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Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a common and chronic widespread pain disorder, meaning that those who suffer with this extremely troublesome and debilitating condition feel severe pain, all over the body.

People with fibromyalgia feel as if pain is coming deep from within their bones and joints and can experience tactile allodynia, where the most innocuous light touch on the skin can feel like an unpleasant, raw or burning sensation.

Extreme fatigue, brain fog (fibro fog) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can also all be symptoms of fibromyalgia. The condition is more common amongst women, with around 75-90% of cases being amongst females. The condition usually develops between the ages of 30 and 50, but can occur at any stage of life. As fibromyalgia presents itself in many forms and with varying severity, it can be difficult to diagnose. However, it is believed to affect one in every 20 people in the UK.

What are the symptoms of fibromyalgia?

There are many symptoms associated with fibromyalgia and they can include one or more of the following symptoms, in addition to chronic all-over pain:

  • Poor cognition
  • Insomnia, or impaired quality of sleep
  • Fibro-fog, or issues with mental processes, such as memory and concentration
  • Headaches
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Fatigue
  • Increased sensitivity to pain
  • Musculoskeletal pain
  • Muscle stiffness

As well as physical side effects, fibromyalgia, like many chronic pain conditions can have a significant effect on the mental health of those who experience this disorder.

Anxiety, depression, thoughts or actions which are related to self-harm as well as those of suicide can also occur, therefore it’s vital to find an effective pain management regime which can help those who are so often highly affected by the condition so that they can lead normal and happy lives, whilst managing their symptoms effectively.

What causes fibromyalgia?

Frustratingly, the cause of fibromyalgia is relatively unknown. However, it is believed to be connected to abnormal levels of specific chemicals in the brain, as well as changes in how the nervous system can process pain messages which are carried around the body. It is thought that fibromyalgia can be hereditary, though there is currently no conclusive proof to this theory. In many cases, fibromyalgia can be triggered by a physically or emotionally stressful event which can include injury or infection, childbirth, surgical procedures, breakdown in relationships or bereavement.

Which medications can help reduce the symptoms of fibromyalgia?

Unfortunately, there is no one conventional medicine available currently, to treat Fibromyalgia. Nerve pain medications and anti-depressant medications are usually the first course of action and although these do sometimes help, more often they add their own unpleasant side effects to the patient’s difficulties.  Many patients can fine the most conventional pain medicines do not really work effectively for pain in the body’s spinal cord and central nervous system.

How can medical cannabis help with the symptoms of fibromyalgia?

Though at present there is no known cure for fibromyalgia, cannabis medicines can offer effective management of the condition, as they seem to re-balance and regulate the human body’s endo-cannabinoid system, to reduce pain and spasm and restore more normal sleep patterns.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) can also be significantly helped by cannabis. The gut is an incredibly complex organ that has its own nervous system that is relatively delicate and can be disturbed by fatigue and stress. Cannabis can give IBS patients huge relief as they soothe and reduce inflammation whilst simultaneously reducing muscle spasms in the bowel and stomach. Cannabis can help to manage the symptoms of fibromyalgia, especially those related to chronic pain.

Cannabis Medicines has been shown to offer analgesic relief, thus minimising the feelings of pain without causing a loss or disruption to consciousness. Some specific forms of medical cannabis have also shown to improve sleep for those with fibromyalgia and can even be a suitable substitute for other, traditional medications. For some patients with fibromyalgia, cannabis medicines can offer relief from symptoms such as chronic pain, headaches and muscle stiffness.

Am I suitable for pain management with medical cannabis?

At Integro Medical Clinics, we will ask that you attend a no obligation consultation with one of our specialists, so that we can assess your individual concerns and symptoms, as well as check your medical history. Following this initial assessment, and your case assessed to be suitable by the clinical team, we may provide a prescription which will best suit your needs for long term relief from the pain of your fibromyalgia.

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Forthcoming event

A Discussion of Cannabis Medicines and CBD for Fibromyalgia and Arthritis

– 2 Nov 2021 and 8 Nov 2021

UK Fibromyalgia, Integro Clinics, Primary Care Cannabis Network, CPASS and PLEA are proud to present this collaborative two-part webinar discussing fibromyalgia, arthritis and cannabis medicines.

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