Seratonin is a neurotransmitter which is a chemical in the brain that passes between nerves. It plays a very important role in maintaining mood, and it is involved in migraine headache symptoms. Seratonin is also found to be a neurotransmitter involved in fibromyalgia but the exact mechanism hasn't been worked out yet.
Did you know that too much stress can cause low levels of seratonin? This of course can lead to depression, increased aggitation and anxiety. In addition, lack of exercise can exaserbate low seratonin. Increasing your exercise, therefore, can have a calming effect by raising seratonin levels. Having stable levels of seratonin in the brain results in a better mood and less anxiety.
Regular exercise can also boost levels of epinephrine and norepinephrine which are two other neurotransmitters involved in maintaining mood.
Women And Seratonin
Women appear to be more sensitive to levels of seratonin. These levels also fluctuate during menses and can contribute to the symptoms of PMS.
There are other factors that can increase seratonin in addition to exercise. Sunlight,some hormones, and carbohydrates all increase seratonin (doesn't mean you can eat a pound of pasta!)
Types Of Exercises For FibromyalgiaAny type of stretches for fibromyalgia will help reduce the pain. This includes yoga, tai chi, and some pilates. Swimming in a heated pool will also help reduce pain.
Keep in mind that this routine must become just that..a routine. You should exercise 20-30 minutes, 3-4 times a week in order to reduce symptoms of fibromyalgia and increase mood. This is amount needed to keep seratonin levels optimum. If you can manage it, aerobic exercise should be also incorporated, perhaps using a bike. Keep in mind that you most probably will not be able to just start out at this level of exercise, rather you will have to work up to it. Many of my patients started by entering a swimming program, then added in water aerobics.
Important: It may take up to 90 days to see a change in your pain levels. Your mood may start to improve after a couple of weeks and the pain should start decreasing, but don't give up on the exercise just because the change doesn't occur overnight. Exercises for fibromyalgia really can help! Before you start you may want to investigate fibromyalgia treatments that you can do yourself.
Learn more about the early symptoms of fibromyalgia.