Your online resource for objective Fibromyalgia information
Whether you have only recently learned that you have Fibromyalgia, or you have been living with it for years, you’ll find information on here to keep you updated with developments in the treatment field, including medical research and health news. Our ongoing dialogue with our customers enables us to keep providing you with information and support. Look out for our quarterly newsletter (sign up on the left menu) and articles from leading experts in the field. You can find general health information in our Newsroom, in which you’ll find our news releases, articles and media cuttings archive.
Fibromyalgia is a common ‘rheumatic’ disorder associated with extreme pain arising from muscles, tendons and ligaments. It can affect up to 7% of the population. Alongside the presence of chronic widespread symptoms it is not unusual to experience a sensation of poor circulation or an apparent feeling of swollen hands and feet, often accompanied by tingling and numbness in the fingers and toes. Individuals may also suffer from headaches, have poor concentration or lack of memory and they may even feel irritable or depressed.
The cause of Fibromyalgia is generally unknown but it is thought to arise from an abnormal response to stress. During a stressful experience there is a complex set of interactions between the hypothalamus (a part of the brain), the pituitary gland (also part of the brain) and the adrenal glands (at the top of each kidney). Several types of neurotransmitters are involved in this system, collectively known as the HPA-axis. It is thought that the HPA-axis is dysfunctional in individuals with Fibromyalgia. Sufferers can have numerous abnormalities in their hormonal, metabolic and brain-chemical activity. These include levels of serotonin and melatonin (both involved in the sleep cycle and mood), cortisol and noradrenaline (stress hormones), growth hormone (involved in bone and muscle growth), and the chemical messengers substance P (associated with pain perception) and cytokines (involved in immune system response regulation and the inflammatory process). As with many conditions, genetic predisposition may increase an individual’s risk of developing Fibromyalgia.
Cytokine production falls into two categories: inflammatory and anti-inflammatory. There is increasing evidence that inflammatory cytokines register are high in fibromyalgia patients, which may explain many of the associated symptoms such as fatigue, fever, lack of sleep, pain, and aching. Consuming EPA and GLA can reduce the numbers of pro-inflammatory cytokines and alleviate pain associated with fibromyalgia. Individuals with fibromyalgia often rely on using selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) to improve mood, help relieve pain, fatigue and sleep problems. Studies suggest that a combination of EPA and GLA have the same effects as SSRIs and can therefore provide relief from the symptoms of fibromyalgia but without the side effects associated with pharmaceutical products.
Adults and children aged twelve years and over should take 2 capsules of E-EPA 90 daily for a period of three months. This initial ‘restore’ phase of the treatment programme should then be followed by a long-term ‘maintenance’ treatment of 4 capsules of Vegepa E-EPA 70 daily. For children we recommend Vegepa E-EPA 70 Orange Chewables. Adults and children aged eight years and over should take 4-6 capsules daily. For vegetarians, our Echiomega supplement provides a more effective solution than flaxseed oil, with higher conversion to the important long-chain fatty acid EPA.
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