One of the most common musculoskeletal disorders is also one of the most debilitating. Fibromyalgia has been estimated to affect at least 5.8 million Americans. It is a neurosensory disorder that can cause great frustration to its sufferers, as its symptoms can be so scattered and severe. Fibromyalgia is a medical condition that affects the musculoskeletal system with symptoms that range from heightened responses to pressure to chronic and widespread pain. As it mainly affects the muscles and soft tissues, many people with this disorder describes it simply as an active ache all over the body. Many people who experience symptoms of fibromyalgia are diagnosed properly by extensive study of medical history and a comprehensive physical examination as performed by a medical caregiver. Blood testing may also be used to test for fibromyalgia.
Symptoms that often accompany this disorder include joint pain in addition to chronic muscle pain. Many people who suffer with fibromyalgia experience tremendous fatigue and even sleep problems as caused by the painful expressions of the body or just the disorder manifesting itself in the body’s sleep mechanisms. People with this disorder also often experience painful trigger points throughout the body. It is debilitating not only physically but mentally as well, as fibromyalgia has even been known to lead into depression for some patients and/or social isolation in others. Unfortunately, there is no cure for fibromyalgia as of current, but there are treatments that help to alleviate its symptoms. Patients may be prescribed FDA-approved medications that may target specific symptoms such as pain and sleeplessness. Stress management techniques such a therapeutic massages may also help the body release some of painful symptoms of fibromyalgia. Many people learn how to live with fibromyalgia simply by just changing their lifestyle to add aerobic exercise or to decrease the amount of stress intake.
There has been research that has shed some light on other alternative treatments that might assist in the handling of fibromyalgia symptoms or even the possibility of preventing its onset altogether. There is a master antioxidant produced naturally by human cells that may have a direct role in the development and process of fibromyalgia. This antioxidant is known as glutathione, and it plays an enormous role in the cell’s defense system. Glutathione prevents damage to crucial cellular components caused by oxidative stress. Reactive oxygen species such as free radicals and heavy metals can cause damage to cells, and glutathione acts against these alien components by directly neutralizing them. In addition, glutathione maintains other antioxidants such as Vitamin C and Vitamin E in their active forms. Glutathione is used in many of the body’s metabolic and biochemical reactions and affects many of the body’s systems including the immune and nervous systems.
The role of glutathione in fibromyalgia is evident even in the antioxidant’s effect throughout the body. Studies have shown that people who suffer with fibromyalgia has alarmingly low levels of glutathione. With knowing what glutathione’s role is in the body, it is understandable that with low levels of this antioxidant comes lower protection for every cell in the body. This results to a complete rapid decline in health and wellbeing, especially for someone experiencing the onset of fibromyalgia. Many of those who suffer from the disorder suffer due to the high levels of oxidative free radical stress directly implied on cells. This causes inflammation from the cellular level on to the muscular level, which in turn causes the unforgiving pain that fibromyalgia brings.
For those who have already been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, increasing glutathione in the body can assist with the management of symptoms. Glutathione can assist in maintaining the muscle’s normal aerobic metabolism. This essentially reduces the feelings of pain in the muscles and throughout the body. Glutathione also plays a role in the body’s detoxifying system by enhancing it, while it strengthens the body’s immune system. It also helps in the prevention of fibroids, which can be very painful as well. Glutathione does this by helping the estrogen in the liver to completely break down. With the reduction in inflammation caused by a reduction in cellular oxidative stress, glutathione brings less joint pain and increased flexibility and mobility. Glutathione can help fight fatigue and depression symptoms. It brings a stable and lasting energy, which in turn can lead to deeper and better sleeping patterns.
The benefits of glutathione for those who suffer fibromyalgia are comprehensive and highly useful. Healthy amounts of glutathione mean that the cells are protected from damage and the body is protected as a whole. While the body naturally produces glutathione in the cells, there are many depleting agents that eliminate this powerful antioxidant. Negative agents such as alcohol, caffeine, acetaminophen, and smoking all cause glutathione to disappear from cells, leaving the body susceptible to oxidative stress. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle free from such agents will make sure there is enough glutathione in the body in assisting it from developing such a disorder as fibromyalgia.
By raising levels of glutathione in the body naturally or with the use of precursors, fibromyalgia may finally be put under control. It is imperative to know and understand these benefits in order to take the necessary steps to achieving a well balanced, well maintained, and completely manageable fibromyalgia life. As always, please see your doctor for professional advice.