Pain (without getting you high!) 


In November 2016, Cannabis Science announced 2 new pharmaceutical developments in the form of cannabis skin patches for pain. Representatives claim the skin patch will be more effective than cannabis-based topical creams, pills, or injections due to its more accurate dosing (1).

Currently, the skin patches are not yet available and no official date has been given by Cannabis Science for clinical trials. Nevertheless, should research and development progress as expected, the cannabis skin patch could prove to be a much-needed new option for treating complicated chronic pain conditions including fibromyalgia and diabetic neuropathy.

Does Cannabis Work for Treating Pain?

medical marijuana

The most common natural plant cannabinoids (phytocannabinoids) are: THC, cannabidiol (CBD), cannabigerol (CBG), cannabichromene (CBC), and cannabinol (CBN). While the majority of research and public attention has been directed at THC, the new skin patch development uses the CBD, otherwise known as cannabidiol(1).

Research shows that CBD has several beneficial properties, including (5):

  • anti-inflammatory
  • analgesic (pain relief)
  • greater antioxidant activity than vitamins C or E
  • neuroprotective

CBD is a non-euphoriant, and some research actually suggests that this particular cannabinoid reduces the effect of the other euphoriant cannabinoids, lessening their psychoactive effects including panic, anxiety, intoxication, and heart palpitations. In short, taking isolated CBD will not alter your state of mind like smoking or consuming marijuana would.

Cannabis Science CEO, Raymond Dabney states, “As more states nationwide legislate for the legalization of Cannabis and Cannabis derived medications, we here at Cannabis Science are focused on developing pharmaceutical formulations and applications to supply the huge growing demand expected over the coming few years.”

medical uses for cannabis

Thanks to a growing body of research exploring the medical uses of cannabis, and a cultural openness to medical marijuana use, the cannabis skin patch may soon be a real option available to those suffering from painful conditions like diabetic nerve damage and fibromyalgia.

Diabetic Neuropathy and Cannabis

Diabetic neuropathy is a group of nerve disorders associated with diabetes. While nerve damage can start at any point for those with diabetes, people who have had diabetes for 25 years or more or who have difficulty managing their blood sugar or blood pressure levels, have the highest risk (2).

Since nerve damage can occur in every organ system, symptoms can be varied. Some people with nerve damage won’t experience any noticeable symptoms at all. The 4 main types of diabetic nerve damage come with their own unique set of symptoms:

Diabetic Nerve Damage Symptoms

1. Peripheral Neuropathy: The most common type of neuropathy is peripheral neuropathy, which usually manifests in hands and feet as (2):

  • numbness
  • tingling
  • sharp pain
  • sensitivity to touch and temperature

2. Autonomic Neuropathy: This type of nerve damage affects the cardiovascular system, eyes, digestive tract, sex organs, urinary tract, and sweat glands. Symptoms include (2):

  • noticeable changes in digestion and bladder function
  • sexual dysfunction in both men and women
  • inability to manifest usual warning signs of low blood sugar
  • trouble seeing at night
  • profuse sweating

3. Proximal Neuropathy: Proximal neuropathy is localized in the legs. It’s associated with (2):

  • pain in legs, hips, thighs or bottom
  • noticeable weakness in leg muscles

4. Focal Neuropathy: This form of nerve damage can affect any nerve in the body (but most often in the head and arms), causing weakness and pain. Other symptoms include (2):

  • vision problems, aching around eyes
  • facial paralysis
  • acute pain in chest, stomach or abdominals

How Is Diabetic Nerve Damage Treated?

Conventionally, doctors will prescribe patients with diabetic nerve damage painkillers, anticonvulsants or antidepressants such as oxycodone, Ultram, amitriptyline, Cymbalta, or Lyrica. Additionally, they will work with the patient to help keep blood sugar levels balanced.

Should Cannabis Science’s skin patch go through clinical trials and be approved by the FDA, it would provide a more natural and effective way to manage pain from diabetic nerve damage without risk of addiction (a massive problem with opioid prescriptions).

Fibromyalgia and Cannabis

cannabis patch to treat fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia syndrome is a chronic condition often grouped together with arthritis, although it is not an arthritic condition. Fibromyalgia affects mostly women. A 2008 report estimated that about 5 million adult Americans suffer from fibromyalgia (4). Sufferers of fibromyalgia experience chronic non-localized pain, tenderness, and intense fatigue. Sometimes, fibromyalgia is accompanied by other symptoms including (3):

  • brain fog
  • headaches
  • morning stiffness
  • restless leg syndrome
  • painful menstrual cramps
  • irritable bowel syndrome

How is Fibromyalgia Treated?

Unfortunately, fibromyalgia can be tricky to treat; this is complicated by the fact that many medical providers are not familiar with fibromyalgia or its various treatments. The FDA has currently approved 3 drugs for fibromyalgia treatment: Duloxetine, Milnacipran, and Pregabalin.

The Cannabis Science skin patch might be a promising treatment option for many fibromyalgia patients, especially those for whom the 3 current drugs don’t have an effect. It would also provide a less risky solution than the current drugs, which come with their own long lists of side effects and long-term risks.

Help us spread awareness of this potential new treatment by sharing this article with your friends and family. We will continue to follow the development of the Cannabis Science skin patch and provide updates as new studies and trial information becomes available.

Source:http://theheartysoul.com

Combination of pregabalin with duloxetine for fibromyalgia: a randomized controlled trial.


Fibromyalgia is a syndrome characterized by chronic widespread pain and associated with sleep disturbance, depression, fatigue, and cognitive dysfunction. Polypharmacy is commonly used, but supportive evidence is limited. Most fibromyalgia trials focus primarily on pain reduction with monotherapy. This trial compares a pregabalin-duloxetine combination to each monotherapy. Using a randomized, double-blind, 4-period crossover design, participants received maximally tolerated doses of placebo, pregabalin, duloxetine, and pregabalin-duloxetine combination-for 6 weeks. Primary outcome was daily pain (0-10); secondary outcomes included global pain relief, Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire, SF-36 survey, Medical Outcomes Study Sleep Scale, Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II), adverse events, and other measures. Of 41 participants randomized, 39 completed ≥2 treatments. Daily pain during placebo, pregabalin, duloxetine, and combination was 5.1, 5.0, 4.1, and 3.7, respectively (P < 0.05 only for combination vs placebo, and pregabalin). Participants (%) reporting ≥moderate global pain relief were 18%, 39%, 42%, and 68%, respectively (P < 0.05 for combination vs placebo, pregabalin, and duloxetine). Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire scores were 42.9, 37.4, 36.0, and 29.8, respectively (P < 0.05 for combination vs placebo, pregabalin, and duloxetine). SF-36 scores were 50.2, 55.7, 56.0, and 61.2, respectively (P < 0.05 for combination vs placebo, pregabalin, and duloxetine). Medical Outcomes Study Sleep Scale scores were 48.9, 35.2, 46.1, and 32.1, respectively (P < 0.05 only for combination vs placebo, and duloxetine). BDI-II scores were 11.9, 9.9, 10.7, and 8.9, respectively (P < 0.05 only for combination vs placebo). Moderate-severe drowsiness was more frequent during combination vs placebo. Combining pregabalin and duloxetine for fibromyalgia improves multiple clinical outcomes vs monotherapy. Continued research should compare this and other combinations to monotherapy for fibromyalgia.

Comments from Clinical Raters
General Internal Medicine-Primary Care(US)

The study is small (40 patients) and based on the medications involved, patients were not on antidepressants. Additionally, as stated by the authors, many fibromyalgia patients are already on combination therapy. While this combination is now tested, it is also more expensive and requires pre-authorization for many patients, limiting its generalizability. It is useful that a large % of pts reported at least moderate pain control, but I cannot see choosing these 2 medications specifically based on this study as opposed to cheaper medications or tailoring medications based on side effects.

Little Known High Tech Treatment Could Be Answer to Fibromyalgia Mystery, Researchers Say.


Fibromyalgia is a well known, chronic disorder that is most associated with debilitating symptoms of pain and fatigue, but it is also shrouded in mystery, even as the number of patients keeps growing.

It is estimated that about 5 million Americans are affected by this disease, and many people struggle with ineffective conventional treatments. While the exact cause of it is unknown to mainstream medicine, it has been linked to a result of a traumatic effect – physical or emotional. Diet can also play a strong role, especially in regards to gut bacteria), and an abnormality in the blood vessels of a person’s palm has also been linked to the disease.

Currently Western medicine’s approach mostly relies on a combination of medications: pain drugs, anti-inflammatories, and a variety of other potentially dangerous prescription medications that may have been approved for purposes other than fibromyalgia (off-label drug use).

Alternative medicine, however, is always looking for new ways to treat so called “incurable” diseases such as fibromyalgia. Many patients have had success incorporating a variety of therapies into their healing strategy for fibromyalgia: massage, the Feldenkrais method, chiropractic, acupuncture, and herbs and supplements that can be chosen by a naturopathic doctor. One of the most recent alternative methods that showed success in treating fibromyalgia is hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT).

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Researchers Discover Possible Cause of Fibromyalgia

Researchers from Tel Aviv University have discovered that using HBOT greatly reduced or even eliminated pain symptoms in women with fibromyalgia, making it possible for many to quit their pain medication.

After this discovery, a group of researchers from different universities worked together to explore if this information can provide us more answers about the disease. Based on this new knowledge, they believe that the cause of fibromyalgia is an inability of the brain to properly process pain.

“[T]he most important finding for me is that 70 percent of the patients could recover from their fibromyalgia symptoms. The most exciting finding for the world of research, however, is that we were able to map the malfunctioning brain regions responsible for the syndrome,” said Dr. Shai Efrati of TAU’s Sagol School of Neuroscience and Assaf Harofeh Medical Center.

This is not the first time researchers have noticed a different response to pain in fibromyalgia patients compared to other patients. A 2013 study published in Arthritis & Rheumatism found that fibromyalgia patients had disruptions of brain signals that contribute to pain sensitivity, and that provided some explanation to why pain medications have been ineffective for this condition.

“Our findings suggest that fibromyalgia patients exhibit altered brain responses to punishing and rewarding events, such as expectancy of pain and relief of pain,” stated Dr. Marco Loggia.

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Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Fibromyalgia

Hyperbaric oxygen chambers provide patients with pure oxygen at higher-than-atmospheric pressures. Usually this treatment is used on patients with carbon monoxide poisoning, burns, decompression sickness and embolisms (obstructions in a blood vessel).

A clinical trial published in PLoS ONE by Tel Aviv University researchers treated 60 women with fibromyalgia with HBOT for 2 months and found significant reduction in symptoms and changes in the brain activity in 70% of women.

“The intake of the drugs eased the pain but did not reverse the condition. But hyperbaric oxygen treatments did reverse the condition,” said Dr. Efrati.

Researchers have found that the treatment works best for patients with traumatic brain injuries. For those whose fibromyalgia was triggered by other causes, patients nMonoplace_hyperbaric_chamber attraibutedeeded maintenance treatment.

“The results are of significant importance. Hyperbaric oxygen treatments are designed to address the actual cause of fibromyalgia—the brain pathology responsible for the syndrome. It means that brain repair, including neuronal regeneration, is possible even for chronic, long-lasting pain syndromes, and we can and should aim for that in any future treatment development,” said Dr. Efrati.

Where to Receive Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment

HyperbaricLink.com has lists of centers for every state that offer hyperbaric oxygen therapy, including some hospitals, outpatient centers and independent clinics.

Hospitals (such as Beaumont in Michigan) can only perform the hyperbaric oxygen treatment on patients whose conditions have been approved by the FDA to receive this therapy. Fibromyalgia is not currently one of them. The FDA approved HBOT for diabetic ulcer of the lower extremity, chronic refractory osteomyelitis, osteoradionecrosis, soft tissue radionecrosis, compromised grafts and flaps, crush injuries, and carbon monoxide poisoning, and a few other conditions.

Independent centers do offer HBOT for “off-label use.” One such center Oxford Recovery Center in Michigan uses HBOT for dozens of conditions, including fibromyalgia.

– See more at: http://althealthworks.com/8794/researchers-discover-cause-and-successful-treatment-for-fibromyalgiayelena/#sthash.fWrSPpm1.dpuf

Himalayan SALT LAMPS Improve Mental Clarity, Air Quality & Sleep Cycles


Salt is a wonderful thing. Not only does it give our food taste and flavor – it also can work wonders for your health. Himalayan pink salt has gained notoriety in the recent years for it numerous health perks. The age old table salt does not hold a candle to this variety. It is being hailed as the king of salts and rightly so because it is pumped with calcium, iron, magnesium as well as potassium.

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All types of wireless systems that we are using today are releasing ions into the environment. This leads to the creation of electronic smog that is continuously harming our body.

These positive ions cause a wide range of other health problems like mental issues, insomnia, and allergies to name a few. All these health hazards appear because this electronic smog is more than 20 times higher than what our brain is capable of withstanding. It is critical that we start neutralizing these harmful ions. These are positive ions. So you must create negative ions to neutralize them!

G.S. Rahi, associate professor of Physical Science at Fayetteville State University, had the following to say in regards to the benefits of Himalayan pink salt.

They say salt is the earth’s mineral, but even better than regular (sodium laden) table salt, Himalayan pink salt has a wide variety of health benefits as, it contains, calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium and highly regarded as the king of the all salts.

Apparently, chunks of pink salt (as lamps) produce ions and can help you with migraines, some skin conditions, insomnia, allergies and other disorders.

What can neutralize positive ions?

Study find that placing salt lamps around your home can work wonders to reduce the amount of unhealthy positive ions in your home.

How can you get the negative ions out of the Himalayan salts?

The solution lies in using a Himalayan salt lamp. It comes fitted with everything you will need. It has a bulb and salt, and the bulb will heat the salt and release the negative ions.

When there is high humidity, the salt can turn humid. But the heat from the bulb can evaporate the moisture. It will neutralize and remove all the positive ions from your environment.

How an Anti-Inflammatory Diet Can Relieve Pain as You Age


If you suffer from chronic pain, experts say a diet makeover with a focus on vegetables can have a dramatic effect.

Patients who follow strict vegan or Mediterranean diets have seen a complete turnaround in their pain symptoms, according to pain management specialist William Welches, DO.  He says getting regular exercise, controlling stress and eating healthy foods all work together to reduce inflammation and chronic pain.

“Research shows that diet should be an integral part of a pain management program — especially as patients age,” says Dr. Welches. “A vegan or Mediterranean diet — or healthier eating inspired by these diets — can control insulin and cholesterol levels and reduce inflammation — which is the pain culprit.”

 

Painful inflammation is body’s response to toxins

Inflammation is the body’s immune response to toxins as it works to “purify” itself. The resulting inflammation not only causes pain in the body. Over time, it also can trigger chronic diseases, such as heart disease and strokes, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and even depression.

There are many ways to treat and manage chronic pain. One of the most exciting approaches, however — because it is all natural — is adopting an anti-inflammatory diet. The other options for pain don’t always work. Many patients don’t benefit from neural (nerve) blocks, and medication therapy often leads to undesired side effects.

An anti-inflammatory diet, however, often eliminates the unpleasant side effects of some medications that cause fogginess, memory loss and sleepiness.

“Following an anti-inflammatory diet is powerful therapy for pain control with many beneficial side effects,” Dr. Welches says. “The anti-inflammatory diet is considered an integrative approach to pain management, along with exercise, stress management, osteopathic manipulation therapy and acupuncture.”

A good amount of research also shows that an anti-inflammatory diet can ease fibromyalgia and chronic pain symptoms.

The three diet basics you need to know

Dr. Welches advocates the following three basic diet guidelines, noting that physicians should encourage all of their patients to consider them:

  1. Eat the rainbow: Consume eight to nine servings of vegetables each day — make a couple of those servings fruit, if you like. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower are best.
  2. Restrict dairy and grains: Eat dairy products in limited quantities. When choosing grains, stay away from simple carbohydrates with refined sugar. Opt for whole grains, including barley, buckwheat, oats, quinoa, brown rice, rye, spelt and wheat.
  3. Avoid red meat: Eat red meat the way most of us eat turkey right now — twice a year, Dr. Welches says. Have it on very special occasions, very infrequently. Instead, include fish as the “meat” or eat vegetarian main dishes. Chicken is neutral — not harmful but not beneficial in the anti-inflammatory sense.

How an Anti-Inflammatory Diet Can Relieve Pain as You Age

Take these additional steps to enhance your results

To make your diet part of an integrative lifestyle built to reduce chronic pain and reduce or eliminate inflammation, Dr. Welches recommends these additional priorities:

  • Get down to your ideal weight; weight loss on its own is anti-inflammatory.
  • Get daily exercise in the form of walking.
  • Manage stress.

It is the diet, not the individual foods, that control inflammation, he says.

“For a chronic pain patient who is suffering, I recommend the extreme form of the diet — so that is no red meat, no flour or sugar or simple carbohydrate and no dairy,” he says.

Exercise is an added benefit, particularly if people are overweight. “If there is any extra weight, you will need to lose it,” he says.

Ultimately, what you need to know is that inflammation comes from a biochemical reaction initiated by your immune system or wound-healing coagulation system, Dr. Welches says.

Specific foods can promote or shut down the inflammatory cycle. For instance, simple carbohydrates promote it, while vegetables shut it down.

“Nutrition that supports a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods is the key to anti-inflammation and chronic pain management,” Dr. Welches says. “Although there are no magic foods, putting the right combination of foods into your diet can produce remarkable results.”

Yet Another Disease That Responds Better to Marijuana Than Prescription Drugs .


For the estimated five million Americans suffering from  Fibromyalgia (FM), a chronic pain condition of unknown etiology, pain, fatigue, and depression are often a way of life. Though the US Food and Drug Administration has approved a small number of drugs to treat symptoms of FM, many patients report that these prescription pills provide little relief. By contrast, more and more patients with FM are finding effective relief from medical cannabis.

So say the results of a  recent online survey of over 1,300 subjects conducted by  The National Pain Foundation and NationalPainReport.com. Among those surveyed, 379 subjects said that they had used cannabis therapeutically. Sixty-two percent of them rated the substance to be “very effective” in the treatment of their condition. Only five percent of said that cannabis did “not work at all.”

By comparison, among those FM patients who had used Cymbalta (Duloxene), only eight percent rated the drug as “very effective,” and 60 percent said it did “not work at all.” Among those who had used Lyrica (Pregabalin), ten percent said that drug was “very effective,” versus 61 percent who reported no relief. Among those who had used Savella (Milnacipran), ten percent rated the drug as effective, and 68 percent said it was ineffective.

Commenting on the survey results, Dr. Mark Ware — associate professor in family medicine and anesthesia at McGill University in Montreal — told the National Pain Report, “We desperately need someone to step up and explore this potential for the efficacy of cannabis.”

Ware, whose own clinical research  has demonstrated inhaled pot’s efficacy in subjects with hard-to-treat refractory pain, added: “The scientific rationale is there. There are some early preliminary, proof-of-concept clinical trials that demonstrate cannabis may be effective. Now your study adds additional weight that patients are reporting that cannabis may be better than the existing therapies. I think that this really should provide incentives for researchers to take a hard look at clinical trials to really explore that in much more detail.”

Some investigators already have. In 2006,  German scientists reported that the administration of oral THC significantly reduced both chronic and experimentally induced pain in patients with fibromyalgia. Subjects in the trial were administered daily doses of 2.5 to 15 mg of THC, but received no other pain medication during the study. Among those participants who completed the trial, all reported significant reductions in daily pain and electronically induced pain.

More recently, Spanish researchers assessed the use of cannabis treatment of Fibromyalgia. A cursory review of the results indicates why so many FM patients are preferring pot over pills.

Investigators reported, “The use of cannabis was associated with beneficial effects on some FM symptoms. … After two hours of cannabis use, VAS (visual analogue scales) scores showed a statistically significant reduction of pain and stiffness, enhancement of relaxation, and an increase in somnolence and feeling of well being.”

They concluded, “We observe significant improvement of symptoms of FM in patients using cannabis in this study although there was a variability of patterns. This information, together with evidence of clinical trials and emerging knowledge of the endocannabinoid system and the role of the stress system in the pathophysiology of FM suggest a new approach to the suffering of these patients.”

Fibromyalgia symptoms or not? Understand the fibromyalgia diagnosis process.


Fibromyalgia symptoms often mimic those of other conditions. Determining the true cause of your symptoms is key to receiving proper treatment.

Fibromyalgia symptoms include widespread body pain, fatigue, poor sleep and mood problems. But all of these symptoms are common to many other diseases. And because fibromyalgia symptoms can occur alone or along with other diseases, it can take time to tease out which symptom is caused by what problem. To make things even more confusing, fibromyalgia symptoms can come and go over time.

That’s why it can take a long time to go from fibromyalgia symptoms to a fibromyalgia diagnosis.

No specific test for fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia can’t be easily confirmed or ruled out through a simple laboratory test. Your doctor can’t detect it in your blood or see it on an X-ray. Instead, fibromyalgia appears to be linked to changes in how the brain and spinal cord process pain signals and how the body handles stress signals.

Because there is no test for fibromyalgia, your doctor must rely solely on your group of symptoms to make a diagnosis.

In the American College of Rheumatology guidelines for diagnosing fibromyalgia, one of the criteria is widespread pain throughout your body for at least three months. “Widespread” is defined as pain on both sides of your body, as well as above and below your waist.

Old guidelines required tender points

Fibromyalgia is also often characterized by additional pain when firm pressure is applied to specific areas of your body, called tender points. In the past, at least 11 of these 18 spots had to test positive for tenderness to diagnose fibromyalgia.

But fibromyalgia symptoms can come and go, so a person might have 11 tender spots one day but only eight tender spots on another day. And many family doctors were uncertain about how much pressure to apply during a tender point exam. While specialists or researchers may still use tender points, an alternative set of guidelines has been developed for doctors to use in general practice. These newer diagnostic criteria include:

  • Widespread pain lasting at least three months
  • Presence of other symptoms such as fatigue, waking up tired and trouble thinking
  • No other underlying condition that might be causing the symptoms

Excluding other possible causes

It’s important to determine whether your symptoms are caused by some other underlying problem. Common culprits include:

  • Rheumatic diseases. Disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome and lupus all can begin with generalized aches and pain.
  • Mental health problems. Disorders such as depression and anxiety often feature generalized aches and pain.
  • Neurological disorders. In some people, fibromyalgia causes numbness and tingling, symptoms that mimic those of disorders such as multiple sclerosis and myasthenia gravis.

Tests that may be needed

While there is no lab test to confirm a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, your doctor may want to rule out other conditions that may have similar symptoms. Blood tests may include:

Your doctor may also perform a careful physical exam of your muscles and joints, as well as a neurological exam to look for other causes of your symptoms. If there’s a chance that you may be suffering from sleep apnea, your doctor may recommend a sleep study.

More clues for fibromyalgia diagnosis

People who have fibromyalgia also often wake up tired, even after they’ve slept continuously for more than eight hours. Brief periods of physical or mental exertion may leave them exhausted. They may also have problems with short-term memory and the ability to concentrate. If you have these problems, your doctor may ask you to rank how severely they affect your day-to-day activities.

Fibromyalgia often coexists with other health problems, so your doctor may also ask if you experience:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Headaches
  • Jaw pain
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Frequent or painful urination

Possible fibromyalgia triggers

In some cases, fibromyalgia symptoms begin shortly after a person has experienced a mentally or physically traumatic event, such as a car wreck. People who have post-traumatic stress disorder appear to be more likely to develop fibromyalgia, so your doctor may ask if you’ve experienced any traumatic events recently.

Because a genetic factor appears to be involved in fibromyalgia, your doctor may also want to know if any other members of your immediate family have experienced similar symptoms.

All this information taken together will give your doctor a much better idea of what may be causing your symptoms. And that determination is crucial to developing an effective treatment plan.

  • Source: Mayo clinic house call