Medical Marijuana For Fibromyalgia Has Been Gaining Attention Among Those Seeking Effective Treatment
By Space Coast Daily // March 20, 2019
Statistics had it that women are more likely to develop fibromyalgia than men do. People with fibromyalgia develop or suffer from depression, anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome and temporomandibular joint disorders.
Characterized by pain accompanied by mood, memory, sleep and fatigue issues, fibromyalgia is a condition in which widespread body pain can affect how the brain is processing pain signals.
Learn more about fibromyalgia in the following sections.
If you’re suffering from one or any of the following symptoms, you might want to visit your doctor for proper diagnosis of fibromyalgia.
- Fatigue: It is one of the most common symptoms of the disease. People with it wake up tired even if they’ve slept for many hours. The reason is that sleep is disrupted by other sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea or restless legs syndrome and by widespread pain.
- Widespread pain: If the pain has been lasting for at least three months, it might be a sign of fibromyalgia. Pain, as described by patients, is like a constant dull one, which occurs above and below the waist and on both sides of the body.
- Cognitive issues: Sufferers also experience a symptom called the fibro fog, which impairs their brain’s function in areas of attention, focus and concentration especially on mental tasks.
Oftentimes, fibromyalgia also occurs with other painful conditions, including,
- Headaches and migraines
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Painful bladder syndrome
- Tender and pain points
- Tingling in the arms, hands, legs and feet
- Peeing problems
- Morning stiffness
While there’s no known cure for the disease, certain medications can alleviate or manage the symptoms along with stress reduction techniques, exercise and relaxation.
Causes and Risk Factors
Up to now, it’s unclear why fibromyalgia occurs, so its exact cause is also unknown.
One theory why fibromyalgia develops is the change in the manner that the central nervous system (CNS) is processing pain messages carried throughout the body.
It might have resulted from the chemical changes in the CNS. Changes in the system may be the reason the disease leads to constant pain or sensitivity to it.
On the other hand, chemical imbalances may also be a cause for some sufferers. It happens due to the very low levels of certain hormones including dopamine, noradrenaline and serotonin in the brain.
When this happens, there can be abnormalities in the manner the body is regulating appetite, mood, behavior, sleep and response to a stressful situation.
As you may also know, such hormones also have a huge role in the manner that the body is processing pain messages coming from the nerves. To disrupt the pain signals, medications that can increase the hormone levels are given to patients.
Another possible cause of fibromyalgia is sleep problems, which can also prevent patients from sleeping restfully. When this happens, what follows is extreme tiredness upon waking up.
Certain research had it that genetics might also play a part in the disease’s development, so some people are more likely to develop the condition versus others do if a parent or a relative has it.
There are also possible triggers including,
- A viral infection
- Having an operation
- Relationship breakdown
- A loved one’s death
- Giving birth
- An injury
- Being in an abusive relationship
In other cases, no triggers are noted for the development of one’s fibromyalgia.
Overview of the risk factors,
- Family history: One has an increased risk of developing it if one in his family has it.
- Certain disorders: A few including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis or lupus may also increase one’s risk of developing fibromyalgia.
- Gender: Women are more likely to develop it than men are.
There is no specific test for its diagnosis, so a doctor often relies on the symptoms’ group to diagnose it. But based on the guidelines of the American College of Rheumatology, one criterion is widespread pain for at least three months.
Your doctor might also try to rule out other conditions, so blood tests are conducted that may include,
- Vitamin D levels
- Complete blood count
- Thyroid function tests
- Erythrocyte sedimentation rate
Self-care and medication are general treatments for fibromyalgia; both with emphasis on improving overall health.
For medications, common choices include,
- Pain relievers, such as Tylenol, ibuprofen
- Antidepressants like milnacipran and Duloxetine
- Anti-seizure drugs to help ease the symptoms, such as Gabapentin
- Muscle relaxants such as cyclobenzaprine for better sleep
Therapy: It may also help in reducing its effects, including physical therapy, occupational therapy and counseling.
Recently, alternative medicine, such as cannabis for pain relief, has been gaining attention among the public looking for effective treatment.
For example, an investigation to find in the PLOS One revealed that cannabis users experienced reduced stiffness and pain and that it was easier to score higher on tests regarding mental health and to relax than non-users did.
MMJ may also work for pain because it contains compounds, cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), to relieve nausea, pain and other symptoms.
For example, CBD can interact with pain receptors for anti-inflammation and pain relieving properties.
However, take note that medical marijuana cannot cure the condition, but it can reduce its worst symptoms so that patients can reduce tiredness and widespread pain associated with it.
While there is no cure for fibromyalgia, its symptoms can be reduced through treatments, including medication and therapies. Although according to the statements of the researchers, an active rehabilitation can cause the best management of the symptoms and improvement of the quality of life.
Nowadays the CLHF homes include the perfect combination of the supplies to implement physical and psychological therapies.
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