Fibromyalgia is an illness in which there is generalized pain, fatigue, and muscle aches. It is seen more often in women than men, and the cause is unknown. Many studies have been done without a generally accepted etiology of the problem being found. The studies have relied on blood and urine tests, primarily.
Hair analysis tests for minerals have not been systematically studied as a reflection of mineral abnormalities of the body. In this study, patients with fibromyalgia and healthy controls were compared through hair analysis, looking for consistent abnormalities. Forty-four female patients were studied. Hair was collected from the back of the head, using the 3.8 cm. of hair closest to the head.
The forty-four fibromyalgia patients were matched with normal control patients who were tested for comparison. Diagnosis was based on guidelines of the American College of Rheumatology. The groups were matched for age and BMI (body mass index). The hair minerals between the two groups showed differences in calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and manganese, with the fibromyalgia patients showing significantly lower levels.
Previous studies of the minerals of blood and of urine in fibromyalgia have not shown specific abnormalities, but low calcium levels can cause muscle spasms and cramps. Also, most people with muscle pain or fibromyalgia show normal calcium in the blood and urine. Serum calcium can be normal even though calcium is abnormal inside the cells. One study has shown that calcium inside of cells is significantly lower in fibromyalgia compared to healthy patients. Low intracellular calcium can cause increased muscle tone.
Low magnesium (hypomagnesemia) blood levels can cause weakness and cramps. This may interfere with the production of vitamin D, which leads to low calcium levels, causing spasms and cramps.
Studies have shown that in fibromyalgia there are low levels of antioxidant activity. Copper, zinc and manganese are important antioxidants, and these minerals are often low in the hair analysis of fibromyalgia patients.
CONCLUSION: Hair analyses in women with fibromyalgia show low levels of calcium, magnesium, iron, copper and manganese. There has not been a study as to whether supplementation with these minerals would relieve the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
NOTE: Levels of minerals on hair analysis differ from those in urine and blood. The minerals are more concentrated in the hair and represent exposure to minerals over a longer period of time than do tests of urine and blood.
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Summary #955. nutrientmedicine