What is Fibromyalgia?
The latest research has found that fibromyalgia involves changes in the body’s neurotransmitters – the substances that allow nerve cells to communicate with one another.
Fibromyalgia is a common illness characterised by many different symptoms that occur all at once. Clearly, the greater the number of symptoms, the greater their impact on the patient’s life. You should also be aware that fibromyalgia has a fluctuating course, with periods of improvement and flare-ups, which depend on many different circumstances and are distinct in each patient
How is Fibromyalgia Treated?
Confirming whether or not you have fibromyalgia can be very difficult, as symptoms can be very different between people. Getting a diagnosis usually requires lots of doctor visits with your GP or a specialist, commonly a rheumatologist, and may involve lots of blood tests.
Medications that are usually used to treat symptoms of fibromyalgia may not always be effective or can cause other side effects. Fibromyalgia is usually considered a chronic condition, and so treatments usually help patients manage the symptoms rather than curing them. It’s important to keep in mind that there is no curative treatment for fibromyalgia. You should also be aware of which treatments can provide benefits and which can actually be harmful.
Proper treatment of fibromyalgia does not mean taking medicine for each and every one of your symptoms. That would require many different medicines and you would soon start to notice unwanted side effects, which would actually make your condition worse. It is worth noting that many people with fibromyalgia are exceptionally sensitive to medicines, which means their side effects may be even worse
Your family, friends and acquaintances will probably advise you to try alternative treatments such as acupuncture, homeopathy, chiropractic, herbal products, electromagnetic therapy, ozone therapy and many others. These are rarely recommended by doctors.
Most of these therapies lack major side effects, but their alleged benefits are also unlikely to be better than a placebo or sugar pill treatment.
How effective is cannabis and/or CBD oil for treating Fibromyalgia?
Cannabis oil and/or CBD oil can be used to assist with the management of associated symptoms of fibromyalgia. From a clinical research perspective, the jury is still out with studies looking at whether cannabis or their active ingredient, cannabinoids, can help with fibromyalgia or symptoms associated with fibromyalgia.
However, there have been some indications that cannabinoids may help with fibromyalgia and a group of related conditions. One theory suggests that conditions like fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and migraine may be due to a person’s endocannabinoid system not working properly. This theory suggests that taking plant-based cannabinoids from the cannabis plant can help regulate a person’s endocannabinoid system and reduce symptoms.
Other studies have looked at the effects of cannabinoids on specific symptoms associated with fibromyalgia. One of these studies, a Cochrane review, reviewed information that indicated improvements with pain, as well as with sleep and insomnia when patients took various cannabinoids.
Clinical research papers on Fibromyalgia can be found here:
- Clinical endocannabinoid deficiency (CECD): Can this concept explain therapeutic benefits of cannabis in migraine, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome and other treatment-resistant conditions? (PubMed)
- Cannabis use in patients with fibromyalgia: effect on symptoms relief and health-related quality of life (PubMed)