I am not a doctor. Please speak with your physician if this supplement is right for you or if it will interact with any medications you may be taking.
I have been meaning to sit down to write this post for you for a couple of months, but I also wanted to be sure that what I shared with you was an actual experience with a supplement and not something I wasn’t informed on. If there has been any privilege in going through this experience, it has been hearing that something I have shared has helped you or your family members in some way.
I am so excited though to share with you about a supplement that has GREATLY decreased my joint pain and, truly, given me my quality of life back.
The craziest thing though is that NO ONE is talking about it and it is an affordable solution that has allowed me to kick my pain medication habit to the curb and given me the ability to return to travel and take on work projects again.
In fact, after sharing a post on my personal page on Facebook about how much it had helped me, I had three friends reach out and share with me that they have been able to discontinue their medications for arthritis pain or that this has decreased their symptoms significantly.
The supplement is called MSM and it has helped me SO incredibly much with my joint pain and many of the issues I struggle with when it comes to my Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.
What is MSM?
MSM stands for Methylsulfonylmethane (that’s a mouthful) and has been nicknamed the, “miracle supplement,” because of its ability to lower inflammation, fight the effects of stress and pain, raise immunity and increase energy levels.
At its root it is an an organic sulfur-containing compound that can be contained naturally in some green vegetables and other food products, but not at the levels that you would find within the supplement itself. While its presence can be found in many of the foods we eat, it is quickly lost during the cooking process. That is why it is so valuable in supplement form.
The reason so many benefits are attributed to the MSM supplement is because MSM provides biologically active sulfur, which is the fourth most plentiful mineral in the body and needed for many different critical bodily functions every single day. MSM is especially popular as part of an arthritis diet and supplementation plan to treat arthritis or osteoarthritis/degenerative joint disease since it helps form connective tissue and repair joints, tendons and ligaments. (source)
Is it Clinically Proven to Help Anything?
Supplements are always a tricky territory, aren’t they? I am a big believer though that many supplements have the ability to improve the quality of our life.
Clinical trials though have been done with MSM and you can read about the medical study over here. In this clinical trial they tested the effects of MSM on joint pain in 118 patients with osteoarthritis and found that compared to a placebo, MSM supplements taken over 12 weeks resulted in more improvements in pain, swelling and joint mobility.
In reference to dosage, in this trial, the MSM supplements were given in 500-milligram doses three times daily along with glucosamine (also taken in 500-milligram doses three times daily). Together they both seem to safely reduce inflammation and pain intensity without causing side effects for the majority of people.
Ideally, adding MSM along with Vitamin C (which improves the absorption) and Glucosamine (see the study above) is the perfect combo to achieve optimal results.
With regards to Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, what I have, I found this medical advice given- “We therefore hypothesize that the symptoms associated with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome may be successfully alleviated using a specific (and potentially synergistic) combination of nutritional supplements, comprising calcium, carnitine, coenzyme Q(10), glucosamine, magnesium, methyl sulphonyl methane, pycnogenol, silica, vitamin C, and vitamin K, at dosages which have previously been demonstrated to be effective against the above symptoms in other disorders.” (source)
How Much Should You Take?
This, again, is another tricky territory and would be great to speak to your physician about. You can take anywhere between 500mg on up to 10,000mg, but starting small is always ideal.
What Has it Helped Me With?
My Joint Pain Has Decreased- Vicodin has been the only pain medication that has worked for me and we all know that this isn’t a sustainable solution and not a great one for a mom who has to run her kids around town. Since starting the MSM, I have been able to use this daily (with the exception of some of the really bad days) instead of my prescription pain medication.
The effects, for me, were rather immediate and amazing. I felt like I had taken a pain pill, but wasn’t struggling with the foggy head and exhaustion that I experienced while taking Vicodin.
Coupling this with my favorite chronic pain gadget (read all about it over here), I feel like I have found two great solutions that I can live with.
The best part, I’m traveling again because of the decrease in pain. How awesome is that?
It Has Decreased My Hair Shedding- I am not sure if it was the medications I was taking or if it has been the stress that my body has been under, but I was losing A LOT of hair. Since taking this supplement, I am only shedding a few strands (versus clumps) and my hair feels thicker and seems to be growing much faster. In a similar way, my nails are thicker and growing faster than they were before.
I discovered that it is also referred to as a, “beauty mineral,” because of how much it helps with your hair, nails, and skin.
The only plus to this connective tissue disorder is that I do not have struggles with my skin, but if you are struggling with things like age spots/pigmentation issues, this can help with that too. It also helps with acne, rosacea, psoriasis, and dermatitis.
I Am Bouncing Back Better From My Workout Routines- It has been really awesome to get back to my workout routines and not be hobbling around for a couple of days after. I feel like MSM was the tweak in my supplement routine to help my body build back some of its strength.
I’m Not Needing to Brace My Joints as Much- My PT had instructed me to brace my fingers since we discovered the pain in my fingers (from being hypermobile) was causing my elbow pain. Guess what? I’m not wearing my finger braces anymore unless I have a really long day at my desk. This has been absolutely incredible to be able to use my fingers again for longer periods of time.
Any carpal tunnel issues I have been having seem to have decreased, if not completely resolved.
My heart is so hopeful that I will be knitting again soon!
My MSM Routine
After going through so many capsules daily, I decided to purchase the MSM powder instead. I add a 1/2 teaspoon (2,000 mg) to my smoothie in the morning. In the afternoon, I add the same amount to my La Croix, and in the evening I add this to my Calm with warm water.
I am disclosing, it is horribly bitter. It takes a bit to get used to, but totally worth it for the benefits it provides.
If you prefer, you can take MSM in a capsule format instead.
I Am NOT All Better Though
I don’t want to mislead anyone because this is helping, but I still have bad days. I was excited to be traveling again, but I still was hurting and needing to rest when I got back. The thing is… I can travel again.
I feel much, much better and anything that keeps me off pain pills in the winter is a GREAT thing.
I am focusing on that.
Here are some other articles you may find helpful:
Life Happens to You While You’re Busy Making Other Plans
11 Ways to Naturally Relieve Joint Pain
The Life-Changing Device I Found for My Chronic Pain
Burning Mouth Syndrome? Maybe Not!
Living in the Gray
Follow all my medical adventures (and more!!) on Instagram.
Have you tried MSM? I’d love to hear if this supplement has helped you? Please share!
This post contains affiliate links.