5Htp for Fibromyalgia … and a dose of morning stiffness thrown in

August 18, 2009 at 1:19 pm | Posted in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) | 3 Comments
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Well I got my 5Htp (5-Hydroxytryptophan) in the post yesterday and gave it a try for the first time last night. 5HTP is a plant extract which is converted to serotonin in the liver, and serotonin, amongst other things, helps to sort out the balance of sleep – the lack of which is suspected to lead to fibromyalgia. It’s all a bit uncertain and unproven but my sister-in-law-to-be, who has had fibromyalgia for some time, reckons it does help her, so I thought I’d give it a try.

Well I certainly slept like a log yesterday and feel better for it today. Whether it was the 5Htp or the fact that I had an exhausting, though thoroughly enjoyable, weekend, I’m not sure! I shall keep using it through the week and see how I go.

One thing I did notice was that for the first time in a long time I woke up with quite a bit of morning stiffness. Luckily that was at 5.40am, so by the time I needed to get up at 7.00 it had worn off (and yes, I did have some sleep between 5.40 and 7.00!)

I do wonder if a more solid, deep and peaceful night’s sleep does lead to more morning stiffness, because my usual sleep is SO disturbed that my body isn’t resting in one place for long, so the joints don’t have the opportunity to get stiff. My consultant did one of those looks over his glasses when I suggested this a while back, but it seems logical to me!



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  1. Thanks for your blog. I’m a novelist and my latest heroine had RA. You helped me get into her head! My daughter, age 24, has RA and Lupus. I have fibro.
    BTW, I rarely move when I sleep because there are so few positions that are truly comfortable. I happen to agree, even if the MD does give you a weird look. If he laid on the same shoulder, in the same position all night it would be stiff and sore. Tell him to give it a try.

  2. Excellent – there’s been a lot of discussion on a number of blogs about the poor press or total lack of press that RA gets, so if your novel can bring a bit of positive press with an RA heroine, hurrah for that! ;o) If you’re daughter’s interested (and not already aware) there’s some great blogs by youngsters (20s mostly) with RA – see the blog roll for some of them.

  3. Hello, NotPollyanna,

    I’m trying to find out whether 5htp is right for a neighbor with Parkinson’s. I’m finding that blogs, like yours, are really helping me. Another I just found mentions 5htp and Pollyanna! The author is John, and he wonders if he is being a Pollyanna in his attitude toward his own Parkinson’s Disease. He also writes a lot about 5htp, and how it has helped with a variety of symptoms. I thought you might want to take a look.
    I send all the very best thoughts to you, NotPollyanna!

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