I sometimes feel boxing analogies are overdone: “He threw in the towel” (he gave up) or “He’s got a glass jaw” (he can’t take a hit).
When it comes to fibromyalgia pain I like to get in “fighting mode” for my patients and deal with a knockout blow to their pain. The good news for you is that we have found a one-two punch treatment that reduces or eliminates fibromyalgia pain.
The use of magnesium for fibromyalgia as a natural pain reliever has been underestimated by the medical community. Magnesium is an essential mineral for many physiological functions (see my earlier post on Magnificent Magnesium), but it can help the pain in many ways.
Magnesium has long been known to be a muscle relaxer. This is why Epsom Salt baths are a very old-fashioned remedy to relieve the aches and pains of hard, physical labor. And with good reason too – it works!
The largest magnesium bath in the world is the Dead Sea in Israel. People travel from all over the world with arthritis and body pains to bathe in the mysterious water filled with minerals that literally let you float in the water without moving your arms or legs.
There Is Good News…
You don’t have to jump on an airplane to immerse your body in magnesium. In our practice, we use intravenous magnesium for fibromyalgia to replenish the body’s magnesium stores in the cells. Replenishing these magnesium stores gives pain relief.
Another interesting way magnesium has been proven to relieve pain is not just in muscles but in the brain itself. The brain is known to have pain receptors, and one that is becoming better understood is the NMDA receptor.
This receptor when stimulated causes pain and when it is blocked reduces pain sensation. The pharmaceutical companies have taken advantage of this concept and devised drugs that block the NMDA receptor. The problem is that while these drugs can be effective they are very potent, and in some cases (like ketamine) are only given in a hospital intensive care unit.
Magnesium for fibromyalgia also blocks the NMDA receptor in high doses without the side-effects of these drugs. Taking magnesium orally through supplements can’t achieve these high levels, but it still can’t hurt to supplement with magnesium. The key is to use the correct forms of magnesium. The best is magnesium taurate or magnesium malate for fibromyalgia. These typically offer the most efficient absorption. Magnesium citrate, which is the most commonly found is a good laxative but not for maximum absorption.
The Left Hook
A jab can shock your opponent, but the “left hook” can put him on the ground. As a complementary treatment to the intravenous magnesium, we have found that by giving injections of gamma globulin we have been able to get our most severe fibromyalgia patients frequently out of pain.
How does gamma globulin work? My background in immunology gave me experience in seeing how this miraculous substance cuts down on inflammation in the body, without the common side-effects of drugs like cortisone.
Gamma globulin was originally only used for immune-deficient children like “The Bubble Boy”, but over the years doctors and researchers found it helped many nerve and autoimmune conditions where the body was being attacked by an infection or unknown substance.
The main problem of gamma globulin in the old days was cost. It cost $20,000 for a single intravenous infusion! Today, the gamma injections are just a few hundred dollars.
In addition to this One-Two punch, at our practice, we give our fibromyalgia patients a special anti-inflammatory diet to follow along with specific supplements, such as fish oils and probiotics. We have had patients travel to see us from Texas, Argentina, and Israel for these treatments. Fibromyalgia doesn’t have geographic constraints.
It is our goal that by the time you finish your fibromyalgia treatments your fibro pain has two black eyes!
– Dr. Dean Mitchell