Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue affect 5 million Americans. While there are no cures for fibromyalgia, many sufferers benefit by supplementing with vitamin B12, which supports cognitive balance and boosts stamina.
May 12th was Fibromyalgia Awareness Day. If you suffer from fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome, learn how vitamin B12 can help alleviate some of the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
What are the symptoms of fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a chronic neurological illness which causes excruciating pain and muscular weakness where no sign of injury or inflammation is apparent. Researchers are stumped as to the origin of this disease or how to cure it.
Chronic fibromyalgia pain is lifelong, and often takes a toll on job performance and relationships with friends and family. Medicine for fibromyalgia patients usually consists of pain medication, opiates or antidepressants.
Some common fibromyalgia symptoms are:
- Chronic, widespread musculoskeletal pain
- Heart palpitations
- Short-term memory loss
- Chronic migraines
- Numbness and tingling in hand, arms, legs and feet
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Sinus/allergy symptoms, such as runny nose, sore throat, coughing and sneezing
- Chronic fatigue
- Altered taste perception
- Dry, itchy skin
- Blurred vision
- Joint pain
- Restless leg syndrome
- Morning stiffness
What is chronic fatigue syndrome?
Chronic fatigue syndrome, or CFS is a neurological disorder which causes profound exhaustion.
Unlike ordinary tiredness which can be slept off, chronic fatigue is not alleviated by sleep. Chronic fatigue syndrome shares many of the same symptoms as fibromyalgia, such as insomnia, muscular pain, headaches, sore throat and short-term memory loss.
Non-drug alternatives for chronic fatigue sufferers may include stress reduction, vitamin supplementation and physical therapy.
The CFS-fibromyalgia link
Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome are both neurological conditions, and it is common for individuals suffering from chronic pain and fatigue to be diagnosed with both. Studies linking fibromyalgia with chronic fatigue have confirmed a strong correlation.
- About 75% of all fibromyalgia patients experience extreme fatigue.
- 94% of individuals diagnosed with chronic fatigue also report suffering from extreme muscular pain.
- Studies linking the two conditions together have also noted that women make up the majority of both fibromyalgia pain sufferers and chronic fatigue patients.
Vitamin B12, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue
Numerous studies have linked vitamin B12 deficiency with increased risk for fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms.
While nobody claims that vitamin B12 deficiency causes fibromyalgia, experts have nevertheless noticed improved cognitive and metabolic health when vitamin B12 shots are administered to sufferers of fibromyalgia.
Scientists have also noted low vitamin B12 levels where fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue occur, in addition to elevated levels of homocysteine, another common factor in chronic pain and vitamin B12 deficiency, and a possible risk for heart attack and stroke.
Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms are similar to many symptoms associated with chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, including:
- muscular soreness, and
- numbness or tingling in hands and feet.
For that reason, nutritionists advise vitamin B12 as one of the most crucial supplements for sufferers of chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia.