Fighting Pain with PEA

PEA, or palmitoylethanolamide, is chemical your body makes.

As a member of the endocannabinoid family of compounds, it helps to repair the effects of stress and inflammation, thereby reducing pain. Food sources of PEA include soybeans, soy lecithin and peanuts.

It’s been credited with having benefits for depression and other mood conditions [1], improved athletic performance [2], possibly obesity [3], pain reduction [4] and other effects. The research supporting these claims varies in its strength and quality.

It has been investigated as a treatment for fibromyalgia and has been found to decrease pain [5].

While the research base is still developing, PEA seems to be a benign substance with no known level of toxicity and few reports of side effects. For these reasons, I decided to try it.

The research indicates it can take as long as 8 weeks to have an effect, but within 2 weeks I was noticing a difference. After 8 weeks, the chronic tension and pain in my neck and shoulders is 90% better, and the attacks of intense pain in my legs have ceased.

There are credible, science-based reasons for expecting that PEA can reduce pain in fibromyalgia and it can be used in combination with pharmaceutical treatments such as gabapentin and antidepressants. If you are not getting good relief from medications, it could be worthwhile for you to discuss this adjunct with your doctor.