Fibromyalgia and chronic muscle pain: caused by shortage of pain relieving natural substance palmitoylethanolamide

In May 2013, Swedish researchers found a cause of pain for fibromyalgia and chronic muscle pains. It is a shortage of a pain relieving substance produced by the body’s cells, Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA).

A new treatment for fibromyalgia is now possible using the body’s own supplement palmitoylethanolamide. And now we understand why this is a good idea!

Fibromyalgia: an unpleasant condition that takes away a lot of joy in life! University researchers looked at the levels of PEA in painful muscles of fibromyalgia patients and compared that with the PEA levels in the muscles of healthy people. [1]

They had the patients with chronic muscle pain, like fibromyalgia, do a few mild muscles exercises. Due to the activity of the muscles, the production of the pain relieving substance PEA increased, more for the chronic pain patients compared to healthy volunteers. However, after the exercise the level of the pain relieving substance dropped more in the muscles of the chronic pain patients than in the muscles of the volunteers.

Fibromyalgia: low levels of PEA after muscle exertion

PEA as a body’s own pain reliever was discovered last century and PEA has been tested as a pain killer and anti-inflammatory substance on thousands of patients. The pure PEA is available as supplement under the brand name PeaCure. The supplement can be used without any problems, as negative side effects have not been reported.

The authors closed the article with:

The observation of the present study that chronic widespread pain does not trigger synthesis of the NAE’s (endogenous painkillers such as PEA) raises the possibility that chronic widespread pain patients could be helped by administration of exogenous PEA, which has been shown to have a good safety profile.

Or in short: During chronic pain like in fibromyalgia there is a shortage of palmitoylethanolamide and taking a supplement of this substance is useful, especially because the substance is very safe.


[1] Ghafouri N, Ghafouri B, Larsson B, Stensson N, Fowler CJ, Gerdle B. |Palmitoylethanolamide and stearoylethanolamide levels in the interstitium of the trapezius muscle of women with chronic widespread pain and chronic neck-shoulder pain correlate with pain intensity and sensitivity. | Pain. | 2013 Sep;154(9):1649-58. doi: 10.1016/j.pain.2013.05.002. Epub 2013 May 14.

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