Melatonin is a natural substance that people tend to take for better sleep – but it may also be effective at calming chronic pain too
FIBROMYALGIA can have a devasting impact on sufferers’ lives.
The chronic pain condition, which celebs like Lady Gaga, Kirsty Young and Sinead O’Connor have, has no treatment – so people often have to just leave with the headaches, tiredness and muscle stiffness.
But scientists now believe that taking melatonin might help improve fibromyalgia patients’ quality of life.
Oral doses of the sleep aid have been found to improve mood, decrease anxiety and stress levels in those with the condition.
People with fibromyalgia tend to have mood disorders and mental conditions which can severely impact their quality of life.
Without specific treatments, patients are forced to use painkillers, sleeping tablets and anti-anxiety medications.
But melatonin is a natural substance that has all of these properties build in.
And according to a new study, it’s been shown to have positive results in fibromyalgia patients, Fibromyalgia News Today reports.
Scientists got 36 women aged 40-60 (all suffering from fibromyalgia) to start a 110-day trial. For ten days, they didn’t receive any treatment and that was then followed by five rounds of melatonin treatment.
Each round involved taking the substance for ten days in a row, followed by a placebo for ten days.
Every ten days, the women then filled out surveys to help evaluate their physical and psychological symptoms, pain levels and mood, and handed in urine samples to measure stress levels.
Scientists found that melatonin improved mood, pain levels, and quality of life and caused a slight reduction in anxiety – and the best responses were obtained with the higher doses.
Patients also reported that the treatment improved their family and social relations, state of mind and fitness.
Cortisol (stress) levels decrease significantly when patients were given a mid-to-high dose of the substance.
They also said that they “did observe slight dose-dependent improvements in some variables with lower doses, though these changes were not statistically significant”.
More research is needed to examine exactly how long and how much of it should be used to best treat fibromyalgia but it’s a promising start.