From my own experience with fibromyalgia, I know how frustrating the generality of some symptoms can be. Fatigue? Chronic pain? There are so many things that cause these things, and there are so many things out there claiming to be the solution.
But, before running off for more medications or topicals, it’s a good idea to check if your body is low on important vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients since that could be contributing to your fibromyalgia symptoms.
How Vitamins and Minerals Interact With the Body
Nutrients like vitamins and minerals are a necessity for the body. Without them, the body can’t function properly. Not getting enough nutrients leads to diseases, weakened body systems, and just overall not feeling your best. And the body can’t produce enough of them on its own.
So it’s up to us to ensure our bodies are getting the nutrients they need.
How Common are Deficiencies?
Vitamin and mineral deficiencies are more common than most people think, even in developed countries like the United States where foods and products with these essentials are easy to find. Part of the reason for this is people not monitoring their diet or eating unhealthily.
You can find more information about nutrient levels in the U.S. population at https://www.cdc.gov/nutritionreport/.
Nicknamed the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D is produced when the body interacts with sunlight. Vitamin D and calcium work together to strengthen bones, keeping the skeletal system healthy. What does this have to do with fibromyalgia? Well, check out what vitamin D deficiency can do to the body.
Lowered immunity to getting sick
Slower wound healing
Some of those symptoms sound familiar? If you have fibromyalgia and are vitamin D deficient, you could be experiencing overlapping symptoms, almost like doubling their impact.
You can increase your vitamin D levels by going outside without sunscreen, eating more eggs and fish, drinking vitamin D enhanced milk, and taking a supplement.
B vitamins, especially B12, are known for contributing to energy levels. And I’m sure all of us with fibromyalgia could use more energy in our daily lives. What are the symptoms of B12 deficiency?
Shortness of breath
Loss of appetite, constipation or diarrhea
Depression, behavior changes, or memory loss
Again, some of these symptoms are the same as symptoms you can experience with fibromyalgia.
Foods rich in B12 include meat, eggs, dairy products, and fortified cereals.
Unless you’ve been low on magnesium for a while, you won’t experience many symptoms. However, ongoing magnesium deficiency can lead to the following problems.
Muscle spasms (extreme cases)
Stress on your heart
Something else is that not getting enough magnesium compromises your levels of calcium and potassium.
Magnesium is easy to find in foods. It’s found in nuts, whole grains, milk, bananas, and salmon. Also, you can absorb magnesium through the skin if you take a magnesium epsom salt bath.
This one might not be as familiar to you. Coenzyme Q10 is an enzyme the body naturally produces in the cell. It’s essential for the mitochondria (the power house) of the cell. Low levels of coenzyme Q10 have been found in fibromyalgia patients and contribute to overall fatigue.
Foods like meat, spinach, cauliflower, broccoli, fatty fish, oranges, strawberries, legumes, sesame seeds, and pistachios provide CoQ10.
Getting Your Levels Checked
Checking your nutrient levels is easy. You can get blood and urine testing done through your doctor. If your results show you have deficiencies, your doctor can work with you to find the best way for you to up your levels considering your diet, supplements, and interactions with medications you take on a regular basis.
I know how, once you get used to having fibromyalgia, you can start to chalk up all bodily symptoms to the illness, but this just goes to show some of your symptoms might not be. Also, if your symptoms seem to get worse for no reason, it could be related to something like your nutrient levels. So do yourself a favor and look to see if your levels are deficient. It could end up easing your symptoms. And we all want that.