Fibromyalgia and Cannabis Oil

Fibromyalgia is a common and complicated chronic pain disorder that affects sufferers physically, mentally and socially. Fibromyalgia has also been called fibromyalgia syndrome, fibromyositis and fibrositis. The condition is known to bring about chronic widespread pain, abnormal pain processing, multiple tender points, sleep problems, constant fatigue and every so often psychological distress.

Causes

Medical professionals are closer to understanding the underlying cause or causes of fibromyalgia thanks to new research findings that provide an improved understanding of the basic mechanisms of the disorder. The majority of researchers agree that fibromyalgia is a disorder of central processing with neuroendocrine/neurotransmitter dysregulation. The patient’s experiences pain intensification due to abnormal sensory processing in their central nervous systems. An increasing amount of scientific studies show that multiple physiological abnormalities in the fibromyalgia patient, including higher levels of substance P in the spinal cord, low levels of serotonin and tryptophan, low levels of blood flow to the thalamus region of the brain, HPA axis hypofunction and abnormalities in cytokine function.

New studies showing that genetic factors may predispose individuals to a genetic vulnerability to fibromyalgia has also emerged. For some patients, the onset is a slow process; however, in a large proportion of patients the onset is triggered by an injury that causes trauma to the body or by illness. These events may act to inflame an undetected physiological problem that is already present.

Exciting new research has also commenced in the areas of neurosurgery and brain imaging. Ongoing research will test the hypothesis that fibromyalgia is caused by an interpretative defect that occurs in the central nervous system and causes abnormal pain perception. Medical researchers have just started to untangle the truths surrounding this life-altering disease. 

Symptoms

Fibromyalgia presents n range of complicated symptoms including:

  • Widespread pain.The pain accompanying fibromyalgia frequently is described as a constant dull ache that lasts at least three months. In order to be considered widespread, the pain must be present on both sides of the body and both above and below the waist.
  • People with fibromyalgia often wake up tired, even though they have slept for long periods of time. Sleep is regularly disrupted by pain, and many patients with fibromyalgia are burdened with other sleep disorders, including sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome.
  • Cognitive difficulties.A symptom commonly called “fibro fog” impairs the ability of focusing, paying attention and concentrating on mental tasks.
  • Other problems.A lot of people who suffer from fibromyalgia also experience headaches, depression, and cramping or pain in the lower abdomen.

Risk Factors

There are a series of risk factors related to fibromyalgia, including:

  • Your gender.Fibromyalgia is more commonly found in women than in men.
  • Family history.A person could be at greater risk of developing fibromyalgia if their relative also has the condition.
  • Rheumatic disease.If you suffer from a rheumatic disease, like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, you could be more likely to develop fibromyalgia.

How to diagnose fibromyalgia

In the past, medical professionals would check 18 specific points on a patients’ body in order to see how many of them were painful when pressed firmly, however current guidelines do not require a tender point exam. In its place, a fibromyalgia diagnosis can be made if a patient has had widespread pain for longer than three months — with no underlying medical condition that might cause the pain.

Blood tests

Even though there is no lab test to confirm the presence of fibromyalgia, your doctor might want to rule out other conditions with similar symptoms. The blood tests may include:

  • Thyroid function tests
  • Erythrocyte sedimentation rate
  • Complete blood count

Conventional Treatment 

  • Pain Management

Healthcare providers might treat patients’ fibromyalgia symptoms with non-narcotic pain relievers or low doses of or benzodiazepines. Patients need to remember that antidepressants are “serotonin builders” and they can be prescribed at low levels in order to help improve sleep and relieve pain. If the fibro patient is experiencing depression, then higher levels of these medications could be prescribed. Lidocaine injections made directly into the patient’s tender points is also effective on localized areas of pain. A regular program of gentle exercise and stretching is an important aspect of pain management, as it helps maintain muscle tone and reduces pain and stiffness.

  • Sleep Management

Better quality sleep can be obtained by employing a healthy sleep regimen. This includes going to bed and getting up at a set time every day (eg. 9pm-6am every day); ensuring that the sleeping environment is perfect for sleep (i.e. quiet, a comfortable room temperature, free from distractions and a comfy, supportive bed); avoiding caffeine, sugar, and alcohol before going to bed; doing some light exercise during the day; avoiding eating right before bedtime; and practicing relaxation exercises as you are falling asleep. If it is necessary, there are innovative sleep medications that can be prescribed in serious cases, some of which can be particularly helpful if the patient’s sleep is disrupted by periodic limb movement disorder or restless legs.

  • Psychological Support

Learning to live with a chronic illness can be extremely emotionally challenging. The fibromyalgia patient needs to develop a program that offers emotional support and increases communication with their friends and family. Many communities have organized fibromyalgia support groups. These support groups offer important information and even have guest speakers who discuss subjects that are of interest to fibromyalgia patients. Counselling sessions with a trained professional can help improve understanding and communication about the illness and help build healthier relationships amongst patients’ family.