This article will address technologies, treatments, and research associated with fibromyalgia. If you or a loved one would like to learn more about fibromyalgia, the National Fibromyalgia Association and the National Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Association are great resources.
This article that contains research concerning the latest fibromyalgia news. It is always best to contact your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. Do not hesitate to reach out to a health care professional you trust.
Inflammation in the brain has been considered as causing the amplification of pain signals. In fact, Swedish scientists have researched that there is a way to assess the levels of inflammation in the brain, including sampling the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). CSF reflects what is happening in the brain because it is always in contact with it. The CSF levels of inflammation are much higher in patients with fibromyalgia than in healthy individuals.
Treatment Options to Lower Neuroinflammation
- LDN: Low-dose naltrexone is an opiate-blocking medication that is given in low doses to lower inflammation in the central nervous system. LDN stops the release of inflammatory chemicals by targeting the receptors on the immune cells found in the brain (gial cells).
- CBD: As a newer option, cannabidiol is a chemical compound made from cannabis that can be used to help treat chronic pain symptoms and reduce inflammation. CBD is an alternative choice to opioid prescriptions. The legal status of CBD depends where you live in because different states have different laws.
- Tumeric: Tumeric has an active ingredient, called curcumin, which has anti-inflammatory effects in the brain.
- Green Tea: Another food product is green tea. Green tea also contains a chemical that helps with anti-inflammatory effects, called EGCG.
- Cruciferous Vegetables: For example, an extract from broccoli (sulforaphane) helps protect against brain inflammation.
Natural Fibromyalgia Treatment
Diet can play an important role in treating fibromyalgia symptoms. There are natural options for fibromyalgia treatment. Changing to a fibromyalgia diet, adding certain supplements, using essential oils, and therapy (massage, mediations, and counseling) can help relieve pain and fatigue.
Eat a low FODMAP diet. FODMAP stands for a collection of food molecules that are short-chained carbohydrates. FODMAPs are fermentable and are a group of sugars that can not be completely absorbed by the body.
Foods to eat include:
- Vegetables (carrots, bell peppers, bok choy, cucumbers, lettuce, potatoes, summer and winter squash)
- Fruits (bananas, berries, grapes, kiwi, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, kumquat, citrus fruit, rhubarb, pineapple)
- Foods without dairy (almond milk, coconut milk, rice milk, goat milk yogurt)
- Certain foods with protein (eggs, free-range chicken and turkey, wild fish, tempeh, grass-fed beef and lamb)
- Other foods: gluten-free oats, GMO-free corn and rice, quinoa, peanuts, pecans, walnuts, avocado oil and coconut oil. There are other options, and the foods listed above are just some suggestions. It is important to avoid foods high in FODMAPs, including fructose, lactose, fructans, galactans, polyols, large amounts of alcohol and caffeine, and processed foods or foods with additives.
Research and Other Options
Neurotransmitters and Brain Research
According to Fibromyalgia News Today, there is a recent study that suggests signaling proteins that activate the nervous system (catecholamines and indolamines) may have an important role in fibromyalgia. However, research is ongoing and results have remained unclear or contradictory.
In another study in 2018 scientists have found that brain stimulation with cognitive training can help boost memory and verbal fluency in women who have fibromyalgia. Brazil researchers have discovered that by combining noninvasive brain stimulation with cognitive training women with fibromyalgia experience positive cognitive improvements.
In a personal relation, Donna Burch explains her experience with the Quell wearable pain relief device. She also lists other technological options, but describes Quell in detail. In sum, the Quell is a drug free option that is FDA approved to wear for 24/7 widespread pain relief (not just a localized region on the body).
In my experience, I have a family member who has fibromyalgia. It not only negatively affects the individual physically, but also mentally. One option that is not a medication is botox, which helps with trigger points. Because botox is an injection, it comes with slight risks, but it does not have any real side effects.