There are many supplements available to the pain patient that may naturally relieve inflammation and thereby reduce pain. Supplements can by no means cure your pain, but can certainly aid in easing your discomfort.
Perhaps the most popular supplement, Vitamin C is often touted as the key to prevention of the common cold. Recent studies have shown that Vitamin C also has benefits for the chronic pain patient. According to Medline Plus, a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine, Vitamin C is essential in tissue reconstruction and the production of collagen and cartilage, and as such, is the base building block in the body’s healing process. If Vitamin C is not a part of your daily supplement regimen, it may be beneficial to your chronic pain to add it.
Those suffering from fibromyalgia often experience insomnia, depression and chronic fatigue as symptoms in addition to pain. Hydroxytryptophan is marketed as 5-HTP, a serotonin inhibitor. WebMD lists serotonin as a hormone that balances mood and sleep patterns; this being the case, the lack of serotonin is widely considered to be linked to insomnia and depression, symptoms which most fibromyalgia patients suffer from. By taking 5-HTP, fibromyalgia patients may find those symptoms to be alleviated.
Though calcium is well known to aid in the stop of bone density loss, calcium is also vital in many of the body’s basic processes. According to the National Institutes of Health via the Office of Dietary Supplements, calcium is important to the contraction of muscles, regulation of the heartbeat, transmission of nerve signals, and aids in normal clotting of the blood. Calcium helps the contraction of muscles, regulation of the heartbeat, transmission of nerve signals, and aids in normal clotting of the blood.If there is not enough calcium present in the body to carry out these functions, your body will begin taking calcium from your bones, which will cause a deficit and leads to bone density loss.
An article on Drugs.com urges you to think of Vitamin D and calcium as a combination supplement and consistently take both together, as one without the other is nowhere near as effective as both together. Vitamin D is essential in the absorption of calcium, and without enough calcium, bones can weaken, leading to more pain. Calcium is available not only in supplement form, but is found in dairy, some dark green vegetables, and drinks that have been calcium fortified. Vitamin D is often called the “sunshine vitamin,” as your skin absorbs the vitamin from sun exposure, obtaining the required amount in just 10-15 minutes a day in the direct sunlight. However, with the cancer-causing effect sun exposure may have, many people make sure to wear sunscreen when outdoors. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, sunscreen with an SPF as low as 8 can reduce the body’s production of vitamin D by 95 percent. Because of this, vitamin D may need to be obtained from a supplement or from food. Vitamin D is available from fortified products like milk, yogurt and orange juice, as well as fish and egg yolks. When purchasing an item that claims it is fortified with either calcium or Vitamin D, be sure to read the product labels, as the Vitamin D and calcium that has been added to the product varies.
Chondrotin Sulfate is a well known supplement for arthritis, osteoarthritis and osteoporosis patients. According to Arthritistoday.org, chondroitin sulfate is believed to promote collagen properties associated with absorption of impact on joints. Taken concurrently with glucosamine, the combination has been shown to actually decrease pain and slow the progression of arthritis. The two supplements can be found in combination pills or taken separately at the same time. Glucosamine is found naturally in healthy cartilage, but diminishes with the presence of conditions like osteoarthritis. Mayoclinic.com shows that those who take glucosamine show improvement in knee osteoarthritis in particular, and often take lower doses of anti-inflammatory medications like aspirin and ibuprofen.
The WebMD Arthritis Health Center recommends glucosamine to those patients suffering from joint issues like arthritis. Be aware, however, that patients did not report a decrease in pain until they had been on the supplement for at least six to eight weeks. Made from glucose and the amino acid glutamine, glucosamine is found naturally in the body and is needed to produce the molecule used in the formation and repair of cartilage and other body tissues. Researchers in a recent study found glucosamine had slowed the progression of knee osteoarthritis in addition to alleviating pain and stiffness.
Before taking any supplement, always consult your physician. Though these supplements are herb based, they can still cause adverse reactions with prescription drugs and other supplements and vitamins.
National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements
Medline Plus – A service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine
National Osteoporosis Foundation