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SAM-e for fibromyalgia: Studies reveal advantages of supplement

Lana Bandoim's picture

SAM-e is also known as S-adenosylmethionine, and it has become a popular supplement. This amino acid has been used by patients seeking relief from depression, anxiety, pain, headaches, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia and other health problems. Although researchers continue to debate the efficacy of this supplement, patients have reported an improvement in their fibromyalgia symptoms after using the treatment.


Understanding S-adenosylmethionine

SAM-e has multiple names in the supplement world. It is known as SAMe, S-adenosylmethionine, ademetionine, and it is also seen under other terms. The amino acid is made in the body, but many have turned to supplements to increase their levels. The Mayo Clinic points out that SAM-e has been used to treat a variety of ailments and continues to be investigated for other uses.

Patients who suffer from depression and anxiety have reported feeling better after using this supplement. Studies show that SAM-e can raise the amount of serotonin in the brain. In addition, it has been used to treat osteoarthritis, bile flow issues, headaches and other issues. SAM-e has been used by fibromyalgia patients to reduce pain. Unfortunately, it is difficult to get it from food, so supplements have become popular.

Research on Fibromyalgia and SAM-e

The University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) reports that several studies have shown the ability of SAM-e to reduce pain. However, there is conflicting research on fibromyalgia and SAM-e because some studies show a benefit while others do not show any improvement. The University of Maryland Medical Center suggests that more research is necessary to determine the impact of using S-adenosylmethionine supplements to treat fibromyalgia. Nevertheless, preliminary research reveals that some patients report a reduction in pain, fatigue, depression and stiffness after using the supplement.

SAM-e is available in multiple forms including tablets, pills and capsules. UMMC recommends that patients discuss the supplement with their doctor before taking it and begin with a low dose. The recommended dosage for fibromyalgia patients is 400 mg twice a day. You can increase the dose, but it should be done gradually because of the risk of side effects.

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Known Side Effects

There are several side effects associated with SAM-e, and the most common complaints include skin rashes, anxiety, stomach problems and dry mouth. Other side effects include nausea, headache, gas, insomnia and mania. This supplement is not recommended for women who are pregnant or breast feeding. In addition, patients who suffer from mental health problems should consult their doctor before taking it.

SAM-e should not be combined with antidepressants, MAOIs and painkillers. It is possible for dangerous drug interactions to occur, so you should discuss all of your medications and supplements with a doctor before taking your first dose of S-adenosylmethionine.

Combining SAM-e with Other Supplements

It is recommended that patients who take SAM-e combine it with other important supplements such as vitamin B-12. You may also want to consider taking folic acid and vitamin B6 because they can help with absorption. A study from The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition points out that diet alone is not enough to get SAM-e.

Bedtime and SAM-e

It is important to carefully time your intake of SAM-e supplements. You do not want to take the supplements close to your bedtime because they may interfere with your ability to get rest. They can increase your energy and improve your mood, so it is more difficult to fall asleep. Some doctors recommend that patients take SAM-e early in the morning or before lunch. Before you take the supplement, you should discuss all of your medications, supplements and treatments with a doctor and find a routine that works with your schedule.